NBA power rankings: Latest championship odds see Celtics, Nuggets, Clippers holding lead

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) celebrates winning the Western Conference MVP Trophy and beating the Los Angeles Lakers in game four of the Western Conference Finals for the 2023 NBA playoffs at Arena.
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) celebrates winning the Western Conference MVP Trophy and beating the Los Angeles Lakers in game four of the Western Conference Finals for the 2023 NBA playoffs at Arena.

The 2024 NBA season is just seven weeks away from heading to the playoffs. Since the start of the season, two teams have stood above the rest as NBA title favorites though – the Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets. Since the market opened last June, these two teams have been at the top of odds boards, and they have not disappointed.

While the Nuggets currently sit at third in the Western Conference, behind the Oklahoma City Thunder and Minnesota Timberwolves, they have something those other teams don't: a team proven capable of winning a championship. The Nuggets have reached the Western Conference Finals in two of the last four years and have made the playoffs in five straight seasons. They also won the championship a year ago, obviously. The Thunder, meanwhile, haven't reached the playoffs in three years. While the Timberwolves have reached the playoffs each of the last two seasons, they have not gotten past the first round.

In the Eastern Conference, the Celtics have just been the best team all season. They are 7.5 games up on the No. 2 seed, the Cleveland Cavaliers. Any team displaying that type of dominance will certainly be one of the favorites to hoist the Larry O'Brien trophy. Here are how the championship odds are shaping up as we approach the end of February. All odds via BetMGM.

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Boston Celtics (+260)

How good have the Boston Celtics been? Well, since Feb. 8, the Celtics have won six straight and their odds have gone up from +276 to +260. Their line has barely moved during this stretch of dominance. Boston currently holds a 7.5-game lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers for second in the Eastern Conference. Although Milwaukee has recovered slightly from their skid in late January and early February, they are still a long way from competing for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Nobody is touching Boston as we approach the playoffs.

Denver Nuggets (+450)

After falling behind the Timberwolves and Thunder in the Western Conference, the Nuggets' odds have taken a slight hit, but nothing serious. The Nuggets are still the most proven team in the conference and they still have the best player in the west. Until they get knocked off, they'll likely be the favorites out of the West yet again.

Los Angeles Clippers (+475)

The Clippers have dropped three straight contests, but that doesn't matter for their title hopes apparently. Any team with a healthy Kawhi Leonard is tough to bet against. He's a proven winner, and the Clippers, despite their recent struggles, are still only 2.5 games out from first place in the Western Conference. It's hard not to like them.

Milwaukee Bucks (+700)

Milwaukee boasts arguably the best 1-2 offensive punch in the NBA with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard. However, the team's defense has been a serious problem all season long. The team ranks 17th in the NBA in that category. That said, the Bucks have been hot on that end of the floor. In their last six games, only one team (Miami) has scored more than 115 points against the Bucks. They've also held three opponents under 100 in that span.

Phoenix Suns (+1600)

Despite being tied for sixth in the Western Conference, potentially being forced into the play-in tournament, the Phoenix Suns have the star power necessary to win a championship and that's all anyone cares about really. Kevin Durant, Bradley Beal, and Devin Booker are an unstoppable force when they get going. Beal's injury is definitely a concern, but he should absolutely be 100% by the time the playoffs roll around.

Rest of NBA championship odds:

  • New York Knicks (+2000)

  • Minnesota Timberwolves (+2200)

  • Oklahoma City Thunder (+2200)

  • Cleveland Cavaliers (+2500)

  • Philadelphia 76ers (+3000)

  • Dallas Mavericks (+3500)

  • Golden State Warriors (+4000)

  • Los Angeles Lakers (+4000)

  • Miami Heat (+4000)

  • New Orleans Pelicans (+5000)

  • Sacramento Kings (+6600)

  • Indiana Pacers (+10000)

  • Orlando Magic (+25000)

  • Atlanta Hawks (+50000)

  • Chicago Bulls (+50000)

  • Houston Rockets (+50000)

  • Utah Jazz (+50000)

  • Brooklyn Nets (+100000)

  • Toronto Raptors (+100000)

Teams not listed: Detroit Pistons, Memphis Grizzlies, Charlotte Hornets, Washington Wizards, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NBA power rankings based on championship odds dominated by Celtics