NBA odds: With Nuggets out, Celtics' path to title is even clearer

BetMGM doesn't have to worry about the Denver Nuggets anymore.

There were more bets and more money bet on the Nuggets to win the NBA Finals than any other team at BetMGM. The Nuggets were the biggest liability BetMGM had in that market, but that ended Sunday night when the Minnesota Timberwolves stormed back and won Game 7 to move on to the Western Conference finals and eliminate the Nuggets.

The Nuggets' loss also has a big effect on the Boston Celtics.

The Celtics have been the obvious favorites to win the championship for many weeks, and they lost one potential pitfall with the reigning champions out of the bracket. The odds indicate that the Celtics' path to a title is very clear, especially with the Nuggets out.

The Celtics went from +125 (bet $100 to win $125) to win the title before the second round to -150 (bet $150 to win $100) to win it all as the conference finals start.

It's rare to see any team with minus odds to win the championship before the conference finals start, but there's also no obvious contender to the Celtics at this point.

The odds for the Celtics to beat the Indiana Pacers in the East look more like a first-round series between a No. 1 and No. 8 seed. The Celtics are -900 to beat the Pacers. That gives the Celtics implied odds of 90% to beat the Pacers, which is rare for a conference finals matchup. But the Celtics won the East by 14 games, and were 17 games better than the Pacers during the regular season. Part of the reason the Celtics have been well ahead of every other team in the NBA championship odds is that the East was surprisingly weak this season.

At this point, the Celtics not winning a championship would be a pretty big upset.

Jayson Tatum and the Celtics are favored to win the NBA championship. (Photo by Danielle Parhizkaran/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

The Nuggets weren't the top seed in the West, but they were the favorites to win it before each of the first two rounds of the playoffs.

The West is much deeper and better, and Boston had to enjoy watching the top teams cannibalize each other. The Oklahoma City Thunder, the top seed in the West, were eliminated by the Dallas Mavericks. The No. 2 seeded Nuggets are out too.

The Timberwolves are +260 to win the NBA Finals and the Mavericks are +500. Minnesota has been a revelation in the playoffs and the Mavericks have been very good since the trade deadline. Both teams have big stars but either one would be a significant underdog in the NBA Finals. The Celtics have just been that dominant.

Perhaps we'll be in for a surprise over the final weeks of the NBA postseason. But with the Nuggets out, there's no reason Boston shouldn't win it all.