2023 NBA Finals Odds: Don't Fret Lakers and Celtics Fans

2023 NBA Finals Odds: Don't Fret Lakers and Celtics Fans
Image ©Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
✍️ Written by
Ty Bronicel
🗓 Updated
Aug 23rd 2023

I know this is going to sound crazy, but hear me out:

It’s STILL going to be Celtics vs. Lakers in the 2023 NBA Finals.

A certifiably-nuts prediction, I know.

The Lakers looked gassed in Denver – that’s what the Mile High City’s altitude (5,280 feet above sea level) will do to you – but they’re not dead yet.

They’ll be back in L.A. for games three and four and I’m betting they win both.

But that all depends on LeBron. He’s suddenly looking all of his 38 years.

What happens in basketball, generally, is that the legs go first – sometimes the back – and that leads to missed jump shots. When you’re weary, that shows up on the stat sheet late in games.

As ESPN pointed out, James missed all six of his 3-pointers in Game 2, “including an 0-for-3 mark in the fourth quarter to extend his streak of 19 straight 3s he has failed to convert in the fourth this postseason.”

That’s not a great sign.

Anthony Davis struggled too, missing 11 of his 15 field goal attempts.

So clearly the Lakers are on the ropes, but weirdly I think they rally and this goes the distance, a full round of seven games.

James must be realizing his reign as king supreme will run out soon and he’ll find the will and the way to give it one final push to get the Lakers to the Finals. A game 7 duel in Denver the day before Memorial Day (Sunday, May 28) would be one for the ages and this should fuel his desire for one more championship run:

"The national narrative [after Game 1] was that the Lakers were fine," Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said to the Washington Post's Ben Golliver. "No one talked about Nikola having a historic performance. The narrative wasn’t about the Nuggets. The narrative wasn’t about Nikola. … You put that in your pipe and smoke it. You go up 2-0."

Take that LBJ. I believe the Lakers must win both games, especially Game 3 because  – fun fact – in the history of the NBA, not one team has come back from a 0-3 playoff deficit.

But LeBron’s been here before – remember when the Cavaliers were down 3-1 in the 2016 NBA Finals to the all-mighty Warriors and reeled off three straight victories to claim the title?

Yeah. I mean, LeBron and his band of brothers are struggling but they won’t be fazed being down 0-2.

Meanwhile, in Boston, Celtics fans are brooding after a Game 1 home-court loss to the Heat, which to me, wasn’t that surprising.

Many many underdog playoff teams have stolen a Game 1 of a playoff series.

The theory? Play your guts out right out of the gate and get one.

I initially said the Celtics were going to win this in five – which now means four straight wins for Boston – so yeah, maybe six. But there’s no way the Heat win this series.

According to FanDuel Sportsbook, one of our favorite gambling sites out there, the Nuggets are now the betting favorite to win it all (+115).

Let’s take a look at FD’s odds on the following.

2023 NBA Champion

Denver Nuggets +115

Boston Celtics +145

Los Angeles Lakers +850

Miami Heat +850

2023 NBA Finals Matchup

Boston Celtics vs Denver Nuggets -130

Miami Heat vs Denver Nuggets +220

Boston Celtics vs Los Angeles Lakers +550

Miami Heat vs Los Angeles Lakers +1000

2023 NBA Finals Exact Result

Boston Celtics to beat Denver Nuggets +200

Denver Nuggets to beat Boston Celtics +310

Denver Nuggets to beat Miami Heat +330

Boston Celtics to beat Los Angeles Lakers +950

Miami Heat to beat Denver Nuggets +1100

Los Angeles Lakers to beat Boston Celtics +1500

Los Angeles Lakers to beat Miami Heat +1800

Miami Heat to beat Los Angeles Lakers +2600

Many teams have learned this the hard way, but don’t ever, ever count out a LeBron James-led team.

Of all of those above options, I like Boston (nobody’s beating them this year) over the Lakers in the Finals at excellent odds (+950).

Book it.

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