The 2019-20 Boston Celtics have given the sportsbooks a 19-game sample size -- and apparently Vegas likes what it sees.

The Celtics were listed at 18/1 to win the 2020 NBA Finals in SuperBook USA's latest odds update released Monday. That ties them with the Denver Nuggets for the sixth-best odds in the league and the third-best in the Eastern Conference, behind only the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers.

That's a significant jump from a month ago, when Boston was pegged at 40/1 to win the Finals on Nov. 4. But the C's continue to prove their hot start was no fluke: They're tied for third place in the East at 14-5 and still haven't lost at home this season despite losing Gordon Hayward to a hand injury on Nov. 9.

Kemba Walker has come as advertised and leads the Celtics in scoring (21.6 points per game) and assists (5.0 per game), while Enes Kanter has been a solid contributor down low.

But the biggest reason for Boston's strong start has been the play of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, who are averaging a combined 40.4 points and 14.2 rebounds and have made significant improvements to their games.

The Celtics face stiff competition in the East in Milwaukee and Philly and will have a good "measuring stick" game Wednesday night against the 14-5 Miami Heat. They also don't have the talent of Western Conference giants like the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers.

But early returns suggest Brad Stevens' club will be very competitive next spring, especially if Hayward comes back at full strength.


Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Heat, which tips off Wednesday at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Tommy & Mike have the call at 7:30 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.