NBA Perfect Ten (Week of December 26th)

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 26th)

#10. LA Clippers (+400/+800) - After being unranked last week, the book-makers are certainly looking highly on the Clippers. They currently have the lowest odds to win the Western Conference…but health will be critical. Strengths: 3pt shooting, strength at the wing spot. Weaknesses: Health, health and more health. Last Week’s Rank: Unranked

#9. Phoenix Suns (+450/+1300) - The Suns have been unable to get back into a groove since the return of Paul. A roster shakeup may be needed to make a run in the playoffs. Strengths: Floor spacing, offensive efficiency Weaknesses: Lack of size, injuries. Last Week’s Rank: 8

#8. Philadelphia 76ers (+950/+1900) - James Harden is playing as well as he has in three years and Embiid is in full MVP form. Strengths: Floor spacing and 3pt defense. Weaknesses: Consistency of bench, health. Last Week’s Rank: 9

#7. Memphis Grizzlies (+550/+1200) - Things are getting crowded near the top of the Western Conference. The Grizzlies dropped a tough one at Golden State on Christmas Day. Morant and company have last year’s playoff run as experience as the season goes forward. Strengths: Offensive diversity and Morant’s ability to close games. Weaknesses: Perimeter defense and depth. Last Week’s Rank: 2

#6. New Orleans Pelicans (+850/+2,000) - The Pelicans are right in the mix still despite not having Ingram and Williamson for multiple games this past week. Strengths: Offensive versatility and rebounding. Weaknesses: Health and interior defense. Last Week’s Rank: 5

#5. Brooklyn Nets (+400, +750) - The Nets stayed hot last week and have won seven straight. The depth around Durant and Irving is paying dividends right now. Strengths: Return to health of role players. Durant and Irving’s ability to close games. Weaknesses: Rebounding and lack of size. Last Week’s Rank: 7

#4. Cleveland Cavaliers (+1000/+2200) - Cleveland is 7-3 in their last ten games and have 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: 4

#3. Milwaukee Bucks (+300/+600) - The Bucks dropped two spots after losing three straight including two blowout losses to the Nets and Celtics. Middleton missed both games with knee soreness, which can’t be a good sign. Strengths: Giannis Antetokounmpo’s offensive and defensive versatility and halfcourt defensive adjustments. Weaknesses: Free throw shooting and the fragility of #2 star Middleton. Last Week’s Rank: 2

#2. Denver Nuggets (+550/+1500) - I still think the Nuggets represent the best odds in the West. They have size, experience and more depth than they’ve ever had around Jokic. Strengths: Jokic’s dominance and depth. Weaknesses: Interior defense and consistency. Last Week’s Rank: 6

#1. Boston Celtics (+190/+360) - Boston rebounded from a 3-game losing streak with two straight blowout wins, including one over the Bucks. Robert Williams III’s return has strengthened the team’s interior defense. Strengths: Best scoring tandem in the NBA and defensive flexibility. Weaknesses: Offensive lapses and consistency. Last Week’s Rank: 3

Top-Five MVP Candidates thus far:

  1. Giannis Antetokoumpo (+330) - Antetokoumpo odds went up a bit after the Bucks fell out of the top spot in the East. He remains my favorite to win the award given his place as the league’s best player. Last Week’s Rank: 1

  1. Jayson Tatum (+250) - We’re going to leave Tatum in this #2 spot as the Celtics push towards the New Year. He has the lowest odds to win the award but has a lot of perennial MVP candidates right with him. Last Week’s Rank: 2

  1. Joel Embiid (+1000) - Embiid has replaced Jokic with the best bang for your buck odds. The Sixers are hot and he’s now the leading scorer in the league. Good spot to take a chance on The Process. Last week’s Rank: 4

  1. Nikola Jokic (+400) - We’ve been saying it all year, he had the best odds on the board for the majority of the season. Suddenly, he’s got the third lowest odds to win a 3rd MVP. He puts up eye-popping numbers and the Nuggets are back on top in the Western Conference. Last Week’s Rank: Unranked

  1. Luka Doncic (+450) - Doncic odds have gone up but his production is still there. Unfortunately, if Dallas doesn’t get close to 50 wins and Doncic doesn’t win the scoring title, he’ll likely fall behind the frontrunners. Last Week’s Rank: 5

  • In parenthesis, conference odds and finals odds. Player MVP props 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.