NBA 2023 Championship Odds

Stephen Curry Klay THompson Golden State Warriors
Stephen Curry #30 and Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors celebrate after defeating the Boston Celtics in the 2022 NBA Finals. Elsa/Getty Images/AFP

Editor’s note: This article was updated on September1st, 2022.

This is our third installment of the 2023 NBA Championship Odds update as we keep our hoops fans apprised of any breaking news from the NBA and the ramifications it will have for this upcoming season. We will also update the NBA championship odds on all 30 teams.

OddsTrader wants to keep our readers current and to be your go-to resource for NBA Power Rankings and everything else you need to handicap your NBA picks.

Make sure to check back for our updated NBA odds as well as previews on all NBA matchups and every other major sport as well.


OddsTrader’s Betting Edge

• Kevin Durant remaining in Brooklyn sees the Nets odds improve dramatically.

• Uncertainty surrounding Russell Westbrook sees the Lakers price move down.

• Many people around the league believe the Milwaukee Bucks would have won the title with a healthy Khris Middleton.

• If Kawhi can be healthy for the playoffs, the Clippers have a great chance at making a Finals run


Below are the current NBA Championship odds as of September 1st, 2022.

ContendersPretendersLongshots
Celtics +500Lakers +2400Trail Blazers +12000
Bucks +650Mavericks +2500Wizards +20,000
Warriors +700Timberwolves +3300Jazz +20,000
Nets +700Raptors +4500Kings +43,000
Clippers +700Hawks +5000Thunder +50,000
Suns +1000Bulls +5000Magic +50,000
76ers +1700Pelicans +5000Pacers +50,000
Heat +1700Knicks +10000Rockets +50,000
Grizzlies +2100Cavaliers +10000Spurs +50,000
Nuggets +2400Hornets +12,000Magic +50,000

Updates From Around the League


Kevin Durant Brooklyn Nets Kyrie Irving
Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets and Kyrie Irving #11 celebrate during the 2022 NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images/AFP.

Nets Odds Skyrocket With Durant Staying

The Kevin Durant Situation

The Brooklyn Nets’ tumultuous offseason saw their opening odds to win the NBA championship at around +1500. With the news that Kevin Durant will remain in Brooklyn, they’ve shot up all the way to third at +700. For those who had faith that Durant would stick around and got the opening price, that’s some great value.

While that might be a great wager in terms of value, in reality, it will take a lot for this Brooklyn Nets team to actually win a title. The talent on the roster does justify them having the third-best odds but talent alone isn’t enough to win a championship.

In terms of chemistry, it’s anybody’s guess how this team will do. The best player on the team is not there by choice and he wanted the coach fired. He also hates the GM so that can’t be the best working environment.

The Kyrie Irving Situation

Their second-best player is one of the biggest enigmas in professional sports. He has all the talent in the world but nobody is really sure what his next move is and that’s a problem when you make as much money as Kyrie does.

The Ben Simmons Situation

Then there’s Ben Simmons who nobody knows anything about anymore. We know what he used to be but he hasn’t played basketball in a long time. Talent isn’t his problem, it’s what’s going on in his head. Only he knows the answer to that question and it will be interesting to see how he starts the season.

If he’s anything like the player he was in Philadelphia, then as the third-best player on this team, that makes the Nets one of the most dangerous teams in the league, on paper of course.


LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers Cleveland Cavaliers
LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Jason Miller/Getty Images/AFP.

Lakers’ Uncertainty Sees Their Odds Stay Put

Not the Best Roster

At +2400, the price on the Lakers to win the championship might seem low to die-hard fans. After all, the Lakers still have LeBron and if Anthony Davis can stay healthy, they have one of the best duos in the league. The problem for oddsmakers is the rest of the roster.

The Lakers’ current odds make sense because the rest of the team doesn’t appear to be good enough to win a championship. With a brand new head coach, there’s a level of uncertainty surrounding this team that is reflected in their current odds.

The fact that they barely made any off-season moves doesn’t really help matters.

The Russel Westbrook Situation

This team was not well last year and even though they might have a healthy James and Davis, they still have Russell Westbrook.

Whatever you think of Westbrook, it was pretty clear that he didn’t fit on this team. Getting rid of him doesn’t solve all of their problems but there’s no evidence to suggest that keeping him will change anything. He’s a year older and he still can’t shoot which are two very big issues.

Of course, new head coach Darvin Ham has been saying all of the right things and showing Westbrook a ton of confidence. The things are, what else is he supposed to say? Westbrook is notoriously sensitive so Ham had no choice but to play it this way.

The Uncertainty

The Lakers should be back in the playoffs but as far as contending for a title, that’s asking a lot.

As superhuman as LeBron has been, he’s still going to be 38 before the All-Star break. You’re also betting on Anthony Davis being healthy which is the opposite of a sure thing. We haven’t even gotten to the fact that Patrick Beverly is a Laker now and what that means for Westbrook on so many levels.

The soap opera potential is very real in Los Angeles and that’s not a good thing for this basketball team unless you’re referring to their HBO series.


Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks Boston Celtics
Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks reacts after a three-point basket against the Boston Celtics. Adam Glanzman/Getty Images/AFP.

Milwaukee Bucks Are Favorites If Healthy

Prime Giannis

They might not have the best odds at +650 but the Bucks are probably the best team in the NBA. They certainly have the best player in Giannis Antetokounmpo who was last seen destroying the competition for his national team.

Giannis is in the middle of his prime and only seems to be getting better. As long as that’s the case, it’s hard to argue that any team in the league is better than the Bucks. Many people around the league feel that if Khris Middleton was healthy in the playoffs last season that the Bucks would have won the title.

Could the Bucks Have Beaten the Warriors?

It’s not hard to see why people feel that way. They lost to the Celtics in seven games and certainly have what it takes to compete with the Warriors.

They have Jrue Holiday who could give Steph Curry all he could handle. Obviously, Curry had no issues with defensive player of the year Marcus Smart but Holiday is still a tough opponent. Besides, Smart has always had trouble with smaller guards. He usually defends better against bigger guards and wings.

Even if you wanted to make the argument that nobody could stop Curry, the same can be said for Giannis. As good as Draymond is, Giannis is so much bigger and stronger than him that he would still put up enough to match Curry’s numbers.

Can They Win the East?

We don’t need to deal in hypotheticals anyway because if the Bucks are healthy come playoff time, they will be one of the favorites to win the East. The odds say they have the second-best chance to win the East and the championship as well behind only the Boston Celtics.

While they did not have quite the offseason Boston did, they do have a chemistry and a core that will see them contend for the title.


Paul George Kawhi Leonard LA Clippers
Paul George #13 and Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers in the third quarter at Crypto.com Arena. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/AFP.

Leonard’s Health Is Key for Clippers

The Team Already Works

Ever since his last season as a San Antonio Spur, Kawhi Leonard’s health has been a topic of conversation in the NBA. If Leonard is healthy, his team is a contender to win a title.

His current team has actually been very good without him which is one of the reasons they are considered one of the favorites to win a title. At +700, the Clippers are tied with the Nets and the Warriors for the third best odds to win a championship.

The Clippers have arguably the deepest roster in the NBA when everyone is healthy.

George Needs to Stay Healthy

The word “health” comes up a lot when talking about this team because their second-best player, Paul George, has also had health issues for the last several years. He appears to be healthy, as does Kawhi and that means they might arguably have the best duo in Los Angeles.

That might sting some Lakers fans but there’s no denying that George and Leonard complement each other on both ends of the floor perfectly. With the rest of the roster having gotten used to playing without both for long stretches, they should be one of the best teams in the league.

Don’t Forget About Tyronn Lue

As uncertain as George and Leonard’s health has been over the years, one thing that is clear is that Ty Lue is a good coach.

For a long time, he didn’t get the credit he deserves which can happen when you coach LeBron James. Since moving on from that situation, Lue has proven to be one of the best coaches in the league.

Regardless of who is available to play, the Clippers compete. He’s also shown that tactically, he’s able to make adjustments mid-game or mid-series in order for his team to have a better chance. The Clippers can be a real threat if they have everyone available come playoff time.


NBA 2023 Championship Odds: Second Update


Editor’s note: This article was updated on August 18th, 2022.

This is our second installment of the 2023 NBA Championship Odds update as we keep our hoops fans apprised of any breaking news from the NBA and the ramifications it will have for this upcoming season. We will also update the NBA championship odds on all 30 teams.

OddsTrader wants to keep our readers current and to be your go-to resource for NBA Power Rankings and everything else you need to handicap your NBA picks.

Make sure to check back for our updated NBA odds as well as previews on all NBA matchups and every other major sport as well.

OddsTrader’s Betting Edge

• Kevin Durant in a Celtics uniform next season could happen but it will take a lot of moving pieces to get the deal done.

• LeBron will now be the highest-earning NBA player in history, surpassing Kevin Durant’s $532 million in career earnings.

• Minnesota management decided the time to strike is now when they mortgaged the future for the three-time Defensive Player of the Year and last season’s rebound leader, Rudy Gobert.

• When asked if Kawhi Leonard will be ready for the start of the season, Tyronn Lue was somewhat evasive and wryly said, “I don’t know.”

Below are the current NBA Championship odds as of August 18th, 2022 courtesy of FanDuel

ContendersPretendersLongshots
Celtics +450Grizzlies +2400Cavaliers +12,000
Bucks +550Mavericks +2500Wizards +16,000
Warriors +650Timberwolves +3300Jazz +20,000
Clippers +700Raptors +4000Kings +42,000
Suns +1000Bulls +4600Pistons +50,000
Heat +1500Pelicans +4900Thunder +50,000
76ers +1500Hawks +5500Pacers +50,000
Nets +1500Knicks +6500Spurs +50,000
Lakers +1800Trail Blazers +12,000Rockets +50,000
Nuggets +2100Hornets +12,000Magic +50,000

What’s Going On Lately?


Celtics Favorites Next Season

Despite the Boston Celtics getting beaten, 4-2, by the dynastical Golden State Warriors in the NBA Championship only a few months ago, they are nevertheless the odds-on-favorites to not only return to the title game but take home the hardware.

A few moves made by rookie GM, Brad Stevens, have improved, at least on paper, the Eastern Conference champs after adding point guard Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari to the roster.

But there is one rumor that refuses to die: the acquisition of Kevin Durant.

Will Kevin Durant Arrive in Boston?

According to inside sources, the Nets want the moon and the stars for their perennial All-Star and future Hall-of-Famer. Short of that, they would take three first-round draft picks, Jaylen Brown, Grant Williams, and Robert “Timelord” Williams.

That is a treasure trove to render for a soon-to-be 34-year-old big man with miles of tread on his tires and one who underperformed in three of four postseason games in what resulted in a 4-0 series loss to Boston.

Kevin Durant in a Celtics uniform next season could happen but it will take a lot of moving pieces to get the deal done and more realistic expectations by Brooklyn if they want to deal the disgruntled superstar and begin another rebuild.


LeBron Remains a Laker

LeBron James removed any speculation about where he could be going after this season, once his contract is up. He will remain in LA for at least two more years, barring a trade, and will be paid $97.1 million which includes a 15% trade kicker clause.

LeBron will now be the highest-earning NBA player in history, surpassing Kevin Durant’s $532 million in career earnings.

King James is also poised to become the league’s leading career scorer, passing the legendary Laker, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Where Did All the Especulation Come From?

Before inking this latest pact, LeBron had teased about playing with a variety of superstars at different destinations. During an episode of HBO’s “The Shop”, LeBron was asked about who he would like to team with and why.

“In today’s game? S—t, there’s some mother—–s in today’s game, but Steph Curry. Steph Curry is the one that I would want to play with, for sure, in today’s game. … Right now, it’s Steph,” James said.

“I love everything about that guy. Lethal. When he gets out of his car you’d better guard him right from the moment he pulls up to the arena. As soon as he gets out of his car, you better guard his a–. You might want to guard him when he gets out of bed. I swear to God.”

If that’s going to happen anytime soon, it will be Steph in a Lakers uniform and not LeBron in Warriors colors. We will keep our ears to the ground.


T-Wolves Go Big

After several underwhelming seasons, the Timberwolves wound up in the postseason last year, courtesy of a 46-36 record. It was a one-and-done playoff appearance in losing 4-2 to the Grizzlies but the T-Wolves showed all kinds of promise and were considered a dark horse contender entering this season.

However, Minnesota management decided the time to strike is now when they mortgaged the future for Rudy Gobert, the three-time Defensive Player of the Year and last season’s rebound leader.

In return, Utah received Patrick Beverley, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Leandro Bolmaro, the draft rights to 7’1” center and No. 22 overall pick in this year’s draft, Walker Kessler, as well as four first-round picks. Wow!


Kawhi Bulking Up

The LA Clippers have made the playoffs 11 straight years but last season was a challenge without their All-World small forward, Kawhi Leonard, and having another perennial All-Star, Paul George, limited to only 31 games.

Although Leonard has been bulking up the lower part of his body after ACL surgery in July 2021 and has seemingly been making progress towards starting the season as a healthy member of the Clippers, his head coach left some fans arching their eyebrows during a recent interview.

When asked if Kawhi Leonard will be ready for the start of the season, Tyronn Lue was somewhat evasive and wryly said, “I don’t know.”


NBA 2023 Championship Odds: First Update


Editor’s note: This article was updated on July 27th, 2022.

The celebratory echoes of the Golden State Warriors NBA championship series victory over the Boston Celtics have barely faded. But here, at OddsTrader, we are always looking ahead and discussing what to expect from next year’s editions. That way you can get a head start on your NBA Futures bets.

OddsTrader wants to be your go-to resource for NBA Power Rankings and everything else you need to handicap, so feel free to take advantage of the free resources like OddsTrader’s NBA computer picks.

Also, make sure to check back for updated NBA odds and stats for every NBA matchup in the upcoming season.

OddsTrader’s Betting Edge

• It’s hard to argue with the Celtics being the team to beat especially after their offseason upgrades.

• Had Khris Middleton been available, we might even be looking at consecutive championship seasons in Milwaukee. Middleton will be back from injury this season.

• All the main pieces are still in place for the Warriors to claim back-to-back titles and maintain their dynasty.

• Kawhi Leonard is expected to be ready for the season opener and will hopefully have Paul George available full-time after the 13-year veteran played in only 31 games last year due to

Below are the current NBA Championship odds as of 7/27/22 courtesy of FanDuel

Contenders Pretenders Longshots 
Celtics +450 Grizzlies +2400 Cavaliers +12,000 
Bucks +550 Mavericks +2500 Wizards +16,000 
Warriors +650 Timberwolves +3300 Jazz +20,000 
Clippers +700 Raptors +4000 Kings +42,000 
Suns +1000 Bulls +4600 Pistons +50,000 
Heat +1500 Pelicans +5000 Thunder +50,000 
76ers +1500 Hawks +5500 Pacers +50,000 
Nets +1500 Knicks +8000 Spurs +50,000 
Lakers +1800 Trail Blazers +12,000 Rockets +50,000 
Nuggets +2100 Hornets +12,000 Magic +50,000 

The Beasts of the East


Jayson Tatum Boston Celtics
Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics shoots the ball against Andrew Wiggins #22 and Kevon Looney #5 of the Golden State Warriors during the second half in Game One of the 2022 NBA Finals. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/AFP

Boston Celtics (+450)

  • Last Season’s Record:51-31
  • Made It To: NBA Finals – Lost to the Golden State Warriors

The Shamrocks came up short against the battle-tested Warriors, bowing 4-2 in their NBA title tilt, but gaining valuable championship experience. Boston’s season was a tale of two teams: the one that began the season playing .500 basketball and the other that awoke from a season-long slumber on January 23rd with a 29-point victory over the Wizards.  

That would be the first of the Green winning 28 of their last 35 regular-season contests, a staggering .800 winning percentage, and one that would see them run the table in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Since that time Boston has acquired the services of Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari while also rumored to be an entry in the Kevin Durant sweepstakes.  

Regardless, Boston’s backcourt is crowded and something will have to give, likely to be Derrick White as trade bait. It’s hard to argue with the Celtics being the team to beat especially after their offseason upgrades.


Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks NBA player
Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks dunks over Patrick Williams #44 of the Chicago Bulls. Stacy Revere/Getty Images/AFP

Milwaukee Bucks (+550)

  • Last Season’s Record:51-31
  • Made It To: East Conference Semifinals – Lost to the Boston Celtics

The Bucks led the Celtics 3-2 in their conference semifinal matchup before Boston roared back and won the next two games, propelling them to the Eastern Conference Finals and leaving the Bucks to make vacation plans.

However, a legitimate case can be made that had Khris Middleton been available, things would have been much different and we might even be looking at consecutive championship seasons in Milwaukee.  

But the gang will be back together again next season and anytime you have a force of nature like Giannis Antetokounmpo on your roster, then you are immediately in the championship conversation.  


Jimmy Butler Miami Heat NBA player
Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat shoots against the Orlando Magic. Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images/AFP.

Miami Heat (+1500)

  • Last Season’s Record:53-29
  • Made It To: East Conference Finals – Lost to the Boston Celtics

The Heat melted the competition last season en route to the best record in the East. However, they fell prey to the youthful Boston Celtics in the conference finals in seven games. However, Miami will need more than the amazing Jimmy Butler raining buckets if they are to be considered a title threat.  

The time is now for the Heat as Butler will be 33 when the season begins, and as nice a player as Bam Adebayo is, he is no Robin to Butler’s Batman. However, there are rumors that the Heat are serious contenders for either Kevin Durant or Donovan Mitchell. Either one would be a game-changer in South Beach. 


 Joel Embiid Philadelphia 76ers dunks
Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers dunks over Jarrett Allen #31 of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images/AFP

Philadelphia 76ers (+1500)

  • Last Season’s Record:53-29
  • Made It To: East Conference Semifinals – Lost to the Miami Heat

Joel Embiid is looking more and more like the generational talent the Sixers were expecting when they drafted the 7-footer out of Kansas as the third overall pick in the 2014 draft. He was immense this season, averaging a career-best 30.6 points per game as well as 11.7 boards and 4.2 assists. 

However, his co-pilot, James Harden, will be 33 when the season starts. Unlike his contemporary, Jimmy Butler, Harden’s game is rapidly aging. He is coming off of his lowest scoring season in nearly 10 years at 21 points per game, a marked decline from his 36.1 average during the 2018-2019 season. The 76ers front office added low-key depth in:

Nonetheless, they will need to do much more if they are to contend this season.  


The Best in the West 


Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors NBA Finals
Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors celebrates a basket during the fourth quarter against the Boston Celtics in Game Five of the 2022 NBA Finals. Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images/AFP

Golden State Warriors (+650)

  • Last Season’s Record: 53-29
  • Made It To: NBA Finals – Defeated the Boston Celtics

Speaking of generational talents, Steph Curry is not only at the top of his class but is universally considered one of the top five ever to play the game. Curry will be entering his 14th season and shows no signs of slowing down. While last season was not his finest, it was still outstanding by any barometer.  

All the main pieces are still in place for the Warriors to claim back-to-back titles and maintain their dynasty. However, Otto Porter Jr. and Gary Payton II have left for greener pastures in Toronto and Portland, respectively. Nevertheless, their absences can be filled easily enough, especially since Donte DiVincenzo has been brought in from Sacramento for this upcoming season.  

Lastly, many fail to consider the return of James Wiseman, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 draft who missed all of last season with a torn meniscus. If he is as good as advertised coming out of Memphis then he could give the reining champs an even bigger leg up on the competition than anticipated. 


Paul George Los Angeles Clippers NBA player
Paul George #13 of the Los Angeles Clippers reacts after making a three-point basket against the Chicago Bulls. Quinn Harris/Getty Images/AFP

Los Angeles Clippers (+700)

  • Last Season’s Record: 42-40
  • Made It To: Play-In Tournament – Lost to the New Orleans Pelicans

Big things are expected of a team that barely broke .500 last season and lost both games in the play-in round. But that’s what happens when a team welcomes their superstar back after a season spent rehabbing from a torn ACL.

Kawhi Leonard is expected to be ready for the season opener and will hopefully have Paul George available full-time after the 13-year veteran played in only 31 games last year due to a torn UCL in his elbow. 

If both of these superstars can avoid the injuries that always seem to plague the Clippers then they, along with another member of the walking wounded, Norman Powell, could make noise this season.


Devin Booker Phoenix Suns Chris Paul NBA
Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns reacts to Chris Paul #3 during the NBA Playoffs. Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFP.

Phoenix Suns (+1000)

Last Season’s Record: 64-18
Made It To: West Conference Semifinals – Lost to the Dallas Mavericks

The Suns shone brightly last year, recording the best regular-season record and earning the No. 1 seed entering the playoffs. But after ousting the Pelicans in the opening round, the Suns fell to the Mavericks in seven games in the conference semifinals.  

Deandre Ayton was recently signed to a four-year extension which is good news for Phoenix fans. And with Devin Booker, one of the brightest young lights in the game, leading the charge, the Suns should be contenders yet again.  

However, Chris Paul isn’t getting any younger and his track record of disappearing in the postseason doesn’t bode well for a young team that needs not only his character off the court but his production on it when the money is on the line. This team could desperately use a younger, more clutch veteran than Paul because at age 37 time is running out.  


LeBron James Anthony Davis Russell Westbrook
LeBron James #6, Anthony Davis #3 and Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers during a game against Golden State Warriors. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images/AFP

Los Angeles Lakers (+1800)

  • Last Season’s Record: 33-49
  • Made It To: Did not make the NBA Playoffs

The Lakers were a spectacular disappointment last season and the three-headed monster that is LeBron, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook must stay healthy and do better – much better. Much of the blame has been laid at the feet of Russell Westbrook and understandably so. But he was not the only one responsible for last year’s disastrous season.

Yet, he and the Lakers are now stuck with each other for another year as Westbrook had 47 million reasons to opt-in to the final year of his contract and there will be no suitors willing to take that financial albatross from the Lakers.  

If AD can stay healthy and LeBron continues to defy Father Time while Russell Westbrook rekindles his All-Star magic then of course the Lakers can compete for a title but that seems like a tall order after what we saw last season.  


NBA 2022 Championship Odds


Editor’s note: This article was updated on May 31st, prior to the start of the NBA Finals on June 2nd.

The Beasts of the East will meet the Best in the West when the Boston Celtics tip-off against the Golden State Warriors. Jayson Tatum versus Steph Curry – the young guns versus the aging legends – does Boston have what it takes to knock off a dynasty?

OddsTrader wants to be your go-to resource for NBA Power Rankings and everything else you need to handicap your NBA picks. Make sure to check back for updated lines and previews on NBA matchups and every other major sport as well.


OddsTrader’s Betting Edge

Regarded as the most underachieving club with a record of 23-24 back in January, the Celtics closed the second half with a 28-7 mark.

• After a 2-year hiatus from the playoffs, the Warriors have dominated the postseason after entering as the No. 3 seed in the West.

• The Celtics have had only a few days to rest and this season has been huge leap forward for Boston.

• Stephen Curry has done it all this season and Golden State is a team that has “been there, done that” over the last several years.


Below we have the NBA Championship Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.

  • Boston Celtics: +140
  • Golden State Warriors: -160

The Finalists


Jayson Tatum Boston Celtics NBA basketball
Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics directs his teammates during Game 7 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat. Andy Lyons/Getty Images/AFP

Boston Celtics (+140)

  • Eastern Conference Champions
  • Atlantic Division Champions

What a long strange trip it’s been for the Boston Celtics. Regarded as the most disappointing and underachieving club in the league back in January with a record of 23-24, something clicked. And it wasn’t a bang, it was an explosion. The Celtics would shake free from whatever spell that bewitched them and roll to a 28-7 mark over the second half of the season.

As the No. 2 seed in the East, the Celtics would begin their quest for an 18th NBA Championship against the seventh-seeded Brooklyn Nets. The big question was whether Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown were finally ready to battle the big boys like Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. That question was definitively answered when they rolled to a 4-0 sweep.

But the sledding wouldn’t get any easier as their next opponent was the reigning NBA champs with the most dominant player in the game, Giannis Antetokounmpo, as their biggest obstacle to overcome. It was a seven-game thriller but the Celtics emerged victorious after trailing 3-2 by notching a pair of lopsided wins, 108-95 in Milwaukee, punctuated by a 109-81 Game 7 victory in Boston.

Eastern Conference Finals

Only the No. 1 seed in the East remained in the form of the Miami Heat. But coming up short when it counted had become par for the course for Boston, as this core group had bowed in three of the last five Eastern Conference Finals.

Holding a 3-2 edge with Game 6 in Boston appeared to be the perfect opportunity to exorcise those demons but it was not to be as the Heat melted the C’s, 111-103, before the series returned to South Beach for a seventh and deciding game.

Fortunately for Boston, Miami was abysmal from downtown, shooting just 20 percent from beyond the arc, and despite another heroic effort from Jimmy Butler, who led all scorers with 35 points, the Celtics’ defense came to the fore when it mattered and claimed a 100-96 series-clinching victory.


Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors NBA basketball
Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors reacts during Game 4 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Finals against the Dallas Mavericks. Tom Pennington/Getty Images/AFP

Golden State Warriors (-160)

  • Western Conference Champions

After a two-year hiatus from the playoffs, the Warriors have returned with a vengeance and one of the greatest pure shooters to ever grace the hardcourt is leading the charge. Stephen Curry has done it all this season and his team is dominating in the postseason after entering as the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference.

In their opening round, the Warriors completed a gentleman’s sweep of the sixth-seeded Nuggets before taking on the Cinderella story of the NBA this season, the Memphis Grizzlies.

After barely making the playoffs last season with a 38-34 record and getting one-and-done by the Jazz, the Grizzlies shocked everyone when they ended this year as the No. 2 seed in the West with the second-best record in the league at 56-26.

Western Conference Semi’s and Finals

The end would come soon enough, however, as the Warriors proved invincible on their home court winning all three contests at the Chase Center. And so, in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals, the clock struck midnight on Friday the 13th for the Grizzlies when Golden State handled their business with a 110-96 thrashing.

And in the Western Conference Finals, the Warriors teed it up against one of the most electrifying players in the game, Luka Doncic, and the Dallas Mavericks. In what appeared to be a case of Dallas just being happy to be there, the Warriors made short work of their rivals from the Lone Star State and ended the series with a 120-110 Game 5 victory.


OddsTrader’s Analysis


The Celtics have a few things working against them as they prepare for the Warriors. First and foremost, they have been through the wringer with two consecutive seven-game series’ and have had only a few days to rest before they take on a team that has been there and done that over the last several years.

That brings us to the second challenge which is youth versus experience. This season is a huge leap forward for the Celtics and one that has been percolating since Danny Ainge drafted Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum as the No. 3 overall draft picks in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

Many believe this talented tandem should have been to the NBA Finals before this instead of striking out in their three previous attempts.

NBA Finals Prediction: Warriors 4-2


NBA Finals Schedule


Celtics vs. Warriors

  • Game 1: Thursday, June 2 (at Golden State) – 09:00 PM EDT
  • Game 2: Sunday, June 5 (at Golden State) – 08:00 PM EDT
  • Game 3: Wednesday, June 8 (at Boston) – 09:00 PM EDT
  • Game 4: Friday, June 10 (at Boston) – 09:00 PM EDT
  • Game 5: Monday, June 13 (at Golden State) – TBD
  • Game 6: Thursday, June 16 (at Boston) – TBD
  • Game 7: Sunday, June 19 (at Golden State) – TBD


Second Round Update


Golden State remains one of the favorites to win the NBA Championship this season after a dominating 4-1 series win over the Denver Nuggets. FanDuel is posting the Warriors at +300, trailing only last year’s championship runners-up, the Phoenix Suns, at +290.

OddsTrader will break down what you need to know about this year’s NBA Championship. Remember to line shop for the best NBA odds during each game of the NBA Playoffs.


OddsTrader’s Betting Edge

  • Phoenix has defeated Dallas in their last nine meetings, including all three this season, and covered in seven of those contests.
  • Golden State has not had an easy time of it with Memphis this season, losing three of their four regular-season meetings by an average of 13 points per game.
  • Celtics have played like a team possessed, winning 28 of their last 35 regular-season contests, a stunning .800-win percentage.
  • Boston and Milwaukee split their four-game regular-season series with the home team winning on all four occasions.
  • Heat and 76ers split their season series at two games apiece but the Heat are lethal from beyond the arc, ranking tops in the league in 3-point shooting at nearly 38 percent.

Here you’ll find the odds for each of the NBA teams in the Conference Semifinals. All odds are courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.

TeamOdds
Phoenix Suns+290
Golden State Warriors+300
Boston Celtics+420
Miami Heat+480
Milwaukee Bucks+850
Memphis Grizzlies+1200
Dallas Mavericks+2000
Philadelphia 76ers+2700

The Contenders


Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns high fives fans as he walks off the court following Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round NBA Playoffs against the New Orleans Pelicans. Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFP

Phoenix Suns (+290)

  • Western Conference Regular Season Champions 
  • Pacific Division Champions

The Suns shined brightly during the regular season, amassing a sparkling 64-18 record, the best in franchise history, and dusting their nearest rivals, the Memphis Grizzlies, by a full eight games in the standings. The talented triumvirate of Devin Booker, Chris Paul, and DeAndre Ayton leads the way but Mikal Bridges and Jae Crowder are indispensable pieces of the Suns’ starting five puzzle. 

What was supposed to be a first-round cakewalk over the eighth-seeded Pelicans, turned into a six-game struggle after a 115-109 win in New Orleans clinched their 4-2 series victory. Devin Booker had missed Games 2 and 3 with a mild hamstring injury but he appears fit and ready to roll against the Mavericks in the second round. 

Speaking of the Mavericks, Phoenix has defeated Dallas in their last nine meetings, including all three this season, and covered in seven of those contests

Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors goes to the basket against Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies during Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2022 NBA Playoffs. Justin Ford/Getty Images/AFP

Golden State Warriors (+300)

The Warriors have arguably the best player on the planet in Steph Curry and he has not disappointed in the postseason, averaging 28 points per game in the Round 1 series against the Nuggets. Golden State dominated their sixth-seeded opponents, winning four of the five games by an average of over 11 points per game. 

Next up for the Warriors is the Cinderella team of the NBA this season, the Memphis Grizzlies. Golden State has not had an easy time with Memphis this season, losing three of their four regular-season meetings by an average of 13 points per game.

But they will get the first two games at home, where the Warriors were a dominating 31-10 at the Oracle Arena. 

Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics dunks the ball against the Brooklyn Nets. Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images/AFP

Boston Celtics (+400)

  • Atlantic Division Champions

On January 21st, the Celtics bowed to the Trail Blazers, 109-105, which sent the Green to a 23-24 record on what had become a spectacularly disappointing season. But something clicked after that game and the Celtics have since played like a team possessed, winning 28 of their last 35 regular-season contests, a stunning .800-win percentage

And to prove their new-found mojo was hardly a fluke; the Shamrocks went on to sweep the dynamic duo of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving as well as the rest of the Brooklyn Nets in their first-round playoff series. 

Now the Celtics will have the unenviable task of meeting the reigning NBA champion, Milwaukee Bucks, in the second round. These clubs split their four-game regular-season series with the home team winning on all four occasions. The Celtics have covered the last seven games straight games against the Bucks and will have the advantage of playing the first two contests at the TD Garden in Boston before the series shifts to Milwaukee. 

Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat dunks against the Atlanta Hawks in Game 3 of the 2022 Eastern Conference First Round. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/AFP

Miami Heat (+480)

  • Eastern Conference Regular Season Champions
  • Southeast Division Champions

The Heat have done everything right. They not only won their division but also posted the best record in the Eastern Conference with a 53-29 record. Miami also won their last six games of the regular season before bowing in a meaningless road game against the Magic. Yet, they remain the fourth choice of the oddsmakers entering the second round of the playoffs.

But what little respect they have received thus far was somewhat mitigated by their impressive first-round series victory over the Atlanta Hawks in which they won four of five games. Jimmy Butler has been playing like the superstar he is in averaging a staggering 30.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per game against Atlanta.

Miami will now take on the preseason favorites to win the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia 76ers, in the second round. These teams split their season series at two games apiece but the Heat are lethal from beyond the arc, ranking tops in the league in 3-point shooting at nearly 38 percent

Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks drives to the basket past Robert Williams III #44 of the Boston Celtics during Game One of the 2022 Eastern Conference Semifinals. Adam Glanzman/Getty Images/AFP

Milwaukee Bucks (+850)

  • Central Division Champions

It’s not often we see a defending NBA champion as the fifth choice to win the title entering the second round of the playoffs but here we are.  The Bucks have a force of nature in the paint with The Greek Freak, Giannis Antetokounmpo, battering the glass and averaging 13.4 boards per game in the first round against the Bulls.

Speaking of which, the Bucks left little doubt as to who was the best team in that series, defeating Chicago, 4-1, winning by an average margin of over 19 points per game. The only hiccup occurred in Game 2 when they were upset at home, 114-110, as Milwaukee had no answer to the riddle that was DeMar DeRozan, who lit them up for 41 points in the loss. 

The Bucks will now travel to Boston to face the hottest team on the planet and will have to contend with a pair of young guns approaching the peak of their powers in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Although they dropped the first two of four regular-season games against the Celtics, they returned the favor and won the final two games in Milwaukee.

Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies looks to pass against Anthony Edwards #1 of the Timberwolves during Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round. Justin Ford/Getty Images/AFP

Memphis Grizzlies (+1200)

  • Southwest Division Champions

For a team that had to play its way into the first round of the playoffs as the No. 8 seed and was used as cannon fodder for the Utah Jazz where they bowed out in a 4-1 series defeat last year, the Grizzlies have come out of nowhere to claim the Southwest Division and delivered the second-best record in the league, trailing only Phoenix. 

Fortunately for Memphis, their burgeoning superstar, 22-year-old Ja Morant, recovered from a late-season knee injury just in time for the playoffs. He and Desmond Bane produced much of the offense in Memphis’ 4-2 series win over the Timberwolves with Morant averaging 21.5 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 10.5 assists in those six games.

But the Grizzlies’ second-round opponent won’t be nearly as easy when they tip-off against the Golden State Warriors. Nevertheless, Memphis matches up well against the Warriors, winning and covering in three of their four regular-season contests this season. 

Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks celebrates after scoring against the Utah Jazz in Game Five of the 2022 Western Conference First Round NBA Playoffs. Tom Pennington/Getty Images/AFP

Dallas Mavericks (+2000)

The Mavericks have made their bones this season on defense, allowing just 104.7 points per game during the regular season, second only to the Boston Celtics. Dallas ended the 2021-2022 regular season campaign with a 52-30 record and was an impressive 29-12 at home. 

Luka Doncic is the straw that stirs the drink in Dallas but the Mavericks had to play their first three games against Utah in the opening round of the playoffs without him. Doncic was suffering from a calf strain that put him on the shelf but his teammates responded by winning two of those three contests.

When the Slovenian Sensation returned in Game 4, the Jazz prevailed with a one-point victory. But the Jazz would be silenced after that as Doncic dropped 33 points in a 102-77 Game 5 blowout before he sealed the deal with 24 points in the Mavs’ 98-96 series ender.

Dallas will now tangle with last year’s Western Conference champs, the Phoenix Suns, and it won’t be easy for them as Phoenix boasts an excellent defense against Dallas’ pedestrian offense. The Suns have owned the Mavs in recent memory, beating them in nine consecutive games including all three this season.

Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia passing against the Charlotte Hornets. Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images North America/AFP

Philadelphia 76ers (+2700)

It wasn’t a bad season for the 76ers, it just wasn’t as impressive as many of the pundits predicted entering the year. Joel Embiid has been one shining star, with many believing he will edge last year’s MVP Award winner, Nikola Jokić, to cop the honor this season. After a protracted tug-of-war with embattled power forward, Ben Simmons, the team found a trade partner in Brooklyn and acquired the disgruntled James Harden. 

The Sixers were having their way over their first-round opponents from Toronto, jumping to a 3-0 lead in the series, before the Raptors stormed back and won the next two games. However, Joel Embiid and James Harden made sure this series would not go to a seventh and deciding game when they put the clamps on the Raps and their foot on the gas in a 132-97 Game 6 blowout. 

Philadelphia draws the Eastern Conference regular-season champions in this one and it is a team they are familiar with after facing the Heat four times this season. These clubs have split the season series and if the 76ers are to prevail, they will have to continue punishing teams at the charity stripe where they are ranked first in the league, connecting on over 82 percent of their free-throw attempts. 


Round 2 Schedules


Bucks vs. Celtics

  • Game 1: Sunday, May 1 (at Boston) – 01:00 PM EDT
  • Game 2: Tuesday, May 3 (at Boston) – 07:00 PM EDT
  • Game 3: Saturday, May 7 (at Milwaukee) – 03:30 PM EDT
  • Game 4: Monday, May 9 (at Milwaukee) – 07:30 PM EDT
  • Game 5: Wednesday, May 11 (at Boston) – TBD
  • Game 6: Friday, May 13 (at Milwaukee) – TBD
  • Game 7: Sunday, May 15 (at Boston) – TBD   

Warriors vs. Grizzlies

  • Game 1: Sunday, May 1 (at Memphis) – 03:30 PM EDT
  • Game 2: Tuesday, May 3 (at Memphis) – 09:30 PM EDT
  • Game 3: Saturday, May 7 (at Golden State) – 08:30 PM EDT
  • Game 4: Monday, May 9 (at Golden State) – 10:00 PM EDT
  • Game 5: Wednesday, May 11 (at Memphis) – TBD
  • Game 6: Friday, May 13 (at Golden State) – TBD
  • Game 7: Monday, May 16 (at Memphis) – TBD   

76ers vs. Heat

  • Game 1: Monday, May 2 (at Miami) – 07:30 PM ET
  • Game 2: Wednesday, May 4 (at Miami) – 07:30 PM ET
  • Game 3: Friday, May 6 (at Philadelphia) – 07:00 PM ET
  • Game 4: Sunday, May 8 (at Philadelphia) – 08:00 PM ET
  • Game 5: Tuesday, May 10 (at Miami) – TBD
  • Game 6: Thursday, May 12 (at Philadelphia) – TBD
  • Game 7: Sunday, May 15 (at Miami) TBD   

Mavericks vs. Suns

  • Game 1: Monday, May 2 (at Phoenix) – 10:00 PM EDT
  • Game 2: Wednesday, May 4 (at Phoenix) – 10:00 PM EDT
  • Game 3: Friday, May 6 (at Dallas) – 09:30 PM EDT
  • Game 4: Sunday, May 8 (at Dallas) – 03:30 PM EDT
  • Game 5: Tuesday, May 10 (at Phoenix) – TBD
  • Game 6: Thursday, May 12 (at Dallas) – TBD
  • Game 7: Sunday, May 15 (at Phoenix) – TBD


Props & Bonuses

You can find a list of prop bets at all of the best U.S. Licensed online sportsbooks found right here at OddsTrader.

Online sportsbooks like BetMGM, Caesars, FanDuel, PointsBet, Bet365, Unibet, SugarHouse, BetRivers, SBK, MaximBet, and DraftKings all offer props like “Who Will Win the NBA Playoff MVP Award” and futures to win the NBA title as well as generous signup bonuses.

Shop for Odds

If you want to compare the various NBA odds then click on the link and you will see the point spreads, moneylines, and totals at all of the best books in the industry. 


NBA Power Rankings 

Getting keen insight into how each of the playoff teams stacks up is easy when you check out the OddsTrader NBA Power Rankings page. Here you will see the average line, the power line suggested by OddsTrader’s AI algorithms, and the Bettor’s Edge which is the difference between the two. 

NBA Computer Picks 

If you go to the OddsTrader NBA Computer Picks section you can see what the OT algorithms project and how the results compare to those predictions. 


NBA Betting FAQ’s


Question: Where can I go to make a bet on the NBA playoffs?

Answer: The best online sportsbooks are the safest online sportsbooks, which are those licensed in jurisdictions where online sports betting is legal in the United States. The top-rated books are BetMGM, Caesars, FanDuel, PointsBet, Bet365, Unibet, SugarHouse, BetRivers, SBK, MaximBet, and DraftKings.

Question: What types of bets are popular with NBA basketball?

Answer: The most popular bet is the point spread bet where the underdog is getting points or the favorite is giving points. However, moneylines, where no point spread is involved have grown increasingly popular, as have over/under or total bets where bettors can wager over or under on the combined total of the two teams in that game. 

Question: Do I have to bet a lot?

Answer: No, the minimum bet is as low as $1 and accounts can be funded with as little as $10 at many of the books across the nation.

OddsTrader.com is your sports betting command center. Read featured betting strategy compiled from a panel of leading sports betting experts.

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