With more than a third of the NBA’s regular season in the books, sports fans and bettors are getting a clearer picture of the title contenders. For sports bettors, many of the early season unknowns have been resolved. In theory, handicapping should start getting easier. For casual fans, an ongoing question is whether betting on your own local team makes sense. In other words, can sport bettors in states that have legal sports betting expect to collect a bunch of winning wagers? Or will their loyalty be punished by a string of losing results?

Let’s take a look at the teams presenting this dilemma to its fans. The following are currently the most competitive NBA teams in the states where online betting is fully legal. Whether they are still in contention come April/May of 2022 is another story.


Eastern Conference

Brooklyn Nets – New York/New Jersey

Currently, New York sports bettors are limited to retail sports betting or driving across to NJ to place online wagers. That’s all about to change. Early in 2022, NY online sports betting finally gets underway for real. Until then, traveling to New Jersey to bet makes sense for Brooklyn Nets fans. The Nets lead the Eastern Conference with a record of 20-8. Looking at the betting angle, they have not been as good against-the-spread (ATS) with a record of 11-17. Led by potential MVP Kevin Durant, this is a team loaded with talent. In the NBA title futures book, they are strong favorites to win it all at +250.

On a side note, after a solid start the New York Knicks have fallen on hard times and don’t look like a playoff team.


Chicago Bulls – Illinois

The biggest surprise in the NBA so far has been the Chicago Bulls. While Denver has been underachieving, the Bulls have been surprising opponents all season. They are currently at 18-12, sitting in 3rd in the Eastern Conference behind the Brooklyn Nets and the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks. At 17-10, the Bulls have been a solid side for Illinois betting all season. Future book odds of +2500 seem a little short.


Philadelphia 76ers – Pennsylvania

The Philadelphia 76ers started the season without star guard Ben Simmons, who remains off the roster. Without him in the lineup, the team has looked a bit ordinary with a record of 15-14. Pennsylvania sports betting fans need to keep their eyes on the sports ticker. Rumors have it the Sixers are looking to deal for a major talent who could turn the team’s fortunes around. No one could blame loyal Philly bettors if they took a flyer at +2500 for the 76ers to win it all.


Western Conference

Phoenix Suns – Arizona

With a current record of 22-5, the Suns are second in the Western Conference, one-half game behind the Golden State Warriors. The Suns are a team on a mission after losing to the Milwaukee Bucks in last year’s NBA Championship series. Against the spread, the Suns are 14-13 on the season, which offers very little in the way of a betting advantage. If Arizona bettors want to bet on the Suns to win it all, there are reasonably generous odds of +800 available out there.


Memphis Grizzlies – Tennessee

The Memphis Grizzlies are currently sitting at +8000 to win the NBA Championship. Outside of Tennessee, no one has noticed this team is playing good basketball. Tennessee bettors sure like what they see from a team that is 18-11 both straight up and ATS. It’s hard to imagine this team winning it all, but fans might have some fun and profit betting on them throughout the season.

Denver Nuggets – Colorado

Last year, the Denver Nuggets made a nice run in the playoffs behind league MVP Nikola Jokic. This year, the Nuggets have been struggling with a record of 14-14. If the season were to end today, they would be on the cusp of the playoffs. This is a good team that is underachieving as indicated by a record of 12-16 ATS. For the faithful Colorado bettors, the Nuggets are offering +3000 to win it all.