Michael Malone and his Denver Nuggets team secured their first ever appearance in an NBA Championships finals with a 4-0 series sweep against the LA Lakers. So with the Western Conference now in the bag, can they go one better and win the big one? In the NBA futures markets, they’re the favorites to win the championship. But can they do it? We take a closer look and tell you what we think in our latest NBA betting picks.
At the start of the 2022/23 NBA season, the Denver Nuggets were in a group of teams regarded as having a chance of winning the NBA title. But they weren’t regarded as one of the de facto favorites. Even as recently as January this year, you could still get +1000 on them to win the championship.
Try as they might, Michael Malone’s team was never put in the same bracket as franchises like the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks. Or even the Nets and the Warriors. Even the Phoenix Suns were catapulted in above them in the betting, on the back of the Kevin Durant trade. And look how that ended up!
With their place in the NBA Championship finals already secured it will come as no surprise to see that the Nuggets are the favorites to win this year’s title. The best NBA Finals betting sites have the Nuggets at just -225 to win the championship.
Following on from Denver is the Miami Heat at +375, with the Boston Celtics at +450.
If the Heat knocks the Celtics out, the Nuggets would surely start the finals as the overwhelming favorites. But if the Celtics manage to turn their Eastern Conference finals around, then expect the betting to be a lot closer.
For an indication of where these three teams have come from, back in January, the Celtics were the favorites at +400. The Bucks were second at +600, showing just how dominant Boston were back at the time. At the same time the Nuggets were +1000, and the Heat were a massive +3300.
Further odds can be found on our NBA Championship winner betting table. Here we’ve taken the odds from the best Basketball betting sites. You can read more about these sites at our best online sportsbook reviews page.
|Betting to Win 2023 NBA Western Conference|
One of the main reasons for the Nuggets excellent run to the finals is the form of Nikola Jokic. The 28-year-old Serbian is a two times MVP, and he is just -210 to win the award again, in what would be a remarkable third time in the three years.
His closest rivals in the betting to win the MVP award are Jimmy Butler at +400, and Jayson Tatum at +550. Based on the betting, this looks to be a three-horse race (or maybe even one), as fourth in the betting is Jamal Murray at +1000.
Cases can be made for Butler and Tatum, especially if either leads their side to the title. But it would take a major leap of faith to expect anybody from outside of those three to take the award.
We’re going with Jokic. His form is already in the bank. He has got his team to this stage, and he has the look of a guy who isn’t going to let this chance pass him by.
So far in the 2022/23 season the Denver Nuggets have topped the Western Conference with a 53-29 record. In the playoffs they have defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 4-1, the Phoenix Suns 4-2, and the LA Lakers 4-0. They seem to have gotten stronger as the playoffs have gone on.
This is why the best sites for NBA betting have made them their favorites to win the title, and we agree with them. Like in the series against the Lakers, the only thing we can see stopping the Nuggets is nerves as they approach the finish line.
If they can do in the finals, what they did to the Lakers, then nerves shouldn’t be an issue. The Nuggets simply didn’t let the Lakers put them under any pressure.
The Miami Heat are in the driving seat in the Eastern Conference finals. The Celtics can’t afford one more bad performance. But unluckily for Celtics’ fans, they’ve had more than the odd bad performance in them during the playoffs. Boston needs to win three from three to face the Nuggets. And we think they will slip up in one of those matches.
So in order to get the best price on Denver, back them now. The chances are they will be shorter if Miami defeats Boston.
We simply can’t see the Heat having enough to prevent the Nuggets winning the title. Even the Celtics will struggle to stop Jokic and his team if they make it to the finals. No matter who the opponents, we’re going for a first ever NBA Championship title for the Nuggets.