Analysts were predicting a pretty dull trade deadline in the NBA. Well, this was anything but dull. Kyrie Irving was traded from the Nets to the Mavericks, to join Luka Doncic. Russell Westbrook is now a Minnesota Timberwolf, with D’Angelo Russell returning to the Los Angeles Lakers. But the biggest trade of them all was, of course, Kevin Durant’s. Six months after requesting to be traded to the Phoenix Suns, he was sent to Arizona to join Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and Deandre Ayton, for Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, 4 first-round draft picks and a pick swap! This trade turned the odds on the next NBA champions on their head. Helpbet brings you the new updated NBA favourites for 2023.
Just hours prior to the trade, the 30-26 Suns (5th in the Western Conference) were mere 8th favourites to win the title, something they have never done before. They have reached three finals, but never actually managed to get their hands on the Larry O’Brien trophy. They didn’t do it with Paul Westphal, they didn’t do it with Charles Barkley, they didn’t do it with Steve Nash. Can Kevin Durant turn the team’s fortunes around?
🚨Kevin Durant has been traded to the Phoenix Suns!👀
As a result Nets’ chances to win this year’s championship decreased immensely, whereas Suns moved up significantly on the odds list and now we find them at 5.50 from 18.50!📉#Suns #Durant #Nets #nba #BrooklynNets #Phoenix pic.twitter.com/O8TgUIyfo3
— helpbet.com (@HelpbetC) February 9, 2023
The top favourites are still the Boston Celtics. They do have the best record in the league, they reached the NBA Finals last season, and they are the most consistently great team in the NBA since January 2022. And now they have one team less to worry about in the East, where the Bucks and the 76ers seem to be their only competition. Speaking of the Milwaukee Bucks, they are the third favourites, according to the best basketball betting sites. If Giannis Antetokounmpo’s supporting cast remains healthy, the Bucks can prove to be a very hard opponent in a best-of-seven series. The Greek Freak is posting MVP numbers and his team is by far the one in the best form right now in the NBA.
But if we are claiming that Giannis is posting MVP numbers, what can you say about Nicola Jokic? The Serbian is not just the top favourite in the NBA MVP odds list going for a historic three-peat, but he also leads the Denver Nuggets safely to the top of the Western Conference. Denver’s starting lineup is among the best in the league, but the team lacks depth. Still they are among the favourites to win it all, according to the best new bookmakers.
The Philadelphia Sixers are finally healthy, Joel Embiid scores 33 points per game and has created a great partnership with James Harden. Philly is among the strong outsiders, next to the Los Angeles Clippers, who have a great roster but you never know how long will their stars stay healthy for. The Memphis Grizzlies are also pretty close, led by an amazing Ja Morant. The big surprise is that the reigning NBA Champions, the Golden State Warriors, are also among the strong underdogs, despite currently being outside the top-8 of the Western Conference (they do occupy a play-in spot). The real problem there is that Stephen Curry will miss nearly a month of action. Will his team keep the Warriors alive until Steph is back?
The Mavericks, featuring the pairing of Doncic and Irving, follow on the NBA Champions odds list. The Cleveland Cavaliers are also in the picture, but what is impressive is that the Lakers are in the top-12 according to odds makers. The Lakers are currently 13th in the West, with a 25-30 record.
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