After capturing the franchise’s first NBA championship, the Denver Nuggets opened as the favorite to win the 2024 title. Beyond that, it’s no surprise that the Celtics, Bucks, and Suns all sit near the top of the odds board.
Over the next few months, these odds are going to change and we’ll see teams shift around in the standings once changes are made through the NBA Draft, trades, and free agency.
Odds to win 2024 NBA Championship
|Golden State Warriors
|Los Angeles Lakers
|Los Angeles Clippers
|New Orleans Pelicans
|New York Knicks
Odds courtesy of BetMGM
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Below are three teams we like to be in the mix and possibly win the NBA Championship.
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Milwaukee Bucks Come Back with a Vengeance
The Milwaukee Bucks are coming off a disappointing first-round loss despite being the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and finishing the regular season with the best record in the league. In his post-game press conference following Milwaukee’s final loss of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo told reporters that he didn’t think the season was a failure. Sure, there were positives, but overall, the organization failed to live up to its expectations.
Entering the 2023-24 season, the Bucks have the third-shortest odds to win the NBA championship at +600. I like Milwaukee at this price for a number of reasons. Especially because of the way that this past season ended. If we know anything about Giannis, it’s that he takes these types of things personally. You can bet that he’ll be extremely motivated to get back to the top of the mountain next season.
Milwaukee’s new head coach, Adrian Griffin, comes highly regarded by many around the league and will provide a fresh outlook and approach from what they’ve had with Mike Budenholzer. The Bucks also have six players that are under contract next season, including Giannis, Jrue Holiday, Bobby Portis, Grayson Allen, Pat Connaughton, and MarJon Beauchamp. Khris Middleton has a player option, but assuming Milwaukee doesn’t blow this roster up and start all over, it’s fair to expect Middleton to be back.
It’s important for the Bucks to bring back Brook Lopez, who is an unrestricted free agent this summer. They also need Jae Crowder and Joe Ingles. Their salary cap situation likely won’t allow them to return all three players. Keeping Lopez in the mix will certainly keep Milwaukee’s potential high heading into next season.
With so much hype surrounding the Denver Nuggets right now, and with the Boston Celtics’ run still fresh in people’s minds, Milwaukee sitting third in the futures market at +600 is a price that I could get behind.
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Coaching Change Could Spark Philadelphia
At +1200 at BetRivers, I love a sprinkle on the Philadelphia 76ers taking home the title next season. They still have the reigning MVP, Joel Embiid, but more importantly, they no longer have Doc Rivers on the bench. Philadelphia may have lost in the second round of the playoffs – again? – but it could have easily found itself in the Finals, assuming it had gotten past the Miami Heat.
Bringing Nick Nurse in as the franchise’s next head coach with a championship under his belt will hopefully help the Sixers get over the hump on not making it out of the second round. While there are talks of James Harden wanting to go back to the Houston Rockets, General Manager Daryl Morey is going to do whatever he can to keep the Beard in Philly.
However, if Harden does walk, the Sixers could add another veteran point guard like Fred VanVleet in free agency. I would actually like this bet a bit more if the Sixers do move on from Harden and bring in VanVleet. They also have the option of using Tobias Harris’ big contract as a trade piece, giving them a chance to land another big-time name.
There are a number of options for Philly to explore in the offseason, all of which should bolster its roster enough to make another big title run with Embiid.
New Orleans Health Key to Title Run
When the New Orleans Pelicans were completely healthy last season, they were nearly unstoppable. From the start of the season to when Zion Williamson re-aggravated his hamstring in early January, and missed the remainder of the season, New Orleans had a 24-14 record. That included a seven-game win streak and a stint at the top of the Western Conference standings for a short period of time.
With Williamson, CJ McCollum, and Brandon Ingram on the floor together, Willie Green’s team is tough to beat. That’s why at 36-1, you’re getting a great price on a team that has the roster to contend for a championship when healthy.
The biggest risk you’re taking is on Williamson’s health. In his three NBA seasons, he’s only played 114 games, including just 29 games in 2023-23. At some point, Williamson needs to figure things out or New Orleans is going to have no choice but to move on from him. I don’t think we’re at that point quite yet, but it could be coming in the next few years. He’s been at the forefront of a lot of off-the-court drama recently, which I could see being a big motivation for him to come back even stronger next season. If that’s the case, I’d want to have a Pelicans +4000 championship ticket at Unibet in my pocket.
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