NBA Championship Odds: Bucks Now Lead Extremely tight Board

With the regular season winding down, the margins between the Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, and Phoenix Suns are extremely slim as they battle for the best NBA championship odds.

Last Updated: Mar 28, 2023 11:23 AM ET Read Time: 5 min
Giannis Antetokounmpo NBA Championship odds
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The NBA regular season has hit its stretch run, and with plenty of squads jockeying for playoff position, the odds to win the NBA championship continue to take center stage.

Over the past few months, there's been much shuffling on the odds board, but we still have an NBA odds Top 5 that suggests an utter dogfight come the spring.  

It's truly anybody's crown, so with the playoffs just weeks away, let's look at the latest NBA championship odds. 

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

Milwaukee Bucks (+240 to +320)

After an up-and-down start to the season, the Milwaukee Bucks recently ripped off 16 straight wins to overtake Boston for first place in the East. As of last week, they'd done the same atop the championship odds board.

Injuries played a big part in the Bucks' early campaign, as Jrue Holiday had been hampered by a strained hamstring and Khris Middleton has had to work himself back into form after wrist and knee ailments. Giannis Antetkounmpo has also needed tune-up absences, but is putting on another MVP odds push with monster stretch-run performances, and Middleton gaining steam alongside him.

With their Big 3 looking healthy, and plenty of versatile depth surrounding them, the Bucks are former champs that look every bit the role of a favorite right now. Fear the Deer, indeed. 

Boston Celtics (+330 to +350)

The consensus favorite for most of the summer, the Celtics got off to the NBA's hottest start.

Under precocious bench boss Joe Mazzulla, the Celts have leveraged new strengths on offense, while Jayson Tatum asserted himself as a bonafide Top-10 player.

Although some cracks started to show after what was perhaps unsustainably hot shooting early in the season, Boston still owns the NBA's best net rating, showing competency through a prolonged period of injuries. 

Through 50 or so games, the Celtics very much looked like the NBA's best team, but the waters have been muddied a fair bit over the past month. 

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Phoenix Suns (+450 to +700)

The Phoenix Suns' season hadn't gone quite according to plan until February's trade deadline, but they were able to realize some derailed offseason plans at the absolute perfect time. 

Phoenix landed Kevin Durant for a reasonable package — especially in terms of present assets — and now gets to pair him with Devin Booker to form arguably the NBA's scariest duo of 1-on-1 scorers. The Suns looked fearsome in a small sample, but Durant's recent layup-line miscue will cost him several weeks of tune-ups with his new teammates, still without a firm return date.

Health will obviously be paramount for the Suns — and it's not guaranteed for any of their three stars based on the past few seasons — but for a team that was atop the West not too long ago, this is one hell of a midseason pick-me-up. 

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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