2023 NBA title chances: Warriors and Celtics could meet again in the Finals

Just when you thought the Warriors’ dynasty was over, they lifted the Larry O’Brien Trophy for the fourth time in eight years after defeating the Celtics on Thursday. Sweepstakes also love their chances of repeating this next year.

Golden State opened as a +550 favorite to win the 2023 NBA Championship at Barstool Sportsbook, just hours after its dynastic streak extended with perhaps the most unexpected title streak yet. The Dubs are weak favorites over the Celtics (+650), who are two wins clear of their first title since 2008 but have failed to prevent elimination at home.

Odds of opening 2022-23 NBA championship

Golden State Warriors +550
Boston Celtics +650
Los Angeles Clippers +700
Milwaukee Bucks +700
Brooklyn Nets +900
Miami Heat +1000
Phoenix Suns +1000
Dallas Mavericks +1200
Denver Nuggets +1400
Philadelphia 76ers +1400
Memphis Grizzlies +1600
Los Angeles Lakers +2200
New Orleans Pelicans +4000
Toronto Raptors +5000
Utah Jazz +5000
Bulls of Chicago +6000
Atlanta Hawks +8000
Cleveland Cavaliers +8000
Minnesota Timberwolves +8000
Charlotte Hornets +10000
Portland Trail Blazers +10000
New York Knicks +25000
Houston Rockets +50000
Orlando Magic +50000
Sacramento Kings +50000
San Antonio Spurs +50000
Washington Wizards +50000
Detroit Pistons +100000
Indiana Pacers +100000
Oklahoma City Thunder +100000

It should come as no surprise to anyone that these two teams are leading the league table after playing in the 2021-22 season. The Warriors started 18-2 before the injuries fizzled out, but they warmed up in the playoffs after their Hall of Famer trio of Stephen Curry, Clay Thompson and Draymond Green.

Father Time will eventually take its toll on all three: Curry (34), Thompson (32) and Green (32), but reinforcements are expected next year for the title favorites. Fresh off his first All-Star appearance, Andrew Wiggins is arguably the Warriors’ second-best player in this Finals and could make another leap next year. Jordan Poole looks ready to do the same after his breakout campaign at age 22, joining Jonathan Cuming (19), Moses Moody (20) and James Wiseman (21) as the group’s potential rising stars under 22 .

The Celtics also have a bright future, although there are more questions than the reigning champions. Jason Tatum (24) and Jaylen Brown (25) remain the best young duo in the league, but their shortcomings have been exposed to the world this postseason, namely their inability to take care of basketball or create their own offense. at decisive moments.

Boston also boasts arguably the best inside-and-out defensive duo in Marcus Smart and Robert Williams, who should join Al Horford as the top five returning Eastern Conference champions. How much can the Celtics count on Horford in his 36-year season? And can they find a suitable option off the bench to alleviate their scoring problems late in the game when playoff time comes?

Right behind these two NBA finalists are the Clippers (+700) and Bucks (+700), who have the star power and supporting roster to make a deep run. Los Angeles is hoping its star duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George can make a splash after Leonard missed the entire 2021/22 season, while Giannis Antetokounmpo and Co. will certainly count for last year’s win.

The Nets (+900) went into last season as favorites but faced a lot of questions this coming season: Can Kevin Durant stay healthy? Will Kyrie Irving return? And is Ben Simmons a good point guard contender for the title? Facing similar concerns are the Heat (+1,000) and Suns (+1,000), who were in contention for the No.

Don’t forget the Mavericks (+1200) and Nuggets (+1400), led by MVP superstars Luka Doncic and Nikola Jokic, respectively. Can any of the stars get enough help to secure their first ever title? It’s a question for the 76ers (+1400) and Grizzlies (+1600), with Joel Embiid and Ja Morant ready to lead the title run if they’re healthy.

And then there’s the Lakers (+2,200), who were clear favorites in the West a year ago despite a mismatched roster structure and two superstars in fickle health. New head coach Darwin Ham will be tasked with improving defense from a squad that has very few capable defenders. Don’t be surprised if you see a completely different team in October than the one that ended the season in Los Angeles.

Si Jackson Cowart is a sports betting columnist at theScore. You can follow him on Twitter@CJacksonCowart) or email him at [email protected]

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