2023 NBA Champion Odds See Celtics Fall From First to Fourth Favorite

2023 NBA Champion Odds See Celtics Fall From First to Fourth Favorite
Image © Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
✍️ Written by
Ty Bronicel
🗓 Updated
Aug 23rd 2023

The Boston Celtics had been the favorite to win another title all season long.

Not now.

In fact, following their shocking, lackluster loss at home to the Sixers on Tuesday night (May 9), they’re down 3-2 in the best-of-7 series – Philly can close them out Thursday (May 11) in Game 6 – and they’re now only the fourth betting favorite to win the NBA Finals.

That’s how bad bettors believed that loss was for Boston– and it was brutal.

“That was our first really, really bad game of the playoffs,” Celtics coach Joel Mazzulla said. “It doesn't come at necessarily the best time, but we just have to shift our perspective and we've got to get ready to play the next game."

Celtics guard Jaylen Brown agrees, saying afterward: "We dropped the ball tonight. Couldn't stay in front of anybody. Couldn't get a stop when we needed to. Missed a lot of wide-open shots, gave everything up that they wanted us to give up. That was the story of the game. But got to have a short-term memory."

The last time the Sixers have beaten the Celtics in a playoff series was in the 1982 Eastern Conference Finals.

This is one reason why I think the Celtics will rally to win the next two games (a sure-to-be-epic Game 7 would be Sunday, May 14, a Mother’s Day marvel. ‘Hey, ma, come watch the game with us.’).

But history is on the side of the Sixers – as well as the Nuggets, who have the Suns on the brink of elimination as well.

That’s because both Philadelphia and Denver won their crucial game 5s. In the history of the NBA, teams that win Game 5, when the series is tied 2-2, advance to the next round an astounding 82 percent of the time.

As the Heat try to finish off the Knicks and the Lakers attempt to KO the defending champion Warriors (both games May 10), let’s look at the latest NBA title odds.

The odds I’m using are from FanDuel Sportsbook, one of our favorite gambling sites out there along with BetMGM, DraftKings and many more.

Here are FD’s latest odds for:

2023 NBA Finals Winner

Denver Nuggets +290

Philadelphia 76ers +290

Los Angeles Lakers +370

Boston Celtics +420

Phoenix Suns +1100

Golden State Warriors +1500

Miami Heat +1500

New York Knicks +8500

I’m still very high on the Celtics, especially at +420.

But they’ve gotta slow the roll of blazin’ hot Joel Embiid.

The regular-season MVP has scored 30 or more points in the last three games of the series.

He had a 33-point, 7-rebound, 3-assist, 4-block night in their Game 5 road victory.

And the scary thing is, Embiid admits he plays even better at Philly’s Wells Fargo Center, the site of Game 6.

"I honestly don't care," Embiid said. "We still got to get one more, and that's all I'm thinking about right now. And then, obviously, you're going home, so you'll have a lot of energy in the crowd, and I imagine everybody plays better at home, too. I do play better at home.

Embiid added, “What we did tonight ... it's easier said than done, but we've got to do it again, and I'm excited for it."

I’m sticking with Boston to take the series back to Beantown, but the next two games are going to be all-out battles that will resemble the intensity of that Sixers-Celtics classic Eastern Conference Finals 41 years ago.

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