Early Season NBA Championship Odds: Nuggets, Clippers Rise


Nov 7, 2023

The NBA season is off to an exciting start, and as we approach the two-week mark, it’s time to take a closer look at how the market has shifted since opening night. Title odds have been a hot topic, and we’ve witnessed some intriguing developments, especially in the competitive Eastern and Western Conferences.

Opening Night Title Odds

On opening night, we saw the co-favorites in the Eastern Conference, with both the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks listed at +380. Out West, the defending champions, the Denver Nuggets, and the Phoenix Suns shared the same odds at +550.

Current Title Odds

Fast forward to the present, and the landscape has changed slightly. The Celtics have seen a slight dip in their odds, now at +370. Meanwhile, the Bucks have moved to +410. Boston was the last undefeated team in the NBA until last night, and their strong start has not gone unnoticed. The Nuggets, on the other hand, have been impressive with a 6-1 record, and their odds have improved to +500, placing them ahead of the Suns.

These odds are more of a projection than a reflection of the regular season. We draw a comparison to a few years ago when the Brooklyn Nets, despite their regular season struggles, were priced as the second-best team in the Eastern Conference due to their superstar lineup. The odds makers’ thought process was correct, as the Nets went on to make a deep playoff run.

It’s too early to pass judgment on teams based on their current performance. Nobody is dismissing the Phoenix Suns just because they might have a losing streak. In the NBA, it’s all about making the playoffs healthy and having your superstars ready to make a championship run.

But perhaps the most significant market movement has been the Los Angeles Clippers. Not because of their hot start but due to the acquisition of James Harden. The Clippers, initially listed at +2700 on opening night, have now seen their odds cut in half to +1300. Harden made his debut for the Clippers last night at Madison Square Garden, but it ended in a loss to the Knicks.

While their roster looks impressive on paper, the players need to step up in big moments during the playoffs. History has shown that they often falter when it matters most, and we’re skeptical about whether this season will be any different.

The true test for these teams will come in the playoffs, and until then, it’s a waiting game to see who can capitalize on their potential and secure an NBA championship.

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Thumbnail photo via Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

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