Updated NBA title odds for Celtics, top contenders after 2020 schedule release


The remaining regular season -- or "seeding games -- schedule for the 2019-20 NBA season finally was announced Friday night, so it's time to look at the latest championship odds.

The season will resume at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida next month. Every team will be playing in one central location, so being a higher seed and earning home court will no longer be a huge advantage. Seeding will still be very important, though, because the best way to carve out the easiest path to the NBA Finals is finishing as high as possible in the standings and earning a favorable first-round matchup.

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This is especially important in the Western Conference, where the No. 3 seed and No. 7 seed are separated by only four games. A couple bad performances right off the bat could drop teams down a few spots in the standings and make it very tough to regain a favorable seed.

Oddsmakers currently see three teams with a realistic chance to win the Larry O'Brien Trophy as NBA champions -- the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks.

Here are the latest title odds, courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook:

L.A. Lakers: +240
Milwaukee Bucks: +250
L.A. Clippers: +333
Houston Rockets: +1200
Boston Celtics: +2000
Toronto Raptors: +2200
Denver Nuggets: +2500
Philadelphia 76ers: +2800
Miami Heat: +3000
Utah Jazz: +3300
Dallas Mavericks: +4000
All other teams have +10000 odds or worse


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The Celtics aren't a bad value bet at +2000. They are one team that could give the Milwaukee Bucks a serious challenge for the Eastern Conference title.

The C's are the only team in the league with three players (Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown) averaging at least 20 points per game, and Gordon Hayward isn't far behind at 17.3 points per game himself. This kind of scoring depth gives the Celtics a great advantage because when one or two of these four stars is having a bad night, the other two are likely to pick up the slack. Playing away from TD Garden also shouldn't be too much an issue for the C's, who currently own the third-best road record in the conference. We also can't forget about Brad Stevens -- one of the smartest and best-prepared head coaches in the league.

The Clippers are probably the best bet to win the NBA Finals. They have the most depth, a great head coach in Doc Rivers, arguably the best player in the league in Kawhi Leonard, and a fantastic No. 2 star in Paul George. The Clippers also bring a three-time Sixth Man of the Year Award winner off the bench in Lou Williams, and he's able to drop 25 to 30 points any night.

The NBA usually only has a few teams that have a serious chance to win the title. That might not be the case this season because the whole league playing in one location with no fans is a scenario we've never seen before. It wouldn't be surprising if a couple of the second-tier teams make a deep run in the playoffs, and that would be an exciting event for sports bettors.