Nuggets Turned Long Preseason Odds into Team’s First NBA Title

Nuggets Turned Long Preseason Odds into Team’s First NBA Title
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

Denver vanquished 47 years of postseason futility Monday night, beating Miami in Game 5 of the NBA Finals to capture the Nuggets’ first title.

The 53-29 Nuggets made light work of the four teams they squared off against this postseason — shellacking Minnesota (in five games), Phoenix (in six games), the L.A. Lakers (in the club’s first ever postseason sweep) and the Heat in the championship series.

The net result is a run few will forget, as Denver posted a 16-4 record against some of the best competition in the NBA. wanted to compare how the Nuggets — who began the year with +1800 on Colorado sportsbooks with odds of hoisting their first Larry O’Brien Trophy — stack up against other NBA title teams.

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Preseason Title Odds for Recent NBA Champs

Year Champion Preseason Odds League Rank
2022Golden State+900T3
2020L.A. Lakers+4502
2018Golden State-1871
2017Golden State-1281
2015Golden State+28008
2014San Antonio+12005
2010L.A. Lakers+2251
2009L.A. Lakers+3501
2007San Antonio+4502
2005San Antonio+4001
2003San Antonio+1100T4

Nuggets A Longshot By Recent NBA Standards

The Nuggets had the fourth-longest Colorado sports betting apps NBA title odds of any champion this century, behind the 2015 Golden State Warriors (+2800), 2011 Dallas Mavericks (+2000) and 2019 Toronto Raptors (+1850).

Denver also managed to knock off three of the four teams that ranked alongside or ahead of it in the preseason in the Suns (+1000), Heat (+1600) and Lakers (+1800).

Since the turn of the 21st century, 10 NBA championship teams began their runs as the preseason title odds favorite. The 2015 Warriors were the lowest ranked team, odds-wise, given the eighth highest title odds that year.

Oddsmakers didn’t take long to adjust for the Nuggets’ newfound status as an NBA elite team, with BetMGM Sportsbook Colorado listing Denver as the No. 1 title favorite for 2024 at +500.

If the Nuggets can repeat in 2024, they’d become the first NBA team to do so since the Warriors won it all in 2017 and 2018.

For now, Nuggets fans can take solace in knowing their team defied the odds to win the club’s first title.



Christopher Boan has been covering sports and sports betting for more than seven years, including stops at, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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