No team in the NBA has shorter odds to win the NBA championship than the Boston Celtics, who are tied with the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers atop the betting board, after advancing to the title series last season.
The Celtics, who are 6-1 to win the NBA Finals, also have the best odds of any team in the Eastern Conference to repeat as champions. Boston (+290) ranks ahead of the Brooklyn Nets (+330), Milwaukee Bucks (+370) and Philadelphia 76ers (+750) in the eyes of oddsmakers when it comes to claiming the conference title.
It indicates there isn’t a ton of value on Celtics’ futures as they currently stand, though that obviously could change in the first few weeks of the season depending on how everything shakes out. There are, however, some other futures and prop bets which might attract NBA bettors and Celtics fans.
We’ve tried to highlight a few of the most enticing season-long wagers, with odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook:
Malcolm Brogdon Sixth Man of Year +1100
When Brogdon arrived in Boston, he immediately made it clear he was content with whatever role was best for the team, including the opportunity to come off the bench as a sixth man. While the injury to Robert Williams has opened a spot in the starting lineup, it seems like Brogdon will come off the bench. It might be best for the Celtics given his ability to facilitate the offense when Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are on the floor, and lead the offense when one or both are on the bench. Celtics teammates are quite high on Brogdon given his two-way ability, and should the 29-year-old do so successfully it will be impossible to notice Boston’s improved bench production. Golden State Warriors’ Jordan Poole is the favorite to claim the honor at 6-to-1 with last year’s winner Tyler Herro at 9-to-1, but there is plenty of money on Brogdon.
Celtics to win Atlantic Division, 76ers to take second +500
This “Division Straight Forecast” on DraftKings is a bit more profitable at 5-to-1 than betting Boston to win the division straight up at +135. It feels like it will be a three-horse race among the Celtics, 76ers and Nets, but there’s something about Brooklyn, despite the level of talent, that causes us to pump the brakes on any of the team’s futures. Should you predict the much-improved 76ers to win the Atlantic and Celtics to take second, that would pay out at +650.
Exact Eastern Conference matchups
If you’re of the belief the Celtics will return to the Eastern Conference finals for the second consecutive season, there are a few exact matchup futures worth making note of. For example, if you predict the Celtics to face the Milwaukee Bucks in the conference finals, the matchup pays out +750. The Celtics against the 76ers, on the other hand, has 12-to-1 odds. Either of those wagers have nothing to do with the winner of the series, but rather the two teams who will get there following the conclusion of the regular season.
Under 53.5 wins -115
This number has dropped a bit following the one-year suspension of head coach Ime Udoka, who reportedly made “unwanted” comments to a Celtics’ female staffer, and recent injury updates of Robert Williams and Danilo Gallinari. But it remains the highest win total on the DraftKings board. We’re certainly not expecting the Celtics to be .500 again in mid-January, but it’s also difficult to envision the team will put together as dominant a second-half stretch as it did last year. Only two teams in the NBA eclipsed this number last year with the Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies — no team in the Eastern Conference winning more than 53 games.
Jaylen Brown Over 23.8 points per game -115
Brown expressed how he believes he’s in the best physical condition of his seven-year NBA career. He appears more than capable of putting together his best season on record, and doing so would prompt Brown to eclipse this average scoring mark. Brown averaged 23.6 points per game last season on 18.4 field goal attempts per game, shooting 47.3% from the field. The season prior, however, Brown recorded 24.7 points on 19.2 shots per game and nearly 48.4% from the field. Given his importance to the group, well-established motivation and ever-evolving offensive game, we’re expecting Brown to see more offensive opportunities to complement Tatum.
The Celtics open their season as a three-point favorite against the 76ers on Tuesday at TD Garden.