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Celtics title faves, but Boston-Denver close

The Celtics are favorites to win the NBA title, but if they meet the Nuggets in the Finals, it could be a tossup.



Celtics title faves, but Boston-Denver close
Celtics title faves, but Boston-Denver close
The Boston Celtics, with home-court advantage throughout the playoffs and a perceived easier path to the Finals, are the consensus betting favorite to win the NBA title at sportsbooks around the nation. But oddsmakers say a Finals matchup with the defending champion Denver Nuggets would be nearly a toss-up.

The Celtics are the title favorite at +145 at ESPN BET, followed by the Nuggets +275. They are the only two teams with single-digit title odds entering the postseason. The LA Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder are next, each at 14-1.

The betting action on the NBA title odds has varied at sportsbooks throughout the season. The Celtics have attracted more bets and more money than any other team at Caesars Sportsbook and DraftKings, while the Los Angeles Lakers have received the most support from the betting public at ESPN BET. The Lakers, who face the Nuggets in the first round, are 18-1 to win the championship.

The Dallas Mavericks (15-1) and Phoenix Suns (20-1) are other long shots to attract betting interest at sportsbooks. Still, the Celtics and Nuggets are the clear favorites to meet in the Finals.

"I would expect the Celtics to be a slight favorite [over the Nuggets in a Finals matchup], just because of home-court advantage," said David Lieberman, who oversees NBA odds for Caesars Sportsbook. "The current odds reflect the Celtics having an easier road to the Finals; therefore they have shorter odds than the Nuggets. But I personally think the Nuggets are slightly better than the Celtics, so it could end up being about pick 'em."

The remaining playoff spots were decided Friday night, with the Heat and Pelicans securing the No. 8 seeds in the Eastern and Western conferences, respectively.

Odds to win the Finals (via ESPN BET as of April 19):
Celtics +145
Nuggets +275
Clippers +1400
Thunder +1400
Mavericks +1500
Bucks +1600
76ers +1600
Lakers +1800
Timberwolves +1800
Suns +2000
Knicks +3000
Cavaliers +5000
Heat +6000
Pacers +7500
Pelicans +10000
Kings +10000
Magic +20000
Bulls +30000