Early NBA Finals Odds: Celtics Big Favorites Over Timberwolves And Mavericks

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Written By Mo Nuwwarah | Last Updated
nba finals odds

NBA conference finals odds are playing out, which means the NBA Finals are a couple of weeks away. With just four teams remaining, DraftKings Sportsbook has released early NBA Finals odds covering each possible matchup.

Let’s take a look at the early NBA Finals odds, which offer both a possible betting opportunity and an early reference point for how the market may change once the actual NBA Finals matchup is determined.

NBA Finals Look-Ahead Series Odds

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T’Wolves over Pacers
Pacers Over T’Wolves
Celtics Over T’Wolves
T’Wolves Over Celtics
Celtics Over Mavs
Mavs Over Celtics
Mavs Over Pacers
Pacers Over Mavs
Last Updated on 05.21.2024

Some wondered just how big of a favorite Boston would be come NBA Finals time in a hypothetical matchup against the Timberwolves. After all, the Wolves walked into Denver and erased a 20-point deficit to beat the defending NBA champs on their home floor.

A hypothetical Nuggets vs. Celtics matchup was considered to be quite close. Was the same now true of Timberwolves odds?

The market has spoken. For the moment, the answer is “definitely not.”

Boston’s massive net rating tells the tale here. Not only did the Celtics lead the NBA by far in net rating, but they have somehow increased that rating in the playoffs.

Of course, that came against a dreamy schedule. Boston was fortunate enough to draw both Heat and Cavaliers teams dealing with major injuries.

Still, it’s striking to see Boston so heavily favored against the Wolves and Mavericks. That’s especially true with Kristaps Porzingis out injured. With Game 1 against Indiana still looming, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Porzingis isn’t expected back until Game 3 at the earliest.

Only Derrick White had a better net rating among Celtics starters. Therefore, the big Latvian’s absence could really hurt when the competition stiffens.

Boston split the season series with Minnesota. The Celtics won both games against Dallas, notable because both meetings came after the Mavericks remade their roster via trades.

As the No. 1 overall seed, Boston would have home court as well. Barring more injuries, the Celtics seem certain to enter the finals as sizable favorites in NBA championship odds.

West Teams Considered Solid Favorites Over Pacers In Early Finals Odds

On the flip side, Indiana was arguably supposed to be flying to Cancun twice already, depending on when one looked at the odds against the Bucks.

Like Boston, Indiana benefited from injury luck. New York experienced more than its share of maladies by the end, while Giannis Antetokounmpo never took the court for Milwaukee.

Now, they must try to shock the world as massive underdogs in NBA conference finals odds. Should they do so, the market currently sees them as long-but-live underdogs against either the Mavericks or Timberwolves.

Keep in mind that to reach that point, the Pacers would likely increase their market rating. Still, no matter which team advanced from the West, that team would have the best player on the court in a hypothetical matchup with Indiana, often considered useful shorthand for handicapping an NBA series. Both would enjoy home court against the Pacers as well.

In terms of net rating, the Pacers would appear to have a real shot against Dallas. They actually finished a bit ahead of the Mavs in net rating (+2.7 to +2.6) per Cleaning The Glass, though a good distance below Minnesota (+7). However, that’s no longer true when considering only games that occurred after Dallas traded for Daniel Gafford and PJ Washington.

Ultimately, these early NBA Finals odds make a clear statement. With Denver out of the running, Boston now occupies a tier of its own and should win the NBA title.

Photo by Associate Press