NBA Season-Opening Odds: BetOnline Sportsbook Lists Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks As Favorites To Claim Championship

bucks celtics preseason favorites to win nba title (1)

The last time Nikola Jokic played a meaningful game, the Denver Nuggets were putting the final touches on their first NBA championship.

Jokic doused the Miami Heat 133 nights ago.

On Tuesday, the wait is over. Jokic and the Nuggets (+550) are prepared to start the defense of their crown. The champions will tip off the 2023-24 campaign against LaBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers (+900) in the early game. The nightcap will focus on the Phoenix Suns (+650) visiting the Golden State Warriors (+1000).

The nationally televised doubleheader features four of the six clubs with the best preseason odds to capture the league title, according to BetOnline Sportsbook.

Here’s a look at the co-favorites, the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks, who drew the league’s top odds at +400.

New-Look Milwaukee Bucks Seek Longer Postseason Run

When the Bucks entered the playoffs last season, they earned the regular season’s No. 1 seed.

Five games later, the Heat advanced. The Bucks, meanwhile, entered an early offseason seeking changes.

Out went coach Mike Budenholzer and in came rookie head coach Adrian Griffin and guard Damian Lillard.

Teaming two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo with Lillard, a seven-time All-NBA selection, is projected to aid the Bucks’ pick-and-roll offensive sets, which struggled to generate consistent scoring last season.

Roster depth could be tested if the top-heavy roster endures an injury or two. The Bucks have a squad poised to contend for an NBA Finals appearance, but little bench flexibility. The Bucks employ nine players earning $2.6 million or less.

The team’s payroll disparity spiked Monday when Antetokounmpo inked a 3-year, $186 million extension.

ESPN record projection: 54-28.

Boston Celtics’ Starters Could Be Forced To Carry Club

The Boston Celtics bowed out in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, falling to the Heat. The Celtics fell flat early in the series, but nearly became the first team to rally from a 3-0 deficit.

Look for the Celtics to play hungry this season, seeing the franchise’s 18th championship banner.

Like the Bucks, the Celtics made a big move to shake up the roster.

Out went point guard Marcus Smart and in came center Kristaps Porzingis and point guard Jrue Holiday, plus two first-round draft picks.

The Celtics envision Porzingis and backup center Al Horford forming a reliable rotation. It may be key, considering the stats Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, two of the NBA’s top-20 talents, are expected to produce. Brown scored a career-best 26.6 points per game last season.

Coach Joe Mazzulla may have to work magic with the bench. Also, like the Bucks, the Celtics lack quality depth and may have to depend on top frontcourt reserves like Oshae Brissett and Luke Kornet.

The Celtics also need to answer internal questions regarding their postseason crunch-time failures. They were outscored by more than eight points when the score was within five and less than five minutes remaining in regulation or overtime during last season’s playoffs, according to NBA Advanced Stats.

ESPN record projection: 53-29.

2023-24 NBA Championship Odds 

Here’s a look at the preseason 2023-24 NBA championship odds, according to BetOnline Sportsbook: 

Team 2023-24 NBA Championship Odds Play
Boston Celtics +400 BetOnline logo
Milwaukee Bucks +400 BetOnline logo
Denver Nuggets +550 BetOnline logo
Phoenix Suns +650 BetOnline logo
L.A. Lakers +900 BetOnline logo
Golden State Warriors +1000 BetOnline logo
Philadelphia 76ers +2200 BetOnline logo
Cleveland Cavaliers +2500 BetOnline logo
Dallas Mavericks +2500 BetOnline logo
L.A. Clippers +2500 BetOnline logo
Miami Heat +2500 BetOnline logo
Memphis Grizzlies +2800 BetOnline logo
New Orleans Pelicans +5000 BetOnline logo
New York Knicks +5000 BetOnline logo
Sacramento Kings +5000 BetOnline logo
Minnesota Timberwolves +5500 BetOnline logo
Atlanta Hawks +7500 BetOnline logo
Oklahoma City Thunder +8000 BetOnline logo
Brooklyn Nets +10000 BetOnline logo
Toronto Raptors +12500 BetOnline logo
Chicago Bulls +15000 BetOnline logo
San Antonio Spurs +20000 BetOnline logo
Indiana Pacers +25000 BetOnline logo
Houston Rockets +30000 BetOnline logo
Charlotte Hornets +40000 BetOnline logo
Orlando Magic +40000 BetOnline logo
Portland Trail Blazers +40000 BetOnline logo
Utah Jazz +40000 BetOnline logo
Detroit Pistons +50000 BetOnline logo
Washington Wizards +75000 BetOnline logo

*-Odds current at time of publication

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