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Can anyone beat the Celtics or Nuggets in NBA playoffs? Betting market is skeptical

If the betting market is a good indicator, we can skip ahead in the NBA postseason right to the Boston Celtics-Denver Nuggets NBA Finals showdown.

The NBA regular season ended on Sunday and there is a clear favorite in each conference. Boston is well ahead of every Eastern Conference team in the betting odds to make the Finals. And even though the Western Conference is more competitive than the East, the Nuggets are significant favorites to come out of the West.

Bettors love the two favorites. The two teams that have gotten the most money bet on the NBA champion at BetMGM are the Nuggets at 27.4% and the Celtics at 26%. More than half of the money is on those two teams, which is reflected in the odds.

If the first few rounds of the playoffs are that predictable, at least we'd end up with a good matchup at the end.

Odds to win the NBA Finals

As the NBA's postseason starts, there is a clear divide between the top two and everyone else. Here are the BetMGM odds to win the championship, with all teams shorter than 35-to-1 odds:

Celtics +180

Nuggets +300

Clippers +1200

Bucks +1300

Thunder +1600

Mavericks +1800

76ers +1800

Timberwolves +2000

Suns +2000

The one surprise might be that the Nuggets are big favorites without being the No. 1 seed. Denver blew a big lead and lost to the San Antonio Spurs on Friday, ruining a shot at the top seed. The Thunder got the top seed, though you wouldn't guess that based on the odds. Denver is the second seed in the West.

The Celtics being atop all of the odds is much less of a surprise.

Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis leads a team that is a heavy favorite to win the Eastern Conference. (Photo by Danielle Parhizkaran/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Celtics, Nuggets look strong

Boston went 64-18 and were 14 games ahead of every other team in the East. Its -175 odds to win the East and make the NBA Finals are startling before the playoffs even start, but it's hard to make an argument for anyone else. The Milwaukee Bucks should have been contenders but they stumbled badly late in the season and there's a big injury concern with Giannis Antetokounmpo's calf. The 76ers could theoretically challenge the Celtics, but they still need to get out of the play-in tournament. If Boston doesn't at least make the Finals, it will be a big upset.

Denver will face more of a challenge, though its odds of winning the West are just +140. The Thunder (+700 to win the West) seem a bit disrespected in the odds considering they had a great season and are the No. 1 seed. But the Nuggets won the championship last season, have NBA MVP runaway favorite Nikola Jokic and Oklahoma City still has the stigma of being the youngest team to get a No. 1 seed. Experience usually matters in the playoffs, though the Thunder's talent is undeniable.

Perhaps the NBA playoffs will be formulaic and the defending champion Nuggets will make it out of the West to face the Celtics, who were undeniably the best and deepest team in the NBA all season. Plenty of bettors wouldn't mind that conclusion to the season.