Why the Nuggets still look on course for back-to-back NBA titles

The Denver Nuggets are the current holders of the NBA Championship, having won the title for the first time in their history by beating the Miami Heat 4-1 in the 2023 NBA Finals. As a result, Denver was the off-season favorite at +400 to retain the title in 2024. They were replaced as favorites by both the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA futures market before the start of the season. So with the 2023/24 campaign now well underway, we thought it was about time we checked in on the Nuggets to see how they are progressing in their quest to win the title again in 2024.

  • The Denver Nuggets won the NBA Championship for the first time in their (then) 47-NBA season history in 2023
  • Led by Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets only lost four matches in the 2023 postseason playoffs on their way to lifting the trophy
  • As a result, Denver was immediately installed as the betting favorite to again win the title in 2024

At this stage of the season, there is a slight pause in play for the NBA In-Season Tournament quarter-finals, and this gives us an ideal opportunity to take a closer look at how the Denver Nuggets are getting along.

Okay, would be the short answer. Michael Malone’s team has so far played 21 matches, winning 14 and losing seven. This leaves them in third position in the Western Conference, just two wins behind leaders, the Minnesota Timberwolves, and level with the Oklahoma City Thunder, who sit second (both having played two fewer games).

The Nuggets’ win percentage stands at .667, which, as well as being inferior to the Timberwolves (.789) and the Thunder (.684) in the Western, is also inferior to the Celtics (.750), Magic (.700), and Bucks (.700) in the Eastern Conference.

Betting to win the 2024 Western Conference

On the latest NBA betting lines to win the Western Conference, the Nuggets are +200 to win again in 2024. Their closest betting rivals are the Phoenix Suns, out at +350.

Betting to win the 2024 NBA Championship

And it’s a similar story in the betting to win the NBA Championship. Okay, the Nuggets aren’t the favorites here. But they are second in the betting behind the Celtics (+375). As second favorites, the best NBA Basketball betting sites still expect the Nuggets (+425) to – at the very least – make the finals.

And at odds of +425, they aren’t too far behind the Celtics and could easily replace them at the top of the betting if they go on any sort of winning streak.

Betting to win 2024 NBA ChampionshipBetOnline ReviewBetUS ReviewBovada
Boston Celtics+375+375+375
Dener Nuggets+425+425+425
Milwaukee Bucks+450+450+450
Phoenix Suns+700+700+700
Philadelphia 76ers+1200+1200+1200
Golden State Warriors+1400+1400+1400
Los Angeles Lakers+1600+1600+1600
Los Angeles Clippers+2200+2200+2200
Minnesota Timberwolves+2200+2200+2200
Dallas Mavericks+2500+2500+2500
Cleveland Cavaliers+2800+2800+2800
Miami Heat+3300+3300+3300

Troubles on the road

Moving on from the percentages and the latest odds, you don’t need to be a nuclear scientist to work out where the areas of concern are for Michael Malone as the current season takes shape.

At their Ball Arena home stadium, the Nuggets have a 9-0 record this season. On the road, they are 5-7.

Going in their favor is the slight imbalance between home and away matches. Denver has played three matches more on the road than at home. Both the Timberwolves and the Thunder have played ten at home and nine on the road. When the home/away ratio evens out, it will be interesting to see how the table looks.

That said, Denver needs to improve on the road if they are to repeat last season’s success. Although, when you look at the statistics closer, the Nuggets are .416 on the road this year and were .464 in the 2022/23 season (19-22). This shows us the gap that needs to be closed isn’t huge and could be rectified by a couple of wins.

But the big difference last year was in the playoffs. The Nuggets played 20 games in the postseason, winning 16 of them. Included in those 16 wins were six on the road. Three of the four games the Nuggets lost were on the road, meaning in the playoffs, they had a road record of 6-3, which was a win percentage of .666.

And that’s the real reason why they won the NBA Championship. When the pressure was on, and matches became must-win, the Nuggets stepped up to the plate and delivered the goods. In short, they won when it mattered.

All of this tells us that if you have backed the Nuggets to win the Championship this season, don’t be too disheartened by their start. Because as things stand, this isn’t too dissimilar to where they were this time last year.

The Joker is Key

It’s still too far out to say that the Nuggets will hit form in the postseason and be the best bet to win in 2024. But one thing we can say is that if Nikola Jokic can replicate his form from the end of last season, the Nuggets will take some stopping.

Jokic started the season as the +400 favorite to be the 2023/24 regular-season MVP and already has been cut to +140 with BetOnline.

He is not worth backing now at that price. But if you feel he is going to have a big say in the NBA Finals next year, then the Nuggets may be worth backing now at +425. Because if the Joker carries on like this, they will take some stopping at the business end of the season.

Denver NuggetsTo win 2024 NBA Championship
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Dean Etheridge

Hailing from Coventry, England, Dean brings his British wit to every piece he pens. A true lover of a good wager, Dean's passion for both sports and writing has merged into the world of sports betting. Dean is the mastermind behind his very own soccer and cricket betting platforms. As the owner and editor of a renowned football betting website, Dean has established himself as a force within the industry. His expertise as a freelance content writer is centered in the realms of football, cricket and Formula 1. From breaking down odds to unraveling strategies, Dean's writing radiates an unmatched love for sports. When he’s not immersed in sports betting, Dean enjoyes exploring new culinary delights, conquering the latest car racing video games, or getting lost in the pages of a novel.