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NBA Playoff Odds 2023

Last Updated: Sep 20, 2023

The 2023-24 NBA season is just about here, which means it’s about time to place some futures bets.

This season will look a little bit different than most. For starters, the Denver Nuggets will be the reigning champions for the first time, and there’ll be an in-season tournament to captivate fans in the fall.

The playoffs, however, will still look the same.

Here’s a look at each team’s odds to make the NBA playoffs.

Odds To Make NBA Playoffs

All odds are current as of Wednesday, Sept. 20, at noon ET and courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

  • Boston Celtics (-6000)
  • Milwaukee Bucks (-5000)
  • Denver Nuggets (-4000)
  • Cleveland Cavaliers (-1200)
  • Phoenix Suns (-900)
  • Miami Heat (-800)
  • Philadelphia 76ers (-800)
  • Golden State Warriors (-500)
  • Los Angeles Lakers (-380)
  • New York Knicks (-380)
  • Los Angeles Clippers (-250)
  • Memphis Grizzlies (-250)
  • Atlanta Hawks (-230)
  • Dallas Mavericks (-220)
  • Sacramento Kings (-185)
  • Minnesota Timberwolves (-150)
  • New Orleans Pelicans (-150)
  • Oklahoma City Thunder (-135)
  • Indiana Pacers (+130)
  • Brooklyn Nets (+145)
  • Chicago Bulls (+150)
  • Orlando Magic (+165)
  • Toronto Raptors (+175)
  • Utah Jazz (+360)
  • Charlotte Hornets (+475)
  • Houston Rockets (+600)
  • Detroit Pistons (+950)
  • San Antonio Spurs (+1100)
  • Washington Wizards (+1100)
  • Portland Trail Blazers (N/A)

Unsurprisingly, the Celtics and Bucks — two of the best teams in the East a year ago — have the shortest odds to reach the postseason. At (-6000), a bettor would make $0.016 per $1 wagered if — or, more accurately, when — Boston qualifies for the postseason.

The Denver Nuggets (-4000) follow, then come the Cleveland Cavaliers (-1200) and Phoenix Suns (-900), who spent the offseason loading their already star-laden lineup.

The surprise Miami Heat, who went from the NBA Play-In Tournament to the NBA Finals, share the same odds as the Philadelphia 76ers, who have been the center of offseason drama surrounding the potential trade of star guard James Harden.

Meanwhile, the Trail Blazers are off the board as the franchise works to find a trade partner for Damian Lillard, who requested a trade in early July.

NBA Division Favorites

Atlantic: Boston Celtics (-210)

After potential challenges from the Nets and 76ers in recent years, the Celtics are back to being the clear class of the Atlantic. The 2022 Eastern Conference champs fell just a game short of a second straight Finals appearance and should be a contender to get there again in Joe Mazzulla‘s second year at the helm.

The Celtics had some offseason business to attend to, locking in Jaylen Brown to the NBA’s richest contract and keeping him as the co-star to Jayson Tatum in Boston’s lineup.

The Celtics did offload 2022 defensive player of the year Marcus Smart to Memphis and power forward Grant Williams to Dallas in cap-related moves. Boston also added Kristaps Porziņģis, who, along with Robert Williams, should solidify the front court.

The only real challenge for the division may come from the Knicks, who sit at (+800) in the Atlantic Division odds. However, the Celtics should run away with the Atlantic and have their sights set far higher than a division crown.

Central: Milwaukee Bucks (-230)

The Bucks stubbed their toe in the first round against the Heat, mainly due to an injury to superstar forward and two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. Milwaukee fired coach Mike Budenholzer, replacing him with longtime player and assistant Adrian Griffin.

Milwaukee may get a challenge from the Cavaliers, who finished seven games back of the Bucks for the division crown despite a 51-win season. However, as long as Antetokounmpo is healthy and playing, a sixth consecutive division crown seems inevitable.

Northwest: Denver Nuggets (-475)

I wouldn’t advocate betting this, since the return on wager — $0.21 profit per $1 wagered — is hardly worth the squeeze, but given the Nuggets’ dominance and lack of divisional challengers, a second straight division crown seems inevitable.

Pacific: Phoenix Suns (+165)

The Pacific is by far the best division in basketball, but the Suns have hopped all challengers despite the fact the Lakers advanced farther in the postseason in 2023.

Phoenix will roll out a starting lineup that could be an All-Star team, featuring Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, and Bradley Beal, the latter of whom was the Suns’ big offseason acquisition.



The Warriors have a powerful foursome themselves, considering they added Chris Paul to a lineup that featured superstar troika Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green.

The Lakers figured it out and reached the Western Conference Finals, the Clippers’ roster is still superstar-laden, and the Kings actually won the division in 2023.

Even still I’m betting on the Suns to finish atop the Pacific when the 2023-24 regular season ends.

Southeast: Miami Heat (-185)

The Heat won the Eastern Conference in 2023, becoming the third No. 8 seed to reach the Finals and the first to advance from the NBA Play-In Tournament to the NBA Finals in the play-in’s three-year history.

Given the fact Miami won the division in 2023 — plus the potential acquisition of Damian Lillard to a lineup that includes Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry, and Bam Adebayo — the Heat are the clear team to beat in the Southeast, despite a potential challenge from the Hawks (+215).

Southwest: Dallas Mavericks (+155)

The Southwest may be the most fascinating division to watch in 2023-24, given the star-laden clubs, but also their mercurial nature.

Case in point: the Pelicans went from the top seed in the West to missing the playoffs after Zion Williamson‘s injury. The Mavericks were within striking distance of the division title when they acquired star guard Kyrie Irving, then cratered and missed the playoffs entirely.

The Grizzlies won the division but will enter the season with question marks, mainly surrounding Ja Morant‘s status due to his 25-game suspension as a result of his questionable social media presence.

With Irving locked into a contract, and perennial MVP candidate Luka DonÄŤić still as consistent as ever, the Mavericks are probably the most talented team in the division. It’s just whether it all comes together, especially since Dallas went just 10-18 after acquiring Irving from Brooklyn.

Eastern Conference Favorites

Boston Celtics (+215)

Milwaukee Bucks (+330)

Miami Heat (+400)

Philadelphia 76ers (+650)

The Sixers had the unenviable task of squaring off against the Celtics in the second round a year ago and had Boston on the ropes before falling in seven games.

As currently constructed, Philadelphia is one of the best teams, led by reigning MVP Joel Embiid. It should be well-coached by Nick Nurse, the 2019 champion who was fired by the Raptors after their disappointing season.

But what will happen with Harden? He’s publicly requested a trade and said he’ll never play for Philadelphia and executive Daryl Morey. We’ve seen trade requests rescinded before, but the bridges seem to be burned.

If and when Harden is dealt, the 76ers’ odds will lengthen drastically. It’s worth seeing how that all plays out before putting down your money on Philadelphia.

Cleveland Cavaliers (+1000)

The Cavaliers have never been to the Finals without LeBron James, yet they have perhaps their most competitive team without him since at least the 1990s.

Cleveland won 51 games in 2022-23, spearheaded by the 2022 offseason acquisition of Donovan Mitchell from the Utah Jazz.

Mitchell and tandem guard Darius Garland are the team’s best scorers, but the Cavs are especially tough on the defensive end. Led by rim protectors Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen, Cleveland ranked first in points allowed per game in 2022-23 (106.9).

It’s been said that defense wins championships. If that’s truly the case, the Cavs make a fascinating dark horse to come out of the East.

Western Conference Favorites

Denver Nuggets (+250)

Phoenix Suns (+350)

Golden State Warriors (+650)

It’s hard to believe the 2022 champs’ odds could be this long. The Dubs still feature Curry and Thompson and added Paul, while also subtracting Jordan Poole, which could be the best offseason move of any team as long as Paul can jell with his longtime rivals.

I can’t rule out any team with Curry on it, even if the Dubs regressed in 2023. They should be in the mix again in 2023-24.

Los Angeles Lakers (+750)

The 2022-23 Lakers showcased just how long and winding the NBA season can be. Left for dead by many after a 25-31 start, LA took off only after it offloaded guard Russell Westbrook at the trade deadline.

Led by James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers won 18 of their final 26 and rode that wave all the way to the Western Conference Finals before being swept by the Nuggets.

With James and Davis, plus the offseason addition of useful big man Christian Wood, the Lakers look like a legitimate contender again this season.

Los Angeles Clippers (+1000)

Can the Clippers finally put it all together? Their window to win with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George may have passed, given the fact they went just 44-38 in a season where they loaded up to win the title.

Ironically, Westbrook was useful to the Clippers after failing to fit with the Lakers, and he’s back to likely fulfill their sixth-man role.

The playoffs are a given, but with the Western Conference loaded and the Clippers showing limited signs of even reaching the second round — they haven’t won a playoff series since 2021 — can they go on a deep run? I doubt it.

Best NBA Playoff Bets

Brooklyn Nets Make Playoffs (+145)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

The Nets went all-in trying to win the title yet won just one playoff series in two seasons. They’ve lost 10 straight playoff games dating back to the 2021 playoffs.

However, the Nets have a fun, young, and scrappy team led by fledgling star Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson, each of whom was acquired from Phoenix in the Durant trade.

Brooklyn still managed to make the playoffs — and even dodge the Play-In Tournament — after trading both Durant and Irving last season.

The Nets currently have the ninth-shortest odds of any team in the East, but if they get to the play-in, they’ll find a way as either the No. 7 or No. 8 seed, making this my NBA bet of the day.

Memphis Grizzlies Win Southwest Division (+160)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

The Mavericks are the favorite, and on paper, they’re the best team. However, the Grizzlies have won this division two straight seasons, and as long as Morant’s suspension doesn’t throw off their entire season, they are more talented than a year ago after bringing in both Williams and Derrick Rose.

Given Williamson’s injury history, the Pelicans can’t be trusted. The Rockets make a fascinating candidate to reach the playoffs with Ime Udoka‘s arrival — plus the offseason acquisitions of Fred VanVleet and Dillon Brooks — and the Spurs will be more competitive with Victor Wembanyama patrolling the front court.

Look for Memphis to be atop the division when all is said and done in 2023-24.

Author

Pat Pickens

Pat Pickens is a seasoned sportswriter who has covered pro sports since 2013 for various websites, including The New York Times, NHL.com, Bleacher Report, Sportsnet.ca, USA Today, the Associated Press and many others. His debut book, titled "The Whalers" about the history of the NHL's Hartford Whalers, was released in October 2021.

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