2023-24 NBA Season Predictions - NBA Playoff Predictions & Finals Basketball Picks

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The 2023-24 NBA season is upon us as it tips off on Tuesday, October 24. The 30 teams across the league will begin striving toward a postseason berth and NBA championship.

The Denver Nuggets look to defend their title after defeating the Miami Heat from the 2022-23 season, and we wait in anticipation as we get clarity on where James Harden and Damian Lillard ultimately land.

At the time of this NBA season preview, we’re about a month out, so there’s still plenty of time for these stars to get dealt. We’ll also get a first-hand look at San Antonio Spurs rookie Victor Wembanyama.

All that being said, it’s time to dive into a USA basketball predictions for the 2023-24 season, including expert picks for the playoffs, contenders, betting tips, types of bets to make, and more at Stake Sportsbook .

2023-24 NBA Season Schedule & Overview

As mentioned, the NBA season tips off on October 24 for the 78th regular basketball season . The regular season concludes on April 14, 2024. From here, we have the Play-In Tournament (April 16-19) and the start of the playoffs on April 20.

Game 1 of the NBA Finals will take place on June 6. On opening night, key matchups like the Los Angeles Lakers traveling to take on the Denver Nuggets and the Golden State Warriors hosting the Phoenix Suns.

2023-24 NBA Predictions: Key Dates, Favourite Teams, Star Players & More

Playoff Picks & Predictions

After the Play-In Tournament, 16 teams make the NBA Playoffs - eight from the West and eight from the East.

Below are our betting picks and seedings for each conference as we project future team performance.

Seed Eastern Conference Western Conference
1 Boston Celtics Denver Nuggets
2 Milwaukee Bucks Phoenix Suns
3 Miami Heat Golden State Warriors
4 Cleveland Cavaliers Los Angeles Clippers
5 New York Knicks Los Angeles Lakers
6 Philadelphia 76ers Sacramento Kings
7 Brooklyn Nets Memphis Grizzlies
8 Atlanta Hawks Dallas Mavericks

The Eastern Conference is more straightforward for the teams that should make it. The Heat did it last year and will be there again, while the Cavaliers look to get over the hump and perform in the playoffs instead of just the regular season.

As for the Western Conference, the Nuggets will be at the top of the food chain again. However, even teams like Memphis, who we project as the No. 7 seed, could make some noise after the Ja Morant suspension is finished. Other teams that are in contention include the Minnesota Timberwolves and Oklahoma City Thunder.

Top Contenders for Finals

Last year, we saw the Heat make the finals despite having the lowest-scoring offense per game in the league. It’ll undoubtedly be one of the top three seeds of the Eastern Conference teams again. The Heat are in on the Lillard sweepstakes, and the Bucks and Celtics are consistently among the best teams record-wise. The Bucks have some playoff demons to overcome, but things should hopefully improve with a new head coach.

The Western Conference has a wild card in the Los Angeles Clippers. They seem like the landing spot for James Harden, and if he, Kawhi Leonard, and Paul George are healthy, that’s a lethal “Big 3”.

Here are our realistic top contenders for each conference:

  • East: Celtics, Bucks, Heat

  • West: Nuggets, Suns, Clippers, Grizzlies

NBA Betting Tips, Odds & Previews

We’ll provide previews and betting tips/insights and thus, betting strategy, for our suggested teams based on our betting predictions above.

Consider each of our basketball picks below carefully while considering the odds and learn more with our basketball betting guide , or our guide to online sports betting !

Eastern Conference Odds & Preview

  • Boston Celtics (+700): With Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum on the roster, the Celtics were a top team in the Eastern Conference. Now, they’ve added Kristaps Porzingis for more scoring power.

  • Milwaukee Bucks (+1000): With Adrian Griffin as head coach, this could be a culture change to help push the Bucks over the top with talented players like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton.

  • Miami Heat (+1400): Making it to the NBA Finals last year, the Heat’s offense ranked dead last in points per game. If they pull off a trade for Lillard, this will undoubtedly create a lot of noise.

  • Cleveland Cavaliers (+1300): The Cavaliers are young and talented, which helps propel them in the regular season, but the lack of experience has held them back. We’ll see if their playoff experience last year helps take them to a new level.

  • New York Knicks (+2200): Jalen Brunson is an essential asset for this team as they continue to take on the Eastern Conference with Julius Randle and RJ Barrett.

  • Philadelphia 76ers (+1400): The inevitable departure of James Harden will set them back, but with Joel Embiid on the roster, the 76ers are always a threat to make the postseason.

  • Brooklyn Nets (+3500): The star power from a few years ago is no longer here, but a core of Cameron Johnson, Mikal Bridges, and Spencer Dinwiddie is a bit underrated. They’ll unlikely make it far in the postseason, but they’ll be competitive.

  • Atlanta Hawks (+2000): Good things happen whenever you have Trae Young. He’ll have a nice supporting cast with Dejounte Murray. This is Quin Snyder’s first full season as head coach. The team is hoping for Onyeka Okongwu to take a step forward as one of the key players.

Western Conference Odds & Preview

  • Denver Nuggets (+900): Jokic, Jokic, Jokic. They’re going to be in the thick of things no matter what.

  • Phoenix Suns (+1100): A full year of Kevin Durant will be helpful, and the addition of Bradley Beal after the Chris Paul trade will add a unique dynamic. Of course, Devin Booker is in the fold, too. We’ll see how this offense operates without a general at-point guard like Paul.

  • Golden State Warriors (+1200): Paul got out of that deal following the Beal trade and is headed to Golden State. Of course, a group of him, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Steph Curry, will be dangerous. They’re also bringing in Dwight Howard.

  • Los Angeles Clippers (+2500): This feels like the landing spot for Harden, and if so, he, Leonard, and George will be difficult for any opponent.

  • Los Angeles Lakers (+1300): LeBron James and Anthony Davis will create issues so long as health keeps up. D’Angelo Russell is an adequate point guard, and Austin Reaves will help, too.

  • Sacramento Kings (+1400): This is a high-flying offense, but the defense is abysmal. If the defense can creep back toward average and the offense remains atop the points per-game margin, they’ll be dangerous.

  • Memphis Grizzlies (+3000): Morant returning from suspension will be helpful, and Marcus Smart is there now. They’ll be an aggressive lower-seeded team.

  • Dallas Mavericks (+2200): Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving have another season together to gel and finally make the postseason.

Types of Bets & How to Bet

With so many different types of betting markets, learning about the different types of bets and how to place wagers is vital to having NBA betting success. Below, we provide descriptions of popular types of bet and a step-by-step on how to bet online.

  • Moneyline Bets : Betting on the team that wins the game outright .

  • Point Spread: The point spread is a number of points that demonstrate the gap in power between the the underdog and favorite teams. These are notated with “-” and “+”. The “-” is the favorite while the “+” is the underdog. If a team is -2.5, they must win the game by three points or more. If they’re +2.5, they must win the game outright or lose by two points or less. As you wager, you’ll discover betting trends such as record against the spread.

  • Totals: Also known as over/under betting , you’ll wager on the combined number of points scored in a game.

  • Props: The most common type of prop bet are player props . These include wagering on points, rebounds, or assists per game, for example.

  • Parlays & Same Game Multis: With a parlay, you’ll wager on multiple NBA basketball games on one ticket. These bets combine the odds of each contest and add extra as, with parlays, all contests on the betslip need to win for it to succeed. You can place same game multi-bets by using our 'Bet Builder' function. This allows you to place multiple selections on the single betting slip. This is an easy way to boost your odds on a specific fixture! Learn more with our same game multi betting guide .

  • Futures: Wagering on events that resolve in the future like NBA Finals winner, MVP, and more

  • Live Sports Betting: Wagering on NBA games as they’re actively in progress. Most bet types, including moneyline, point spread, totals, and more, will still be available.

Now that you know the bet types, here’s how to make wagers.

  1. Create an account and log into your account.

  2. Deposit funds into your account.

  3. Add wagers to your betslip.

  4. Input the amount to wager.

  5. Wait for the results.

Live Stream NBA Online

Live streaming NBA games can be a great way to watch more games that you’re wagering on that aren’t in your area.

Lucky for you, Stake.com offers free live streams of all major sporting events, including NBA games! Simply log in to your Stake account, visit our live sports section , and find the live basketball match you'd like to watch.

With live betting, you’ll have more sports insights into historical trends as many live betting interfaces will have stats available for each team.

Bet on Basketball with Best Odds on Stake Sportsbook

Stake.com is one of the best online sports betting sites for sports bettors to visit for the top betting lines and odds for NBA action. You’ll have multiple ways to bet on the sport, including the ways mentioned above, while receiving bonuses and promotions that enhance your betting experience.