The old adage that a series doesn’t start until a team loses at home might not apply to the 2021 NBA playoffs. A couple of teams have seen their championship odds improve significantly after opening the second round of the postseason with victories on their home floor.

The Brooklyn Nets are the heavy favorites to win the NBA Finals. After taking a 2-0 series lead over the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, Brooklyn’s title odds moved from +150 to +115 at BetMGM.

The Phoenix Suns entered the Western Conference Semifinals with +900 championship odds, and that catapulted to +750 following their 122-105 Game 1 win over the Denver Nuggets.

Milwaukee was viewed as the biggest threat to Brooklyn in the East. The Bucks looked nothing like a title contender, being outscored 240-193 over two contests at Barclays Center. Milwaukee saw its odds to win the NBA Finals plummet from +600 to +1400 after Game 2.

The Nets have dominated the Bucks despite losing James Harden to a hamstring injury in the opening minute of Game 1. It’s unknown if the former MVP will return for this series, though it appears that his presence might not be needed. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are averaging a combined 56.4 points on 38.6 shots per game this postseason.

Giannis Antetokounmpo has gotten little help against Brooklyn. Khris Middleton has scored 30 total points on 30.2% shooting. Milwaukee’s No. 2 scorer is being outplayed by the likes of Blake Griffin and Joe Harris.

It’s unexpected to see Phoenix with nearly twice the championship odds of Milwaukee. The Suns appeared to be headed for a first-round exit when they trailed the Los Angeles Lakers 2-1 in their series. Everything changed with Anthony Davis’ injury, and the team has been red-hot ever since that moment.

Phoenix has outscored its opponents by an average of 17 points during its four-game winning streak. Devin Booker has performed like a superstar, while Chris Paul seems to be recovered from the shoulder injury he suffered in the playoff opener. The Suns finished the regular season just one game behind the Utah Jazz for the NBA’s best record.

Denver has faced an uphill battle since Jamal Murray was lost for the season with a torn ACL. MVP favorite Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets past the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round in six games, but the team is a significant underdog against the Suns.

The Nuggets have the worst championship odds of any remaining playoff team at +2500.

Kyrie Irving Brooklyn Nets
Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets calls a play during the second half against the Washington Wizards at Barclays Center on January 03, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Sarah Stier/Getty Images