NBA Odds: How Celtics Finals Win Would Make Unofficial History

Boston was 60-1 as late as February


May 31, 2022

There might be some sportsbooks quietly rooting for the Warriors when Golden State squares off with the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals.

That’s because the Celtics carry quite a bit of long-term liability for books that took preseason bets on Boston to raise Banner 18. If the C’s can knock off the vaunted Warriors, it would make history of sorts.

The Celtics began the season as a consensus 50-1 Finals long shot (or thereabouts) and as points out, Boston winning it all would make it the biggest long shot to win the title in the past 35 years. That’s from data pulled from

Boston probably didn’t jump off the page as a title contender in October, but there was plenty of reason to believe the Celtics could make a run. Even with a first-year coach in a tough conference, sportsbooks probably took a decent amount of action on a well-known team with solid star power, which speaks to the presumed amount of liability in these Finals.

Not only that, there were plenty of opportunities to get the Celtics at a very good number during the regular season. Granted, there were times Ime Udoka’s team looked dead in the water, but Boston got as high as 150-1 in some places as it flirted with .500 in January. In the post-trade deadline market, the Celtics were still 60-1 in February.

Bettors certainly aren’t going to get a great number on the Celtics in the Finals against Golden State. The C’s opened as slight +130 underdogs at DraftKings Sportsbook with Golden State favored at -150 to win yet another title.

By that one metric, it’s the most evenly matched NBA Finals matchup since 2014 when San Antonio was a -125 favorite against Miami (+105) in a rematch.

2021: Phoenix (-165) versus Milwaukee (+165)
2020: Los Angeles Lakers (-400) versus Miami (+320)
2019: Golden State (-320) versus Toronto (+260)
2018: Golden State (-1200) versus Cleveland (+750)
2017: Golden State (-190) versus Cleveland (+170)
2016: Golden State (-210) versus Cleveland (+180)

The Celtics and Warriors will open the Finals on Thursday night in San Francisco. Golden State is a consensus 3.5-point favorite in Game 1.

Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images

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