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NBA Championship Odds: Analyzing NBA Contender Odds After the Trade Deadline

NBA Championship odds and predictions. After the dust settled from a crazy 2022 NBA Trade Deadline, how did the movement affect the odds of the main NBA Champion contenders? Who now leads the pack in the race to be the favorite to cut down the nets?
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NBA Championship Odds: Analyzing NBA Contender Odds After the Trade Deadline

The NBA trade deadline is always the most chaotic, strange, and head-scratching of all the major sports. This year was no different with mega-stars like Ben Simmons and James Harden swapping teams. Formerly great players like Kristaps Porzingis were sent to basketball purgatory in Washington. Numerous players were traded to teams in unusual deals but will be subsequently bought out. It all makes the head spin.

When the dust settled after the 3:00 PM ET deadline, how were the odds of major contenders impacted? Who gained and lost the faith of oddsmakers and bettors as we inch towards the All-Star break and the playoffs in two months?

Let's look at the primary NBA Championship contenders and see how they fared after the deadline.

Setting the Baseline

On February 1, here were the odds of the primary NBA contenders according to BetMGM.

NBA Contender Odds on February 1
Brooklyn Nets+275
Golden State Warriors+450
Milwaukee Bucks+700
Phoenix Suns+700
Utah Jazz+1200
Los Angeles Lakers+1400
Miami Heat+1400
Philadelphia 76ers+1800
Chicago Bulls+2200
Memphis Grizzlies+2500
Cleveland Cavaliers+5000
Atlanta Hawks+6600
Boston Celtics+6600

We saw major movement on some of these teams after trades were completed this afternoon. Here are some highlights from the major players and what their new odds look like on BetMGM right now.

NBA Championship Odds

Brooklyn Nets (+400)

Even with the addition of Ben Simmons and his lethal defense, the Nets find themselves in a dangerously the two elite Western Conference teams. Partially this is due to the Kevin Durant injury, part of it is the recent slide by Brooklyn (1-9 in their last 10, now 8th in the East), and part of it is the Warriors and Suns just look like world-beaters right now. The Nets and Bucks may be the favorites to come out of the East now, but they face a formidable foe should they reach the Finals. The Kyrie Irving issue still needs to be resolved as he still cannot participate in any home game.

Golden State Warriors (+450)

The Warriors version of the trade deadline consisted of getting Klay Thompson back on the court and playing big minutes again. In his last game, Thompson was just a few seconds short of his first 30-minute game in more than two years and he is finally starting to round into form. If the Warriors can get all of Curry, Thompson and Draymond Green healthy at the same time, they now have a fourth weapon in Andrew Wiggins that can push them to a championship in June.

Phoenix Suns (+475)

For as great as teams like the Warriors, Bucks, and Heat have looked recently, none of them are hotter than the Suns right now. They didn't need to do anything to maintain their position, but as predicted on OddsChecker, they traded Jalen Smith for a key defensive piece from their 2021 run in Torrey Craig. That should help lock down the wing for the Suns and provide somewhat of a scoring touch off the bench as well. If you're still sleeping on the Suns, it's time to wake up. They have what it takes to win it all.

Milwaukee Bucks (+650)

The Bucks have been waiting on Brook Lopez to heal all season after a back injury, so they took matters into their own hands on Thursday. By dealing for center Serge Ibaka, they now have a legitimate backup to Bobby Portis and a player who is battle-tested all the way through the Finals. As an added bonus, they cleared Donte DiVencenzo off their roster and don't have to worry about paying him to re-sign next season. For all the posturing and maneuvering that the rest of the East did on Thursday, Milwaukee is still my pick to win the East and is great value right now.

Philadelphia 76ers (+700)

Yes, the 76ers got another elite talent to put beside Joel Embiid with the trade for James Harden. Yes, their odds shortened as they clearly have a better shot at the Finals now. But James Harden has been more malcontent than Final MVP wherever he has gone lately. Philly is in a good position, creeping up on fourth in the East and home court in the first round, but it remains to be seen if Embiid and Harden can develop any cohesiveness in this last third of the season. If you think this is the year that Harden fully activates Playoff Beard, then this is the bet for you. At +700, that's tremendous value compared to the other heavy hitters.

Miami Heat (+1100)

Besides shipping KJ Okpala to Oklahoma City, the Heat did not participate in the Eastern Conference shuffle up that happened on Thursday. That's not a bad thing for them at all. They expect Victor Oladipo back in a month or so, which would be a major addition and they have received major contributions from guys like Omer Yurtseven, Max Strus and Caleb Martin. They may have enough pieces without doing a thing to take down the Eastern Conference and make a run at the whole thing. Kyle Lowry and Jimmy Butler are both "been there, done that" players who I would want on my playoff team.

Los Angeles Lakers (+2000)

The Lakers decided to not make any moves at the deadline, because why would they? It's not like they got trounced by the Portland Trail Blazers C-Team on Wednesday or anything. Los Angeles decided they want to be players in the buyout market, because I'm sure adding old, washed-up players to their roster of old, washed-up players is exactly what they need to get back to the Finals. I have been out on this team since October and nothing they did this week or will do in the days to come can bring me back in at this point.

Chicago Bulls (+2500)

The Bulls showed interest in Jerami Grant for a hot minute on Wednesday and Thursday, but ultimately did not make a move and will continue their pursuit of a championship with the LaVine-DeRozan-Vucevic big three and solid peripheral pieces like Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso and Coby White. They may be candidates to sign some bought out players, especially in the front court, but they currently sit one game out of first in the East and and are playing elite ball on the offensive end. In terms of a longshot bet to win the Finals with longer than +2000 odds, my money would be all over the Bulls.

Other Notable Teams Post-Trade Deadline:

Memphis (+2500) Dallas (+4000) Cleveland (+4000) Boston (+5000)


Proudest husband and dad you will ever find. When I'm not with my wife and two kids I split my time working in higher ed, grinding DFS and season-long, collecting silver age comics, studying behavioral economics, and drinking coffee. I once played Pat Connaughton in an actual NBA DFS lineup for money. Astros, Rockets, and Texans for life.


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