NBA Championship Odds: Celtics, Bucks, Nuggets Holding Steady as Finals Faves

The 2023-24 season is underway, and while we've seen plenty of contenders' NBA championship odds fluctuate, the favorites have remained relatively undisturbed, with the Celtics, Nuggets, and Bucks holding court.

Last Updated: Nov 29, 2023 9:59 AM ET Read Time: 5 min
Jayson Tatum NBA
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The NBA championship odds have seen a ton of movement from fringe contenders this season. Between the Los Angeles Clippers' James Harden trade, the Philadelphia 76ers' post-Harden resurgence, and the Golden State Warriors' early struggles, we've seen plenty of shuffling over the first few weeks.

But meanwhile, the NBA odds favorites for the 2024 Finals are seeing their perch relatively undisturbed, with the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, and Denver Nuggets holding strong atop the board.

With the first month of play in the books, let's check out the latest NBA title odds, along with the odds to win the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament

2023-24 NBA Championship odds

Who has the best 2024 NBA championship odds?

Boston Celtics (+350 to +380)

The Boston Celtics, spent most of last season as the outright favorites, but infamously flamed out in the conference finals.

Not content to run it back, Brad Stevens thus swung a deal for Kristaps Porzingis, giving this Celtics core its first potent scoring threat with size, and snatched up Jrue Holiday from Portland in the aftermath of the Damian Lillard deal.

Early depth concerns have been mitigated by just how strong Boston's Top 6 looks, while the likes of Sam Hauser and Payton Pritchard have risen to the occasion. 

The Celtics sit with a 14-4 record and 9.7 net rating, both NBA bests, looking every bit as good as advertised after their big trades.

Denver Nuggets (+425 to +440)

It's no surprise that the defending champion Denver Nuggets sit near the top of betting boards, with Nikola Jokic putting on a true display of dominance last season and Jamal Murray returning to play the best non-Bubble ball of his career en route to a title.

Most of the crew has returned, and the early returns suggest Bruce Brown's departure can be mostly made up in the margins. Even with the Bucks and Celtics trades, they're the team to beat until proven otherwise.

While the first couple weeks of the season were unassailable for Denver, there have been a couple stumbles of late — just .500 in its last 10 games, mostly with Murray sidelined — but little reason for alarm, and plenty of time to channel the A-game for the postseason.

Milwaukee Bucks (+425 to +450)

The Milwaukee Bucks were quietly heading into a very pivotal season, with Giannis Antetokounmpo's long-term status looming overhead. After a brutally disappointing playoff exit, they had to reassure their franchise icon that staying in Milwaukee was worth his time. 

The Bucks swung for the fences, acquiring disgruntled Damian Lillard from Portland after talks with his preferred Miami destination stalled all summer. Lillard, in theory, creates a horrific dual-gravity effect between Dame's spacing and the attention Giannis will command around the net. 

The early returns weren't amazing, but after some initial fit issues, the Bucks have come charging back, at 8-2 in their last 10 games to reclaim the No. 2 seed in the East. Giannis and Dame appear to finally be clicking on offense, averaging a combined 60+ ppg over the past couple weeks. 

2023-24 NBA Finals odds over time

Here's a look at how NBA championship odds stack up league-wide this season. We'll be updating throughout the season to show how the odds race evolves. 

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NBA futures odds explained

Sportsbooks will post NBA Finals futures as soon as the previous season concludes, and some even sooner. These betting boards are constantly adjusted throughout the summer and ensuing season 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 season or the NBA has a very dominant team, you could see a minus sign (-) ahead of a team's 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 Denver Nuggets hoisted the Larry O'Brien Trophy in 2023, toppling the eighth-seeded Miami Heat by a 4-1 score.

Here are the last 10 NBA Finals winners, along with their opening odds.

Season NBA Finals Winner Opening odds  Runner up
2022-23 Denver Nuggets +1,800 Miami Heat
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

Teams with the most NBA Championships

Team NBA championships
Los Angeles Lakers 17
Boston Celtics 17
Golden State Warriors 7
Chicago Bulls 6
San Antonio Spurs 5
Philadelphia 76ers 3
Detroit Pistons 3
Miami Heat 3
Milwaukee Bucks 2
New York Knicks 2
Houston Rockets 2
Toronto Raptors 1
Dallas Mavericks 1
Cleveland Cavaliers 1
Portland Trail Blazers 1
Denver Nuggets 1

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 14 of the last 21 NBA Championships.

  • A No. 1 seed has won the championship in 11 of the last 21 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 eight NBA titles, and been Western Conference champions in two of those four 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 has recently become as impressive, if not more. 

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 ticket on a rival team to win becomes extremely valuable.

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.

Best sportsbooks 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. 

NBA Championship Odds FAQs

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