NBA Championship Odds: Celtics Slight Favorites to Win It All

Zack Bussiere
Zack Bussiere@ZackBussiere
NBA Championship Odds: Celtics Slight Favorites to Win It All

With a busy summer behind us and the start of training camps just weeks away, the outlook for the 2023-24 NBA season is coming into focus.

There may still be some major moves before the start of the season on October 24th -- looking at you Damian Lillard -- but the majority of the offseason is officially in the books.

Let's take a look at the NBA Championship odds from FanDuel Sportsbook and how they have shifted during the offseason.

Here is a full list of the odds, with a breakdown of the top five teams.

NBA Championship Odds
Boston Celtics+470
Denver Nuggets+480
Milwaukee Bucks+600
Phoenix Suns+650
Miami Heat+1000
Los Angeles Lakers+1300
Golden State Warriors+1400
View Full Table

Boston Celtics (+470)

The Boston Celtics had a busy offseason.

They began free agency with a bang, trading Marcus Smart to the Memphis Grizzlies in a three-team trade that resulted in Kristaps Porzingis joining Boston. They allowed Grant Williams to leave, trading him to the Dallas Mavericks, before signing Jaylen Brown to the largest contract in NBA history. They also significantly bolstered their coaching staff, bringing in multiple experienced assistant coaches to work alongside Joe Mazzula.

Williams' exit and Brown's extension were expected to happen, but Smart's departure was a surprise and marked the end of an era in Boston.

The result of all these moves? A positive shift in odds, from +500 the day after the NBA Finals to +470 today and a jump from third to first. As it stands, they will enter the season as slight favorites to finally get over the hump and win their first title since 2008.

Their position at the top is a slightly uncertain one, as this group has yet to play a single minute with Porzingis on the floor. Their returning starters have plenty of chemistry together, but it is difficult to measure the potential impact of losing Smart, who has been with the team for every minute of both Tatum and Brown's careers.

On Wednesday, October 25th, all eyes will be on Madison Square Garden, where the Celtics' clash with the New York Knicks will provide the first glimpse of this new-look Boston team.

Denver Nuggets (+480)

The Denver Nuggets begin their defense of their first NBA title as very slight underdogs to the Celtics. Their offseason was highlighted by two key departures, with Bruce Brown Jr. joining the Indiana Pacers and Jeff Green signing with the Houston Rockets.

It is always difficult for a title-winning team to keep their roster together, and the Nuggets are no exception, but they will return the core of their roster. That core is so good that it might be enough.

Several teams in the West improved this offseason, but that improvement was desperately needed for them to contend with Denver. The Nuggets didn't just win an NBA title last season; they ran away with it, losing just four games during the entire postseason. For Denver, minimizing their offseason losses was all they needed to do to remain at the top of the league, and they did that.

With both Brown and Green gone, sophomore Christian Braun could be tasked with a larger role off the bench. How Denver sorts out their depth will go a long way to determining their ability to repeat as champions, but make no mistake about it, they are the best team in the West and everyone else is playing catch up.

Denver's odds have shifted slightly since the NBA finals ended, from +460 to +480, primarily due to moves made by several other contenders.

As it stands, they are favorites to win the West (+240), have the second-best odds to win it all, and Nikola Jokic is the favorite to win his third NBA MVP (+430).

Milwaukee Bucks (+600)

Among teams ranked inside the top 10 in NBA Championship odds the day after the NBA Finals, only the Golden State Warriors and Philadelphia 76ers have seen a larger decrease in odds than the Milwaukee Bucks.

After crashing out of the playoffs in the first round, Milwaukee began the offseason tied with the Nuggets as favorites to win the 2023-23 NBA Championship at +460. Fast forward three months, and they now sit in third with their odds closer to the Phoenix Suns behind them than the Nuggets ahead of them.

Despite hiring a new head coach in Adrian Griffin, the sentiment appears to be that the Bucks stood still this offseason while the teams around them improved. Milwaukee accomplished their primary offseason goal of resigning both Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez. They also resigned Jae Crowder and brought in Malik Beasley and Robin Lopez.

They will enter the season with their core from their 2020-21 title intact. When healthy, that core has been incredibly successful, but their durability has been an issue in recent seasons. If they can avoid the injury issues that have impacted them since their title, Milwaukee will be right back in the mix for a championship -- especially if Boston's offseason changes don't work out.

As it stands, the Bucks have the second-best odds to win the East (+290), and Giannis Antetokounmpo has the second-best odds to win his third NBA MVP (+500).

Phoenix Suns (+650)

The Suns were VERY active this offseason, and if you include their midseason trade for Kevin Durant, no team has reshaped their roster more in 2023 than Phoenix.

The Suns were bounced from the playoffs by eventual champion Denver, but looking back at it, the two games they took off the Nuggets were the most of any team. At halftime of Game 5, they were down by just three points with the series tied 2-2, but it was all downhill from there.

Since then, they have changed head coaches, bringing in Frank Vogel for Monty Williams, swapped out Chris Paul for Bradley Beal, and resigned Damion Lee and Josh Okogie.

With so much of their salary cap tied up in their big four, how the Suns rounded out their roster was always going to be critical. They managed to bring in Eric Gordon, Keita Bates-Diop, Chimezie Metu, Yuta Watanabe, Drew Eubanks, and Bol Bol.

The results of all these moves? A decrease in odds from +700 to +650. The Suns remain fourth on the list, but the difference between their odds and the current favorites shrunk from +240 the day after the NBA Finals to +180 today.

With so many changes, early-season chemistry could be a slight concern, but if this roster stays healthy, it's easy to see why they sit in fourth place on this list. Come playoffs, the Suns should be well-positioned to challenge for a title.

As it stands, they have the second-best odds to win the West (+310) and are much closer to the Nuggets in front of them (+240) than the Warriors behind them (+600).

Miami Heat (+1000)

Since the NBA finals ended, no team has improved their title odds more than the Miami Heat, whose odds have shifted from +2700 to +1000. Miami moved from a tie with the Mavericks for 10th-best odds into sole possession of the 5th-best odds.

The Heat currently sit in a small tier of their own behind the four previously mentioned teams but ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers (+1300) and Warriors (+1400).

The movement is driven by the assumption that Lillard, who requested a trade specifically to Miami this offseason, will get his wish. Lillard's addition would, of course, be a massive gain for a Heat team that made a run to the NBA Finals last season despite starting in the Play-In Tournament.

In Miami, Lillard would form a formidable big three with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, bolstering a Heat roster already full of talent and postseason experience.

Outside of the Lillard rumors, the Heat have lost two key contributors. Max Strus and Gabe Vincent signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Lakers, respectively. Miami resigned Kevin Love and brought in Josh Richardson and Thomas Bryant.

With just over six weeks until the start of the season, there is still plenty of time for a Lillard deal to get done. For Miami, the sooner it does, the better.

Looking for more NBA betting opportunities? Check out all of the NBA odds at FanDuel Sportsbook.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.