Betting market likes Celtics, Clippers over Warriors in 2023
Kawhi is back
BY JEFF FOGLE
With the 2022 NBA Finals now in the rearview mirror (and a 13-2 playoff-series record for sports-betting prediction markets inked into ledgers), let’s look forward to the 2023 championship picture and the current favorites.
Percentages listed below are based on odds at Circa sportsbooks in Las Vegas and Colorado. Current betting odds (at publication) appear in parentheses.
The Big Five
Boston Celtics 12.5% (7-1)
Los Angeles Clippers 12.1% (7.25-1)
Golden State Warriors 11.1% (8-1)
Milwaukee Bucks 11.1% (8-1)
Brooklyn Nets 10% (9-1)
To turn traditional betting odds into percentage equivalents, simply divide the number on the right by the sum of the two numbers. (For example, using the Celtics odds above, that’s one divided by eight, or 12.5 percent.)
Individual sportsbooks post their own prices. Some do have the Warriors on top—or in a virtual dead heat with other Big Five members. Wherever you check, though, these five franchises hold at least a slight edge over the field. Given last season’s ill-founded enthusiasm for teams like the Nets and the Lakers, one can sense a rediscovered respect for coaching and defense market-wide.
The Celtics aren’t a collection of superstars, but now we know that roster is capable of championship-caliber basketball. The Warriors have extended their recent dynasty. These teams ranked first and second, respectively, in defensive efficiency (points allowed per 100 possessions) this past season. Head coaches Steve Kerr and Ime Udoka proved tactical masters in playoff chess.
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