NBA Championship Odds: Udoka's Suspension Casts Some Doubt on Celtics

NBA offseason movement looks to be more or less behind us. As teams prepare for training camp and the 2022-23 season, let's check up on the latest NBA championship odds, with the Boston Celtics falling back to third after Ime Udoka's suspension.

Last Updated: Sep 27, 2022 9:47 AM ET Read Time: 5 min
Jayson Tatum Boston Celtics NBA championship odds
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Another turbulent offseason has come and gone for the Association, and NBA championship odds are beginning to crystalize for the 2022-23 preseason.

The Boston Celtics had jumped to the top of the odds board at most sportsbooks last week, but following the suspension to head coach Ime Udoka, uncertainty has brought the reigning East champs slightly back down to earth. 

It's truly anybody's crown coming into this season, so 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

Golden State Warriors (+429 to +600)

The defending champs opened next season atop the NBA championship odds board and could enter the season in that space even as they face several key roster decisions.

While Steph Curry is still Steph Curry, and Klay Thompson began to get some of his old rhythm back after two full missed seasons, Draymond Green saw a noticeable decline in the playoffs.

That trio is due north of $114 million next season, making the retention of their supporting cast precarious when considering all the luxury and repeater taxes Joe Lacob & Co. are paying for this roster. They've already lost Gary Payton II and Otto Porter, two valuable role players on their title run.

Still, the Warriors have deep pockets and are in a unique position to infuse young talent like James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, and Moses Moody into an aging roster — speaking of which, Andre Iguodala is back for another year — perhaps unlocking new upside while keeping their veterans fresh for another title run.

Milwaukee Bucks (+453 to +650)

It's convenient to forget amid the glut of current contenders, but the Bucks took the Boston Celtics to a Game 7 last year with Khris Middleton injured, and have arguably the best basketball player alive, Giannis Antetokounmpo, coming back as motivated as ever for this season.

Milwaukee's running back its entire rotation and will benefit from both continuity and perhaps some chip-on-its-shoulder edge, as there's stunningly little media attention being given to the 2021 champs in the wide-open 2022 title race. 

The Bucks are an offensive juggernaut, who have proven they can turn on the defensive switch when needed. With Mike Budneholzer's playoff demons exorcised, health is really all that's holding them back from another deep postseason run. Still, Middleton is not yet 100% and will likely miss the beginning of the season after undergoing surgery on his left wrist in the summer.

Boston Celtics (+426 to +700)

The Celtics came oh-so-close to sealing the deal after pulling off one of the most dramatic mid-season 180s in NBA history. Toiling for a play-in seed as recently as early February, Boston ran through the season's second half like a buzzsaw, mowing down contender after contender with its formidable defense. 

Now, a week after they were listed as the betting favorites, the Celtics have dropped a bit following the one-year suspension to head coach Ime Udoka for an improper relationship with a colleague. Joe Mazzulla has since been named the team's interim head coach.

And while the Celtics haven't drastically fallen — they still have the same roster as a week ago, after all — their momentum is undoubtedly shaken with the former Coach of the Year odds leader now gone for the season.

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Los Angeles Clippers (+484 to +700)

The Clippers were wrought by injuries last season but still contended for the play-in on the backs of gutsy performances from their band of versatile swingmen and a simply stellar coaching effort from Ty Lue. 

This season, they'll not only reinsert Kawhi LeonardPaul George, and Norman Powell into the lineup, but get a freeroll on the services of John Wall, the former All-NBA point guard who bolsters an already-brimming rotation even further. 

The Clippers might now be the single deepest team in the league, and with their All-World talents back to run the show, their ceiling for 2022-23 can't get much higher.

Brooklyn Nets (+494 to +750)

Now that Kevin Durant's temper tantrum is over and he's ready to lay in the bed he quite literally made for himself in Brooklyn, the Nets' long-term outlook suddenly isn't that awful. 

The Nets will presumably be healthier than they were in 2021-22, and hopefully, have a less-distracting version of Kyrie Irving joining Durant and Ben Simmons to form an interesting triad of All-Star caliber players (provided Simmons isn't completely broken). 

Last season was an ugly blemish for this franchise, but also a multi-faceted worst-case scenario that can't possibly replicate itself this season.

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.

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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