Rivalries. One of the words in sports that gets the eyes wide open, the heart beating a bit faster.
As we are in the lull of the NBA offseason and waiting on the preseason to arrive, we were interested in who are the most hated NBA teams. BetMassachusetts.com – your source for Massachusetts sports betting – looked for numbers to make the case. Using Reddit data from user RemyPLambert, we found the primary and secondary rival of each NBA team with a sample size of 1,000 respondents. If a team was mentioned as a primary rival, that was 10 points. If a team was mentioned as secondary rival, that was 5 points. We then used the final points to rank the most hated NBA teams. (Note: This was completed in April 2023.)
Most Hated NBA Teams
Here is a chart you won’t find on any of the fine Massachusetts betting apps.
Celtics League’s Biggest Villains
Topping the list was the Boston Celtics with 75 points. Boston's primary rivals (60 points) are the Los Angeles Lakers (we all know the obvious reasons why), Miami Heat, Washington Wizards, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks.
Boston leads the all-time coast-to-coast series with the Lakers, 165-133 (55.4% win), and holds a 43-31 (58.1%) advantage in the playoffs. However, the Lakers have won three of the last four playoff series with the Celtics, including a 4-3 (best-of-seven series) NBA Finals title win in 2010.
You certainly can make an argument about their second-tier rivals (15 points), which are the Toronto Raptors, New York Knicks and Golden State Warriors.
Just 11 games shy from .500 in the all-time series, the Celtics have a commanding 300-189 record against the Knicks, with New York winning the last three matchups in the 2022-23 season, highlighted by a 131-129, double-overtime road win on March 5.
The Lakers placed second with 50 points with four primary rivals (40) and two secondary rivals (10). The Memphis Grizzlies, Heat and Knicks all finished in a tie for third with 25 points apiece.
BetMGM Sportsbook Boston Futures
With less than one month left until the preseason starts, here are the latest BetMGM Massachusetts future odds for the Celtics as of Sept. 7:
- To win the Atlantic Division: -200 (favorite)
- To win the Eastern Conference: +220 (favorite)
- To win the NBA Championship: +500 (second favorite; Denver Nuggets +475)
If you can believe it, the NBA preseason schedule starts on Thursday, Oct. 5, with the 82-game regular season commencing on Tuesday, Oct. 24. The league's inaugural in-season tournament begins with group play on Friday, Nov. 3.