The stage has been set for the Conference Finals Round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs. Only four teams are left standing, with two of them having an opportunity to reach the NBA Finals.
In the Western Conference Finals, the seventh-seeded Los Angeles Lakers will face the top-seeded Denver Nuggets for a rematch of the 2020 WCF showdown. The Lakers won in 2020, but the Nuggets are favored to prevail this time around.
As for the Eastern Conference Finals, the second-seeded Boston Celtics will meet up with the eighth-seeded Miami Heat. This is a rematch of last year’s ECF affair, and the Celtics are huge favorites (-588 at WynnBET) to reach the NBA Finals for the second year in a row.
WynnBET has multiple markets for both conference finals battles, and are worth checking out before it all begins Tuesday evening.
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NBA Conference Finals Betting Odds
Game 1 on Tuesday: Nuggets (-5.5) vs. Lakers
Game 1 on Wednesday: Celtics (-7.5) vs. Heat
NBA Conference Finals Schedule
Lakers vs. Nuggets
Game 1: Tuesday, May 16
Game 2: Thursday, May 18
Game 3: Saturday, May 20
Game 4: Monday, May 22
Game 5: Wednesday, May 24
Game 6: Friday, May 26
Game 7: Sunday, May 28
Heat vs. Celtics
Game 1: Wednesday, May 17
Game 2: Friday, May 19
Game 3: Sunday, May 21
Game 4: Tuesday, May 23
Game 5: Thursday, May 25
Game 6: Saturday, May 27
Game 7: Monday, May 29
NBA Conference Finals Picks
Heat +1.5 series spread (+150) — The Celtics have messed around too much this postseason, a trait I don’t expect to change against a tough Heat squad. Miami is dealing with a number of injuries, but Jimmy Butler is capable of pushing this series to Game 6 at least.
Nuggets to win Game 1 and to win the series (+100) — The Lakers have won Game 1 in each of the last two series, stealing home court early and winning outright as underdogs. The Nuggets know that, and should remain undefeated at home in the playoffs. I am taking the +100 price on them to win Game 1 and the series.
NBA Conference Finals Predictions
Celtics over Heat — Boston is -588 to win this series for a reason, as this team has been the betting favorite to win it all for much of the year. The Heat have been a pleasant surprise, but they simply are too hurt to win a third consecutive series.
Prediction: Celtics in 6.
Nuggets over Lakers — We overlooked the Nuggets for much of the year, and now they are rightful favorites to reach the NBA Finals. No No. 7 seed has ever made it to the NBA Finals, and I don’t expect that to change.
Prediction: Denver in 7.