The New York Knicks, since trading for OG Anunoby, have been playing quite well. A number of the team’s wins have come against fairly easy foes with wins against the Rockets, Wizards, Grizzlies and Trail Blazers, but the Knicks have also registered wins against Philadelphia and Minnesota earlier in the month.
Anunoby has made an enormous impact on the defensive end of the floor with the Knicks now sitting at a 112.5 defensive rating (7th in the NBA). The Knicks defensive rating over the last 10 games is 102.9, the best in the league.
While the Clippers haven’t executed on the defensive end recently in similar fashion to the Cavs and the Knicks, the Clippers are also 8-2 in their last ten games with wins over the Heat, Suns, Pelicans and Thunder. The Clips are doing it on the offensive end with a 126.5 offensive rating over the last 10 games, best in the league.
The Clippers put an exclamation mark on their recent performance with a wild win against the Brooklyn Nets this past weekend. Against the Nets on their home court, the Clippers were down 11 points with 5:33 remaining in the game, and the home team proceeded to score the next 22 points, with Kawhi Leonard putting in 14 points in the final five minutes.
As we look to the NBA sports betting markets, we can reflect on how the futures odds have moved in recent weeks.
Interestingly, the NBA Championship odds over at bet365 haven’t moved a great deal. Boston’s championship odds have shortened slightly, going from +350 to +300. The rest of the top teams odds remain mostly unchanged.
In the regular season MVP race, we have some movement most notably around Joel Embiid’s recent otherworldly performance. When we last looked at our MVP odds, Embiid was sitting at +300 behind Nikola Jokic’s +175. Now over at bet365, both Jokic and Embiid sit at +200.
Over at FanDuel, Embiid is actually sitting with the shortest odds at +190, followed by Jokie (+240) and Gilgeous-Alexander (+360). DraftKings is similar, however you can get Gilgeous-Alexander at +400 over at DK. With legal sports betting coming to the Tar Heel state, be sure to check out the DraftKings North Carolina promo code which will be available when the state opens up betting to North Carolina residents.
Back to Joel Embiid. The 76ers star is now averaging 35 points per game in the 2023-24 season, up from 33.1 per game during his MVP season last year. Philadelphia sits at a steady 28-13 record for 3rd best in the east. Can Philly grab the 2-seed away from Milwaukee? It’s certainly possible, but staying healthy will be the top priority of these teams. Boston, it doesn’t appear, will give up the 1-seed.
On Monday night, the 76ers square off against the San Antonio Spurs, so we’ll get to enjoy watching Joel Embiid vs. rookie sensation Victor Wembanyama. Get your popcorn ready.
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