2023 was a big year in the NBA. The Nuggets claimed their first NBA Championship in franchise history at the end of a memorable playoff run. The NBA held the first-ever In-Season Tournament, and one of its biggest stars added to his legacy as LeBron James and the Lakers beat the upstart Indiana Pacers.
The 2023-24 season is off to a great start as well, and bettors on DraftKings Sportsbook are finding plenty of ways to claim plenty of winnings. From SGP and SGPx to player props and winners on the moneyline, there are lots of different ways to get involved.
Let’s run down which teams and players won bettors the most money on DraftKings Sportsbook in 2023.
As we dive in, just a quick reminder that the term “handle” refers to the amount of money wagered by sports bettors and “bets” is the number of bets placed. For example, three bets of $1 each would increase the handle by $3 and bets by three, but a single $5 bet would increase the handle $5 and bets by only one.
With that background, here’s a look at the most bet teams in 2023:
The Nuggets had the largest handle on their magical run to the Championship with the Celtics ranked second just behind them. The Celtics had the most bets as they went to the NBA Eastern Conference Championship series but lost to the Heat. The Lakers, Warriors and Heat rounded out the top five in both bets and handle.
While those teams were the most popular teams to be bet on, the most bet on player didn’t come from any of those teams. Here are the top players:
Durant led the way in both handle and bets, starting the season on the Nets before being traded to the Suns in the offseason. With Devin Booker and Bradley Beal dealing with multiple injuries early in the season, Durant was a popular play as he carried the workload. Ja Morant was suspended for the first 25 games of the 2023-24 season, but still had the second-most bets with the fourth-highest handle of all players.
It’s also interesting that Jaylen Brown is in the top five on both lists but his running-mate Jayson Tatum doesn’t get into the top five on either side.
Tatum is the top player on the list below, though, which highlights the top Bankroll Breakers of 2023:
The Bankroll Breakers are the players and teams that lost users the most money. Tatum is joined on the list by a pair of Lakers, Anthony Davis and LeBron James, along with Klay Thompson of the Warriors and Luka Doncic of the Mavs. The Suns had big expectations coming into the season, so it isn’t surprising that they rank at the top of the Bankroll Breakers from a team perspective. They’re joined by another disappointing team, as the Pistons make the list after dropping an NBA-record 28 straight games.
On the other extreme, here are the teams and players that won players the most money in 2023:
The Timberwolves lead the Western Conference at the end of 2023 and they also made bettors the most money in 2023. The Mavs and Knicks are also on the list while the surging Thunder and Rockets round out the top five. On the players’ side, Nikola Jokic isn’t a surprise at all on the top of the list and Giannis Antetokounmpo and Trae Young aren’t big surprises either. The shocker on this list is DeAndre Jordan. Jordan had a couple of throwback games in 2023 with the Nuggets, and bettors capitalized to earn the second-most money of any player in the NBA.
While Jordan was a surprise, the biggest upset of 2023 was the Trail Blazers knocking off the Pacers was the biggest upset of the season by pre-match odds. Here are the biggest upsets in each sport including that shocker in Indianapolis:
No Blazers or Pacers made the All-Moneymaker team for the NBA, but Jokic and Jordan did. They were joined by Coby White, whose overs have been great picks while he helped fill in for Zach LaVine (foot) in the first half of the season. John Collins also got off to a fast start to the season in his new home with the Utah Jazz and won his bettors enough money to earn his spot on the All-Moneymaker team.
To close out this recap of 2023, let’s take a look at how much things have changed since the season started just a few months ago. Here are some of the notable futures movements so far this season:
The Suns, Lakers and Warriors odds to win the Finals started strong but have tumbled as those teams started worse than expected. The Timberwolves odds have gone the other direction, starting at +4000 and dropping to +2000 by the end of the year.
The Timberwolves' odds of winning the Conference have also dropped precipitously after their fast start, while the Clippers and Thunder have also been trending in the right direction. As far as divisional winners, the Grizzlies, 76ers, Suns and Cavs have fallen off while the Celtics and Bucs have moved to virtual lock to win their division.
The MVP Award odds have also radically shifted with the odds for Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic and Tyrese Haliburton to win improving. Trending the other way, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and LeBron James are falling out of the race, according to the odds.
The Rookie of the Year Award odds have also flipped. Victor Wembanyama was the favorite at the start of the season but has been passed by Chet Holmgren as the current favorite. Jaime Jaquez Jr.’s odds have also dramatically improved.
You can head over to DraftKings Sportsbook and place your future bets along with your bets for each day’s games. Whether you are set to back some of the biggest Moneymakers in 2023 to hit again or you expect some new players to join this list in 2024, you can start building your betting card today!
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is z.thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.