NBA Perfect Ten (Week of December 19th)

The NBA closes in on its annual Christmas Day Spectacular and the Conference playoff races are taking shape. So, without further ado, here is our fifth NBA Perfect 10 of 2022-23.

Perfect Ten (Week of December 19th)

#10. Sacramento Kings (+3500/+8000) - The Kings knocked the team out of the top ten that they have tried to emulate: the Golden State Warriors. The Kings went 4-2 on a six-game road trip and have solidified their playoff positioning Strengths: Point guard and shooting from wings. Weaknesses: Interior defense Last Week’s Rank: Unranked

#9. Philadelphia 76ers (+1000/+2000) - The Sixers are rounding into form as we turn towards the New Year. Injuries to their backcourt seemed to have inspired Tobias Harris to levels we haven’t seen in a few seasons. Strengths: Embiid’s dominance, 3pt defense and wings. Weaknesses: Consistency on offense. Last Week’s Rank: 9

#8. Phoenix Suns (+475/+1000) - Things are getting crowded for the Suns atop the Western Conference standings. After chasing a franchise record for wins last season and getting bounced in the playoffs, the Suns look to be playing for the long haul this season. Strengths: Offensive execution, half-court defense. Weaknesses: Depth at the four and five. Last Week’s Rank: 4

#7. Brooklyn Nets (+500, +900) - The Nets have gone 9-1 in their last ten games and look more cohesive than the start of the season. The oddsmakers agree as their odds continue to drop. Strengths: Depth of finishers and floor spacing shooters. Weaknesses: Team defense and rebounding. Last Week’s Rank: 8

#6. Denver Nuggets (+650/+1500) - Denver is still waiting on Michael Porter Jr. but they aren’t waiting on the Joker. Jocic had 40 points, 27 rebounds and 10 assists on Sunday night vs. the Hornets to become the third player in NBA history to record at least 40 points, 25 rebounds and 10 assists in a game. Strengths: Floor spacing and depth. Weaknesses: Health and consistency. Last Week’s Rank: 7

#5. New Orleans Pelicans (+850/+2,000) - Zion Williamson is once again looking like the alpha male of the roster and Brandon Ingram close to returning, the Pels may soon make a run towards the top of the Western Conference. Strengths: Length of starting five. Pace of play. Weaknesses: Consistency and health Last Week’s Rank: 3

#4. Cleveland Cavaliers (+1000/+2200) - Cleveland is 7-3 in their last ten games and has their interior healthy yet again. Not surprisingly, they are winning more consistently. Strengths: Backcourt and team rebounding Weaknesses: Lack of depth at the four and five. Last Week’s Rank: 6

#3. Boston Celtics (+170/+350) - Boston has hit its first rough patch of the season, losing four out of five games. They do, however, have Robert Williams III back so keep an eye on their interior defense. Strengths: Strength at guard and team defense. Weaknesses: Inconsistency and composure. Last Week’s Rank: 1

#2. Memphis Grizzlies (+650/+1500) - The Grizzlies are on the rise and Ja Morant has the look of an MVP. They are 8-2 in their last ten games and are now atop the Western Conference standings. Strengths: Shooting, team rebounding and Morant’s dominance. Weaknesses: Defensive rotations and perimeter defense. Last Week’s Rank: 5

#1. Milwaukee Bucks (+280/+600) - The Bucks go back to the top of the rankings but is it fleeting? Milwaukee has to be concerned that Middelton’s surgically repaired knee is acting up. Strengths: Giannis Antetokounmpo’s offensive and defensive versatility and an abundance of floor spacers. Weaknesses: Free throw shooting and the fragility of #2 star Middleton. Last Week’s Rank: 2

Top-Five MVP Candidates thus far:

  1. Giannis Antetokoumpo (+310) - Antetokoumpo missed a game last week with a sore knee but he remains as consistent as ever. With Doncic’s Mavs struggling, Antetokoumpo steps back into the forefront. Last Week’s Rank: 2

  1. Jayson Tatum (+250) - Tatum remains the odds-on MVP favorite but he missed a game this week and the Celtics have lost four out of five. His MVP status will likely be tied into the Celtics' success this season. Last Week’s Rank: 3

  1. Ja’ Morant (+2500) - Morant has likely taken the status as the most dynamic player in the MVP. Meanwhile, his team has jumped to the top of the Western Conference standings. If Memphis keeps winning and he stays healthy, Morant will remain in the running. Last Week’s Rank: Unranked

  1. Joel Embiid (+1000) - Another 50-point effort last week and the Sixers are moving up the rankings. This is a quality number for a guy that will continue to gain steam as the season goes along. Last week’s Rank: 4

  1. Luka Doncic (+330) - Doncic still has the 3rd best odds to win the MVP but the Mavs recent struggles and his injured calf have put a crimp in his MVP campaign. Last Week’s Rank: 2

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