Brooklyn Nets open as 2022 NBA title favorites
Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving (C) and power forward Kevin Durant (R) talk to shooting guard James Harden (13) before checking into a game. Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Nets open as 2022 NBA title favorites despite being bounced from 2021 postseason early

Fresh off seeing the Milwaukee Bucks crowned NBA champions Tuesday night, oddsmakers have tabbed the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers as title favorites entering the 2021-22 season.

According to BetOnline.ag, the Nets have the best odds to win the 2022 title at +325. The Lakers are second at +500. Here is how the top 10 shakes out:

  1. Brooklyn Nets: +325
  2. Los Angeles Lakers: +500
  3. Milwaukee Bucks: +700
  4. Phoenix Suns: +900
  5. Golden State Warriors: +1000
  6. Los Angeles Clippers: +1400
  7. Philadelphia 76ers: +1400
  8. Utah Jazz: +1400
  9. Denver Nuggets: +1800
  10. Dallas Mavericks: +2500

The Nets are expected to be title contenders next season if they can keep Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and James Harden healthy. The trio played just eight regular-season games together in 2020-21 before entering the playoffs.

Brooklyn's playoff run was ended early in the Eastern Conference semifinals after Irving suffered an ankle injury and Harden dealt with a hamstring injury. The Nets ultimately fell to the Bucks in seven games. 

The Lakers, meanwhile, have the second-best odds to win the title after falling to the Suns in the first round of the playoffs. L.A. is expected to add some reinforcements this offseason in order to remain competitive during the 2021-22 season.

The biggest surprise in the top five is the Warriors at No. 4, as they didn't even make the playoffs last season. However, Klay Thompson is expected to return from an Achilles injury, Stephen Curry is playing at an MVP level and the team is looking to add another "starting caliber player in his prime" this summer. 

The preseason betting favorite has won the NBA title in four of the past six seasons. 

Erin Walsh is a Boston sports fan through and through. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bridgewater State University and currently is in pursuit of her Master's Degree in Journalism from Northeastern University. Follow her on Twitter @ewalsh90.

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