Kevin Durant is +1500 to win NBA MVP

Best Bets For Every NBA Team: Funky Futures & Longshot MVPs

On the eve of the NBA's opening night, we scoured the hardwood odds boards for the best value we could find for all 30 teams.

We've got it all, whether it's award futures, championship odds, or something in between. Here are the best bets for every NBA team in 2023-24.

Best Bets For Every NBA Team: Atlantic Division

Boston Celtics: To Win Championship (+400)

I'm admittedly always high on Boston. The C's have won at least one playoff round in six of the last seven seasons, and last year the squad thrived under rookie coach Joe Mazzulla.

With a starting lineup featuring Derrick White, Jrue Holiday, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Kristaps Porzingis, the Celtics are a wagon in 2023-24.

Brooklyn Nets: Mikal Bridges Wins DPOY (+2000)

Between Bridges, Ben Simmons, and Nic Claxton, the Nets have one hell of a defensive roster, but I'm counting on "The Warden" to continue his lockdown streak.

Bridges looked fantastic in 27 games with Brooklyn a season ago. His defense will carry him to superstardom this year.

New York Knicks: OVER 44.5 Wins (EVEN)

New York is running back the exact same starting lineup (Jalen Brunson, Quentin Grimes, RJ Barrett, Julius Randle, and Mitchell Robinson) as last season.

The Knicks' defense can get a little sketchy at times, but with each starting player earning another year in the system, New York should improve upon or match last year's 47-game win total.

Philadelphia 76ers: Joel Embiid To Win MVP (+800)

I mean, this is always a safe bet, right? Embiid fended off Nikola Jokic for last year's MVP award, and there's reason to believe the Cameroonian can repeat in 2023-24.

The +800 value is swell, plus I'm counting a big heap of James Harden's offensive share being allocated to Embiid, assuming "The Beard" refuses to play in Philly.

Toronto Raptors: OVER 36.5 Wins (-110)

Make no mistake, the Raptors are a dysfunctional organization. Toronto's offseason strategy always leaves fans confused, and there's not a ton to suggest the Raps improved over the summer.

I do not expect Toronto to make the playoffs, but the club should make it close. 36.5 wins is a fair line — one that the Raptors will narrowly cash OVER.

Best Bets For Every NBA Team: Central Division

Chicago Bulls: Make Playoffs (+160)

Chicago has missed the postseason in five of the last six seasons, but there's a spot for the Bulls just above the play-in tournament this year.

The Bulls aren't a miserable roster — they have Nikola Vucevic, Zach Lavine, and DeMar DeRozan — so I'm happy risking a bet on them at +160.

Cleveland Cavaliers: Donovan Mitchell To Average 28+ PPG (-110)

Last season, Mitchell averaged 28.3 points per game off the back of career highs in field-goal percentage (.484), free-throwing shooting (.867), and made three-pointers (3.6 per game), among other numbers.

Hands up if you want to see the Spida spin his web again this year. I do. 

Detroit Pistons: Cade Cunningham to average 25+ PPG (+550)

Is it so crazy to assume Cunningham takes a massive leap in his third NBA season?

The former first-overall pick couldn't stay healthy last season, but some of his numbers, including PPG and PER indicated he improved in a 12-game sample size. 25 PPG is a worthwhile leap at +550.

Indiana Pacers: To Make Playoffs (+110)

The Pacers have a lightning-quick offense featuring Tyrese Haliburton, Obi Toppin, and now Canadian Benedict Mathurin. There are shortcomings on this roster, but it's still smart to bet on this Indiana squad led by Rick Carlisle. 

Milwaukee Bucks: Eastern Conference Number Two Seed (+200)

There's all kinds of championship chalk on Milwaukee after it acquired Damian Lillard in a trade this offseason. With Lillard flanking incumbent star Giannis Antetokounmpo, anything is possible.

That said, I'm still higher on the Celtics, for example, to outlast the Bucks in the East. This is a very specific bet, but I can foresee Milwaukee slotting in second this year.

Best Bets For Every NBA Team: Southeast Division

Atlanta Hawks: Miss Playoffs (+175)

Yep, no thanks. The Hawks were a circus last season, and now the team has stocked the cupboard with sharpshooters at an immense compromise to its defensive integrity.

Trae Young will show up, but what else will go down? Too many variables. I'm fading at +175.

Charlotte Hornets: Brandon Miller to win ROTY (+2800)

Okay, what if? Sure, the Hornets took a wild gamble picking Miller over Scoot Henderson at second overall, but Charlotte has grand aspirations.

Miller isn't terribly quick or dynamic (yet), but he's sizeable, athletic, and owns a great outside touch. He's the perfect versatile forward for modern NBA play, making him worthwhile as a +2800 Rookie of the Year longshot.

Miami Heat: To Win Division (-180)

This isn't as bold as the other predictions, but -180 might be the best value you can snag ahead of another dominant Heat season. The Southeast division isn't exactly loaded with top-tier talent, leaving Miami as a clear favorite. 

Orlando Magic: To Make Playoffs (+170)

Why not? Orlando finished last year's regular season on a 29-28 run. The rebuilding Magic have the pieces (Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner), it'll now be about execution, though that's easier said than done.

Things are brightening up in The City Beautiful. A bet on the Magic to make playoffs might just brighten your bankroll, too.

Washington Wizards: Jordan Poole To Win MIP (+800)

Gone from a troubling situation in Golden State, Poole has a chance to blossom into a star in Washington. Last year, he averaged 20.4 PPG while splitting his time as a starter and a bench player.

With the Wiz, Poole can run the offense and fly high. Watch for him to average close to 25 PPG this season.

Best Bets For Every NBA Team: Pacific Division

Golden State Warriors: To Win Championship (+1200)

The Warriors offer the best value in the odds to win an NBA Title. The offseason acquisition of Chris Paul lengthens the Dubs roster and offers a myriad of mix-and-match lineup combinations for coach Steve Kerr to play with.

Golden State is a lock to make the playoffs (-450), and once the pressure increases, this veteran squad will play its best ball.

Los Angeles Clippers: To win division (+600)

In the name of fishing for value, the Clippers are a respectable bet to win the Pacific division. Paul George is an all-around star, plus Kawhi Leonard, even in a 50-game sample, oozes enough stardom to make this team's engine fire.

Add in coach Ty Lue and a bench rotation featuring Norm Powell, Bones Hyland, and Mason Plumlee, and you're looking at a regular-season juggernaut, assuming everything goes according to plan.

Phoenix Suns: Kevin Durant to win MVP (+1500)

Kevin Durant. Devin Booker. Bradley Beal. The Suns will enter 2023-24 with a top three that rivals any NBA title-winner in history. But I'm most intrigued with how this trio will make Phoenix's offense more efficient.

Last year, Durant and Booker did the heavy lifting. With Beal on the court now, opposing defenses will be spread thin, which will open up lanes for Durant to score more efficiently and even stuff the statsheet with assists.

Sacramento Kings: OVER 44.5 wins (-110)

The Pacific division improved over the summer, but the Kings didn't regress, so it's puzzling to see the 44.5 win total. I'll happily crank the OVER on this bet and pray for some of those perfect purple miracles for the second consecutive season.

Best Bets For Every NBA Team: Northwest Division

Denver Nuggets: Nikola Jokic to win MVP (+400)

Okay, I know I've tossed around multiple MVP predictions, but this is truly the Nuggets' best bet. Jokic is the best player alive; he is more integral to his team than any other NBA star, and he's the best two-way player in basketball.

That sure sounds like an MVP to me. Joker is chalked in the MVP odds at +400, but that's still fine value for a hefty pre-season bet.

Minnesota Timberwolves: To Make Playoffs (-140)

I'll go with some light chalk and bet the T-Wolves to make the postseason. Not shocking anyone with this wager.

Anthony Edwards is electric, and when Karl-Anthony Towns stays healthy, there are few big men like him. Factor in a supporting cast of Rudy Gobert and Jalen McDaniels, and, boom, a playoff contender.

Oklahoma City Thunder: Mark Daigneault to win Coach of the Year (+700)

Daigneault finished second in Coach of the Year voting a season ago after leading OKC to a 16-win increase year-over-year. In 2023-24, another big step by the Thunder could hand him the elusive hardware.

And there's little doubt Oklahoma City is capable. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander pushed the team's offensive ceiling to the stars, and as he matures, he'll be flanked by last year's No. 2 overall pick Chet Holmgren. 

All that equates to one mighty fine season, for which Daigneault will receive the credit.

Portland Trail Blazers: UNDER 27.5 Wins (-110)

For the first time since 2011-12, the Blazers will play a season without Damian Lillard on the roster. I'm no basketball scientist, but I'm told he's a good player, yes?

There will be chaos in The City of Roses as the current Portland youngsters scramble to fill Papa Dame's shoes. That, kids, means UNDER, UNDER, UNDER.

Utah Jazz: To win Play-In Tournament (+250)

Even after a step forward one year ago, the Jazz remain on the fringes, which is why I love a prayer of a bet on them to win the play-in tournament.

Utah could easily vault over the play-in range, but at this point in the year, this is all we've got.

Best Bets For Every NBA Team: Southwest Division

Dallas Mavericks: To Miss Playoffs (+155)

Christ, the first season didn't work, why should I expect to sequel to be any better? Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving couldn't find a groove last season, so I'll be ignorant and offer a simplistic fade for Year Two. No playoffs here.

Houston Rockets: OVER 31.5 wins (+105)

The offseason addition of Fred VanVleet, plus the natural progression of incumbents Jalen Green and Alperen Senguin at least gives the Rockets a whiff of 30-plus wins.

Ime Udoka will also serve as Houston's bench boss. For the first time in a while, I'm intrigued by the Rockets.

Memphis Grizzlies: Jaren Jackson Jr. To Lead NBA in Blocks (+225)

Jackson is a madman in the paint, and that attitude carried him to a Defensive Player of the Year award last season, so I'm comfortable taking him up on a defense-oriented prop for 2023-24.

After adding Marcus Smart, the Grizzlies defense should generally be better this season. Ja Morant's 25-game suspension throws too much shade on all other Memphis futures, so I'll stick with the Jackson bet.

New Orleans Pelicans: To Miss Playoffs (EVEN)

Last year, I bet on everything to go right in New Orleans. That meant a Zion MVP award and all kinds of other late-season glory for the Pels. Wrong!

So now it's George Costanza time, and I'll be betting the opposite: everything to go wrong. Let's predict Williamson won't be healthy or successful, plopping the Pelicans outside the playoff hunt.

San Antonio Spurs: Victor Wembanyama to record a triple-double (+400)

If Wemby is so skilled, then let's bet on a triple-double. He'll ace points and rebounds, but where can we find that elusive third category? Assists? Blocks? 

Crazier things have happened. It's just one epic game.

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