Editor’s note: This article was updated on December 28, 2022.
This is our fifth installment of the 2023 NBA Championship Odds update, and as the season nears the midway point, we can now begin to separate the contenders from the pretenders. We have also updated the NBA championship odds on all 30 teams below.
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• It was only when the Celtics lost five of six that it became clear this group was at least somewhat mortal. Ironically three of those five losses occurred when big man, Robert Williams, returned to the lineup after rehabbing from offseason knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus.
• And while Durant and Irving will steal much of the spotlight, we shouldn’t underestimate what Brooklyn center Nic Claxton has done in the paint and around the rim. The 6’11” Georgia product, selected late in the second round of the 2019 draft, is second in blocks, averaging 2.3 stuffs per game, and second in scoring from inside the paint with a whopping 75.5 scoring percentage from in close.
• LeBron’s Lakers are even more of a mess than they were last year at this time. After 33 games, the Lakers were 16-17 last season but this year they check in with a 13-20 mark and are in the midst of a four-game losing streak.
2023 Championship Odds as of December 28th, 2022 Courtesy of FanDuel
|Celtics +350||Pelicans +2100||Bulls +16,000|
|Bucks +500||Mavericks +4200||Jazz +24,000|
|Nets +800||Heat +4200||Pacers +49,000|
|Suns +850||Raptors +4600||Wizards +49,000|
|Clippers +1000||Hawks +6500||Pistons +50,000|
|Warriors +1300||Trail Blazers +8000||Thunder +50,000|
|Nuggets +1300||Lakers +10,000||Hornets +50,000|
|Grizzlies +1300||Timberwolves +10,000||Spurs +50,000|
|76ers +1700||Kings +16,000||Rockets +50,000|
|Cavaliers +2000||Knicks +16,000||Magic +50,000|
Updates From Around the League
Celtics Are for Real
We can’t say it is a big surprise that the Celtics sit atop the NBA championship odds board at the midpoint of the season, considering they started there, but they have played well enough that Boston’s odds have tumbled from +450 to +350 as of this writing.
It was only when the Celtics lost five of six that it became clear this group was at least somewhat mortal. Ironically, three of those five losses occurred when big man, Robert Williams, returned to the lineup after rehabbing from off-season knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus.
But the Green is now back on the winning track and the only question mark is, can Williams withstand the rigors of an NBA regular season and be fresh enough in the playoffs to maintain his status as Boston’s defensive anchor?
Big Bets on Nets
As anyone with even the slightest knowledge of sports betting knows, money moves the line and the odds. And if we take a gander at where the Nets began before the season, we can see that our first edition in July reveals the oddsmakers had installed Brooklyn as +1500 to win the NBA championship. Yet, it wasn’t long before those odds spiked when the Nets lost five of their first six contests.
But what appeared to be a rudderless ship with two cantankerous superstars, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, has drifted into much calmer waters as the money has flowed back on Brooklyn to where they are sailing along at odds of +800, making them the third choice to win the title.
The Nets are the hottest club in the league, having mowed down 13 of their last 14 opponents including consecutive wins over Eastern Conference powerhouses Milwaukee and Cleveland as their most recent victims.
And while Durant and Irving will steal much of the spotlight, we shouldn’t underestimate what Brooklyn center Nic Claxton has done in the paint and around the rim. The 6’11” Georgia product, selected late in the second round of the 2019 draft, is second in blocks, averaging 2.3 stuffs per game, and second in scoring from inside the paint with a whopping 75.5 scoring percentage from in close.
Many believed last season was an aberration. How could an alleged Dream Team of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook possibly fail again? As we all know, the Lakers’ season was a spectacular disappointment as they ended with a 33-49 record and didn’t even qualify for the play-in round.
However, this year was supposed to be different, and LA’s preseason odds of +1800 to regain the title reflected as much. But if we are to indulge in a bit of schadenfreude, we would be remiss in not pointing out that LeBron’s Lakers are even more of a mess than they were last year at this time.
After 33 games, the Lakers were 16-17 last season, but this year they check in with a 13-20 mark and are in the midst of a four-game losing streak.
LeBron remains an elite player but he is no longer the unicorn of his youth. Meanwhile, Anthony Davis has been hobbled by injuries, while Russell Westbrook has elevated his game from a hellacious 2021 campaign. But it is still worth noting he is the league’s first-ever $47 million per year role player.
Maybe the Lakers will figure it out and make a strong bid entering the second half of the season, but the oddsmakers tend to disagree, as evidenced by LA’s odds shifting from +1800 before the season began to where they now stand at +10,000.
Props & Bonuses
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NBA Power Rankings
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NBA Betting FAQs
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.