The Boston Celtics will resume play as longshots, despite growing optimism over their chances.
DraftKings Sportsbook set the Celtics’ lines to win the NBA Finals at +1700 on Tuesday. Boston’s title odds are fifth-best in the NBA but much longer than those of the three favorites — the Los Angeles Lakers (+240), Milwaukee Bucks (+250) and Los Angeles Clippers (+333) — and slightly worse than those of the other contender, the Houston Rockets (+1200). Boston’s latest lines to win the Eastern Conference and reach the NBA Finals are +700, some distance from those of the heavily favored Bucks, whose lines stand at -167.
Oddsmakers in late June set Boston’s lines to win the Eastern Conference and NBA Finals at +650 and +1500, respectively. The Celtics have since traveled to Orlando, Fla., and resumed practicing ahead of their NBA restart opener, which will take place July 31 against the Bucks.
Boston has been the most popular team with bettors since the NBA season paused in March. Perhaps bullish comments coming from inside and outside of the Celtics’ camp about their chances have prompted the public to view Boston increasingly favorably in recent months.
However, oddsmakers seemingly have embraced the opposing opinion, as the restart nears.