For only the second time since the season began, the Boston Celtics have been supplanted as the betting favorite to win the 2022-23 NBA championship. The Milwaukee Bucks currently top the futures board at +330 odds with less than three weeks remaining in the regular season. This has enabled them to gain a two-game lead over the Celtics, who are now +340 odds to win the title.
The Bucks boast an impressive 51-20 record, and they were the first team to pass the 50-win mark. The Celtics, who are 50-23, became the second team to reach that milestone. With 11 games to go for the Bucks and nine games remaining for the Celtics, it will be difficult for Boston to catch and pass Milwaukee for the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Golden State Warriors, who are defending their title, are +1200 odds to win back-to-back championships. All-Star shooting guard Steph Curry returned from a leg injury but forward Andrew Wiggins has not played since February 13 due to a personal matter, sparking speculation of a mental health issue.
At the start of the season, the Celtics were +600 odds to win the championship and the Sixers were +1500. Philadelphia’s odds dropped to +2200 after the first eight weeks of the season, but they improved to +900 just before the All-Star break. Meanwhile, the Bucks had +800 preseason title odds and eventually moved to the top of the leaderboard at +550. With the return of Khris Middleton from wrist surgery, and a 16-game winning streak, their odds improved to +330.
In the Western Conference, the Phoenix Suns have greatly increased their odds to win the championship this season. They started the season at +1200 but have since dropped to +475 after acquiring Kevin Durant in a trade with the Brooklyn Nets. However, their odds have been hindered by the injury to Durant, who has been sidelined for the last two weeks.
The Denver Nuggets, who have the best record in the Western Conference at 48-24, are +800 odds to win the championship. They began the season at +1800 and look to lock up the #1 seed. On the other hand, the Sacramento Kings, who are currently in third place in the West, are +6500 odds to win the title. Despite this, one futures bettor has the opportunity to bank $10 million if they win the NBA championship this season, as they placed a wager at +75000 odds and another one at +35000 during the preseason.