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HOME > > Top 10 2022 NBA season future bets

Top 10 2022 NBA season future bets

26 September 2022

By Dan Ippolito

The NBA preseason begins on Friday following an offseason that was nothing short of insane.

One of the best players in the NBA, Kevin Durant, requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets, but after seeing the asking price, it is no surprise that Durant will most likely be wearing the black and white jersey on opening night. Recently, everyone saw the news surrounding Boston Celtics’ coach Ime Udoka as he is suspended for this season and it could go much further than that as more gets uncovered with his situation.

But instead of diving into that, let’s turn our attention to the betting side as regular season tip-off on 18 October when the Boston Celtics host the Philadelphia 76ers.

Here, we take a look at 10 bets we think are intriguing going into this season.

10. Miami Heat under 49.5 wins
Last season, the Heat won 53 games behind the likes of Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry. However, other teams in the Eastern Conference improved their rosters while Miami actually lost a key piece in P.J. Tucker to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Tucker was one of the better and more versatile defenders on the Heat and was able to guard several positions including the opposition’s better scorers.

With several teams in the conference getting better and adding depth, the Heat bench is not as strong compared to those teams and will be a major factor in the regular season production.

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9. Rookie of the Year
The Orlando Magic have been adding young talent via the NBA Draft for the last few years and having the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft they were able to do the same.

Paolo Banchero was drafted out of Duke and may have been taken before Jabari Smith or Chet Holmgren, who many thought had a better chance to be the top pick. That being said, Banchero may have the better package of skills and strength that makes him more appealing to coaches and front office members making the calls in the draft.

If you watched him in the NBA Summer League, you saw Banchero didn’t even play the entire circuit because the Orlando Magic saw they made the right choice with their pick and didn’t want to risk injury. Simply put, Banchero flat out balled. He has the capability to score from all three levels of the game and create his own shot at 6-foot-10.

He is going to be matchup problem for several teams, and I only see him gaining more confidence during the season and taking this award.

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8. Memphis to win the Southwest Division
Luka Doncic may be one of the most entertaining players to watch in the NBA, but does he have enough help in Dallas? Losing Jalen Brunson to the New York Knicks is a big hole that has yet to be filled. Sure, the Mavericks got Christian Wood in the offseason, but I don’t think that will be enough to push them by one of the more young and impressive teams in the West.

As entertaining as Doncic is, I think many would agree that Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies is arguably the most fascinating player in the league with his posterizing dunks, ridiculous blocks and leaping ability.

The Grizzlies are full of young talent, including Morant, Desmond Bane, Dillon Brooks and Jaren Jackson Jr. Each player seems to make a bigger impact each season. The youth and playoff inexperience became evident last May, but in the regular season they rolled and I expect more of the same en route to claim the Southwest Division title.

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7. Greek Freak to win Defensive Player of the Year
Last season, Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics became the first guard to win Defensive Player of the Year since Gary “The Glove” Payton back in 1996.

If you asked me two weeks ago who I thought would win this year, I would say Smart’s teammate Robert Williams. However, he is going to miss at least two months as he recovers from knee surgery and who knows if that will be an issue going forward for him.

Knowing that information now, my new pick goes to Giannis Antetokounmpo from the Milwaukee Bucks. The Greek Freak won this award back in 2020 and is always in the conversation to win the honor.

At 6-foot-11, Giannis’ length constantly disrupts offenses and if you try to use your body to create space form him, good luck because he is a brick wall. He is a player who you can see takes pride on the defensive side of the ball. Forcing turnovers is a big part of the Bucks’ success because when they turn teams over, they can get out and run and have Giannis flying in transition to the basket and I am not sure if there is anyone on the planet that can stop him in that mode.

Antetokounmpo is going to really step up his defensive play this year and bring the award back to the frontcourt.

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6. Nuggets to win Northwest Division
I have been picking this team for some time now and I am adding them to my list yet again. The Denver Nuggets are my pick to win the Northwest. Nikola Joki c has won the MVP award for the last two seasons and rightfully so. Joki c averaged 27 points, 13.8 rebounds and 7.9 assists per game.

That was when defenses had their entire focus on him. Now, some attention is going to have to be put toward former all-star Jamal Murray, who is set to return on opening night after an 18-month absence from an ACL injury.

In every season that Murray has played, his points per game have increased and in his last season he averaged just north of 21 points. He may take some time to get his legs back under him and be consistent again, but he is only going to help the Nuggets who lost the division last year to the Utah Jazz by one game. The Jazz shouldn’t be an issue to the division race as they lost basically every big piece of their puzzle and may be in rebuild mode after trading All-Star players like Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell.

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5. Giannis to win MVP
As mentioned above, Jokic is looking to become the fourth player ever to win the MVP three years in a row, joining Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell. However, I don’t think we will get to see him join that list.

The Milwaukee Bucks lost in the second round of the playoffs last year to the Boston Celtics and that didn’t sit well with players or the fans. Kris Middleton being out for that series played a big factor has he is the second-best scoring option on that team.

The person it didn’t seem to sit well with the most though is Giannis. The guy is a competitor and he is going to have a chip on his massive shoulders and we could be seeing him hungrier than ever this season and claim his third-career MVP award.

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4. Atlanta Hawks under 46.5 wins
The Atlanta Hawks won 43 games last season, led by Trae Young, but they added triple-double machine Dejounte Murray from the San Antonio Spurs. Many may see this as a major improvement and I am sure that in several ways it will be, but there is one major concern to me.

Young and Murray are both playmakers and like to have the ball in their hands. Yes, adding these two All-Star caliber talents together seems great on paper but haven’t we seen this before somewhere else?

Oh right, a similar situation happened when Russell Westbrook joined LeBron James and the Lakers. The Lakers missed the playoffs last year and the offense didn’t really have any sort of flow with these two on the court together. This may not be the case for Atlanta but it has a similar feel to it.

Even if it isn’t as negative as adding Westbrook to the Lakers was, it still could take time for them to adjust to each other against an improving Eastern Conference.

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3. Poole to win Sixth Man of the Year
The Golden State Warriors are the defending NBA Champions and as a Boston Celtics fan it pains me to say that after the Warriors beat the Celtics in six games in The Finals.

Steph Curry went to his ridiculous mode where it seemed that nobody was capable of keeping him at bay and ended up being MVP of The Finals. He had plenty of help from Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins, but another member of the team really made an impact.

Jordan Poole was a major spark off the bench in the playoffs and regular season for Golden State. Poole reminds me of Lou Williams in his prime. Williams, a three-time Sixth Man of the Year winner, would come off the bench as well and play starter minutes and was a walking bucket, they both just know how to score.

You can tell Poole feeds off of how Curry plays as well because as soon as he crosses midcourt, he has the confidence that he is in range to pull up from anywhere. Poole averaged 18.5 points per game last season and I think another season with that kind of offensive production off the bench will land him this award.

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2. Memphis to win the West
In 2020, the Memphis Grizzlies only had 38 wins and had to be in the play-in tournament for the playoffs. Last season, they had 56 wins and lost to the eventual champions in the second round of the playoffs. That experience playing against Golden State in the playoffs in May is going to go a long way for them.

Morant and company will have another impressive regular season. They finished second in the West in the regular season behind the Phoenix Suns. The Suns are going through their own issues with Jae Crowder sitting out of training camp in hopes of being traded and the owner Robert Sarver being fined, suspended and selling the team for workplace misconduct.

Memphis showed they can be a force in the regular season but the playoff rawness reared its ugly head for the team last year. Now they have the reps they need to make a push in the playoffs and get to the NBA Finals.

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1. Bucks to win the NBA Championship
I alluded to the Memphis Grizzlies making the NBA Finals but never said they would be crowned champions. That’s because my prediction is that they will run into the Bucks who will take their third title in team history.

The Bucks will have Middleton back at some point. It may not be for the start of the season, but they also do not want to rush him back so he can be fully ready to go and hopefully not miss time late in the season like he had to miss the play series against Boston.

We already talked about Giannis and his impact, but along with Middleton, there are plenty of supporting cast members that are vital to this team’s success. Big men Brook Lopez and Bobby Portis both have abilities to not only score around the rim, but can stretch the defense out with Portis’ mid-range jumper and Lopez launching from three-point land.

Then you have the guard play of Jrue Holiday to compliment Middleton. Holiday is one of the best on-ball defenders in the NBA and is able to hold his own in the scoring column.

In the end, I think it will be The Greek Freak carrying this team to The Finals and beating the Grizzlies in 6 games.

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Dan Ippolito
As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and he writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports.

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