Just Like That, Celtics Once Again NBA Title Favorites After Saving Season

Bettors might have missed a golden opportunity with Boston

If you wanted to bet on the Celtics to win the NBA title, you might have just missed your best opportunity to do so in quite some time.

Boston on Thursday night used an impressive late-game push to topple the 76ers in Philadelphia. The Game 6 win saved the Celtics’ season and forced a winner-take-all Game 7 in the second-round series set for Sunday in Boston.

The Celtics obviously have some momentum heading home against a Sixers team most thought they would have handled in five or six games. It’s possible that Philly taking Boston to the brink of elimination was a needed wake-up call that will get the Celtics back on track and back on the title path.

Oddsmakers sure believe that’s in the cards. After Thursday night’s series-extending win, the Celtics are now once again the favorites to win the NBA title at FanDuel Sportsbook.

NBA championship odds (as of May 12)
Celtics +165
Nuggets +230
Lakers +500
76ers +750
Warriors +950
Heat +1700
Knicks +6500

The value that was there as recently as Thursday afternoon is now gone. FanDuel on Thursday had the Celtics at +400 to win it all. Obviously, if you believed the Celtics were going to rally and save their season, that would have been a prudent wager. That’s especially true considering Boston survived a similar situation in the second round a year ago, storming back to beat the Milwaukee Bucks en route to the NBA Finals. Additionally, Doc Rivers has had his fair share of troubles over the years closing out series.

Bettors who deemed that a worthwhile risk would have been getting the best number on the Celtics in months. Boston had been less than a 4-1 favorite to win the title since November. Now, it’s unlikely the number even comes close to that the rest of the way. Assuming Boston gets by Philly in Game 7, it would have to fall behind in the conference finals or NBA Finals for the number to get close to that again.

So, congratulations to those willing to take the risk, who now hold a juicy ticket on the most talented, deepest team remaining in the playoffs.

Thumbnail photo via
Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports Images

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