Part Two of our NBA Championship Betting review - who do Max and DJ fancy to take the title? Each picks two teams, a 2 star pick (strong) and a 1 star pick (smaller bet). In today's article they review the 5 teams who complete PlayUp's top 10 in the NBA Championship futures market.
NBA Championship - Top 6-10 in the Betting with PlayUp
Phoenix Suns (11.00)
Not sure how the Suns are such a short price for the 2022-23 Championship. Ok they retained Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker, both signed to long term, super lucrative extensions. But there is no way this aging team is going to match last seasons 64 wins, they won't even come close. Point Guard Chris Paul is now 36 and firmly entering the sunset of his career, and without an adequate back up to the veteran, every day and every game becomes harder to see the Suns winning the title.
As good a team as Phoenix is, they aren't the team to bet on for the NBA Championship this term. Good players abound, but players who are now aging. Signing Ayton to a massive new contract smacked a bit of desperation from the Suns, and I get the feeling there is panic on the streets of Phoenix. At 11.00 they are way too short odds, and should be skirted.
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Philadelphia 76ers (14.00)
The 76ers are much more than a pair of superstars in James Harden and Joel Embiid, they have a team packed with talent, and a bench to envy. Tyrese Maxey is getting better every season, and with defense marshalled by Matisse Thybulle and PJ Tucker, I expect big things from the 76ers.
If I were permitted to pick two 2 star tips I would load up on the 76ers, but I'm not allowed, so I make the Philadelphia 76ers my 1 star pick for the NBA Championship at odds of 14.00 with PlayUp.
I'm staggered that Philly are 14.00 and for me its one of the bets of the decade. Ignore the two big names, the rest of the team includes the likes of Tucker, Melton, Maxey, Thybulle, Harrell and Harris. The 76ers have a line up that really must be the envy of the whole association.
The fact that you can get 14.00 on them to win the Championship...more double the odds of the likes of the Bucks and my darling Celtics, makes them very much my 2 star pick for the NBA Championship. FOURTEEN!
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Miami Heat (17.00)
After winning the Eastern Conference last season, many will be looking to Miami to deliver this time round, but their frailties against Boston in the play offs don't look to have been resolved in the post season.
Miami needs much more firepower, it was their achilles' heel last time, and whilst the addition of draft pick Nikola Jovic will help (from the bench) will help, as will the return of Victor Oladipo, it isn't going to be enough. Expect a strong conference challenge from the Heat, but a wilting when the temperature is turned up in the play offs / play ins.
I'm struggling to say anything different to Max regarding Miami. Maybe he's selling them a little short in the forward department, after all they can also count on Tyler Herro up top, and maybe not pointing out that defense often wins titles and Miami have a very solid defense led by Bam Adebayo is s bit of an oversight. But regardless - they won't win the Championship.
Denver Nuggets (21.00)
If the Nuggets can keep their rosta out of the sick bay, they might stand a chance, but the last 2 seasons seem to show that might be a bit if an ask. In Nikola Jokic (not to be confused with Miami's Nikola Jovic) Denver has one the reigning double NBA MVP player (winning in 2021 and 2022), but can they keep him fit?
Winning NBA Championships is more than a 1 man challenge, and injuries coupled with a lack of strength in depth is almost certainly going to leave Denver falling short.
Guard Play is one of Denver's biggest weaknesses, that and injuries. It is pretty tough to see them getting their whole shooting match together to take the team past the conference, through the play offs to the title. I just can't see how even Mr MVP Jokic gets them there.
There are stronger starting fives, and stronger second fives in the NBA - and some of those teams are not sponsored by Band-Aid. It's a no from me.
We regularly review the latest odds for the NBA futures markets, including the coveted NBA Sixth Man Award Betting market.
Memphis Grizzlies (23.00)
Strangely the Grizzlies are a bigger price at this stage of pre season than they were last term, which is frankly bizarre. Ja Morant continues to lead the line, Bane offers unerring accuracy from the field, their defense is as hard as nails, and they have a great head coach in Taylor Jenkins.
Whilst I don't see them lifting the title, odds of 23.00 represents good value.
I'm not permitted to pick 3 teams. If I was, I'd make my third pick the Grizzlies for sure. Echoing everything Max has already said, they are a super solid unit and could be justified looking up at a far shorter price than 23.00. Very good team.
Part One of our NBA Championship Betting Guide can be found here, where Max reveals his 2 Star Pick for the title.