Potential NBA Championship Matchups Before Starting the 2023 Playoffs

Potential NBA Championship Matchups Before Starting the 2023 Playoffs

The NBA regular season is winding down, with the playoff picture coming into clearer focus on a daily basis. With that playoff picture getting more clear with each game, championship favorites have emerged from each conference.

Here, we look at who the NBA betting lines in each conference are and what the most likely NBA Finals matchups will be as the season gets set to shift toward the playoffs.


Potential NBA Championship Matchups Before Starting the Playoffs


Eastern Conference Championship Odds

In the Eastern Conference, there are three teams that have broken away from the pack in terms of their NBA Finals odds. The Milwaukee Bucks are the favorites to win the East, as they have the best record in the conference entering the stretch run. Joining them are the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers, both of whom are more than capable of beating the East’s top seed in a best-of-seven series.

Milwaukee and Boston have the upper hand going into the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, by virtue of having won the East in recent seasons. Philadelphia has a ton of talent, including MVP favorite Joel Embiid, but they have yet to advance to the conference final round with their current nucleus. That could be a huge factor as these three teams look to hold off the rest of the competition.

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Western Conference Championship Odds

In the Western Conference, things are much wider open, as there are five teams that are inside of +1000 odds to advance to the NBA Finals. The current favorite to do so is the Phoenix Suns, who earned that distinction by bringing in Kevin Durant to join Devin Booker, Chris Paul, and Deandre Ayton in their starting lineup. But there are several viable contenders there, with the Suns vying for a conference title.

The Denver Nuggets lead that group of other contenders, as they have had the best record in the Western Conference for much of this season. Joining them are the Memphis Grizzlies, Golden State Warriors, and Los Angeles Clippers. If any of these teams can peak at the right time, they could upset the Suns and make it to the NBA Finals to face the champion of the Eastern Conference.

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Most Likely NBA Finals Matchups

Based on the current conference championship odds in the NBA, the most likely NBA Finals matchup appears to be a rematch between the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns from the 2021 Finals. But without there being a clear favorite in either conference, we could easily see some other matchups instead. A Finals matchup between the Celtics and Warriors for the second straight year is more than possible, as are matchups between Finals newcomers like the 76ers and Nuggets or Clippers.

What will ultimately determine how things go in the playoffs this year is the health of every team competing. Injuries to key players on any of these teams could derail their title hopes, while elevating the chances of the competitors around them. Keeping an eye on the injury reports for each team throughout the playoff push will be vital for basketball bettors down the stretch.

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2022-2023 Season League Standings

2023 Eastern Conference Standings
01c – Milwaukee Bucks552232-16
02x – Boston Celtics532431-17
03x – Philadelphia 76ers502630-16
04x – Cleveland Cavaliers482931-16
05New York Knicks443329-19
06Brooklyn Nets413527-21
07Miami Heat403721-27
08Atlanta Hawks383824-23
09Toronto Raptors383823-23
10Chicago Bulls364025-23
11Washington Wizards344220-27
12Indiana Pacers334423-25
13Orlando Magic324418-28
14o – Charlotte Hornets265114-34
15o – Detroit Pistons16607-40
2023 Western Conference Standings
01nw – Denver Nuggets512532-14
02sw –Memphis Grizzlies482828-20
03x – Sacramento Kings463030-16
04Phoenix Suns413526-20
05Los Angeles Clippers413624-23
06Golden State Warriors403726-21
07New Orleans Pelicans393827-21
08Minnesota Timberwolves393827-21
09Los Angeles Lakers383822-24
10Oklahoma City Thunder383923-25
11Dallas Mavericks374027-23
12Utah Jazz364023-25
13Portland Trail Blazers324422-24
14o – San Antonio Spurs19577-39
15o – Houston Rockets185911-39

x – Clinched Playoffs Berth | e – Clinched Eastern Conference | a – Clinched Atlantic Division | c – Clinched Central Division
se – Clinched Southeast Division | w – Clinched Western Conference | sw – Clinched Southwest Division
nw – Clinched Northwest Division | p – Clinched Pacific Division | o – Eliminated From Playoffs contention


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