We’re into the middling months of the NBA season but the MVP appears to be wrapped up. Meanwhile, the Lakers continue to struggle without their stars.

Race In The East

The Brooklyn Nets are the latest NBA juggernaut. Despite the fact Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving have still only spent 186 minutes on the court together, they’re stringing together wins to be towards the top of the Eastern Conference. Still, the Philadelphia 76ers are keeping hold of their top spot.

Currently 34-15 with an impressive 20-4 record at home, the Sixers are doing enough to retain the #1 seed in the East. Joel Embiid has missed time. His MVP-calibre season has been the catalyst to their dominance. However, keeping afloat as he just sat out for 10 games gives life to the idea that this squad is a lot more dynamic than first thought.

Not dynamic enough, though. The Nets are still heavy $1.65 favourites to win the East with the Sixers on the third line of betting at $6.

MVP Update

Take nothing away from Nikola Jokic. He has been excellent and deserves to be the favourite for the NBA MVP. The 26-year-old is averaging 26.5 points, 11 rebounds, 8.4 assists and leads the league in win shares. His Denver Nuggets are doing just enough to keep him in the conversation at 30-18 for 5th in the West too.

But a $1.65 favourite to win the MVP?

Injuries have played a part in that price and made things a little easier for the Serbian.

Joel Embiid ($4), James Harden ($6) and LeBron James ($13) have all missed time. We’ve talked about voter fatigue hurting Giannis Antetokounmpo already too. Antetokounmpo is averaging 28.8 points, 11.4 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game while continuing to feature in the discussion around DPOY. However, he is out at $6.50 to win the MVP.

Unless an injury takes Jokic himself out of the lineup for an extended period, he appears to have the NBA MVP award wrapped up already.

Lakers Limping On

The Los Angeles Lakers have lost four of their last five games and have a losing record across their last 17.

Should we be worried?

No, obviously not. They’re playing without LeBron James and Anthony Davis. This group cruised through the first third of the season with the duo in the lineup and we can expect them to turn the screws and be fit and firing for the playoffs.

The odds-makers certainly aren’t worried. The Lakers are still $2.40 favourites to win the Western Conference and on the second line of betting at $4 to win back-to-back NBA championships.

NBA Against The Spread Standings

The Utah Jazz have worked through a rough patch to win nine on the bounce straight up. However, they have covered in just five of those nine W’s. At the other end of the ladder, the Houston Rockets remain untouchable for punters. They covered two of their five games throughout the week to stay concreted to the bottom of the NBA ATS Ladder.

After Week 15

Top 10
Bottom 10
Suns (32-16)Kings (23-27)
Jazz (31-18)Pelicans (22-26)
Knicks (28-21-1)Timberwolves (22-27-1)
Clippers (28-22)Warriors (22-27)
Grizzlies (27-18-1)Bucks (22-27)
76ers (27-19-3)Heat (22-27-1)
Hornets (27-20-1)Raptors (21-28)
Pistons (26-21-2)Pacers (19-29)
Bulls (25-21-1)Cavaliers (19-30)
Spurs (25-22)Rockets (15-33)