NBA Finals: The Denver Nuggets Officially Clinch Their First NBA Championship

Michael Savio Author Pic
By:
Michael Savio
06/14/2023
News
Basketball Players Guard

Highlights

  • The Nuggets be the Heat on Monday night to clinch their first NBA Championship
  • Nikola Jokic averaged 30 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 9.5 assists in the playoffs
  • Caesars has Denver listed at +450 to repeat their title next season

The Denver Nuggets beat the Heat 94-89 on Monday night to capture their first NBA Championship in team history. While they have continually been one of the West’s best regular season teams, they had established a history of bad playoff losses. That changed in 2023 as they looked like the class of the NBA throughout their run.

Their history of playoff failures was something that NBA betting sites took note of, which is why their odds were set at +1100 entering the playoffs. Those odds were stunning given that Denver was the top seed in the West, and it is likely going to cost US sportsbooks as the Nuggets were a popular bet.

Below we will discuss the Nuggets journey to the playoffs and preview how bookmakers view their chances to repeat next season now that their playoff woes are behind them.

How the Denver Nuggets Became NBA Champions

The Denver Nuggets didn’t just win a championship, they also had one of the most dominant runs in the NBA playoffs history. The needed just five games to beat the Timberwolves, six to beat the Suns, four to beat the Lakers, and five to beat the Heat. That means they went 16-4 during their postseason run, showing they were truly head and shoulders above the rest of the NBA. 

The biggest reason for their success is former MVP, Nikola Jokic. The big man averaged 30 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 9.5 assists during the postseason. Opposing teams did everything they could to stop Jokic, but no one was able to stop him. His play means defenses focused on defending him, allowing Denver’s other stars to see more open shots.

One of those stars is Jamal Murray, who averaged over 26.1 points and 7.1 assists during the playoffs. He is a great shooter who is finding more open shots thanks to the defensive focus on Jokic. Denver also had big offensive contributions from Michael Porter Jr and Aaron Gordon, making them near impossible to stop on offense. Add that to their fantastic play on defense, and it is easy to see why they hoisted the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy on Monday night.

Looking Ahead to the 2023-24 Season

Bookmakers wasted no time getting odds up for next season’s champions, and they have installed the Nuggets as the betting favorite. Caesars Sportsbook currently has the following teams as the top five favorites to win next season’s NBA Championship: 

  • Denver Nuggets +450 
  • Boston Celtics +550 
  • Milwaukee Bucks: +700 
  • Phoenix Suns: +900 
  • Los Angeles Lakers/Golden State Warriors: +1200

When looking at this list, you can see why bookmakers believe the Nuggets will repeat next season. The Bucks, Celtics, and Suns all will likely be making big moves in the offseason.  

This is especially true for the Suns as they need to rebuild their roster after the Durant trade cost them several key players.

The Laker’s and Warriors will likely see some roster turnover as well, but both are led by aging or injury-prone stars. Their reputation and location always give them a leg up in free agency, but it is hard to trust them in their current state given their play this season.

The most interesting take away from these odds is that the “super-teams” of Phoenix, LA, and Golden State all sit outside of the top three. The super-team era has given us plenty of champions, but these odds signal that bookmakers believe that may be over.

While there is a lot that can happen between now and the beginning of next season, it’s easy to see why bookmakers are betting on a Nuggets repeat.

Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid. As an adult, Michael started picking games for a small sports betting site and has built it into a career. His experience allows him to provide tips and information to help other bettors improve their game. Michael cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams, the Arizona State Sun Devils (his alma mater), and the Ottawa Senators. He specializes in baseball betting but has extensive experience in football, basketball, and hockey. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children or hiking and enjoying the outdoors.