The Complete NBA Futures Odds Picture: March 2022

By Ethan Schimel   March 2, 2022 

The Complete NBA Futures Odds Picture: March 2022

With both the NBA All-Star Game and the trade deadline in the rearview mirror, we’ve finally made it to the homestretch of the season. A lot can happen over the next six weeks, but we’re beginning to see the true contenders separate themselves from the rest of the pack.

The James Harden trade wasn’t just a boon for the Philadelphia 76ers… it may have completely shifted the landscape of the Eastern Conference. Charlotte was once in the mix at the top of standings, but now they’re fighting for a playoff berth after a disappointing month of February.

One month doesn’t doom a season, however: Just ask the Utah Jazz. Several bad months? Well… that’s a different story that the Los Angeles Lakers are all too familiar with this year.

As we kick off the final full month of the 2021-22 NBA campaign, let’s take a look at a few teams who have made pretty significant moves, up or down, the NBA’s futures board.

Stock Up

Philadelphia 76ers Futures Odds 

(Current Odds to win the NBA Championship: +700, BetMGM)

Just a month ago, the Philadelphia 76ers were slowly making their way up the Eastern Conference standings, despite all of the uncertainty surrounding Ben Simmons. Four weeks – and one massive deal at the trade deadline later – the team’s championship odds have gone from +2000 to +700.

Welcome to Philadelphia, James Harden.

The Sixers’ offensive attack has been electric in Harden’s two games with the team: Philadelphia scored 133 points and 125 points in wins over the Minnesota Timberwolves and New York Knicks, respectively, and the former Brooklyn Net has been putting up video game numbers (28.0 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 14.0 APG) since the All-Star break. Harden admitted after the win over the Knicks that despite what we’ve seen so far, he’s still not familiar with the 76ers’ offense. The team’s Twitter account has already put out the warning that “scary hours” are imminent once Harden and MVP front-runner Joel Embiid perfect their two-man game.

The chemistry between the Sixers’ superstars only figures to get better over the next couple of weeks as eight of Philadelphia’s next 11 games are at home. A highly anticipated matchup with the Brooklyn Nets is on deck for March 10, but the team’s schedule is chock full of games against playoff teams. If the Sixers can get through the next month relatively unscathed, a deep playoff run is almost a certainty.

Utah Jazz Futures Odds

(Current Odds to win the NBA Championship: +1800, FanDuel)

Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson (00) shoots over Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) during the second half at Footprint Center.  Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson (00) shoots over Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) during the second half at Footprint Center.  Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

A 4-12 January spawned a fair amount of doubt about Utah’s postseason chances, but after an 8-1 February, they’re comfortably atop the Northwest Division and should be a top-4 seed once the playoffs begin.

The Jazz are as healthy as they’ve been all season, and have shown it on the court by winning eight of their last nine outings. They’ve made their bones offensively for the most part this season – Utah’s 14.6 three-pointers per game ranks first in the NBA – but recently defense has been their calling card: The Phoenix Suns were the only team who scored more than 110 points against the Jazz in February.

At +1800, Utah has the third-best odds among Western Conference teams to take home the Larry O’Brien Trophy… not a bad bet when you consider the questions surrounding the Phoenix Suns and Chris Paul’s injury status. The Jazz beat both the Suns and the Warriors in February, but they also have a daunting March schedule that features 11 road games.

Stock Down

Charlotte Hornets Futures Odds

(Current Odds to win the NBA Championship: +25000, BetMGM)

Charlotte Hornets forward JT Thor (21)spins away from Milwaukee Bucks forward Jordan Nwora (13) during the fourth quarter at Fiserv Forum. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Hornets aren’t out of the mix yet, but a 1-9 stretch prior to the All-Star break is leaving them fighting for their playoff lives as we enter the final six weeks of the season. Expectations weren’t high for Charlotte coming into the year – they were +10000 to win it all back in October – and they’ve fallen even more despite boasting the best offense in the league (114.2 PPG). 

Inconsistency is the best way to describe the Hornets this season: Outside of a five-game winning streak in October, and a four-game winning streak in January, they really haven’t been able to gain much ground in the standings. It doesn’t help that they allow opponents to score more than 114 points per game, in addition to letting teams jack up an average of 39 three-pointers a night. LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges are entertaining to watch, but it’s clear that Charlotte’s focus this offseason will be on improving their defense.

Until they get to that point, there’s still a playoff race ahead of them, and they have a legitimate chance of avoiding the play-in tournament altogether. 8 of their next 11 games are at the Spectrum Center, and two of those road games are against fairly beatable teams (New Orleans, Oklahoma City). The 6th seed isn’t out of the realm of possibility for the Hornets if they can tighten the screws defensively over the next couple of weeks.

Los Angeles Lakers Futures Odds

(Current Odds to win the NBA Championship: +4900, DraftKings)

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) shoots against the Dallas Mavericks during the second half at Arena. Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

It’s time to use those Los Angeles Lakers’ futures tickets to line your birdcages, folks… the dream is over. A 3-6 February capped off by a 28-point home loss to the New Orleans Pelicans is all the proof that anyone needs to know that it just isn’t going to happen for the Lakers this year.

Injuries to LeBron James and Anthony Davis clearly haven’t helped matters, but the simple fact is that GM Rob Pelinka failed to put together a cohesive roster this summer. Carmelo Anthony and Malik Monk have been solid pickups, but it’s fair to categorize most of the team’s other additions as mediocre at best. At this point, the Lakers are just playing out the string – expect to see a flurry of activity coming from the Staples Center offices this offseason.

Title No. 2 of the James Era won’t be coming to downtown Los Angeles this June, and with 14 of their last 22 games on the road, it’ll be an uphill battle for the Lakers to even finish .500 at this point. Quite an unceremonious fall from grace for a team that had +425 odds to win the NBA championship just five months ago.

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