Four teams remain in the hunt for the 2022 NBA championship, and the Golden State Warriors have emerged as the betting favorite at +135 odds, followed by the Boston Celtics (+190), Miami Heat (+475), and Dallas Mavericks (+550).
The #2 Warriors edged out the Memphis Grizzlies to lock up a berth in Western Conference finals. The #4 Dallas Mavs stunned the #1 Phoenix Suns in the conference semifinals to advance to the WCF, where the Warriors eagerly await them.
|2022 NBA Championship Odds Update
|Golden State Warriors||+135||+850||+1100|
The Miami Heat earned the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference after knocking out the #4 Philadelphia 76ers to secure a second trip to the Eastern Conference finals in the last three seasons. The #2 Boston Celtics advanced to the ECF to meet the Heat, but they needed seven games to dethrone Giannis “Greek Freak” Antetokounmpo and the defending champion #3 Milwaukee Bucks.
The Warriors knocked out Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets in five games in the opening round. Even though Jokic won back-to-back MVP awards, he didn’t have much of a supporting cast to give the Warriors any trouble.
In the second round, the pesky Memphis Grizzlies were a tough opponent for the Warriors. The hyper-physical series included a Draymond Green ejection in Game 1, and the Warriors losing Gary Payton II to a fractured left elbow in Game 2. Grizzlies’ forward Dillon Brooks committed a flagrant foul and Payton crashed to the court, where he suffered ligament damage and a fracture. Payton is out for a couple of more weeks and could return to action if the Warriors advance to the NBA Finals.
The Warriors took advantage of a knee injury to Ja Morant — which the Grizzlies insist was caused by Jordan Poole — but they needed six games to knock out the up-and-coming Griz. “Game 6 Klay” Thompson returned to his old glory in the close-out game and the Warriors advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2019.
The Splash Brothers will now face Luka Doncic for a shot at returning to the NBA Finals. Steph Curry and the Warriors are +135 odds to run the table and win eight more games to claim their first championship since 2018.
The Boston Celtics are the second favorite on DraftKings’ NBA futures board at +190 odds to win the championship. The Celtics were the best team in the second half of the regular season thanks to their smothering, switch-heavy defense. They also have a stone-cold killer in Jayson Tatum, who can go nuclear whenever they need someone to unleash a 40-plus point game.
The Celtics swept the Brooklyn Nets in the first round, which is when a lot of fans finally took notice of Boston. We believed that whoever won the second-round series between the Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks would end up representing the East in the NBA Finals. We still believe that after the Celtics picked off the Bucks in seven games.
The Celtics were able to bounce back from a crushing loss in Game 5, then go on the road to win an elimination game after falling behind 3-2 in the series. They locked up a trip to the WCF with an impressive victory in Game 7, ending the Bucks’ mission to win consecutive NBA championships.
Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat didn’t break a sweat in the first round against the Atlanta Hawks, but Kyle Lowry suffered a hamstring injury that lingered in the second round.
In the Eastern Conference semifinals, the Heat jumped out to a 2-0 lead against the Philadelphia 76ers, who didn’t have Joel Embiid in the lineup due to a concussion and a busted face. Embiid returned in Game 3 to help the 76ers tie the series with two huge wins, but the Heat won the next two games to knock the Sixers out.
Tyler Herro struggled from 3-point range and the NBA Sixth Man of the Year didn’t look like his usual bubbly self in the second round. The Heat need Herro to snap out of his shooting funk, and need a healthy Lowry, if they expect to return to the NBA Finals for a second time since the NBA Bubble in 2020. The Heat offer the best value on the board at +475 odds to win the 2022 NBA championship, but they have to pick off the surging Celtics.
Luka Doncic suffered a calf injury in the final game of the regular season and a lot of people wrote the Mavs off right then and there. Despite missing Doncic for the first two games of the first round against the Utah Jazz, the Mavs won that series in six. Doncic returned in Game 3 and helped the Mavs knock out a disjointed Jazz squad.
In the second round, the Mavs looked like they were dead in the water after falling behind 0-2 against the Phoenix Suns. The Suns pick-and-rolled the Mavs to death, and took advantage of Doncic’s poor defense to jump out to a 2-0 series lead. However, the Suns imploded throughout the rest of the series, only winning once in the next five games. Sure, the Mavs knocked out the Suns, but the Suns’ elimination was self-inflicted, especially when they were embarrassed with a disgusting blowout in Game 7.
The Mavs are just four wins away from the NBA Finals, but face a tough opponent with the Golden State Warriors, which is why they’re the long shot on the futures board at +550 odds to win the championship.
Check out OG’s extensive coverage of the 2022 NBA playoffs.