NBA 2023-24 Championship Winner Betting Preview – Odds, Tips & Predictions

NBA Championship Winner
NBA 2023-24 Championship Winner Betting Preview – Odds, Tips & Predictions

The race for the NBA title is down to just two, with the Boston Celtics advancing with relative ease out of the Eastern Conference as expected, and the Dallas Mavericks fighting their way out of the Western Conference from the fifth seed. With the most well-rounded team in the league the Celtics entered that series as the favourite and started it like one with two wins in their opening two-leg home stand, but the Mavericks have the best player in the series in Luka Doncic and another very, very good one in Kyrie Irving and can’t be completely counted out. This is how they are each looking as we enter the last week or so of the NBA season.

NBA Championship Favourites

Boston Celtics 

The Celtics have loomed as one of, if not the, favourites to win the NBA title ever since the preseason when they acquired Jrue Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis to join Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown as well as their very capable sidekicks in Derrick White and Al Horford. And at no point to date have they disappointed. They were clinical from the outset of the regular season and went on to win 64 games throughout it, seven more than anyone else in the league and an incredible 14 more than anyone else in the East. 

Since the playoffs have started, they have not let up. Granted the Eastern Conference was not particularly strong this season, but they did what they needed to do in clinical in each of their first four series of the postseason. They knocked off both the Heat and the Celtics in relatively lopsided five-game series, the only letdowns in each of those coming in anomalous Game 2s at TD Garden. The Eastern Conference Finals was even shorter as they disposed of the Pacers in four games, though that was the biggest challenge anyone has given them to date as the plucky Indiana side got within three points of them after regular time in three of those four games.

The Mavericks were and potentially are still expected to give them a bigger challenge, but the Celtics started off the series very impressively with a dominant 107-89 win which was kickstarted by a 37-20 first quarter. Game 2 was a little closer and the Mavericks were well and truly in with a chance of winning it, but the home side proved too strong when it mattered most and were able to secure a 2-0 series lead courtesy of a 105-98 win.

The Celtics have an incredibly well-rounded roster, with every player on their team and particularly in their starting five very good at both end of the floor and an elite offence and defence the result. All season long it has been hard to figure out who is the worst player in their starting lineup; while Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are their stars, each of Derrick White, Jrue Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis has All-Star potential at both ends of the floor and is capable of being the best player in any individual game on any individual night. 

Unsurprisingly, that makes them pretty hard to stop. In the opening two games of the NBA Finals, they largely flexed their muscle at the defensive end of the floor, stopping what had previously been a very smooth running Mavericks offence in its tracks and keeping them from hitting triple figures in both games. If that continues, this series is all but over. The Celtics have started the series as well as they could have hoped and now have the title within their grasp, though they certainly can’t afford to rest on their laurels against Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. Until they win four games they will no doubt be pushing the narrative that their work is not done, but they are a virtually unbackable favourite to win the 2024 NBA championship for very good reason.


Bet on the Boston Celtics to win the NBA Championship @ $1.10 with PlayUp

Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks

Few expected the Mavericks to get this deep into the NBA playoffs – yours truly included. They have one of the most wildly talented backcourts in history in Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, but the drop between their second best player and their third best player is monumental and that lack of depth felt likely to prevent them beating the absolute best teams in any best of seven series. The acquisitions of PJ Washington and Daniel Gafford a few months ago has certainly helped to turn them into a more well-rounded team, but like the rest of the roster outside of Doncic and Irving they are still not exactly superstars.

Since the postseason began, however, this Mavericks team has gone about proving to the NBA world that in those two stars and a capable enough supporting cast, they have enough to challenge for a title. They have yet to have an easy series – unsurprising given the quality of teams in the Western Conference – having first knocked off a Clippers team that was previously the second favourite behind the Nuggets to win the West, then beating the number one seed in the Thunder and finally defeating the Timberwolves in the Western Conference Finals. Perhaps they were lucky to have avoided facing the Nuggets, but the Timberwolves were fresh off beating the reigning champions and the Mavericks disposed of them in five games.

Perhaps most impressive of all is that Doncic has played extremely well but not substantially better than usual, while Irving has been up and down like a yoyo. One would have expected that for them to advance this far both of those two would have had to have played out of their skin, but good as they have been at times, this Mavericks run hasn’t purely been a product of their dominance.

As good as all of their Western Conference series wins were, however, coming up against the Celtics was always going to be the most difficult task of all, and the first couple of games out in Boston proved as much. The first in particular was disappointing – probably their only really poor performance in the playoffs aside from Game 1 against the Thunder in the Western Conference semis, as they were trounced by the Celtics from the outset and ultimately went down by 18 points. Of course, they subsequently turned that Thunder series on its head and will be hoping that they can do the same this time around. Certainly they were better in Game 2 but still went down in a tight one to concede a 2-0 series lead from which it is going to be incredibly difficult to recover.

Of course, the series heads to Dallas for Game 3 and 4 which will give them a good opportunity to bounce back, but the Celtics have an incredibly good five-man starting lineup and plenty of able support off the bench, and will be very hard to come back against. For the Mavericks to find a way back into this series and give themselves a chance at an unexpected title, it is likely going to take multiple huge performances from both Doncic and Irving. They are more than capable of doing just that, but the Mavs certainly have their work cut out.

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Our predictions

The Celtics entered the NBA Finals as favourites, and they quickly went about demonstrating why with a dominant Game 1 performance before solidly backing that up the next day. Those two wins make it really hard to see the Mavericks coming back and winning, but unfortunately the odds suggest as much as well. It’s very hard to tip against the Mavericks at this point in time, but at the short odds that are on offer for them to win it is also quite hard to justify betting on them to win the NBA championship. They will most likely win it, but it isn’t necessarily worth a bet at this point in time.

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NBA Finals Stats

SeasonNBA Finals WinnerRunner Up
2022-2023Denver NuggetsMiami Heat
2021-2022Golden State WarriorsBoston Celtics
2020-2021Milwaukee BucksPhoenix Suns
2019-2020Los Angeles LakersMiami Heat
2018-2019Toronto RaptorsGolden State Warriors
2017-2018Golden State WarriorsCleveland Cavaliers
2016-2017Golden State WarriorsCleveland Cavaliers
2015-2016Cleveland CavaliersGolden State Warriors
2014-2015Golden State WarriorsCleveland Cavaliers
2013-2014San Antonio SpursMiami Heat
2012-2013Miami HeatSan Antonio Spurs

Most NBA Championships

TeamNBA championships
Los Angeles Lakers17
Boston Celtics17
Golden State Warriors7
Chicago Bulls6
San Antonio Spurs5
Philadelphia 76ers3
Detroit Pistons3
Miami Heat3
New York Knicks2
Houston Rockets2

James is a sports writer from Melbourne, and has contributed to a variety of publications covering a range of sports including basketball, cricket, Australian Rules, golf and surfing to name a few. An avid fan of all of the above and more, James’ downtime is spent falling ungracefully off his surfboard, turning over footies and playing an out of tune guitar.

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