Warriors favored to repeat; Embiid is MVP ‘chalk’

After finishing second in the voting during the 2021-22 campaign, Philadelphia star Joel Embiid is favored to win NBA MVP honors in 2022-23.

The Golden State Warriors won their fourth title in eight years on Thursday night, and they are the early favorites to win their fifth title in nine years next season.

Offshore sportsbook BetOnline has Golden State priced as the +450 ‘chalk’ to win the 2023 NBA Finals. Star guard Steph Curry is coming off his first NBA Finals MVP, while Klay Thompson could reasonably improve with his first normal offseason in three years. Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins have emerged as young and talented role players, so the Warriors make sense as the favorites.

As is often the case, the runner-up from the previous season has the second-shortest odds to win the following year’s title. Boston is listed at +650 after pushing Golden State to six games and should return its young core led by Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

The Warriors and Celtics are followed by the Clippers and Bucks, who are both priced at +750. Los Angeles should improve with an expected return from Kawhi Leonard after he missed the entire 2021-22 season. Milwaukee won the title two years ago and is likely going to be in the mix as long as Giannis Antetokounmpo is on the roster.

The Bucks were up 3-2 on Boston in the Eastern Conference semifinals this season, despite playing without their second-best player in Khris Middleton. His health could have changed the entire outlook of this postseason, so the Bucks likely have value at +750.

Brooklyn (+800) and Phoenix (+900) are the only other teams priced inside of 10-1. The Nets will need to take a big step forward after getting swept by Boston in the opening round this year, but Ben Simmons should provide a spark.

Phoenix made the NBA Finals in 2021 and had the best record in the regular season this year. Deandre Ayton is a free agent, though, so there could be a price adjustment one way or another over the next few months.

Several other playoff teams from this season that are listed a little bit lower in the 2023 betting market include Dallas (12-1), Miami (14-1), Memphis (16-1) and Philadelphia (16-1). The Mavericks and Heat were both runners up in their respective conferences, but it also feels like they are missing a piece or two before they can become true contenders.

Philadelphia star Joel Embiid has opened as the +500 ‘chalk’ to win the 2023 regular season MVP, according to BetMGM. Luka Doncic (+550), Antetokounmpo (+700) and Nikola Jokic (+850) are expected to contend for the award as well. Jokic has won the award each of the last two seasons, while Antetokounmpo took home the honors in 2018-19 and 2019-20.

Curry, a two-time MVP, is listed at 18-1, while LeBron James is 20-1 to win his fifth MVP. Ja Morant (10-1), Kevin Durant (12-1) and Tatum (14-1) all have short odds.

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