NBA Betting: Are the Nuggets or Celtics the Safer Bet to Win Their Conference?

Michael Savio pic
By:
Michael Savio
02/05/2024
NBA

Highlights

  • The Celtics lead the league with a +9.0-point differential
  • Nikola Jokic is averaging 26.3 points, 12.3 rebounds, 9.1 assists, and 1.2 steals per game
  • Boston has the best home record in the league

We are almost to the NBA All-Star break, which means now is the time to get your future bets in. The Celtics are Nuggets are both favored to win their conference, but they face stiff competition. 

Below, we will break down both teams to see which the safer bet to win their conference. We’ll share the latest odds and insights to bet confidently at NBA betting sites.

Odds to Win the East

TEAM 

ODDS 

Boston Celtics 

+130 

Milwaukee Bucks 

+230 

New York Knicks 

+850 

Philadelphia 76ers 

+950 

Cleveland Cavaliers 

+1200 

Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook  

Boston Celtics Insights 

The Celtics currently lead the Eastern Conference, a few games ahead of the Bucks, Knick, Cavs, and Sixers. One reason for their success has been their play at home, where they own a 22-3 record. Another is their league-best +9.0 points differential. That shows their impressive balance between offense and defense, making them a very difficult team to beat.

While the other contenders in the East have some of the league’s to superstars, few can top the Celtics. They added Jrue Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis, who have both settled in well with their new team. They join the Boston duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, who are both averaging over 22 points per game this season.

As impressive as their stats and starting lineup is, the lack of depth is a concern for the postseason. Boston lacks reliable weapons off the bench aside from Al Horford, who will turn 38 during the NBA Finals. They have been able to overcome Porzingis missing some time with injury, but if Tatum or Brown go down it could torpedo this team.

One big advantage the Celtics have over the Nuggets is the other contenders in their conference. The Bucks are their biggest threat, but the team has not looked the same since adding Damian Lillard. Their bench and defense have been bad, and it has kept them well behind the Celtics in the standings.

The Bucks have the talent to be better than Boston, but we haven’t seen them capitalize on it quite yet. Until we do, we aren’t betting against the Celtics in the East.

Odds to Win the West

TEAM 

ODDS 

Denver Nuggets 

+180 

Los Angeles Clippers 

+300 

Phoenix Suns 

+700 

Minnesota Timberwolves 

+800 

Oklahoma City Thunder 

+900 

Odds courtesy of BetMGM Sportsbook 

 

Denver Nuggets Insights   

The West is a much closer race than the East, but the Nuggets remain a solid favorite to come out on top. They do not have the best stats in the league, but they bring championship experience to a field of younger teams. That, along with their impressive 20-4 home record, is why bookmakers still believe Denver will come out on top.

This Denver roster is deep, but no player is more important than three-time MVP Nikola Jokic. The center has been even better than he was last season, averaging 26.3 points, 12.3 rebounds, 9.1 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr have also looked sharp once again, giving Denver a solid trio of stars.

The biggest advantage the Nuggets have in the West is their experience. While sometimes that can be overvalued, that is not the case when you are competing against teams that have not contended much in the last decade. That includes a very young Thunder team, a curious T-Wolves squad, and a Clippers team filled with stars and question marks. None have the playoff experience of the Nuggets, and that will make a difference.

The Nuggets do play in a better conference. While the teams we listed above join them at the top, there are also two very dangerous teams in the Kings and Suns. The Kings broke out last season and brought back much of their roster. The Suns have Kevin Durant, Bradley Beal, and Devin Booker, meaning they can beat anyone.

We think Denver will come out on top in the West, but we think the level of competition makes the Celtics the safer bet to win their conference.

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.