Updated 2023 NBA Title Odds: How the Bucks’ Epic Game 4 Collapse Shifted Their Championship Chances
Megan Briggs/Getty Images. Pictured: Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat dunks over Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Timing is everything in the NBA Playoffs and the Milwaukee Bucks have been on the unfortunate end of bad timing lately.
Giannis Antetokounmpo got hurt in the first quarter of Game 1 of their first round series against the Miami Heat and missed two games with a back injury. With the Bucks trailing in the series entering Game 4, Antetokounmpo returned and was leading the Bucks to a win on the road in a pivotal matchup … until Jimmy Butler took over.
The Bucks led by 14 to start the fourth quarter and were up 12 after a Brook Lopez dunk at the 6:09 mark. Then things got weird. The Bucks had as many made field goals as they did turnovers over for the rest of the quarter and Butler outscored the Bucks by himself (19 points to 13 points) en route to a career-high 56 point game. Great timing for Butler, horrible timing for the Bucks.
The epic collapse had a massive impact on NBA title odds. The Bucks, who were the favorites to win the championship entering Game 4, went from +270 at FanDuel to +550 (as off this writing they are +600) and now the Boston Celtics have surpassed them as the favorites at +195.
2023 NBA Title Odds
Here’s a look at the NBA title odds as of April 25 via FanDuel.
At this point, the Bucks aren’t completely out of it. They are double-digit favorites (Spread: Bucks -11) at home in Game 5 against the Heat and are +128 (42.1% implied odds) to win the series.
However, their best player missed two games with a back injury and played 38 minutes despite the loss Monday. The Heat, a famously scrappy team (#HeatCulture), also bounced the Bucks from the NBA Playoffs in the past and were one missed 3-pointer away from a second NBA Finals appearance last season.
A win in Game 5 for the Bucks will likely shift Milwaukee’s odds again, but as of now, with their season on the brink, they are sitting behind the Celtics and Phoenix Suns.
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