NBA Futures: Milwaukee Bucks Pass the Boston Celtics as Title Favorite
Posted on: March 22, 2023, 03:29h.
Last updated on: March 22, 2023, 06:36h.
For only the second time since the season began, the Boston Celtics are no longer the betting favorite to win the 2022-23 NBA championship. The Milwaukee Bucks are the new consensus favorite to win the NBA title at +330 odds, moving ahead of the Celtics at +340 with less than three weeks remaining in the regular season.
The Bucks are the best team in the NBA with a 51-20 record and were the first team to pass 50 wins. The Celtics are 50-23 and became the second team to reach the 50-win mark.
The Bucks hold a two-game lead over the Celtics with 11 games remaining on their schedule. The Celtics have only nine games to go, so they’ll be hard-pressed to catch and pass the Bucks for the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
|NBA Title Contender
|Golden State Warriors
|New York Knicks
|New Orleans Pelicans
The defending champion Golden State Warriors are +1200 odds to win back-to-back championships. All-Star shooting guard Steph Curry returned from a leg injury, but forward Andrew Wiggins hasn’t played since February 13. Wiggins missed the last five weeks due to a personal matter. Neither he nor the team had elaborated on specifics, which has led to rampant speculation that it’s more of a mental health issue than a physical ailment.
The Best from the East Top the Futures Board
The Celtics began the season as the front-runner to win the championship at +600 odds. Aside from a two-week stretch early in the season, the Celtics were the betting favorite for most of this season. A couple of weeks prior to the All-Star break, the Celtics saw their title odds shrink to a season-best +250.
The Bucks had +800 preseason title odds. They moved to the top of the leaderboard at +550 odds in the third week of the season after a strong start. They were second on the futures board for most of the season, aside from their short stint leading the pack in November.
Bucks forward Khris Middleton finally returned from wrist surgery and they headed into the All-Star break on a heater. Their title odds quickly improved thanks to a 16-game winning streak. You can now back the Bucks at +330 odds to win a second championship in the last three seasons.
At the start of the season, the Philadelphia 76ers were +1500 odds to win the title. After a slow start, their odds bottomed out at +2200 after the first eight weeks of play. Their best odds of the season occurred before the All-Star break at +900, but now they’re +1000 odds and fifth overall on DraftKings’s futures board.
Wild, Wide-Open West
In the preseason, you could have backed the Phoenix Suns to win the championship at +1200 odds. They reached their best odds early in the season at +900 before bottoming out at +2000 in late January.
The Suns were +1800 odds before they secured Kevin Durant in a trade with the Brooklyn Nets before the trade deadline. Their odds jumped to +450 after the trade and narrowed to +370 in early March before disaster struck.
Durant suffered a freakish ankle injury during pregame warmups against the Oklahoma City Thunder. He appeared in three games before the injury sidelined him for the last two weeks. At +475 odds to win the championship, the Suns are still the third-highest team on the board and the highest team from the Western Conference. If the season ended today, the Suns would earn the #4 seed in the West with a 38-33 record.
The Denver Nuggets have the best record in the Western Conference at 48-24, and they should lock up the #1 seed despite playing their most erratic stretch of the season. The Nuggets are fourth on the futures board at +800 odds to win the championship after beginning the season at +1800 odds.
The Sacramento Kings currently sit in third place in the Western Conference. Very few people expected them to make the Play-In Tournament, so it’s sort of a shock that they can potentially secure the #3 seed in the West.
The Kings are currently +6500 odds to win the title, which is a stark contrast from their preseason odds of +70000. One futures bettor can bank $10 million if the Kings win the NBA championship this season. They made a wager at +75000 odds and another one at +35000 odds during the preseason.
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