We’re another week into the 2022-23 NBA season and the Lakers and Nets are no close to being competitive. The Bucks, on the other hand, are flying.

L-L-L-L-Lakers

It doesn’t matter how good or bad the Los Angeles Lakers are playing, they’re going to be a talking point.

Right now, they’re bad. Worst in the NBA levels of bad. Their shooting is historically poor which isn’t a shock to anybody that saw their roster before the season tipped off. The Lakers shot 33-for-148 on three-point shots across their first four games this season. That 22.3% is the worst over any four-game span by any team within a season in NBA history (min. 125 3-pt FGA).

News also came out this week that Lakers haven’t been approaching teams about a trade for Russell Westbrook…

He’s clearly not the only problem in LA, but moving him is the start of the fix. Remove one of the handbrakes, take on some shooting in return, and avoid wasting one of LeBron James’ last seasons in the league. They need to do something as tanking won’t help.

The New Orleans Pelicans are in possession of their first-round pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.

Out at $36 to win the championship last week, the Lakers are now $81 to do the unthinkable.

Milwaukee Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks, without Khris Middleton, are the only unbeaten team remaining in the NBA.

Giannis Antetokounmpo has been phenomenal:

21 points, 13 rebounds, 8 assists
44 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists
43 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists
30 points, 14 rebounds, 9 assists
34 points, 17 rebounds, 4 assists

He has been getting plenty of support as they wait for Middleton to return from his injury.

Given their start to the season, Milwaukee’s $6 to win the NBA championship demands attention. Perhaps it is their end of last season. Maybe it’s the fatigue of Antetokounmpo’s brilliance and the expectation that they will be there or thereabouts at the pointy end. Whatever it is, the Bucks aren’t receiving the hype they deserve. That won’t last for long, though.

Futures Bet of the Week

When the hype comes, the price for the Bucks to lift the Larry O’Brien will come in from their current $6.

Sure, the Golden State Warriors ($6) are playing well. The LA Clippers, while frustrating to watch as an NBA fan given the reluctance of their superstar player to do anything more than the bare minimum throughout the regular season, are stacked and a threat at $8.50. The Phoenix Suns ($9.50) and Boston Celtics ($6) are expected to be part of the conversation all year, too.

But this Bucks squad has all of the tools to win it. Notably, they’re playing with the best defence in the league. While their offence is middling at 16th, we can be confident in an uptick once Middleton is up and running. There is the $3.90 favourite to win the Most Valuable Player award in Antetokounmpo that the opposition needs to deal with as well.

You won’t do much better than $6 for the Bucks to win it throughout the season.

Tip: 2022-23 NBA Champions – Milwaukee Bucks @ $6

Brooklyn’s Disaster

The Brooklyn Nets have already held a players-only meeting – that’s how bad they have been. Now 1-5 following an embarrassing 125-115 loss to the Indiana Pacers, Steve Nash was lost for words.

“It was a disaster. How else do you say it? I didn’t see the will, didn’t see the desire, or the connectivity necessary to get stops and get rebounds. … We just got to make a bigger commitment and it’s got to mean more and we got to care more.”

Ben Simmons has been poor to start his Nets career. His form can best be summed up in Kyrie Irving’s frustration at Simmons passing up a simple layup. Irving is a problem on his own, too.

Nash will soon be the scapegoat. Plenty will say he shouldn’t have been hired in the first place but it’s likely that the Nets front office will move him on before any of the players. But when you have a player that refuses to shoot and another that refuses to stop putting himself in the headlines off the court, there is only so much that Nash can do.

Nash spoke about a lack of fight and they need to start with that on the defensive end. The Nets are dead last in defensive rating, giving up 122.4 points per 100 possessions to start the season. As a result, the Nets’ $8 to win the championship before the season tipped off is now out to $13.

Primo Released

NBA Twitter lit up after hearing the news about the San Antonio Spurs waiving Josh Primo.

Unfortunately, the speculation about his release being the result of an off-court indiscretion turned out to be true. Primo has said he is taking time away from the game.

NBA Championship Odds

We don’t need to check in on the teams towards the bottom of the NBA championship list. Here, we keep an eye on those inside the Top 10 each week.

The Boston Celtics are alongside the Bucks on the first line of betting to win the NBA championship at $6 despite their 3-2 record.

It’s the Memphis Grizzlies that are the big movers of the week. They’re into $19 from $26. Ja Morant and Desmond Bane are doing it all on the offensive end. They became the first pair of Grizzlies teammates in franchise history to each average over 30 points over a two-game span. There will be plenty of people out there investigating Morant’s $11 to win the MVP given his start to the season, too.

Notably, while sitting at the top of the Western Conference at 5-1 with Damian Lillard playing out of his mind, the Portland Trail Blazers ($101) can’t yet sneak into the Top 10.

Top 10 Odds

TEAMWEEK 1 PRICEWEEK 2 PRICE
Boston Celtics$7$6
Milwaukee Bucks$6.50$6
Golden State Warriors$7.50$8
Los Angeles Clippers$7.50$8.50
Phoenix Suns$12$9.50
Brooklyn Nets$9$13
Philadelphia 76ers$13$15
Memphis Grizzlies$26$19
Miami Heat$18$21
Dallas Mavericks$21