The Denver Nuggets are favored over the Miami Heat in the NBA Championship odds

2022-23 NBA Championship Odds: Nuggets Make A Statement

It’s time to buckle down, NBA fans — the playoffs are at their peak. The championship picture is here, and what a ride it's been.

We carved through the Western Conference championship, where Denver won out. Then the Eastern showdown was full of madness, as the Heat upset the Celtics in seven games.

Through three games, the Nuggets are favored (-1000) over the Heat (+600) in the odds to win the NBA championship.

Who Is Favored To Win The 2022-23 NBA Championship?

Odds To Win NBA - Championship 2023
Denver Nuggets+750
Miami Heat+5500

Odds as of February 20th, 2023 04:31am EST.

Why Are The Nuggets Favored in the NBA Championship Odds?

Go off, Denver, these playoffs belong to you!

Denver’s regular-season resume was staunch. The Nuggets finished with the best record in the Western Conference and have looked like one of the deepest teams in the NBA. Alongside Nikola Jokic, the 2021-22 NBA MVP, Denver's depth scoring stepped up, with three other players averaging 15 or more points per game.

Now, the squad has slugged through three playoff rounds. Despite a history of choking, the Nuggets' throttled the Suns in six games to advance to the Western Conference Finals. Denver subsequently bullied the Lakers in a four-game Conference Final sweep, setting the Nuggets up with a momentum advantage vs the Heat in the NBA Finals. 

Game 1 followed that trend, as the Nugs trounced the Heat for a solid 104-93 victory. While Game 2 (a 111-108 Heat win) showed Denver was beatable, the Nuggets bounced back with a resounding Game 3 win on Miami's home turf.

Does Miami Stand a Chance?

Anything's possible! And throughout these playoffs, the Heat certainly have had the magic touch. Miami's run began with a resounding five-game series win over the chalked Bucks, then it was a win over the Knicks and finally a defeat over Boston (again, the chalk to win the East).

Jimmy Butler (27.3 PPG) has been the true "Destroyer of Worlds" this spring, and, on the back of his greatness, he's elevated his club from +12500 odds in Round 1 to three wins away from a title. The Nugs are objectively a better team, but who can deny the allure of this deadly Miami team? And with such heavy value, the comeback kings could be worth a stab. 

Game 2 was a perfect example of how Miami can win. Trailing for most of the game, the Heat raged back in the fourth and pulled off a tightrope victory. Repeating that team effort, however, might be tricky.

NBA Finals History

The NBA championship as we know it was inaugurated in 1947 when the Philadelphia Warriors bested the Chicago Stags, winning four games to one in a best-of-seven series. Not long after, the Lakers established a championship dynasty that lasted into the mid-1950s, only to be replaced by an even more ferocious Celtics dynasty. Boston and LA would clash for much of the 1980s and 1990s before giving way to Michael Jordan’s Bulls.

The team that wins the final series is awarded the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy named after former commissioner Larry O’Brien, who brokered the ABA-NBA merger. The championship trophy was named after O’Brien when he retired in 1984.

The Bill Russell Trophy was introduced in 1969 and is given to the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player.

Last 10 NBA Championship Winners

NBA Champions (2013-2022)
YearWinning TeamPreseason Odds To Win TitleOpponent In FinalsSeries
2022Golden State Warriors+900Boston Celtics4-2
2021Milwaukee Bucks+550Phoenix Suns4-2
2020Los Angeles Lakers+450Miami Heat4-2
2019Toronto Raptors+1850Golden State Warriors4-2
2018Golden State Warriors-187Cleveland Cavaliers4-0
2017Golden State Warriors-128Cleveland Cavaliers4-1
2016Cleveland Cavaliers+280Golden State Warriors4-3
2015Golden State Warriors+2800Cleveland Cavaliers4-2
2014San Antonio Spurs+1200Miami Heat4-1
2013Miami Heat+225San Antonio Spurs4-3

Without a doubt, the Warriors ran a dynasty during this era (and perhaps it’ll continue with a title defense in 2023). Golden State has won four of the last 10 championships and made it to the finals in six of 10. It’s also crazy to see the Dubs at minus money during the preseason. Sheer dominance.

NBA Teams With The Most Championships

Franchises with the most NBA Titles
TeamNBA TitlesNBA Finals AppearancesMost Recent NBA Title
Los Angeles Lakers17322020
Boston Celtics17222008
Golden State Warriors7122022
Chicago Bulls661998
San Antonio Spurs562014
Philadelphia 76ers391983
Detroit Pistons372004
Miami Heat362013
New York Knicks281973
Milwaukee Bucks232021

The Lakers and Celtics are tied for most titles, though Boston is far more efficient, winning 17 of 22 Finals appearances. The Bulls are the most efficient, sweeping six titles during the 1990s.

NBA Teams That Have Never Appeared In A Finals

Franchises That Have never made it to the finals
TeamNumber Of SeasonsFurthest Finish
Los Angeles Clippers49Western Conference Final (2021)
Denver Nuggets43Western Conference Final (1978, 1985, 2009, 2020)
Charlotte Hornets/Bobcats30Eastern Conference Semifinals (1993, 1998, 2001, 2002)
Minnesota Timberwolves29Western Conference Final (2004)
Vancouver/Memphis Grizzlies23Western Conference Final (2013)
New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans17Western Conference Semifinals (2008, 2018)

What a sad, sad list of teams. If you’re a fan of these squads, apologies in advance — your team (probably) isn’t breaking the curse this year.

NBA Championship Odds Trends

  • The last four NBA Finals have all been decided in six games.
  • In the last 20 years, the Western Conference is 12-8 in NBA Finals.
  • Since 1991, the UNDER is 100-79 in championship games.
  • The Warriors are 14-2-2 ATS in NBA Finals games since the start of 2014-15.
  • Since 2010, the top team in the regular season has won the championship four times.

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NBA Championship Odds FAQ

Who is the favorite to win the NBA championship?

Suddenly, the Nuggets are commanding favorites (-167) in the odds to win the NBA championship, followed by the Celtics (+275) and the Heat (+450).

Who won the NBA championship last season?

The reigning 2022 NBA champions are the Golden State Warriors, who knocked off the Boston Celtics in six games to win their fourth NBA championship in the last eight seasons.

Which NBA team has the most championships?

The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers are tied with 17 titles each. The Warriors are third with seven championships.

Which NBA teams have never made it to the Finals?

The Clippers, Nuggets, Bobcats/Hornets, Timberwolves, Grizzlies and Pelicans/Hornets have never appeared in an NBA Finals.

What’s the name of the NBA championship trophy?

The team that wins the final series is awarded the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy named after former commissioner Larry O’Brien, who brokered the ABA-NBA merger. The championship trophy was named after O’Brien when he retired in 1984.