2023 NBA Title Futures Odds and Best Bets
2023 NBA TITLE FUTURES ODDS AND BEST BETS – FEBRUARY 18, 2023 – Over the past week, we saw a few star players that were moved before this month’s trade deadline. Kyrie Irving was dealt to the Dallas Mavericks. As a result, the Mavericks have one of the league’s most formidable duos in Irving and Luka Doncic.
But that was not the biggest news. Kevin Durant was also dealt to the Phoenix Suns. Chris Paul and Devin Booker led this team to the Finals two years ago. And with KD in the mix, the expectations will continue to increase for this ball club.
Whether these moves will pay off for either team remains to be seen. Having said that, here’s a look at the teams with the best odds to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy.
Milwaukee Bucks (+600)
Up until recently, the Bucks have flown under the radar. After all, the Celtics are the defending conference champions. And the Brooklyn Nets were supposed to be in the running for a championship run this season as well.
But it’s the Bucks who are going into the All-Star break on a roll. They have posted wins in each of their last 10 games. As result, they have the second-best record in the conference.
As expected, Giannis Antetokounmpo is leading the way with averages of 31.8 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per outing. Given the fact that the Bucks are an average team on offense (ranked 13th in scoring and 20th in efficiency), this team would be in trouble without his production.
Another reason to be impressed with this squad is because they’re playing so well without the team’s second-leading scorer – Khris Middleton.
Middleton has appeared in just 17 games for Milwaukee this season. Despite his absence, though, the Bucks are ranked sixth in scoring defense and they have the third-best defensive rating in the league.
Yes, Boston is ahead of Milwaukee in the standings, but this a team to keep an eye on as we head toward the home stretch.
Phoenix Suns (+425)
The Bucks defeated the Suns in six games in the 2021 NBA Finals. They followed that up with a humiliating 123-90 loss to the Mavericks in Game 7 of last year’s conference semifinals.
Fast forward to the present and the Suns are in the No. 5 spot following a loss to the LA Clippers on Thursday night. The team is hoping that the addition of Durant will help improve its spot in the conference playoff race.
Although the Suns are a middle-of-the-pack team from an offensive standpoint, they are ranked fifth in scoring defense (111.3 points per game) and eighth in efficiency (112.7 points per 100 possessions).
Durant is expected to make his Suns debut sometime following the All-Star break, and his return to the court can’t come soon enough for a ball club looking to go on a deep playoff run.
Boston Celtics (+275)
Last season, the Celtics posted wins in 28 of their final 35 games to make it to the playoffs. And they advanced to the Finals for the first time since 2010. They gave the Golden State Warriors all they could handle before losing the series in six games.
They currently hold the best record in the eastern conference and here are a few reasons why.
Boston is ranked fourth and third, respectively, in scoring and offensive efficiency. Additionally, this team is ranked seventh in scoring (allowing 111.7 points per contest) and fifth in defensive efficiency, giving up 111.7 points per 100 possessions.
Although the Celtics aren’t as hot as Milwaukee heading into the break, they have won seven of their last 10 games, which isn’t too shabby, either.
This team has the best record in the league and leads the league in point-differential (plus-6.2). Barring any unforeseen long-term injuries, this team looks primed for another Finals appearance.
And if that happens, I think the outcome will be different from what we witnessed last season.