2024 NBA Finals odds: Boston, Minnesota among favorites | Sporting News

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Round 2 of the 2024 playoffs is underway, and NBA Finals odds are on the move at sportsbooks. The Boston Celtics remain the betting favorites to win it all, with the Minnesota Timberwolves the clear second choice. 

On the NBA Finals odds board at BetMGM Sportsbook, there’s a bit of a gap between the Celtics and Nuggets and the Oklahoma City Thunder. The New York Knicks, defending champion Denver Nuggets, and the Dallas Mavericks form a second tier on the betting board:


The Indiana Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers, while priced as longshots, comprise the next tier.

With the best sports betting apps and live NBA odds now at your fingertips, getting an NBA Finals bet down is easier than ever. See the guide below to help inform your NBA Finals bets. 

Bet on NBA Finals odds at BetMGM Sportsbook 

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Betting lines for top contenders on NBA Finals odds boards

Here are odds for four teams we’re monitoring for a run at the 2024 NBA Finals.

Boston Celtics’ NBA Finals odds


The Celtics wrapped up the No. 1 seed in the East comfortably and topped the Miami Heat in the first round, as Boston eyes its first NBA title since 2008.

Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Kristaps Porzingis have powered the Celtics this season.

Minnesota Timberwolves’ NBA Finals odds


The Wolves swept the Phoenix Suns in Round 1 and have jumped out to a series lead against the defending champion Nuggets.

Minnesota boasts the league’s best defense, and Anthony Edwards is a budding superstar. Along with Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert, the trio is looking to send the T’wolves to only their second conference finals appearance.

Oklahoma City Thunder’s NBA Finals odds


The Thunder are the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. Led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Chet Holmgren, Oklahoma City swept the New Orleans Pelicans in Round 1. 

Denver Nuggets’ NBA Finals odds


The defending NBA champion Nuggets are on the ropes in the West, dropping the first two games at home to Minnesota in Round 2.

Nikola Jokic remains dominant, leading the team in scoring, rebounding, and assists. Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray are also significant contributors in Denver.

NBA Finals results

Here’s a look at the past 10 NBA Finals series:

Year Champion Series Record Opponent
2023 Denver Nuggets 4-1 Miami Heat
2022 Golden State Warriors 4-2 Boston Celtics
2021 Milwaukee Bucks 4-2 Phoenix Suns
2020 Los Angeles Lakers 4-2 Miami Heat
2019 Toronto Raptors 4-2 Golden State Warriors
2018 Golden State Warriors 4-0 Cleveland Cavaliers
2017 Golden State Warriors 4-1 Cleveland Cavaliers
2016 Cleveland Cavaliers 4-3 Golden State Warriors
2015 Golden State Warriors 4-2 Cleveland Cavaliers
2014 San Antonio Spurs 4-1 Miami Heat

NBA Finals odds longshot winners

Since 1984, five NBA Finals champions had preseason odds of +1500 or greater to win the NBA championship:

  • 2003-04 Detroit Pistons (+1500)
  • 2010-11 Dallas Mavericks (+2000)
  • 2014-15 Golden State Warriors (+2800)
  • 2018-19 Toronto Raptors (+1850)
  • 2022-23 Denver Nuggets (+1800)

Four NBA Finals champions since 1984 had odds of +1000 or greater to win the title when the playoffs started:

  • 1994-95 Houston Rockets (+1800)
  • 2010-11 Dallas Mavericks (+1800)
  • 2021-22 Golden State Warriors (+1000)
  • 2022-23 Denver Nuggets (+1000)

Most NBA Finals wins

Eight NBA franchises have won at least three NBA championships:

Team NBA Finals championships NBA Finals appearances
Los Angeles Lakers 17 32
Boston Celtics 17 22
Golden State Warriors 7 12
Chicago Bulls 6 6
San Antonio Spurs 5 6
Philadelphia 76ers 3 9
Detroit Pistons 3 7
Miami Heat 3 7

How do the NBA Playoffs work? 

The end of the regular season brings about the NBA Playoffs, a tournament where the top eight teams from the Eastern and Western Conferences compete to play in the NBA Finals.

Each series in the playoffs follows a 2-2-1-1-1 format, designed to give the higher-seeded team a home-court advantage by hosting the first, second, fifth, and seventh games.

The lower-seeded team hosts the third, fourth, and sixth games. 

Here’s how it all works: 

  1. Regular season: With an 82-game slate, NBA teams compete for playoff spots year-round. Based on their win-loss record, the teams are ranked within their conference to determine the top eight that will make the postseason tournament.
  2. Play-in tournament: Since the 2020-21 season, there has been a “play-in tournament” to determine each conference’s 7th and 8th seeds. The teams that finished in each conference’s 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th positions enter this tournament to determine who will proceed to the playoffs. The 7th and 8th teams play one another to determine the 7th seed. Meanwhile, the 9th and 10th teams also play, with the loser being eliminated and the winner then playing the loser of the previous game. This final knockout contest solidifies the No. 8 seed in the playoffs.
  3. Playoffs: The top eight teams, including those that survive the play-in tournament, advance to the playoffs for four best-of-seven elimination rounds. The teams are seeded 1 through 8, and first-round matchups are 1st vs. 8th, 2nd vs. 7th, 3rd vs. 6th, and 4th vs. 5th. The winners in the first round advance to the semifinals, and those winners advance to the conference finals to determine who plays in the championship.
  4. NBA Finals: The Eastern and Western Conference champions square off in the NBA Finals, which is another best-of-seven series. The team that wins is crowned the champions of the National Basketball Association. 

Betting on the NBA Finals

You can start betting on the NBA Finals for next season as soon as the Finals from the year prior conclude. This is done through NBA futures odds, which let you bet on which team you believe will become the next NBA Finals champion.

Futures lines shift a lot throughout the year due to several factors, including team performance, player news, offseason moves, coaching changes, etc. Odds are typically more favorable early in the preseason and regular season, and they tighten as the season progresses and the playoff picture becomes clearer. 

Once the playoffs arrive, traditional NBA betting lines like the moneyline and point spread take over as bettors begin to wager on individual games and series. Moneyline betting requires you to pick which team you believe will win, while point spread betting evens the playing field a bit, especially when one seed is expected to dominate another in a series or game. 

Totals bets are also popular during the NBA Playoffs and NBA Finals. This bet type requires you to predict if the combined number of points for both teams in a single contest will be over or under the predicted amount set by the sportsbook. 

You’ll also find many NBA prop betting markets. Here, you focus not on the game outcome but on player or team accomplishments. Player props include a specific player collecting over or under a certain number of points, rebounds, assists, or steals. Team props might include which team is leading at halftime or a team’s combined over/under on free-throw percentage. 

Lastly, you can bet on NBA games while the action is happening. These bets require you to use a sports betting app or online sportsbook because of the speed at which the game is played and the odds shifting.

Numerous options are usually available for live betting, ranging from which player will score the next points to whether there will be a fourth-quarter comeback victory. 

Each sportsbook offers its own live betting options, so do some research and find the sportsbooks that best suit your needs for live betting action. 

Here’s a quick overview of betting opportunities for the NBA Playoffs and NBA Finals.

  • Game lines: Each game will offer moneylines, spreads, and totals bets. 
  • Props: From player props to team props, you’ll find a nice variety for every game during the NBA Playoffs and NBA Finals.
  • Live betting: The action can be fast and furious, but live betting is becoming one of the most popular betting options during the NBA postseason.
  • Series bets: You can bet on more than just individual games when wagering on the NBA Playoffs and NBA Finals. You’ll find moneylines, totals bets, and more.

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