NBA Finals Odds: Here’s What Public Is Betting Ahead Of Game 1

Is anyone surprised?


Jun 1, 2023

The 2023 NBA Finals tips off from Ball Arena at 8:30 p.m. ET on Thursday night.

Though most basketball fans hope the series will be a competitive one, those who have put money down are hoping for the opposite.

The Denver Nuggets, who entered the postseason as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, are huge favorites (-400) to take home the Larry O’Brien trophy over the Miami Heat (+275), per BetMGM Sportsbook. Miami crawled into the postseason as the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference before knocking off the Boston Celtics in the conference finals. Though such long odds on one side could influence bets to swing toward the underdog, the public isn’t taking their chances during the NBA Finals.

The Nuggets account for 72% of the money placed on the series at BetMGM, per data analyst John Ewing. The individual game numbers fluctuate given the point spread, but the public has found ways to place their support behind Denver — notably placing all of their eggs in two-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic’s basket.

Top five most bet props for Nuggets-Heat Game 1, per Ewing:
Nikola Jokic to record a triple-double (Yes +105)
Nikola Jokic to score first field goal (+425)
Nikola Jokic over 13.5 rebounds (+100)
Bruce Brown over 11.5 points (+100)
Nikola Jokic over 27.5 points (-105)

Jokic accounts for 99% of the player prop bets at BetMGM, per Ewing, making it all the more impressive Bruce Brown found a way to crack the list.

If the Nuggets are able to beat the Heat and bring home their first NBA Finals win in franchise history, it would be horrible for sportsbooks. Denver opened with +1400 odds to win the title, and didn’t crack anything lower than +700 until they reached the Western Conference finals.

The Nuggets standing over Miami as the favorite is unlike anything we’ve seen since the Golden State Warriors were led by Steph Curry and Kevin Durant in 2018. There’s still a couple of ways to make a quick buck on Miami, however.

So, remember folks, it’s Nikola Jokic and Caleb Martin. Forget everything else.

Thumbnail photo via Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports Images

Picked For You