The 75th NBA season is now upon us. As ever, there are storylines and betting angles aplenty for us to look at. Last season saw Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks lift the Larry O’Brien Trophy with a 4-2 Finals victory over the Phoenix Suns.
It was an action-packed playoffs coming off a shortened season last year. LeBron and the Lakers were defeated in the 1st Round by the Suns, Trae Young announced himself as one of the hottest properties in the game leading the Atlanta Hawks to the Eastern Conference Finals, Kevin Durant put in a series of highlight reel performances without injured co-stars Kyrie Irving and James Harden while Doc Rivers’ Philadelphia 76ers left the race early on with Ben Simmons seemingly on his way out the exit door.
This season promises to be much the same and from a betting perspective, there are already several interesting trends emerging. Let’s take a look at some of the top betting markets for the 2021/2022 NBA Season.
*All odds correct at the time of publishing. NBA Betting available at VIPCasino.ca.
NBA Championship Winner Odds
The Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers are the pre-season bookmakers’ favourites listed at +200 and +400 respectively. A full-strength Nets team are more than a match for any opponent in the NBA and justify their favourites tags. 2020 champions, the Lakers, have added former-MVP Russell Westbrook and veteran Carmelo Anthony to an already formidable line-up.
Last season’s victors, the Milwaukee Bucks, are next in line at +900. Perennial contenders Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers all feature prominently too.
Only 13 franchises in NBA history have managed to win back-to-back championships so the chances of the Bucks managing that feat seems slim, especially given the talented field around them. Last season’s runners-up and Western Conference winners, the Phoenix Suns, should challenge again. Klay Thompson is set to return to the Golden State Warriors line-up and Steve Kerr will be hoping to collect his fourth Championship ring as a head coach in 2022.
Outside bets such as the Dallas Mavericks, Atlanta Hawks or Boston Celtics will also have to be considered. The Mavericks have a future MVP in the form of Slovenian star Luka Doncic while his fellow 2018 draftee Trae Young already has real playoff pedigree after a stellar season with the Hawks. The Celtics have made a change on the sideline with Ime Udoka coming on board as the head coach and will be aiming for top seeding in the Eastern Conference.
All in all, this is a close race to call. The team that lifts the Larry O’Brien trophy at the end of the season must have the skills, tactical nous and durability of a championship team which is hard to come by. LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry are three men who have a proven ability to lead their franchises to glory and we expect the Lakers, Nets and Warriors to be in the mix once again. The comeback story of Klay Thompson and the Warriors is appealing, and a fully fit Nets are always going to be in the mix. However, it’s hard to look past the Lakers at +400 to be the 2022 NBA Championship winners.
NBA Betting – MVP Odds
The MVP betting is always of interest for fans of NBA futures bets. The MVP debate always garners plenty of column inches and air time throughout the season so it’s always good to have backed a player or two in the discussion.
Nikola Jokic was the 2021 winner of the award, becoming the first Serbian to do so. He was the driving force for the Denver Nuggets as they finished with a 47-25 record in the Western Conference. The big Serbian was a shining star on a roster shorn of Jamal Murray for most of the season.
This is one thing to note when it comes to MVP betting. The award regularly goes to the standout player on a highly ranked team, not always the player recognized as ‘the best’ in the NBA. For example, LeBron James was regarded as the best player in the NBA for much of the 2010s. However, the ‘King’ still only has 4 MVPs to his name. The last five winners of the award had more noticeable performances because they stood out on their respective teams (Jokic & Denver, Antetokounmpo & Milwaukee, Harden & Houston and Westbrook & Oklahoma). It is harder for LeBron James to hog the limelight when he’s playing alongside Anthony Davis. The same goes for Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving on the Nets.
This opens it up for others then to stake a claim on the Maurice Podoloff Trophy. Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks could be an option in this year’s betting. The 22-year-old averaged 27.8 ppg, 8.6 apg and 8 rpg in the 2021 regular season before bringing the Slovenian national team all the way to the semi-finals at the Tokyo Olympics. ‘El Matador’ is destined to become the league’s MVP one day, the only question is when. He is one of the betting favourites for the award this year and definitely one to consider at +380 with VIPCasino.
Further down the odds list are two other young players who have already been mentioned in this piece – Trae Young and Devin Booker. If both men can carry their playoff form into the 2021/2022 regular season then anything is possible. Young averaged 28.8 ppg and 9.5 apg in the playoffs last year. The Hawks’ run to the Eastern Conference Finals included multiple standout performances from Young against the Knicks, 76ers and Bucks.
Likewise, Booker was a standout performer for the Suns. Phoenix are set for another good regular season having retained their core of Booker, Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton. Booker is rated around +2500 to receive the award in 2022 and is definitely one to consider.
MVP Betting – Pre-season Pick
Having said all of that, our early choice for the MVP trophy is Giannis Antetokounmpo. Last season’s Finals MVP already has two Maurice Podoloff trophies in his cabinet and we expect him to add a third to the collection in 2022. The ‘Greek Freak’ dominated the NBA in 2019 and 2020 without any playoff success. He continued his great form into 2021 but voter fatigue probably resulted in Jokic picking up the silverware.
Further success in this regular season should see Antetokounmpo challenge for MVP honours. At +725 he could be a solid contender for your MVP bet this season.
NBA Betting for the 2021/2022 Season
Every major outright market for the 2021/2022 season is available to bet on VIPCasino.ca. This includes MVP betting, 6th Man of the Year and Division Odds betting.
As well as this, game odds on money line betting, over/unders and spreads will be available for every NBA game this season.
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