NBA title odds: Which long shots should you bet ahead of 2022-23 season?
The Timberwolves and Pelicans are among the best value bets to win it all ahead of this upcoming NBA season.
Few leagues are as top-heavy as the NBA, which has seen just one title winner with a preseason price of 30/1 in its history. But that doesn’t mean a long shot can’t break through eventually.
We nearly saw one in each of the last three seasons. The Heat opened the year as 60/1 long shots in 2019-20 before injuries derailed their chances in the Finals. The Suns and Celtics both held 2-0 series leads as 40/1 preseason long shots, but neither was able to seal the deal against the Bucks and Warriors, respectively.
This season looks wide open, too, with the shortest title favorites facing a tough road ahead and some dark-horse contenders loading this offseason. Here’s a look at the current odds to win the NBA title at BetMGM and three long shots worth betting before Tuesday’s season tip-off:
Odds to win 2022-23 NBA championship (via BetMGM)
Minnesota Timberwolves (+2800)
There’s something brewing in Minnesota after this group snapped its four-year postseason drought with a wildly entertaining series against the Grizzlies last season. And I wouldn’t be surprised if they take the next step this season.
The Timberwolves made one of the biggest moves of the summer, dealing a bushel of picks and young players for longtime Jazz center Rudy Gobert – winner of three of the last five Defensive Player of the Year awards. His presence should instantly transform a group that ranked high in hustle stats but was middle-of-the-road defensively.
What did carry this group, though, was its elite offense, which ranked first in points per 100 possessions (118.4) from Jan. 1 through the end of the regular season. Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns are two of the best young budding superstars in this league at their respective positions; pair those two with Gobert, and there’s a path to contention for this core.
New Orleans Pelicans (+4000)
Which Zion Williamson will we see in 2022-23? Will it be the one who looked like the next great big in this league after averaging 27 points on 61.1% shooting as a sophomore? Or will it be the one who missed the entire next season with a foot injury?
The answer to that question will determine just how far the Pelicans can go after crashing the postseason field a year ago and nearly ousting the top-seeded Suns in an entertaining six-game series. The addition of underrated veteran CJ McCollum sparked this group, while Brandon Ingram’s continued growth could help elevate it to another level.
Ultimately, though, Williamson holds the keys to a title run for New Orleans. If he emerges as a top-15 player this year with a steady supporting cast, the Pels could legitimately break into the top half of a wide-open Western Conference.
Atlanta Hawks (+5000)
I can’t believe the Hawks are dealing at 50/1 odds after making the Eastern Conference Finals just two seasons ago. Last year’s team was derailed by injuries, but they’ve loaded up for another run in the jam-packed East.
There’s no question that Trae Young is one of the best young guards in the NBA after he led the league in total points (2155) and assists (737) – something only one player had ever done in league history. Now he’ll pair with two-way star Dejounte Murray, whom the team acquired in a blockbuster deal this summer to elevate Atlanta’s title ceiling.
There are legitimate pieces around those two, as well, especially if De’Andre Hunter and John Collins can stay healthy across a full season. We’ve seen this group rip off a championship-level run before with Young at the helm, and I’d gladly take these odds on them putting it all together this time around.
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