Who Will Win the NBA Championship?

What you need to know:

The playoffs are now underway, and the 2023/24 NBA season is starting to reach its climax. After an exciting regular season, the draws for the closing stages are now in place, and fans can begin to speculate about their team’s chances.

Form across the regular campaign is naturally going to be important, but the draw for the playoffs will also have a bearing on who goes through. It’s all set up for a nail biting few weeks, but who will come away with the championship title?

The Front Runners

The Boston Celtics are aiming to make history by claiming their 18th NBA Championship at the end of the season. This would set a new record for the most titles and the sportsbooks list Boston as favorites following a dominant regular campaign.

The Celtics should be confident of success based on the fact that they were the best team in the regular season by some distance. The franchise produced a return of 64-18 across 82 games, and that sees them start the playoffs as the number one seeded team from the Eastern Conference.

It’s interesting that no Celtics player features highly in the season’s individual stats. This tells us that they are performing as a team, and are not relying on one single player. Boston have been exceptional this term and are the franchise to beat going into the playoffs. Most are backing the favorites, but those looking at picks and parlays have plenty of alternatives.

The Chasing Pack

Over in the Western Conference, the teams finishing with the best regular season records were the Denver Nuggets and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Both franchises completed 57 wins in the campaign, and they are the closest challengers to the Boston Celtics in postseason.

The Nuggets will rely heavily on their impressive center Nikola Jokic who entered the playoffs as the highest-ranked player based on efficiency per game. That key stats means he’s a dependable figure, who rarely lets his team down.

Oklahoma City Thunder are the number one seeds in the West, so they may have an easier path to the Conference Finals. Oklahoma’s success has been based on a solid defense, and they finished the regular season as the team with the most blocks per game.

Central to that solid core is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander who is among the finalists in the race to be crowned the NBA’s Most Valuable Playerthis term.

Those are the three main contenders moving into the playoffs, and it’s logical to combine picks and parlays from these sides, but there are other franchises aiming to cause an upset.

Mavericks March On

Dallas Mavericks booked their place in the playoffs after claiming the title in the Western Conference’s Southwest Division. They will offer a threat in the playoff series, but much will depend on their Slovenian international, Luka Doncic.

The guard has enjoyed a stunning season and is the front runner in the race to be crowned the NBA’s Most Valuable Player. He leads the shooting stats with the highest points average per game, and in January, Doncic set a new Dallas record with 73 points against the Atlanta Hawks.

Doncic’s incredible tally was the fourth highest in NBA history. Dallas Mavericks can certainly upset the odds in these playoff rounds, but Luka Doncic’s form is absolutely vital.

The Underdogs

Few would have given Orlando Magic a chance of making the playoffs at the start of the season. The team endured a poor campaign in 2022/23, finishing down in thirteenth place in the Eastern Conference with a modest 34-48 record.

An unlikely improvement saw Magic climb up the standings to win the Southeast Division and book their place in the postseason. Because of his team’s exploits, Jamahl Mosley is in the running for Coach of the Year.

Orlando will find it tough in the playoff rounds, but they won’t mind being written off. At the very least, the positive campaign will give the Magic a platform, and they should come back even stronger next term.

The verdicts are in, and the best performing teams in the regular season are favorites to claim the NBA Championship. Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder are the highest ranked franchises and anyone combining picks and parlays will likely focus on these sides.

The closest challengers were also among the form teams during the regular campaign. The Denver Nuggets, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Dallas Mavericks should prove to be the biggest threats to Boston and Oklahoma.

It’s hard to see beyond those franchises, but there is always scope for an upset. Boston Celtics were the favorites to win the NBA Championship last term, but were denied an 18th pennant, when they went down in an iconic Conference Final to the Miami Heat.

Boston remain the team to beat, but there are plenty of potential challenges from within the chasing pack.