With the NBA All-Star break now come and gone, three-quarters of the 2021-22 NBA season is officially in the rearview. With around 20 games remaining for each team, let’s take a closer look at the futures market, and see which teams have some value left in terms of winning the NBA Finals.
Here are two I have my eye on.
Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook.
Phoenix Suns (+410)
After storming through the Western Conference in last season’s postseason, the Suns took a 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals to Milwaukee, hoping to win at least one before coming home to close it out. Then the wheels fell off, losing four straight with Giannis Antetokounmpo taking over the series averaging 35.2 points per game.
Winning 48 of their 58 games before the break, the Suns seem to have quickly forgotten with largely the same roster and a young nucleus in Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton a year older and wise. Ending the first part of the season inside the top five in offensive (#4) and defensive (#3) efficiency, the Suns are playing elite basketball on both ends and it’s only February.
Despite Chris Paul likely being out the rest of the regular season, I like Booker who is averaging 25.5 points per game, to step up and lead this team to the #1 seed in the West setting up another deep run come this summer.
Miami Heat (+1000)
Speaking of efficiency rankings, the Heat are quietly playing some of the best basketball over the past couple of months, now inside the top 10 in the league on both ends as well. Now with a healthy Kyle Lowry, the Heat have a plethora of guys who can get it done night and night out with scorers up and down their roster.
Led by Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo who are combining for 40.2 points per game, the Heat also have the likely Sixth Man of the Year in Tyler Herro who continues to emerge as one of the league’s most lethal shooters.
Add on one of the best coaches in the league in Erik Spoelstra and a defense that competes every single night, and the Heat are a dangerous opponent for anyone in not just the East, but the league at large.
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