NBA Championship Favorites Entering the Playoffs

Below is a table of the favorite(s) to win the NBA Championship heading into the playoffs and how they have performed. Also listed are the pre-playoffs odds of the eventual champion.

Summary: since 1976 the favorite to win the NBA Championship heading into the playoffs has won the title 24 times; lost in the Finals 9 times; lost in the Conference Finals 6 times; lost in the Conference Semifinals 5 times and lost in round 1 twice. Note that if there were multiple favorites in a single season then we counted the team that went further in the playoffs.

Round abbreviations: R1 = Round 1, CS = Conference Semifinals, CF = Conference Finals

Year NBA Champion
Favorite
Team(s)
NBA Champion
Favorite
Seed(s)
NBA Champion
Favorite
Odds
NBA Champion
Favorite
Result(s)
NBA
Champion
NBA Champion
Seed
NBA Champion
Odds
NBA Champion
Odds Rank
2022 Phoenix 1 +260 Lost CS TBD
2021 Brooklyn 2 +200 Lost CS Milwaukee 3 +850 6th
2020 LA Clippers 2 +238 Lost CS LA Lakers 1 +280 2nd
2019 Golden State 1 -178 Lost Finals Toronto 2 +975 4th
2018 Golden State 2 +137 Won Finals Golden State 2 +137 1st
2017 Golden State 1 -173 Won Finals Golden State 1 -173 1st
2016 Golden State 1 -135 Lost Finals Cleveland 1 +475 3rd
2015 Golden State 1 +175 Won Finals Golden State 1 +175 1st
2014 Miami 2 +200 Lost Finals San Antonio 1 +330 2nd
2013 Miami 1 -125 Won Finals Miami 1 -125 1st
2012 Miami 2 +200 Won Finals Miami 2 +200 1st
2011 LA Lakers 2 +275 Lost CS Dallas 3 +1800 7th
2010 Cleveland 1 +160 Lost CS LA Lakers 1 +225 2nd
2009 LA Lakers
Cleveland
1
1
+160 Won Finals
Lost CF
LA Lakers 1 +160 1st
2008 Boston 1 +180 Won Finals Boston 1 +180 1st
2007 Dallas 1 +200 Lost R1 San Antonio 3 +400 3rd
2006 Detroit 1 +100 Lost CF Miami 2 +500 3rd
2005 San Antonio
Miami
2
1
+250 Won Finals
Lost CF
San Antonio 2 +250 1st
2004 LA Lakers 2 +140 Lost Finals Detroit 3 +700 5th
2003 San Antonio 1 +250 Won Finals San Antonio 1 +250 1st
2002 LA Lakers 3 +140 Won Finals LA Lakers 3 +140 1st
2001 San Antonio 1 +200 Lost CF LA Lakers 2 +300 2nd
2000 LA Lakers 1 -125 Won Finals LA Lakers 1 -125 1st
1999 San Antonio 1 +350 Won Finals San Antonio 1 +350 1st
1998 Chicago 1 +140 Won Finals Chicago 1 +140 1st
1997 Chicago 1 -200 Won Finals Chicago 1 -200 1st
1996 Chicago 1 -400 Won Finals Chicago 1 -400 1st
1995 San Antonio 1 +400 Lost CF Houston 6 +1800 9th
1994 Seattle 1 +180 Lost R1 Houston 2 +600 3rd
1993 Phoenix 1 +200 Lost Finals Chicago 2 +300 2nd
1992 Chicago 1 -200 Won Finals Chicago 1 -200 1st
1991 Chicago
Portland
1
1
+250 Won Finals
Lost CS
Chicago 1 +250 1st
1990 LA Lakers 1 +120 Lost CS Detroit 1 +200 2nd
1989 Detroit 1 +160 Won Finals Detroit 1 +160 1st
1988 LA Lakers 1 -167 Won Finals LA Lakers 1 -167 1st
1987 LA Lakers 1 -250 Won Finals LA Lakers 1 -250 1st
1986 Boston 1 -167 Won Finals Boston 1 -167 1st
1985 Boston 1 +100 Lost Finals LA Lakers 1 +120 2nd
1984 LA Lakers 1 +180 Lost Finals Boston 1 +200 2nd
1983 Philadelphia 1 +140 Won Finals Philadelphia 1 +140 1st
1982 Boston 1 +140 Lost CF LA Lakers 1 +250 2nd
1981 Boston 1 +300 Won Finals Boston 1 +300 1st
1980 LA Lakers
Boston
1
1
+200 Won Finals
Lost CF
LA Lakers 1 +200 1st
1979 Washington 1 +240 Lost Finals Seattle 1 +300 2nd
1978 Philadelphia 1 +200 Lost CF Washington 3 +800 5th
1977 Philadelphia 1 +300 Lost Finals Portland 3 +500 3rd
1976 Golden State 1 +150 Lost CF Boston 1 +200 2nd