This article originally appeared at FanDuel Research
As the action returns in the Association, find out who has the oddsmakers’ edge in the race for the 2024 NBA title.
With a busy summer behind us and the start of training camps just weeks away, the outlook for the 2023-24 NBA season is coming into focus.
There may still be some major moves before the start of the season on Oct. 24th — looking at you, Damian Lillard — but the majority of the offseason is officially in the books.
Let’s take a look at 2023-24 NBA championship odds from FanDuel Sportsbook and how they have shifted during the offseason.
Here is a full list of the odds as of Oct. 23, 2023, plus a breakdown of the top teams.
|Team||NBA Championship Odds|
|Los Angeles Lakers||+1300|
|Golden State Warriors||+1400|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+2700|
|New York Knicks||+4600|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||+7000|
|San Antonio Spurs||+50000|
|Portland Trail Blazers||+50000|
NBA Championship Odds: Boston Celtics (+380)
The Boston Celtics had a busy offseason.
They began free agency with a bang, trading Marcus Smart to the Memphis Grizzlies in a three-team trade that resulted in Kristaps Porzingis joining Boston. They allowed Grant Williams to leave, trading him to the Dallas Mavericks, before signing Jaylen Brown to the largest contract in NBA history. They also significantly bolstered their coaching staff, bringing in multiple experienced assistant coaches to work alongside Joe Mazzula.
Williams’ exit and Brown’s extension were expected to happen, but Smart’s departure was a surprise and marked the end of an era in Boston.
The result of all these moves? A positive shift in their NBA championship odds, from +500 the day after the NBA Finals to +380 today and a jump from third to first. As it stands, they will enter the season as slight favorites to finally get over the hump and win their first title since 2008.
Their position at the top is a slightly uncertain one, as this group has yet to play a single minute with Porzingis on the floor. Their returning starters have plenty of chemistry together, but it is difficult to measure the potential impact of losing Smart, who has been with the team for every minute of both Jayson Tatum and Brown’s careers.
On Wednesday, Oct. 25th, all eyes will be on Madison Square Garden, where the Celtics’ clash with the New York Knicks will provide the first glimpse of this new-look Boston team.
Milwaukee Bucks (+380)
Among teams ranked inside the top 10 in NBA championship odds the day after the NBA Finals, only the Golden State Warriors and Philadelphia 76ers have seen a larger decrease in odds than the Milwaukee Bucks.
After crashing out of the playoffs in the first round, Milwaukee began the offseason tied with the Nuggets as favorites to win the 2023-23 NBA Championship at +460. Fast forward three months, and they now sit in third with their odds closer to the Phoenix Suns behind them than the Nuggets ahead of them.
Despite hiring a new head coach in Adrian Griffin, the sentiment appears to be that the Bucks stood still this offseason while the teams around them improved. Milwaukee accomplished their primary offseason goal of re-signing both Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez. They also resigned Jae Crowder and brought in Malik Beasley and Robin Lopez.
They will enter the season with their core from their 2020-21 title intact. When healthy, that core has been incredibly successful, but their durability has been an issue in recent seasons. If they can avoid the injury issues that have impacted them since their title, Milwaukee will be right back in the mix for a championship — especially if Boston’s offseason changes don’t work out.
NBA Championship Odds: Denver Nuggets (+550)
The Denver Nuggets begin their defense of their first NBA title as slight underdogs to the Celtics. Their offseason was highlighted by two key departures, with Bruce Brown joining the Indiana Pacers and Jeff Green signing with the Houston Rockets.
It is always difficult for a title-winning team to keep their roster together, and the Nuggets are no exception, but they will return the core of their roster. That core is so good that it might be enough.
Several teams in the West improved this offseason, but that improvement was desperately needed for them to contend with Denver. The Nuggets didn’t just win an NBA title last season; they ran away with it, losing just four games during the entire postseason. For Denver, minimizing their offseason losses was all they needed to do to remain at the top of the league, and they did that.
With both Brown and Green gone, sophomore Christian Braun could be tasked with a larger role off the bench. How Denver sorts out their depth will go a long way to determining their ability to repeat as champions, but make no mistake about it, they are the best team in the West and everyone else is playing catch up.
Denver’s odds have shifted slightly since the NBA finals ended, from +460 to +550, primarily due to moves made by several other contenders.
Phoenix Suns (+550)
The Suns were VERY active this offseason, and if you include their midseason trade for Kevin Durant, no team has reshaped their roster more for 2023 than Phoenix.
“If they’re healthy, I think they’re the team to beat in the West” ☀️@ChandlerParsons on the Phoenix Suns with big 3 – KD, Book, & Beal@ShamsCharania | @TeamLou23 | @MichelleDBeadle | @FanDuelTV pic.twitter.com/v8lM3ROYen— Run It Back (@RunItBackFDTV) October 23, 2023
The Suns were bounced from the playoffs by eventual champion Denver, but looking back at it, the two games they took off the Nuggets were the most of any team. At halftime of Game 5, they were down by just three points with the series tied 2-2, but it was all downhill from there.
With so much of their salary cap tied up in their big four, how the Suns rounded out their roster was always going to be critical. They managed to bring in Eric Gordon, Keita Bates-Diop, Chimezie Metu, Yuta Watanabe, Drew Eubanks, and Bol Bol.
The results of all these moves? A decrease in odds from +700 to +650. The Suns remain fourth on the list, but the difference between their odds and the current favorites shrunk from +240 the day after the NBA Finals to +180 today.
With so many changes, early-season chemistry could be a slight concern, but if this roster stays healthy, it’s easy to see why they sit in fourth place on this list. Come playoffs, the Suns should be well-positioned to challenge for a title.
— Gabriel Santiago
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