2023 NBA Playoff Odds: Finals Matchup Might Be New Lakers-Celtics Classic

2023 NBA Playoff Odds: Finals Matchup Might Be New Lakers-Celtics Classic
Image ©ary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
✍️ Written by
Ty Bronicel
🗓 Updated
Aug 23rd 2023

So I’m not exactly changing my tune, but, man, do the Lakers look solid right now.

Revived is right.

This has been a magical year for LeBron James (the league’s all-time leading scorer) and I’m starting to believe that he could guide them to the NBA Finals.

Which sounds insane.

Here’s what I’ve written all along:

“I like younger teams and I’m still saying in the West it’s either the Kings or Nuggets to reach the Finals against either the Bucks or Celtics. (Hint: Bet on Boston).”

The Bucks are suddenly down 3-1 against a Tyler Herro-less Heat team, although I’m still betting Milwaukee rallies to beat them … even though, in the history of the NBA, teams that are down 3-1, lose the series almost 95 percent of the time.

Don’t care.

Careful, bettors. Still fear the deer.

The Bucks, who had the best record in the league this season and have home-court advantage throughout the playoffs, will be wildly fired up at home for Game 5. A win there – and I guarantee that after they’ll find a way to contain dynamite Jimmy Butler (56 points?!) – the series will go back to Miami for Game 6. They’ll win that and close it out back in Milwaukee.

Meanwhile, the Celtics will finally finish off the Hawks and then play the Sixers and nobody seems to know what the hell is happening with Joel Embiid’s knee.

No matter what, the Celtics will KO Philly and are going back to the Finals.

The Knicks are a dark horse, sure, but no way they’re beating the Bucks – if they get there, dears.

That brings us to the Lakers.

Their path will be difficult – they’re the No. 7 seed and will play every single series from here on out without home-court advantage.

That includes a possible series against either the Kings or Warriors (I’m still saying Sacto will light the beam on Sunday, April 30) and then the Suns (up 3-1) or Nuggets (also up 3-1), if they get to the Western Conference Finals.

But here’s a fun stat:

LeBron James, at 38, is the oldest player in NBA history to record 20 points and 20 rebounds in a playoff game.

The dude is simply amazing, at his age. He also has the most playoff game-winning shots in league history with 10.

You can never count any of his teams out. Ever.

Plus, the Lakers look like they believe in him, fully, and that the king will get them all a ring.

He’s already won four and now he’s going for his fifth with his third team.

Could we be looking at another Lakers-Celtics Finals showdown, which would be the first between those two forever rivals since 2008 when the Celtics beat the Lakers 4-2 for their 16th NBA championship (tying them for the Lakers all-time)?

Plenty of people are starting to think so.

With D’Angelo Russell starting to click with clutch shots, it’s possible.

Vegas books and bettors sort of disagree as witnessed by the odds I’m about to show you, courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook, one of our favorite betting sites out there.

2022-23 NBA Finalists Exact Matchup

Boston Celtics vs Phoenix Suns +340

Boston Celtics vs Golden State Warriors +600

Boston Celtics vs Denver Nuggets +650

Boston Celtics vs Los Angeles Lakers +1000

Milwaukee Bucks vs Phoenix Suns +1000

Philadelphia 76ers vs Phoenix Suns +1200

Milwaukee Bucks vs Golden State Warriors +1700

Milwaukee Bucks vs Denver Nuggets +1800

Philadelphia 76ers vs Golden State Warriors +2000

Philadelphia 76ers vs Denver Nuggets +2200

New York Knicks vs Phoenix Suns +2500

Milwaukee Bucks vs Los Angeles Lakers +2800

Boston is in all four of the top betting options and I agree. They’re getting there again. It’s just a matter of whether they’ll match up with LeBron and Co. It’s worth a minor wager at 10-1.

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