NBA Perfect Ten (Week of February 27th)

Roughly twenty games are left in the regular season and teams are jockeying for playoff positioning. Let’s take a look at this week’s Perfect-Ten and the Top Five MVP Candidates.

Perfect Ten (Week of February 27th)

#10. New York Knicks (+4500/+15,000) - The Knicks' acquisition of Hart seems to have solidified their backcourt on both offense and defense. They have won five straight games heading into this week. Strengths: The Knicks are solid on the glass and Hart has solidified the rotation. Weaknesses: Interior defense. Last Week’s Rank: Unranked

#9. Cleveland Cavaliers (+1200/+4000) - The Cavs are certainly a longshot in what appears to be a 3-team race in the Eastern Conference. Still, they have won 7 of 10. Strengths: The Cavs have a high-octane offense and one of the best backcourts in the NBA. Weaknesses: Interior defense and wing defenders. Last Week’s Rank: 89

#8. Dallas Mavericks (+850/+1800) - The Mavs still seem to be sorting things out with a whole new rotation, evidenced by blowing a 24-point lead to the Lakers on Sunday. Strengths: The Mavs’ offense has improved with the addition of Irving and the return to health of Doncic. Weaknesses: Interior defense and time…do they have enough time to figure this out? Last Week’s Rank: 7

#7. Memphis Grizzlies (+750/+1700) - The Grizzlies' odds stayed steady this week. A comfortable home win over Denver certainly puts the Grizz back into the conversation. Strengths: The Grizzlies’ rotation is rounding into form as they await Adams’ return to health. Weaknesses: Too soon for the brash Grizzlies? Last Week’s Rank: 8

#6. Philadelphia 76ers (+500/+1100) - The Sixers had a 16-point lead over Boston late in the 3rd quarter but couldn’t hold it. The Sixers are now 0-3 against Boston this season. Strengths: Embiid’s dominance and Harden’s ability to move the ball. Weaknesses: The Sixers once again fell victim to a team with quality wing players against Boston on Saturday night. Last Week’s Rank: 5

#5. Los Angeles Clippers (+500/+1000) - The Clippers pushed their chips to the center of the table by singing Westbrook. Will the fifth team be the charm for Westbrook? Strengths: Clippers' offense has improved dramatically both with the recent acquisitions and the emergence of Leonard as an offensive force again. Weaknesses: Will head coach Lue be able to manage Westbrook’s minutes correctly? Last Week’s Rank: 6

#4. Phoenix Suns (+235/+425) - Even though Durant hasn’t suited up for the Suns yet, their odds to win have lowered and the team has played with confidence. Strengths: Durant is nearly ready to go and his arrival will likely allow the Suns to rest Paul even more. Weaknesses: Perimeter defense and health. Last Week’s Rank: 4

#3. Denver Nuggets (+380/+800) - The Nuggets are still the class of the West, even with Durant’s arrival. Sunday’s OT win over the Clippers showcased the pure dominance of Jokic. Strengths: Scoring offense and wing depth. Weaknesses: Consistency on the defensive end. Last Week’s Rank: 3

#2. Milwaukee Bucks (+220/+500) - The Bucks have now won 14 straight games but Giannis’ health is still a concern. Strengths: Crowder’s arrival might allow the Bucks to rest Giannis’ a bit more down the stretch. Weaknesses: The Bucks can win without Giannis for a game or two, but if he continues to get banged up, it could be a problem. Last Week’s Rank: 2

#1. Boston Celtics (+120/+280) - The Celtics are getting healthier and showing off their depth. Saturday’s win at Philly likely pushed the Sixers out of any hope of the top spot. Strengths: Defensive rotation and depth. Weaknesses: Rebounding and occasional over-reliance on the 3pt shot. Last Week’s Rank: 1

Top-Five MVP Candidates thus far:

  1. Nikola Jokic (-300) - Jokic’s odds have dropped yet again this week. Sunday’s epic triple-double of 40 points, 17 rebounds, and 10 assists in an overtime win over the Clippers is just another superlative on his MVP resume. Last Week’s Rank: 1

  1. Joel Embiid (+370) - Embiid had another strong week, including a 40-point performance against Boston. The effort exemplified his recent efforts to win the MVP: he came up short and the Sixers fell. Last Week’s Rank: 2

  1. Giannis Antetokounmpo (+800) - Giannis’ is now back up to +800 and falling away from Jokic. The Bucks have won 14 straight games but the Greek Freak has been banged up lately, including missing Sunday’s win over Phoenix. Last week’s Rank: 3

  1. Jayson Tatum (+1300) - Tatum’s 3pt buzzer-beater to defeat Philly on Saturday is likely forecasting a future MVP for the 25-year-old. Just not likely to be this season. Last Week’s Rank: 4

  1. Luka Doncic (+2000) - Once the front-runner, Doncic’s MVP campaign cooled considerably due to injury and now the arrival of Kyrie Irving, which has cooled off his near triple-double a night numbers from earlier in the season. Last Week’s Rank: 4

  • 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.