National Basketball Association
2024 NBA odds: Best title futures bets to make now, including Lakers, Celtics
National Basketball Association

2024 NBA odds: Best title futures bets to make now, including Lakers, Celtics

Updated Apr. 19, 2024 2:50 p.m. ET

The NBA postseason has arrived, and this year's edition is poised to be a good one. 

The West is going to be super competitive this season, with the top five seeds all realistically expecting to win a championship, and Lebron and AD looming in the 7-seed. 

RELATED: 2024 NBA playoff bracket, picture: Updated Schedule, scores

Meanwhile, in the East, you have one strong squad that is heads and shoulders above the rest. 


Who will be left standing?

If you're looking to get in on the betting action, here are the five teams I feel have the best chance of taking home the Larry O'Brien trophy (all odds via DraftKings Sportsbook):

1. Boston Celtics (+145, bet $10 to win $24.50 total)

You have to start here because their path to the Finals is the easiest. 

Sure, the Celtics are a high-variance team with all the threes they shoot, but they are the top-rated NBA offense and third in defense. If they lose before the Finals, the season would be a colossal failure. 

I expect Boston to have more 20-point wins than total losses in the Eastern conference playoffs.

2. Dallas Mavericks (+1600, bet $10 to win $170 total)

Remember, with futures, you’re often betting on the path and not the team (except for the UConn Huskies in March Madness). 

The Mavs' path runs through the Clippers, who may or may not have Kawhi Leonard; Oklahoma City, the youngest No. 1 seed of all-time; and then the Nuggets, Suns, Lakers or Timberwolves

The Mavs getting to the Finals is definitely in play.

3. Denver Nuggets (+300, bet $10 to win $40 total)

The defending champs were deeper and better last year when Denver was the hunter not the hunted. 

The Nuggets should get by the Lakers, but it won’t be another sweep. 

Then it’s likely the Suns, who they were tied with 2-2 in 2023 before pulling away; or the Timberwolves, who have the size in Rudy Gobert and length in Jaden McDaniels to give the Nuggets problems. 

The path will be difficult.

Will Nuggets repeat as champs, Celtics as favorites? Can Lakers, 76ers seek revenge?

4. Phoenix Suns (+1900, bet $10 to win $190 total)

NBA futures aren’t like the NCAA Tournament, where anything can happen in one game. 

In the NBA, bad teams can win a couple of games, maybe even a series, but it takes three series wins just to reach the Finals. 

The Suns are a bit of a long shot, but they do have three stars. If Grayson Allen and Jusuf Nurkic can punch above their weight class in high leverage spots, it’s not out of the realm of possibilities to see them in the Finals.

5. Los Angeles Lakers (+2000, bet $10 to win $210 total)

Yes, that’s four teams from the West. 

Nobody’s taking down Boston in the East, short of a major injury. And you don’t bet futures on potential injuries. 

The Lakers probably won’t get by Denver, but last year every game was nip and tuck going into the fourth quarter. 

The keys will be Gabe Vincent and/or Austin Reeves against Jamal Murray (who averaged 32 ppg in last year’s sweep) and D’Angelo Russell, who was abysmal in the series last year with only 6.3 ppg and two total threes. 

I would not be surprised if this series went the distance.

Jason McIntyre is a FOX Sports betting analyst, and he also writes about the NFL and NBA Draft. He joined FS1 in 2016 and has appeared on every show on the network. In 2017, McIntyre began producing gambling content on the NFL, college football and NBA for FOX Sports. He had a gambling podcast for FOX, "Coming Up Winners," in 2018 and 2019. Before arriving at FOX, he created the website The Big Lead, which he sold in 2010.


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