The Denver Nuggets were crowned NBA champions in 2023 but they've been dethroned as favourites to repeat by the Milwaukee Bucks, and for good reason.
The latest: Denver's competitors in the Finals, the Miami Heat, were seemingly the favourites to land Damian Lillard. But the Bucks swept in and acquired the seven-time all-star point guard from the Portland Trail Blazers. They're +360 to win it all with Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo forming a power duo.
Check out the latest NBA Finals odds for the 2023-24 season as of September 28.
NBA Finals odds
Check out the latest odds to win the NBA Finals. Click linked odds to add selection to your betslip.
|Team||Odds (Sept. 28)||Odds (Sept. 21)|
|Golden State Warriors||+1,200||+1,200|
|Los Angeles Lakers||+1,400||+1,400|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+2,000||+1,600|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+5,000||+5,000|
|New York Knicks||+5,000||+5,000|
NBA odds as of 1:50 p.m. on 09/28/2023.
Best NBA Finals odds
The favourite: Milwaukee Bucks (+350)
The Heat bounced the Bucks from the playoffs last year but it's looking like Milwaukee lost the battle and won the war.
Lillard insisted for months that he only wanted to play in South Beach but the Bucks provided the best offer and got the point guard as a result. Milwaukee is a long way from Miami, but it's hard to imagine Lillard complaining about this situation.
The Bucks are two years removed from an NBA championship, have made the playoffs in each of the past five seasons, and have a top-three player in the league on its roster. And with Jrue Holiday being sent out for Lillard, this is a perfect role for him to fill.
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Milwaukee's 58 wins were the most in the league last season and adding a bonafide bucket-getter like Lillard to that roster is downright scary.
The 33-year-old averaged 32.2 points on 46.3/37.1/91.4 shooting with Portland last season.
Other NBA Finals choices
|Team||Odds (Sept. 27)|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||+8,000|
|San Antonio Spurs||+25,000|
NBA odds as of 1:50 p.m. on 09/28/2023.
Best value: Sacramento Kings (+4,000)
The young, offensively-minded Kings burned hot and bright last season. But in the playoffs, against a far more experienced Warriors team, they burned out.
With Domantas Sabonis agreeing to a hearty extension, the Kings have made it clear how they'd like to structure their team moving forward. A talented core of Sabonis, De'Aaron Fox, Malik Monk and Kevin Huerter will have at least one more year together.
Sacramento posted the best offensive rating in NBA history (119.4) last year. Five of its eight rotation players were 25 and younger, and all of those young guys are back
Being another year older — and thus another year wiser — makes the Kings an intriguing 40-to-1 long shot.
Team to watch: Denver Nuggets (+450)
Is Nikola Jokic the best basketball player in the world right now? After winning MVP in 2020-21 and 2021-22, and adding a Finals MVP trophy, we think so.
Denver isn't a top-heavy team, though. This squad had six players averaging double-digit points in both the regular season and the playoffs, with talented contributors like Michael Porter Jr. and Aaron Gordon.
Then there's Jamal Murray, who's worth more than a mere "contributor" label. He averaged 21.4 points, 10.0 assists and 6.2 rebounds per game in the NBA Finals, operating a lethal two-man game with Jokic in half-court sets.
Denver was a truly deserving champion, as the No. 1 seed in an impressively deep Western Conference. With the exception of Bruce Brown, who left for the Pacers, the vast majority of Denver's championship squad is coming back.
Repeating obviously won't be easy, but it comes with a fair bit of precedent. There have been 13 instances of repeat NBA champions, with the Golden State Warriors (2017-18) accomplishing the feat most recently.
Raptors NBA Finals odds
The Raptors have their new coach, but there's still no shortage of questions regarding the direction of this team.
Fred VanVleet opted out of his player option for 2023-24 and subsequently signed a massive deal with the Houston Rockets. Losing your assist leader (7.2/game) and second-leading scorer (19.3/game) is a significant blow.
And it's not as if the additions of Jalen McDaniels and Dennis Schröder figure to appropriately counteract that loss.
The Raptors stumbled into the play-in tournament this past spring and got axed immediately. With two more key pieces playing their final season before free agency (Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby), Toronto could go in any number of directions from here.
With that said, it's safe to assume Toronto is closer to a total teardown than a title run.
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