The top teams in the NBA continue to deal with injury issues, but the betting market is not making much of an adjustment.
Brooklyn remains the +250 ‘chalk’ to win the title, despite its trio of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving struggling to take the court at the same time. The Nets are -112 to win the Eastern Conference, leading Milwaukee (+250) and Philadelphia (+450) at the top of the market.
The crosstown teams from Los Angeles have the next-shortest title odds. The Lakers are listed at +350 and the Clippers are +500. LeBron James and Anthony Davis have both been dealing with injuries, but they are expected to be healthy once the postseason rolls around.
Utah (+700), Milwaukee (+750) and Philadelphia (12/1) are the only other teams listed inside of 20/1 to win the Finals. The Nuggets plummeted from 14/1 to 45/1 at DraftKings following Jamal Murray’s season-ending injury.
Murray’s teammate, Nikola Jokic, has seen his MVP odds shorten following the unfortunate injury. Jokic was 29/1 to win the award in December, but he has been flying up the charts since then. He went to -134 against the field two weeks ago, surpassing James after he was sidelined with an ankle issue.
Jokic is now a heavy -335 MVP favorite at DraftKings. He is averaging 26.1 points, 11.0 rebounds and 8.8 assists. Jokic is also playing a career-high 35.2 minutes per game, which is not expected to decrease with his superstar teammate out for the season.
There have been a lot of adjustments made in the MVP market over the last two weeks. DraftKings had five players priced inside of 10/1, but there are now just two players inside of 20/1.
Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid joins Jokic in what appears to be a two-man race. The Sixers big man, who is averaging 30.0 points, 11.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists, is priced at +275. Giannis Antetokounmpo is 20/1, Harden is 25/1 and Damian Lillard is 30/1.
Anthony Edwards is -143 to win the Rookie of the Year award, leading Tyrese Haliburton (+200) and the sidelined LaMelo Ball (+150). Julius Randle is a heavy -500 ‘chalk’ to win the Most Improved Player award. Jerami Grant (+400) is the only other player inside of 20/1.