Things are becoming clear as the NBA season progresses. The DPOY has a clear favourite and the MVP is down to two, but one man is threatening both.
Devin Booker had registered three 50-point games before hanging 51 points on the Chicago Bulls this week. However, this time, he ended up on the right side of the scoreboard. Coming into this one 0-3 in 50-point games, Booker’s blistering performance helped the Phoenix Suns pick up a 132-113 victory over the Chicago Bulls – their 6th straight.
MVP chants filtered around Footprint Arena. As it stands, Booker is still on the 9th line of betting to end up with the Most Valuable Player award at $23. Jayson Tatum is the current $3.60 favourite ahead of Luka Doncic ($3.60), Giannis Antetokounmpo ($3.75) and Steph Curry ($7.50).
Brook Blocks Six (Again)
Brook Lopez recorded six blocks in a game for the third time this season. He has picked up four blocks in seven of the 22 games he has played this season.
Brook Lopez this season:
— 15.8 PPG
— 2.9 BPG
— 1st in threes by a center
— 1st BPG
— 1st in steals + blocks
— StatMuse (@statmuse) November 30, 2022
Regular readers will already be on him at $17. We picked that up in the third week of the NBA season. Now at $2, Lopez is a heavy favourite to win the Defensive Player of the Year award.
Futures Bet of the Week
With Lopez locked in to win the DPOY at $17 and now into $2, it’s Anthony Davis that now appeals.
He has just remembered that he is one of the best players in the NBA. He has made significant improvement on the offensive end – more on that soon. While his offensive improvements don’t impact what he does defensively, they help the Los Angeles Lakers win games and, in turn, help the DPOY narrative. If Davis is at the front of mind of voters towards the end of the NBA season, he’s going to be in with a shout. Especially if he keeps some of his numbers up.
Per Michael Pina at The Ringer, Davis is 4th in the league in blocks and the only centre inside the Top 25 in steals. More importantly, no big is better at solving pick and rolls. Of the 46 players that have defended at least 250 pick and rolls leading to a shot, Davis and the Lakers allow just 0.81 points – comfortably first. When Davis drops, that sinks further to 0.75 points.
Anthony Davis just outplayed the best player in the world in his house with all due respect
— Mark Jackson’s Burner (@casualtakeking) December 3, 2022
The Lakers play with a Top 10 defence right now. Given their current form, there is a good chance that soon improves. Lopez is the deserving favourite, but there is the narrative factor with Davis. He has never won the Defensive Player of the Year award despite being considered as one of the top defenders in the NBA for years. Some voters will feel obliged to give it to him given the chance. He’s worth investing in at $21.
You know what, let’s get a little bit of him to win the Most Valuable Player award at $151 while we’re at it.
Now time for the weekly check in with the Los Angeles Lakers…
Some people ask “why do we spend so much time talking about a bad team?”
LeBron James and Russell Westbrook is why.
Lofty expectations is why.
The potential to do something great if it somehow all falls into place is why.
The Lakers are playing well at the moment. Their much-needed wins over the Spurs in a successful Week 6 were blown off by many as a product of the schedule. However, for those that are able to view the game through clear lenses, you could see the improvements. The fight, in particular. Most importantly, Davis has recaptured his form to once again be one of the best players in the NBA, and just like that, the Lakers have won seven of their last nine games.
If the @Lakers Anthony Davis can continue to play like he has the last 8 games, averaging 32 points and 15 rebounds, and can stay healthy, there is no question in my mind he’ll be in the NBA MVP conversation by the end of the season!
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) December 3, 2022
There is still a lot of work for this Lakers team to do, but it’s looking promising. Davis playing well enough to make James the second-best player was always the hope. Westbrook offering some punch with the second unit was, for many, as good as it could get following the trade.
Westbrook’s name is again coming up in trade rumours and the recent play of the Lakers will surely prompt a move. They can’t waste what is shaping up as an elite Davis season and one of the last remaining of James’ career.
Doncic Doing It
Luka Doncic is incredible.
With 41 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists against the Golden State Warriors during the week, Doncic recorded his third 40-point triple-double of the season.
Only 1 player has recorded a 40-point triple-double this season.
He’s done it 3 times. pic.twitter.com/BORFZXSsqb
— StatMuse (@statmuse) November 30, 2022
Oscar Robinson managed four 40-point triple-doubles in a season twice before turning 25 years old. With 60 games left, there is a good chance Doncic beats that record before the end of the season.
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 Cleveland Cavaliers ($20) are into the Top 10 NBA championship odds this week. Despite the doubts about how Donovan Mitchell would integrate into the roster, he looks right at home in Cleveland. Dominant at home, the Cavaliers have only dropped one game on their own floor and are one of only four teams above .650: Celtics ($4.50), Bucks ($5.50) and Suns ($8).
Meanwhile, both the Celtics and Bucks have come in this week while the Suns remain stable at $8 and the Warriors drift out slightly. The Denver Nuggets are the big movers from $20 into $15 while the Philadelphia 76ers have gone the other way from $19 out to $23.
Top 10 Odds
|TEAM||WEEK 6 PRICE||WEEK 7 PRICE|
|Golden State Warriors||$8||$8.50|
|Los Angeles Clippers||$8.50||$10|