The National Basketball Association’s playoff games have been an ever-changing sporting event, with the first official final taking place in 1947, concluding the 1946-47 season. The first round has previously been shorter than present day, functioning as a best of three series. When the playoffs expanded to include a fourth round of games, the first round transitioned to a best of five style competition.

The NBA is divided into the Eastern and Western conferences, each of which send their best four teams to the play-in tournament. The second round is also often called the conference semifinals. Following this round, the two winning teams from each conference proceed to the next round, which is the final chance to play in the NBA finals. This round is called the conference finals, as one team from each conference will move on to represent their regions. There is much contention regarding whether or not the play-in tournament counts as a playoff round, meaning the number of rounds is not entirely clear.

As both the 2023-24 regular season and play-in tournaments have concluded, the more intense rounds of the playoffs have recently begun. As a result of this advancement, many have started to make predictions regarding this season’s possible victors. 

Many often place bets regarding these playoff games, competing in brackets and wishing for good luck. The two teams most favored to win are the Boston Celtics and the Denver Nuggets. According to betting odds website Odds Shark, no other team has odds of winning higher than 14-1.

As of April 28, the Boston Celtics are the current favorite to win, even after a loss to the Miami Heat. They compensated for this loss by beating the Heat on their home court with a margin of 20 points in the third game. They are still expected to cruise through the rest of the Eastern Conference bracket and easily secure a place in the final championship game.

The Nuggets are trailing close behind as of April 28, with a strong shot at the championships. However, they recently lost their 11-game winning streak against the Los Angeles Lakers. They had not lost to the Lakers in a regular or postseason game since December of 2022. The final score of this loss for the Nuggets was 119-108. 

While many teams are lingering in the middle of the pack, the New Orleans Pelicans are currently ranked the lowest in the bracket, with odds of +100,000, while the Celtics have odds of +115. Boston is excited to cheer on their team, and the odds are looking good as the Celtics hope to advance in the competition.