- After the Golden State Warriors won the 2022 NBA title, the odds are very interesting going into this season.
- Currently, the Boston Celtics (+575) are the favorites with the Warriors (+600) right behind them to win the NBA Championship in 2023.
- We list the early NBA MVP odds and favorites to win the Western and Eastern divisons.
The 2022-2023 NBA season is finally here. The Warriors are aiming for another repeat of the NBA title, and the golden era of Warriors basketball will likely end soon. However, there are plenty of other teams aiming for a title: The Bucks, Nets, Celtics, Lakers, Clippers, Suns, 76ers, and Nuggets are all others who can make a serious run at the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
Let’s dive in and examine three best bets for the NBA title and one longshot to take home the trophy.
2023 NBA Finals Odds
Boston Celtics: +575
The Celtics lost to the Warriors in the 2022 NBA Finals in a six-game series, and Jayson Tatum showed the world that he is a superstar.
In the offseason, the Celtics added Malcolm Brogdon in a very low-budget trade with the Indiana Pacers, and Brogdon immediately will step in and become the point guard, something Boston has been needing for a long time. Head coach Ime Udoka is suspended for the year, meaning 34-year-old Joe Mazzulla steps in as the interim head coach.
All of the pieces are there for Boston, and if needed, they won’t be afraid to make a trade in efforts to make the roster better. If Mazzulla leads the Celtics to an NBA title, Udoka might not be back at all.
A core of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and Malcolm Brogdon has a ton of talent, and veterans Al Horford and new addition Blake Griffin provide some help down low. The Celtics are the favorites as of now, and a return back to the NBA Finals is very likely.
Golden State Warriors (+600)
The Warriors main core has returned: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins, and James Wiseman. That’s good news after they won the title a few months ago.
However, the Warriors did see quite a few key role players to depart in free agency: Gary Payton II went to Portland, Otto Porter Jr. headed to Toronto and Juan Toscano-Anderson signed with the Lakers. Payton was sensational for Golden State down the stretch, and Porter and JTA provided quality depth with the Warriors so these won’t be easy to overcome.
On top of that, the Warriors will need their core to stay healthy to have a fighting chance, and it is just difficult to bank on Golden State making that magic happen once again.
But, if Curry, Thompson, and Green return to form and stay healthy, they could definitely make some noise, although I don’t envision a return to the NBA Finals in 2023.
Milwaukee Bucks: (+650)
The Bucks are right behind the Warriors and right in front of the Los Angeles Clippers (+675). However, the Bucks might be my favorite pick to make an NBA Finals run. Here’s why: Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Giannis is arguably the best player in the NBA not named LeBron James, and there is simply nobody that can guard The Greek Freak. Last postseason, the Bucks were without Khris Middleton, and that proved costly in the long run.
Let’s not forget that Milwaukee defeated the Chicago Bulls in five games and then took the Celtics to seven games, all without Middleton. Essentially the entire roster is back, and the Bucks were able to bring back Bobby Portis, which is terrific news.
So, the same exact Bucks team, with a healthy Middleton, and this team should be the favorites in the Eastern Conference AND the entire NBA to take home another ring. At +650 odds, it might be worth investing in the Bucks.
LONGSHOT ALERT: Los Angeles Lakers (+1800)
Yes, the Lakers, even with a new head coach and Russell Westbrook still on the roster. The Lakers have the 9th-highest odds on this list, which seems a bit strange.
Sure, there are a lot of changes on the roster: Patrick Beverley, Dennis Schroder, Lonnie Walker IV, JTA, and Thomas Bryant all came to LA this offseason.
But, the main pieces are there in LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and Westbrook didn’t end up getting traded — at least not yet.
Imagine this: LeBron returns to MVP form (last year he averaged 30.3 PPG), Anthony Davis stays healthy and becomes a top-10 player again, and Darvin Ham erases the ugly memory of Frank Vogel’s tenure. If those things align, the Lakers have more than a fighting chance, especially with the Western Conference up in the air altogether.
It’s hard to bet against LeBron James, and the health of Davis is the most important factor here. At +1800 odds, you could do much worse than tossing some money on the Lakers to get another Larry O’Brien trophy.