Before the Golden State Warriors won their fourth NBA title in eight years, odds were already up for the 2023 NBA Championship. Now that the stitching has begun to hang another banner at the Chase Center, bettors will shift their focus to the upcoming season.
NBA economics create a lot of opportunities for teams to create cap space and shed salary, so there will be a ton of transactions and moving parts over the next few months, but we can still get a gauge on what the oddsmakers think for the 2022-23 season.
The reigning champs are co-favorites at 6/1 with the team that they just beat in the Celtics and two teams that dealt with a myriad of injuries this past season in the Clippers and Nets. Many say that the road in the Eastern Conference still goes through perennial MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo, and his Bucks are + 750. The Suns are the other short price at 9/1, with most of the other playoff teams between 10/1 and 20/1.
A major topic of conversation will undoubtedly be LeBron James and the Lakers at 20/1. The 37-year-old LeBron has played in 50 playoff series over his 19-year career with a record of 39-11, but missed the postseason for the second time in four years. The two postseasons LeBron has missed recently have both been with the Lakers and he played 55 and 56 regular season games, respectively. Can he stay healthier this season and will that be enough to push the Lakers back to the playoffs?
Some interesting playoff upstarts from last season, including the Bulls and Timberwolves at 55/1 and the Cavaliers at 100/1, may provide the best long-term value depending on what happens during the offseason, including the NBA draft on June 23.
Resident NBA expert Jonathan Von Tobel gave his early 2023 NBA Championship thoughts on the Hardwood Handicappers podcast. LISTEN HERE
Full odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook:
Trail Blazers 100/1