The Milwaukee Bucks are still the betting favorites to bring home the NBA championship. Current betting odds place them at between +230 and +265 to capture the trophy. The team, which posted the best regular season record in all the NBA, ended the season atop the Eastern Conference (for the third time in five seasons) and will hold their No. 1 seed. This means that the 58-24 Bucks will retain home court advantage through their run in the playoffs.
The Boston Celtics, who were the favorites to win it all at the start of the season, hit a rough patch in March and lost their grasp on the top seed, finishing the season just one game behind.
Because the Milwaukee Bucks were able to secure their playoff standing before the actual end of the season, they were able to rest some of their tired and aching starters before the start of the playoffs this coming weekend.
Good news also came when the apparent knee injury suffered by Khris Middleton, who left the game early last Wednesday against the Chicago Bulls, proved to be nothing major. An MRI showed the knee to be clean of damage. The expectation is that he’ll be ready to play by the start of the playoffs or very shortly thereafter.
Grayson Allen, who sprained his ankle in the game with the Philadelphia Sixers, is also expected to be ready to go by the playoffs.
Key players Giannis Antetokounmpo, Pat Connaughton, Jrue Holiday, Brook Lopez, Joe Ingles, and Bobby Portis Jr. were also given time off in the last two games of the regular season.
The Milwaukee Bucks, who took the trophy in 2021, are looking to grab their second NBA Finals title in three seasons.
Behind the Bucks, the Boston Celtics are second most favored to win the championship with betting odds that hover around +360. The Phoenix Suns follow as +450 contenders. The Golden State Warriors and the Philadelphia 76ers are next favorites, with +750 and +850 odds, respectively. The Oklahoma City Thunder, who will play the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday as part of the Play-in tournament, are the extreme longshots of the playoffs as +50000 underdogs to win it all.
Favored to meet in the NBA finals are the Bucks and the Phoenix Suns at +500.