NBA Championship Odds: Nuggets Continue Climbing

The Denver Nuggets have been crushing the competition out West, and the betting markets are taking notice, with Nikola Jokic & Co. cracking the Top 5 of the highly-competitive NBA championship odds.

Last Updated: Feb 1, 2023 12:20 PM ET Read Time: 5 min
Nikola Jokic Denver Nuggets NBA championship odds
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As the season develops, 2022-23's NBA championship odds are continuing to see significant shifting after much stagnation in the early months.

Despite some mixed results among the top preseason contenders, sportsbooks hadn't budged much on their October numbers, but even with some shuffling over the past few weeks, we have an NBA odds Top 5 that suggests an utter dogfight come the spring.  

It's truly anybody's crown, so as the contenders continue to trade places on the board, let's take a look at the latest odds to win the NBA championship. 

2022-23 NBA Championship odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each team from regulated sportsbooks. Analysis below may not match live odds.

NBA Finals odds over time

NBA Championship favorites

Boston Celtics (+350 to +400)

After being the consensus favorite for most of the summer, the Celtics got off to the NBA's hottest start, and haven't looked back much in the months since. 

Under new bench boss Joe Mazzulla, the Celts flexed new strengths on offense, while Jayson Tatum asserted himself as a bonafide threat among the MVP odds favorites.

Then, after a 25-10 start, the Celts went just 5-5 over their next 10, with cracks perhaps starting to show after what was perhaps unsustainably hot shooting early in the season.

Boston has continued to waver a bit — especially, for some reason, against the Magic — but continues to own the NBA's best net rating and record, with no other contender clearly asserting itself on par over halfway through the season. 

Milwaukee Bucks (+600 to +800)

Bettors haven't lost faith in the Bucks just yet, although Milwaukee has struggled of late, playing up-and-down ball for the past six weeks, briefly losing the East's 2-seed to Brooklyn, and then Philadelphia in the process.

Injuries have been a big part of the issue, as Jrue Holiday has been hampered by a strained hamstring and Khris Middleton has continued to miss time as he deals with right knee soreness. Giannis Antetkounmpo has also sat recently, but the Bucks went 9-1 when he dressed in January, winning five straight overall to close the month. 

Milwaukee's now back in No. 2 seed, and with a healthy Big 3 come the spring, will certainly be among the most feared teams regardless of how the playoff bracket shakes out. 

Denver Nuggets (+600 to +800)

Finally getting the respect they deserve from this market, the Nuggets moved into the Top 5 a couple of weeks ago, nearly a month after assuming the Western Conference's No. 1 overall seed. 

While Nikola Jokic firmly asserts his three-peat case among the NBA MVP odds leaders, the Nuggets' offense has been absolutely humming of late, at a 119.3 rating over its past 15 games, during which time Denver is 11-4.

The Nugs also own a Top-4 defense over that span, suggesting that they're, maybe, getting it together on that end. Whether they're a competent two-way team come April and May remains to be seen, but for now, they look like a more serious threat out West than perhaps ever. 

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Brooklyn Nets (+600 to +900)

Brooklyn had been rolling recently, winning 12 straight to force its way into the title conversation after a disastrous start to the season.

But, if you've been following the Nets for the past few years, you knew the latest disaster was only around the corner:

The news hasn't done much to tank the Nets' title hopes — as long as Durant's healthy for the playoffs, they'll be a team no one wants to have to contain. 

In the meantime, it's on Kyrie Irving and the Nets' role players to keep Brooklyn afloat in what should be a dogfight for homecourt in the East. At just 4-6 since Durant went down, with several eye-sore losses, results haven't been amazing.

Golden State Warriors (+850 to +1,000)

The defending champs entered among the faves, but their offseason was shrouded in uncertainty between aging stars, finite financial resources, and the added tension of Draymond Green attacking Sixth Man of the Year odds candidate Jordan Poole at a preseason practice. 

And while there was hope for young upside to be realized through Moses Moody, Jonathan Kuminga, and James Wiseman, early indications haven't suggested they'll move the needle much this season. 

The Warriors somehow managed to stay afloat without Stephen Curry, who missed several weeks with a shoulder injury. The Dubs now sit fifth in the West, on the upper rung of the crowded glut between seeds No. 4 and 13. 

Understanding NBA Championship odds

Sportsbooks will post NBA finals futures as early as the summer before the season starts. These NBA futures are constantly adjusted throughout the offseason as players get hurt or are traded. Once the regular season begins, NBA finals odds will change daily as teams win and lose games and as more players are injured or traded. Sportsbooks will also adjust the NBA title odds based on handle and liability to certain teams.

NBA Championship odds will usually look like this:

  • Milwaukee Bucks +240

This means that on a $100 bet, you'll stand to win $240 if the Bucks win the NBA title. If it's close to the end of the regular season or even during the playoffs and the NBA has a very dominant team, you might see that a team is has a minus sign (-) ahead of its odds. 

  • Golden State Warriors -150

This means that if you bet on the Golden State Warriors during the 2018-2019 NBA season you would have needed to bet $150 to profit $100 if the Warriors won the championship.

Above we have posted the American odds for the NBA championship. However, these are easy to convert to decimal odds or fractional odds with our odds converter tool.

Past NBA Finals winners

The Golden State Warriors hoisted the Larry O'Brien Trophy once again in 2022 despite being a distant fourth in opening NBA Championship odds.

Here are the last 10 NBA Finals winners along with their opening odds in mid-June.

Season NBA Finals Winner Opening odds  Runner up
2021-22 Golden State Warriors +1,200 Boston Celtics
2020-21 Milwaukee Bucks +500 Phoenix Suns
2019-20 Los Angeles Lakers +1,800 Miami Heat
2018-19 Toronto Raptors +6,600 Golden State Warriors
2017-18 Golden State Warriors -168 Cleveland Cavaliers
2016-17 Golden State Warriors +215 Cleveland Cavaliers
2015-16 Cleveland Cavaliers +300 Golden State Warriors
2014-15 Golden State Warriors +2,500 Cleveland Cavaliers
2013-14 San Antonio Spurs +1,000 Miami Heat
2012-13 Miami Heat +250 San Antonio Spurs

Teams with the most NBA Championships

Team NBA championships NBA Finals appearances
Los Angeles Lakers 17 32
Boston Celtics 17 22
Golden State Warriors 7 12
Chicago Bulls 6 6
San Antonio Spurs 5 6
Philadelphia 76ers 3 9
Detroit Pistons 3 7
Miami Heat 3 6
New York Knicks 2 8
Houston Rockets 2 4

No team has ever enjoyed a longer stretch of dominance than the Celtics, who won eight straight championships from 1959 to 1966. The franchise's stunning superiority was due in large part to the spectacular play of Bill Russell, who won 11 titles in his 13 years in the league.

NBA Championship odds trends

  • The Western Conference has won 13 of the last 20 NBA Championships.

  • The championship has been won by a No. 1 seed in 10 of the last 20 seasons.

  • The last time a non-Top-3 seed won the championship was 1995 (Houston, No. 6).

  • The Golden State Warriors have won four of the past seven NBA titles, and been Western Conference champions in two of those three seasons they didn't lift the Larry O. 

How to bet NBA Finals odds

There are many strategies to consider when making an NBA futures bet on which team will win the championship. Obviously, you're looking to bet on who you think can navigate through the NBA playoffs and come out on top. So just because a team is in first place at the NBA All-Star break, it doesn't mean that's the best roster to win in the postseason. 

One thing to consider is the conference the teams play in because a team needs to win its conference before it can win the NBA title. The West has long been considered the better of the two conferences, but the East's depth of elite teams hasn't been this great in decades. 

Also, consider how an injury may affect a futures bet. Let's say the Milwaukee Bucks are a heavy favorite to win the Eastern Conference and a short favorite to win the NBA title. But what happens if Giannis Antetokounmpo gets hurt? In that case, a futures bet on another East contender has tremendous value. 

Other things to consider are strength of schedule, and even load management. Maybe a team is undervalued in the futures market because it has played the more difficult portion of its schedule early on. Or perhaps a team has more losses than it should because it has been sitting its best player on the second half of back-to-back games all season. 

Check out more insight into how to bet on basketball.

Where to bet on the NBA Finals

If you're in a state that allows mobile, or online betting, make sure you know which sites are the best basketball betting sites. The best betting sites offer sharp odds, quick payouts and are safe and secure when it comes to depositing and withdrawing your money. 

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