Celtics, Bucks enter season as NBA title favorites at sportsbooks

October 24, 2023, 8:49 AM

The Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks enter the NBA season as the betting favorites to win the championship at sportsbooks around the nation.

The Celtics and Bucks are co-favorites at several sportsbooks, while Caesars Sportsbook has Boston with slightly better odds, listed at +380, followed by Milwaukee at +400. The defending champion Denver Nuggets are next at +420, and the Phoenix Suns (+600) and Golden State Warriors (+850) round out the teams with single-digit odds to start the season at Caesars Sportsbook.

The Celtics and Bucks, who each retooled their backcourts in the offseason, also are the favorites to win NBA Cup, the inaugural in-season tournament. Boston added veteran guard Jrue Holiday, and Milwaukee traded for superstar Damian Lillard to pair him with Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The Nuggets attracted the most and biggest bets in the offseason to win the title at Caesars Sportsbook, which reported taking a $30,000 bet on Denver at 4-1 odds from a bettor in Nevada that would pay a net $120,000.

The Los Angeles Lakers, who are around 11-1 to win the title, have garnered the most support from bettors at sportsbooks FanDuel and the SuperBook. The LA Clippers are 18-1 and the Miami Heat are 22-1.

The Detroit Pistons, Charlotte Hornets, Washington Wizards and Portland Trail Blazers are the biggest long shots, each with odds of 500-1 at Caesars Sportsbook.

Nuggets star Nikola Jokic is the favorite to win regular-season MVP at 3-1, followed by Antetokounmpo (6-1) and Luka Doncic (11-2) of the Dallas Mavericks.

Victor Wembanyama of the San Antonio Spurs, the top pick in the draft, is a -150 odds-on favorite to win Rookie of the Year. Wembanyama is the first player to be an odds-on favorite to win Rookie of the Year since Kevin Durant in 2007-08, according to betting database SportsOddsHistory.com.

The season tips off Tuesday, with the Nuggets hosting the Lakers and the Warriors hosting the Suns.

Odds to win NBA championship (via Caesars Sportsbook, as of Oct. 24):