Timberwolves, once 66-to-1 to win NBA Finals, now are 2nd in odds behind Celtics

While nobody should be thinking about cashing a ticket yet, anyone with the Minnesota Timberwolves to win the NBA Finals at 66-to-1 odds at BetMGM should be feeling really good.

The Timberwolves were completely off the radar to win the championship when the opening odds came out, and even at the start of the NBA playoffs the Denver Nuggets were a big favorite. That has changed.

The Timberwolves stunned the NBA by not just taking a 2-0 lead over the Nuggets in their second-round series, but doing so with ease. Monday's Game 2 win came by 26 points, without Defensive Player of the Year favorite Rudy Gobert, and caused a big shift in NBA futures odds.

The Timberwolves are now favored to win the West, and those 66-to-1 odds to win the championship are all the way down to 3-to-1, trailing just the Boston Celtics.

The Timberwolves' surge is good news for BetMGM.

The most popular team among bettors to win the NBA Finals is the Nuggets. The Nuggets have more money bet on them to win the title at BetMGM than any other team, and they're the biggest liability for the book.

The Nuggets aren't done yet. They're the defending champs, have the presumptive MVP in Nikola Jokic and are capable of winning four of five games. But they have a long road to get back in the series.

The Timberwolves are -550 to win the series. They're a very short -110 to win the West. And the only two teams with better than 8-to-1 odds to win it all are the Celtics at +120 and the Timberwolves at +300.

And it's not just the 66-to-1 odds when they opened. The Timberwolves were 20-to-1 to win the championship as the playoffs started. They were 10-to-1 after sweeping a star-filled Phoenix Suns team in the first round. Even after beating the Nuggets in Game 1, they were 6-to-1.

Minnesota just keeps proving everyone wrong.

Anthony Edwards and the Minnesota Timberwolves are 6-0 in the NBA's postseason. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Anthony Edwards and the Minnesota Timberwolves are 6-0 in the NBA's postseason. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

The odds to win the NBA championship and conference finals will shift a bit. The Timberwolves' odds are short right now because they have two wins in the second round and the Oklahoma City Thunder/Dallas Mavericks series hasn't started. Once there's more clarity on that series, the Timberwolves' odds could shift a little even if they finish off the Nuggets.

But the odds won't move that much. Any team capable of going to Denver and blowing out the Nuggets twice after sweeping the Suns is deserving of respect. Anthony Edwards is making his star turn in the postseason. Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert are a pair of quality big men. It's not a fluke that Minnesota has been one of the hottest teams this postseason.

There have been some torches passed already this postseason, with some young teams beating opponents led by longtime superstars. The Timberwolves are young and fun. And just look at the odds: They're legitimate contenders to win the whole thing.