What a difference one week makes. The Golden State Warriors are the new consensus betting favorite to win the 2022 NBA championship at +300 odds, and the Boston Celtics are not far behind at +380 odds after an impressive sweep of the Brooklyn Nets.
Steph Curry from the Golden State Warriors blows by Boogie Cousins from the Denver Nuggets. (Image: Getty)
The Phoenix Suns, defending champion Milwaukee Bucks, and Miami Heat lost key starters during their first round, which directly impacted their championship futures.
2022 NBA CHAMPIONSHIP ODDS
END OF SEASON
Golden State Warriors
New Orleans Pelicans
At the end of the season, the Suns were the big favorite at +260 odds to win the championship, while the Bucks were +500 odds to secure back-to-back titles. After the Devin Booker went down with a hamstring injury, the Suns saw their odds slip to +400. The Bucks lost Khris Middleton to a sprained MCL knee injury, and they’re +475 to repeat.
Here come the Warriors. Steph Curry embraced his role as the Sixth Man, as he slowly ramps up his minutes after recovering from a late-season foot injury. The newly-minted Death Lineup looked phenomenal this postseason thanks to the emergence of Jordan Poole. The public loves to bet on Steph Curry, and everyone jumped back on the Golden State bandwagon. The Warriors jumped from +850 odds at the start of the playoffs to +300 odds win the championship.
If you’re looking to ride a hot team, then fire away at the Boston Celtics. The hottest team in the second half of the season, and the top defensive team in the NBA were the first team to advance to the second round after a first-round sweep. The Celtics also got Robert Williams III back in the lineup, after their rim protector missed time with a late-season knee injury.
The Celtics did not back down from the #2 seed and a potential date with the Brooklyn Nets, who snagged the #7 seed via the Eastern Conference play-in tournament. The Nets were a hot mess heading into the postseason, yet a lot of fans and bettors were waiting for Kevin Durant and the Nets to thrive in the playoffs. Credit Jayson Tatum and the Celtics for slowing down Durant, who struggled in the first three games.
The Nets were the consensus preseason favorite to win the title this year, but their disappointing season ended with exactly zero postseason victories.
After sweeping the Nets, the Celtics saw their NBA championship odds improve to +380.
The Suns were the top team in the NBA this season after embarking on a lofty mission to return to the NBA Finals and win the title. However, the Suns faced their first major obstacle after leading scorer Devin Booker went down with a hamstring injury in a Game 2 loss against the #8 New Orleans Pelicans. The pesky Pelicans were not going to let the Suns off so easy when they tied the series at 2-2 over the weekend. Mikal Bridges stepped up in Game 5 with 31 points to put the Suns ahead 3-2.
The Suns need Booker if they expect to pull off a championship run. They didn’t blink when Chris Paul missed over a month with a fractured thumb and deep enough to survive the next round. But they’ll need Booker’s shooting if they expect to return to the NBA Finals. The Suns are the third highest team on the futures board at +400 odds to win the championship.
The #3 Bucks incurred a massive blow when they lost Khris Middleton to knee injury. The good news is that it’s only an MCL sprain and he avoided any serious structural damage. The Bucks are up 3-1 against the #6 Chicago Bulls in their first-round matchup, but without Zach LaVine (COVID), the Bulls are on the brink of elimination.
Head coach Mike Budenholzer decided to go with a bigger lineup against the Bulls without Middleton, so he started backup center Bobby Portis alongside Greek Freak and Brook Lopez.
If Middleton is not ready to return in the next round against the Celtics, the Bucks will need someone else to step up on the offensive front. Grayson Allen averages 13 ppg off the bench, and could be the X-factor for the Bucks by helping out with the scoring slack.
The Bucks definitely face a more challenging road ahead of them if they expect to win consecutive titles. Right now, the Bucks are +475 odds to win the title.
The top-ranked Miami Heat were the first team from the Eastern Conference to advance to the conference semifinals. Kyle Lowry tweaked his hamstring in Game 3, and Jimmy Butler sat out Game 5 with knee soreness. Yet, the Heat still prevailed against the #8 Atlanta Hawks. The short-handed Heat manhandled Trae Young and never let him get comfortable, which is why they wrapped up the series in just five games.
The Heat flew under the radar all season, yet still snagged the #1 seed in a wide-open Eastern Conference. Butler and the Heat are trying to return to the NBA Finals for a second time in the last three seasons. You can back the Heat at +600 odds to win the NBA championship.
The #2 Grizzlies got caught with their pants down when they were stunned in Game 1 by the #7 Minnesota Timberwolves. Ja Morant and the Grizzlies bounced back with a blowout victory in Game 2, and then took a 2-1 series lead with a nine-point win in Minneapolis in Game 3. The Grizzlies dropped a one-point thriller in Game 4 and the Timberwolves tied the series.
With Game 5 back in Memphis, the Grizzlies stormed back from another fourth-quarter double deficit. Morant scored the last 13 points including the game winner to lead the Grizzlies to a two-point victory and they regained control of the series 3-2. In series market odds, the Grizzlies are the favorite at -800 to knock out the Timberwolves and advance to the Western Conference semifinals. Despite a tight first-round series, the Grizzlies are +1000 odds to win the NBA championship.
The #4 76ers jumped out to a 3-0 lead against the #5 Toronto Raptors, but struggled to deliver the coup de grace. The Raptors won the last two elimination games to stay alive, including a 15 victory in Game 5 on Monday. Joel Embiid suffered a thumb injury, which will require surgery in the offseason, but the big man continues to play through the pain averaging 24.8 points and 11.6 rebounds per game. Tyrese Maxey (20.6 ppg) emerged as the 76ers’ second-best scorer this season after a career-best 38 points in Game 1. James Harden has been somewhat quiet on offense, but he’s dishing 9.6 assists per game.
If the 76ers finish off the Raptors, the top-ranked Miami Heat are awaiting them in the second round. You can back the 76ers at +1700 odds to win the championship.
You got to give the Mavs a lot of respect. They were down 0-1 against the Utah Jazz without superstar Luka Doncic, who was nursing a calf strain. Despite the daunting task, the Mavs won Game 2 and Game 3 on the road in Salt Lake City to take a 2-1 series lead without their leader. In the two playoff games he appeared in, Doncic averaged 31.5 points and 11.5 rebounds per game.
The #4 Mavs are ahead 3-2 with a chance to knock out the #5 Jazz on Thursday night in Utah. Donovan Mitchell from the Jazz avoided a serious hamstring injury, but he still has a linger calf issue. If the Jazz win, they’ll most likely face the banged-up Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference semifinals. You can back Doncic and the Mavs at +1700 odds to win the championship.
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