NBA Perfect Ten (Week of April 3)

One full week left after the weekend and the jockeying continues as teams try to avoid the Play-In round and others try to secure a homecourt edge. Let’s take a look at this week’s Perfect Ten.

Perfect Ten (Week of April 3)

#10. Cleveland Cavaliers (+1300/+4500) - The more the season progresses, the more you wonder if this team has what it takes. The talent is there with Mitchell, Garland, and an excellent front court featuring Mobley and Allen. The team has even added three-point depth that they lacked in last year’s first-round series with the Knicks by bringing in Max Strus this season. But are they just another first-round casualty?

#9. Phoenix Suns (+1000/+2200) - The Suns first order of business will be to try to get out of the play-in round with just over a week to go. This team lacks a point guard and has struggled with health all season. But in a short series, you never know…

#8. Dallas Mavericks (+1200/+2200) - Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic are playing better together now than at any time during this pairing. They have been a nightmare for the Suns in their matchups and a problem for the Lakers as well. They could be a playoff handful.

#7. New York Knicks (+1200/+4000) - The Knicks have ridden the backs of their backcourt down the stretch, particularly Jalen Brunson who has turned into an MVP candidate. If Randle can return, and that is a big if, they’ll be a tough team to matchup against.

#6. Los Angeles Clippers (+340/+650) - Few teams have closers like the Clippers do in Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and James Harden. Can they flourish deep into the playoffs or will this veteran team run out of steam?

#5. Minnesota Timberwolves (+1100/+3000) - Minnesota, like OKC, never faded despite people waiting for it to happen. The emergence of Naz Reid in Karl-Anthony Towns’ absence gives them more depth in the playoffs should Towns return as has been expected. They’ll be fun to watch as the toughest defensive team in the field.

#4. OKC Thunder (+700/+2000) - The Thunder just won’t go away. They have arguably the most complete offense perhaps second only to Boston and they have a solid, aggressive defense. They can’t rebound so that will be an issue against bigger, stronger teams in the playoffs.

#3. Milwaukee Bucks (+320/+750) - The Bucks finally won a game without Lillard healthy this week. They still look to be a defensive stopper away from running the table through the Eastern Conference playoffs.

#2. Denver Nuggets (+150/+330) - Denver has played this season perfectly. They’ve weathered some injuries, they have tinkered with their rotation, and they have their health and one of the top three seeds heading into the playoffs.

#1. Boston Celtics (-130/+200) - The Celtics justifiably have the best odds to reach the Finals given that the Bucks look like the only Eastern Conference team that can legitimately beat them. If they stay healthy, the Celtics should roll to the NBA Finals.

We Didn’t Forget About You:

Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers

To me, the Lakers are the only remaining team that can threaten to win their conference. The Miami Heat, Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings all seem like pretenders with far too many holes, be it not enough offense in the case of the Heat or not enough defense in the case of the Warriors and Kings. The Lakers, when things are right, have a solid halfcourt offense particularly if Russell stays hot and they have Davis anchoring a very capable defense.

Guess whose back? Joel Embiid’s return this week certainly makes the Eastern Conference playoff picture interesting. While he was away, the Sixers added pieces, particularly outside shooting pieces, that should compliment Embiid’s low post-game. They could be a problem.

Game of the Week, Season Record 10-10: The Mavs got us back to .500 for the season with a comfortable road win at Houston on Saturday.

Minnesota at Phoenix on Friday at 10:00 PM EST

While Minnesota is locked into one of the top three spots, the Suns are battling to get out of the play-in round that they currently reside in. With a veteran team, particularly Durant, that doesn’t have too many bullets left in the chamber, this team does not need to be playing extra games in the playoffs. They’ll be motivated to take down the Wolves in Phoenix.

  • In parenthesis, conference odds and finals odds. Player MVP props are also in parenthesis. All odds Courtesy of

By Mark Ruelle

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Mark Ruelle

Mark has been a sports fanatic since childhood. He is also an avid follower of sports analytics and has used it in his own betting analysis for over two decades. Now we have Mark on our team here at Stat Salt. He holds degrees in marketing, broadcasting, and English and uses this vast array of assets to dissect and analyze game matchups. Mark will provide you with a wide variety of statistics to consider and a strong opinion in each matchup that he covers. Please follow him daily for an up-to-the-minute analysis of all the important games.