NBA Finals Odds Report, Trends: Everything You Need To Know

NBA Finals odds aren't what most people think about in late October. The sports betting world is dialed in on football, primarily the NFL.

But in late September, there was a huge trade, with the Milwaukee Bucks acquiring Damian Lillard. So that sparked some interest. And now the regular season is underway, generating more action on odds to win the NBA Final.

Here's everything you need to know about 2023-24 NBA Finals odds: action, movement and betting trends. Check back regularly for updates.

NBA Finals Odds

Golden Nuggets

Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray hope to make another title run in Denver. (Getty)

The Denver Nuggets are the defending champions, having rolled past the Miami Heat 4-1 in the best-of-7 NBA Finals in June. But Denver isn't the favorite, sitting as the +550 third choice in BetMGM's NBA Finals futures market.

That's not for lack of action, though.

"The Nuggets have been our biggest liability since we posted 2024 odds," BetMGM trader Christian Cipollini said. "They opened as the favorites, but only dropped off due to the Celtics and Bucks making big moves."

Denver is taking the most championship tickets and money. In fact, the Nuggets have netted three times more cash than the No. 2 Phoenix Suns.

"There's certainly interest, and plenty of 2023 Nuggets winners reinvested into 2024," Cipollini said.

Playing Favorites

Damian Lillard has made Milwaukee the favorite in NBA Finals odds. (Getty)

Milwaukee and Boston are the +400 co-favorites on BetMGM's NBA Finals odds board. The Bucks made the big move to add Damian Lillard, which initially led to BetMGM making Milwaukee the solo 4/1 favorite.

"The Bucks were in Tier 1 prior to the move," Cipollini said. "The fact that the Bucks were already one of the shorter favorites has helped keep our liability down. The fact that this trade came out of nowhere also helped the book.

"We had a ton of Heat liability, just based on all of the rumors that Lillard may go there. There were no Bucks rumors."

Among other moves, Boston added Jrue Holiday.

"It's a similar story to the Bucks," Cipollini said. "The Celtics were already shorter favorites before adding Jrue. That helped us keep the liability down. In fact, the Bucks and Celtics are both winners for us right now."

As fellow BetMGM trader Hal Egeland noted immediately after the Lillard trade:

"The Bucks are a very good result for us. Their fanbase just isn't at the same level as the other contenders. Should they remain the favorite, I can almost guarantee we'll be Bucks fans at the end of the season."

Ticket Takers and Money Makers

The Lakers are again a liability for BetMGM, which is par for the course. (Getty)

As noted above, in BetMGM's digital market (online/mobile betting), the Nuggets are No. 1 in tickets in BetMGM's odds to win the NBA Finals. Phoenix is No. 2 and Boston No. 3. In terms of money in the digital market, it's Nuggets/Suns/Heat.

But when factoring in retail betting at brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, the Celtics are No. 3 in money, surpassing the Heat.

"From realistic teams, we're rooting for the Celtics and Bucks," Cipollini reiterated. "That will certainly change as the season goes on, but right now, we are good to those teams. Outside of those two, we are rooting for some of the Tier 2 outsiders: the Clippers, 76ers and Mavs."

Egeland said BetMGM's key liabilities are the Nuggets, Suns, Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors and the Heat.

Kevin Durant and the Suns opened +850 and are now the +650 fourth choice. LeBron James and L.A. sit at +1300, a notch below the +1200 opener. Stephen Curry's Warriors slipped a bit from a +1200 opener to +1400.

And after losing the Lillard sweepstakes, the Heat are +3000 at BetMGM, dropping from a +2000 opener.

Flying Under the Radar

Rookie Victor Wembanyma is helping the Spurs draw NBA Finals bets. (Getty)

Egeland pointed to a trio of teams getting some looks beyond all the usual suspects.

"The Thunder have been popular this year, along with the Timberwolves. And the Spurs a bit too, with Victor Wembanyama," Cipollini said.

Indeed, Wembanyama – the No. 1 overall draft pick – is turning heads and getting San Antonio a little betting attention. But that's probably more due to people taking fliers on Wemby and the Spurs, who have slipped from a 200/1 opener to 250/1 on BetMGM's NBA Finals odds board.

Oklahoma City and Minnesota are both +6600, which matches their opening numbers.

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