Posted on: January 22, 2023, 10:57h.
Last updated on: January 22, 2023, 10:57h.
The Boston Celtics were one of three co-favorites at +600 to win the 2022-23 NBA championship before the season began, and they’re the consensus favorite to win the title at +350 odds after they passed the mid-season mark.
The trade deadline is a few weeks away, and the All-Star Weekend begins in three weeks, but the NBA passed its mid-point of the 82-game regular season.
The Celtics have the best record in the NBA at 35-13, and they’re one of four teams to reach the 30-win mark.
|TEAM||NBA CHAMPIONSHIP ODDS|
|Golden State Warriors||+1000|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+2200|
|Portland Trail Blazers||+11000|
|New York Knicks||+20000|
|San Antonio Spurs||+100000|
The defending champion Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers were also preseason co-favorites to win this season’s championship along with the Celtics. At the mid-season mark, the Warriors (23-23) and Clippers (24-24) are barely break-even teams, and would end up in the Western Conference Play-In Tournament if the season ended today.
- Record: 35-12
- Preseason Odds: +600
- Current NBA Championship Odds: +350
- Projected Playoff Seed: #1 Eastern Conference
The Boston Celtics were the runner-up last season after losing to the Golden State Warriors in the 2022 NBA Finals. The Celtics were the only preseason favorite that actually lived up to the hype. Their smothering switching defense earned them accolades last season and secured the Eastern Conference crown. This season, the Celtics are the best team in the NBA thanks to their offense.
The Celtics are tied for the best home record (18-5) in the Eastern Conference, but they boast the best road record in the NBA at 17-7. FiveThirtyEight projects the Celtics will finish the season with 59 wins, and they have a 26% chance to win the championship. Aside from a couple of weeks in early November, the Celtics have been the outright favorite to win the title, and you can back them at +350 odds right now.
- Record: 28-17
- Preseason Odds: +700
- Current NBA Championship Odds: +600
- Projected Playoff Seed: #4 Eastern Conference
After a slow start, the Brooklyn Nets unleashed a 12-game winning streak, and rocketed to the top of the conference standings. They were playing their best ball of the season before Kevin Durant went down with an injury. The Nets struggled since then, and hope Durant returns soon before their current slide down the standings continues.
Despite their mid-season woes, the public backed the Nets in the first half of the season, which is why they’re +600 odds to win the championship as the second-highest team on the board.
FiveThirtyEight estimates the Nets have a 4% chance to win the title. This might be their only opportunity to win it with Kyrie Irving and Durant on the roster before Irving leaves in free agency, and Durant bolts Gotham via a blockbuster trade.
- Record: 29-17
- Preseason Odds: +800
- Current NBA Championship Odds: +800
- Projected Playoff Seed: #3 Eastern Conference
The Bucks feel they could’ve won back-to-back championships if they did not lose Khris Middleton to a knee injury in the 2022 NBA Playoffs. They were eliminated by the Celtics in the conference semifinals during a fierce seven-game series.
With a healthy Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo looking unstoppable on offense, the Bucks know they can make another run at a second championship within three seasons. The Bucks were +800 odds to win the championship in the preseason, and they’re +800 odds at the half-way point with the third-best record in the east. FiveThirtyEight projects the Bucks have a 5% chance to win the title this season.
- Record: 33-13
- Preseason Odds: +1800
- Current NBA Championship Odds: +800
- Projected Playoff Seed: #1 Western Conference
The Denver Nuggets have the best record in the Western Conference with 33 wins. Center Nikola Jokic, the two two-reigning MVP, has been on a heater recently, which propelled the Nuggets to first place in the conference. If you’re worried about the Nuggets peaking too soon, rest assured they played the first half of the season with point guard Jamal Murray shaking off the rust after missing last season recovering from an ACL injury. The Nuggets also missed forward Michael Porter, Jr. for 14 games due to numerous injuries.
Fans in the Mile High City do not want to let FiveThirtyEight’s championship projections go to their head. Yet, everyone in Colorado is giddy that the Nuggets have a 15% chance at winning their first-ever NBA championship.
Golden State Warriors
- Record: 23-23
- Preseason Odds: +600
- Current NBA Championship Odds: +1000
- Projected Playoff Seed: #8 Western Conference
The Warriors started the season slow, which was expected with a championship hangover. However, there were rumblings about internal strife when forward Draymond Green cold-cocked guard Jordan Poole during a practice spat. The Warriors handled the incident internally, but someone leaked the viral video and the Green/Poole rift still lingers despite both parties saying they hugged it out and chalked up incident to brotherly fisticuffs.
The Warriors are trying to get back on track after Steph Curry missed a couple of weeks with a left shoulder injury. Head coach Steve Kerr does not put too much emphasis on his team’s regular season record, so long as the Warriors are peaking in the postseason when it counts the most. The Warriors got hot in last year’s playoffs, and they ran the table to win the championship, much to the surprise to the league and even the Warriors.
The Warriors had a lot of expectations thrust on their shoulders to win consecutive titles, which is why they were preseason co-favorites at +600. After their sluggish start, the Warriors are on the playoff bubble with a 23-23 record, yet they’re still a public favorite at +1000 odds to win back-to-back championships.
The eggheads at FiveThirtyEight looked at the raw data and projected the Warriors have a 4% chance to win another championship. But in reality, no one in the Western Conference wants to meet Curry and the dangerous Warriors in the playoffs. Well, with the exception of the Memphis Grizzlies.
- Record: 31-14
- Preseason Odds: +2200
- Current NBA Championship Odds: +850
- Projected Playoff Seed: #2 Western Conference
The Grizzlies were the surprise team out west last season when they posted the second-best record in the NBA and locked up the #2 seed in the playoffs. They were knocked out of the postseason by the Warriors in the conference semifinals after the lost All-Star point guard to a knee injury. Morant and the Grizzlies would love another crack at the Warriors in the playoffs during a revenge rematch.
The high-energy Grizzlies and Morant are one of the most entertaining teams to watch in the NBA once again. They recently had an 11-game losing streak halted, but they’re one of four teams with at least 30-plus victories.
The Grizzlies have an 18% chance at winning the title this year, according to FiveThirtyEight. They were +2200 odds to win the championship in the preseason, but their odds narrowed to +850 right now, which offers up tremendous value if you’re looking to avoid the top teams on the futures board.
Los Angeles Clippers
- Record: 24-24
- Preseason Odds: +600
- Current NBA Championship Odds: +1300
- Projected Playoff Seed: #7 Western Conference
The Clippers were one of the three preseason co-favorites to win the title at +600 odds. They were a popular pick because Kawhi Leonard was returning to the team after missing the previous season recovering from a serious knee injury. Leonard might’ve rushed back too quickly, and he had to sit out a couple of weeks with a sore knee. The Clippers struggled during the first quarter of the season, but have gradually played better in the second quarter even though they are only 24-24 this season.
The Clippers need a strong second half of the season if they want to avoid the Play-In Tournament. FiveThirtyEight has a low projection on the Clippers with only a 0.5% chance to win the title.
- Record: 30-16
- Preseason Odds: +1500
- Current NBA Championship Odds: +1500
- Projected Playoff Seed: #2 Eastern Conference
The 76ers survived a rough patch when guards James Harden and Tyrese Maxey went down with injuries. Both recovered and the 76ers found their groove. They quietly seized second place in the Eastern Conference after an impressive road trip out west. They’ve won five games in a row to become one of four teams with at least 30 wins.
The 76ers had modest preseason odds to win the title at +1500, which is exactly where they’re at the midway point of the regular season. FiveThirtyEight projects the 76ers have a 10% chance at winning the title, but fans and bettors know that a championship run will only happen if Joel Embiid can remain healthy in the postseason.
- Record: 29-16
- Preseason Odds: +75000
- Current NBA Championship Odds: +9000
- Projected Playoff Seed: #3 Western Conference
The Sacramento Kings had astronomical odds to win the championship in the preseason at +75000 odds, which made sense because they had not made the postseason since the 2005-06 season. New head coach Mike Brown and de-hard fans in “Cow Town” have faith that the Kings are finally turning around their losing ways. After 16 consecutive losing seasons, the Kings are currently seven games above .500. They hold down the #3 seed in the Western Conference, and are in first place in the Pacific Division.
The Kings are still a young team without any postseason experience, which is why they’re +9000 odds to win the championship this season. The Kings have just a miniscule 0.2% chance to win the title, according to FiveThirtyEight. Don’t tell that to the bettor who fired away on a couple of futures wagers that the Kings will win the championship, which would net him over $10 million in winnings.