The NBA season edges towards the business end after All-Star weekend and with the trade deadline firmly behind us, we're about to find out who is serious about a championship charge this season.
The likes of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Russell Westbrook all switched franchises pre-deadline and may have shifted the balance of the title towards their new teams, while others like the Brooklyn Nets have surely fallen away from contention now.
We'll take a look at the favorites for the NBA Championship now and even a sleeper to see if we can earn you some extra cash with our best free NBA picks.
|NBA Championship 2023
|Los Angeles Clippers
|Golden State Warriors
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NBA Finals 2023 information
- April 15th 2023 - NBA Playoffs begin
- June 1st 2023 - NBA Finals Game 1
- June 4th 2023 - NBA Finals Game 2
- June 7th 2023 - NBA Finals Game 3
- June 9th 2023 - NBA Finals Game 4
NBA Picks: Championship favorites
Below is a list of the bookies favorites to win the 2023 NBA Championship this season.
Boston Celtics - (+350)
The Celtics have had the best record in the NBA almost all year, and so it's no surprise to see them installed as the favorites to be crowned champions for the first time in 16 years.
Jayson Tatum's emergence as one of the very best players in the league has helped them overcome many doubters, and his record-breaking All-Star game showing only cemented that further.
While Tatum has shone offensively this season, it's been Robert Williams III and Marcus Smart that have carried the load on the defensive end of the floor. Jaylen Brown has chipped in too, averaging a career-high 26.5 points per game so far this season.
The Celtics still don’t have an easy road to the title as they'll almost certainly have to go up against the Bucks again at some point, while the West is full of top challengers. They're still worth a punt though as the best team this season.
Check out our review for BetUS sports betting here.
Phoenix Suns - (+450)
The Suns were the big winners of the NBA trade deadline, acquiring superstar forward Kevin Durant from the Nets to bolster an already strong team.
Durant was averaging 29.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game with Brooklyn, and now he’s bringing that talent to a team that still rosters Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, and Chris Paul — and was already doing quite well without him, injuries aside. It's no wonder their odds have since crashed to make them serious contenders.
As mentioned earlier with the Celtics though, this won't be easy. The West is stacked with contenders, but their odds are big enough that they're worth taking with the amount of quality they have at both ends of the court.
Check out our review for BetOnline sports betting here.
Milwaukee Bucks - (+525)
If you have Giannis Antetokounmpo as part of your roster in 2023, then you have a chance of being crowned NBA champions in 2023. Plain and simple.
The Greek Freak has been totally dominant once again this season, averaging a career-high 32.4 points with 12.3 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game. Jrue Holiday was also named to the All-Star Game for the first time since 2012-13, solidifying his place as the game’s top two-way point guard and providing the support Giannis has needed.
Milwaukee also got some help at the trade deadline, acquiring veteran forward Jae Crowder from the Suns.
The Bucks can go toe to toe offensively and defensively with any team in the NBA, and with Giannis they have the X-factor that is simply unstoppable if he's on it. At +525, they simply cannot be ruled out of going back-to-back.
Denver Nuggets - (+800)
Since Phoenix signed Durant, people have begun sleeping on the Nuggets, but with soon-to-be three time MVP Nikola Jokic on their roster they cannot be overlooked.
The Nuggets have been head-and-shoulders above the rest of the West this season, becoming the first team in the conference to reach 40 wins, and they're arguably the deepest roster in the league.
On top of having the second-most efficient offense, Denver also ranks No. 12 in defensive rating to show just how good they are in all phases of play.
You can make a very strong argument that the Nuggets are the second best team in the NBA this season, so getting them at such a big price is very tasty. It will surely drop as the season goes on and they keep winning, so if you fancy them to do it now is the time to get on.
NBA Picks: Sleeper
Dallas Mavericks - (+1400)
The pairing of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving has the potential to be absolutely lethal, and fans have been treated to it for at least the rest of this season.
However, defense may also be a problem for the Mavericks, who rank 23rd in defensive rating and only figure to get worse in that department as we approach the postseason. That certainly isn’t Doncic’s strong suit, and Irving has never been a two-way talent, either.
This may very well prove to be a fatal flaw, which is why I would hold off on backing the Mavs until they prove otherwise, but they have the offensive talent to put teams to the sword if given the opportunity.
It's unlikely, but you can't rule it out and the price makes it a very tempting bet.