We were fortunate enough to have another excellent NBA All-Star Game this year in Cleveland. Stephen Curry dropped 50 points and LeBron James hit a game-winner in a 163-160 victory over Team Durant on Sunday. We’ve still got a few days before the NBA gets back into regular-season action. Since there’s time left in the All-Star Break, let’s take a look at the odds to win the NBA Championship this season at the “unofficial” mid-way point.
NBA Championship odds 2022
This is the first time in a long time that we reach the All-Star break and there isn’t a clear-cut favorite. The Suns, Nets and Warriors are all tied in terms of odds to win the title this season. let’s break down those three teams before we get into the rest of the field.
The Suns won’t have Chris Paul for potentially the rest of the regular season. That’s on the later end of the 6-8 week timeline for a fractured thumb. If CP3 is sidelined that long, the Suns could struggle if other injuries pop up or the schedule just gets tough. It could affect seeding, which may not matter all that much to begin with. The Suns could end up with a high seed and play the Lakers again. Or meet the Clippers, Timberwolves or Nuggets. Again, it shouldn’t matter much as long as Paul comes back 100 percent.
The Dubs have not played well without Draymond Green. When he gets back into the lineup, as long as he ends up being 100 percent, Golden State should be fine. Again, seeding won’t matter. The Dubs should get home court for at least the first two rounds. Steph will make a push for MVP. Klay Thompson continues to round into All-Star form. Jonathan Kuminga has stepped up and the rest of the supporting cast should come together.
The Nets are the most interesting in this bunch. The James Harden trade hurt their odds. This is likely because of the unknowns surrounding Ben Simmons. The former 76ers All-Star is expected to ramp up things at practice in hopes of returning soon. If Simmons is anything close to the player he was the past few seasons, the Nets will still be a problem. Kevin Durant will come back and you could argue KD could drag this Nets team to the Conference Finals. He nearly did that last season.
If NYC lifts the vaccine mandate before the postseason, Kyrie Irving will be available for all playoff games. That squad of KD, Kyrie, Simmons along with Patty Mills, Seth Curry, Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge and now Goran Dragic will be very difficult to beat at full strength.
Let’s take a look at the rest of the field, where there’s a ton of value to be honest. The Sixers and Bucks can easily come out of the East and one could argue one of those teams should be the favorite over Brooklyn. The Miami Heat are in first place right now and have the 4th-best odds to win it all from the East. Don’t even get me started on the Chicago Bulls.
This may be a biased opinion, but the Bulls at 30/1 seems pretty insane. Chicago has two All-Stars, one who’s an MVP candidate. The Bulls are still competing for the 1-seed in the East despite dealing with key injuries to Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso. Those are two of the better perimeter defenders in the NBA and a lot of quality floor spacing and play-making. The Bulls added Tristan Thompson as a depth center. The rest of the roster is pretty deep with Nikola Vucevic, Javonte Green, Ayo Dosunmu, Derrick Jones Jr. and Coby White. The Bulls will be able to compete to get out of the East. After that, the Finals wouldn’t be easy but the roster is capable.
The West is a little less up in the air. It should be a two-team race with the Dubs and Suns. That is if both sides are healthy. The rest of the pack doesn’t really threaten you. The Utah Jazz have done more in the regular season in the past and fell short. Joe Ingles is done for the year which is huge. The Grizzlies lack the experience, though aren’t lacking in talent. Can Ja Morant lead a charge to the Conference Finals? Definitely. It’ll be tough getting past the Suns or Warriors.
The team to watch is the Dallas Mavericks. Luka Doncic went into the All-Star break on a tear. Dallas just acquired Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans and got rid of dead weight in Kristaps Porzingis. It’s time for Doncic to just take the reins and run with the team. In the past, we’ve seen Doncic nearly get the Mavs past the Clippers twice. The supporting cast is stronger. Doncic is stronger. It’s only a matter of time before Dallas breaks through and goes on a run. This could be the year.
Phoenix Suns: +425
Brooklyn Nets: +425
Golden State Warriors: +425
Philadelphia 76ers: +700
Milwaukee Bucks: +700
Miami Heat: +1200
Utah Jazz: +1700
Boston Celtics: +2500
Memphis Grizzlies: +2500
Chicago Bulls: +3000
Denver Nuggets: +3500
Dallas Mavericks: +4000
Los Angeles Lakers: +4500
Cleveland Cavaliers: +5500
Los Angeles Clippers: +6000
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