Many would think that after defeating the Celtics in six games to earn their fourth championship in 2015, the Golden State Warriors were hot favorites to repeat as NBA champions in 2023. Surely it can’t be that simple, can it?
Kevin Durant demanded a trade from Brooklyn in late June. Arizona has gone from +900 to -600, making it a three-way favorite alongside Golden State and Boston, according to the Action Network. The Nets’ stock dipped from +750 to +5000 before rebounding to +1600 on July 18 amid reports that they are dissatisfied with the trade proposals they have received.
The Celtics are now the favorite to win the Western Conference title at +500, just ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors, due to the possible departures of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. At 550, the Bucks are the second-best bet in this matchup.
There was a dramatic shift in the odds for the Heat and the Sixers, which went from +1600 to +1000 and back to +1300. Both clubs have the potential to win the KD award.
The teams in the middle of the pack aren’t much different than they were last year, with a few notable exceptions. Can the Dallas Mavericks (+2500) do enough for Luka Doncic or are the Denver Nuggets (+2100) capable of providing enough assistance for Nikola Jokic? Is it possible for the Grizzlies (+2200) to replicate a breakout season like last year’s? After the Nuggets and Nets, there’s a significant decline. Pelicans, Raptors, Bulls, and Jazz all sit at least 4000 points ahead of the pack. The Knicks’ slide to +8000 after being linked to Donovan Mitchell’s deal has been the most dramatic in the last several weeks.
The NBA championship goes to the favorites, as one might assume. Only eight winners have begun the year with double-digit odds to win the title since 1984, according to BigDataBall NBA Odds Dataset.
Instant Updates On From Odds:
|Golden State Warriors||+650|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+700|
|Los Angeles Lakers||+1800|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+5000|
|New York Knicks||+8000|
|Portland Trail Blazers||+12000|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||+50000|
|San Antonio Spurs||+50000|
2023 NBA Title Favorites | Analysis of the top 3 favorites in the 2023 NBA Finals
(+500) Boston Celtics
One of the most dramatic reversals in NBA history occurred midway through the season for the Celtics, and they came tantalizingly close to winning the title this season. At one point in the second half of the season, Boston was fighting for a play-in seed and used its formidable defense to mow down contender after contender. In the end, the Celtics’ inability to punish Golden State for selling out on stopping Jayson Tatum due to a lack of offensive depth led to their downfall, which they promptly rectified in the offseason with the acquisition of versatile guard Malcolm Brogdon. Boston was able to add Danilo Gallinari and a player who has averaged 21.2 and 19.1 points per game over the last two seasons without having to part with any critical members of their team. As a result, Boston is the current favorite to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy, at least early in the offseason.
(+550) The Milwaukee Bucks
As long as Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Co. are there, Milwaukee will always be a topic of conversation. As of now, the Milwaukee Bucks haven’t done anything crazy this offseason, but that doesn’t mean oddsmakers aren’t still afraid of the deer. They’ve been 213-96 over the past four seasons, winning four eastern conference titles and an NBA Championship in 2020-21, and that’s enough to keep them on the edge of their seats.
(+650) The Golden State Warriors
While the reigning NBA champions had the best odds to win next season, they’ve already fallen to fourth due to a number of critical roster moves. Steph Curry remains Steph Curry, and Klay Thompson, after missing two full seasons, has regained some of his old form in the playoffs. However, Draymond Green has seen his play suffer in the postseason. Both Gary Payton II and Otto Porter, who were key cogs in their title run, have already been lost. Although they have huge pockets, the Warriors can afford to add young players like Moses Moody, Jonathan Kuminga, and James Wiseman to their roster to help it stay fresh for another championship run.