NBA Perfect Ten (Week of January 30th)

The All-Star team has been picked, the NBA’s Rivalry Week was a success and now it is time to take a deep-dive once again concerning the direction of the NBA’s best teams. Let’s take a look at this week’s Perfect-Ten and the Top Five MVP Candidates.

Perfect Ten (Week of January 30th)

#10. Miami Heat (+1800/+4500) - The Heat are 7-3 in their last ten games but their odds rose this week. They may be borrowing this spot if the Clippers continue to get more games and minutes out of Leonard. Strengths: Coaching and Butler’s will to win. Weaknesses: A severe talent drop off in talent past the top three or four players. Last Week’s Rank: 10

#9. Golden State Warriors (+450/+1000) - All the key pieces are back and playing and here come the Warriors. The odds are very low for a team that is sitting in sixth place in the Western Conference. Strengths: Shooting, championship experience. Weaknesses: Rebounding and age. Last Week’s Rank: Unranked

#8. Cleveland Cavaliers (+1100/+2200) - Still hard to figure out what this team is. They are guard heavy but at times lack ball movement and they seem like a team that is underutilizing the versatility of Evan Mobley. Strengths: Dominance at home. Two top tier closers in Mitchell and Garland. Weaknesses: Road woes and reliance on top two scorers. Last Week’s Rank: 8

#7. Sacramento Kings (+2200/+7000) - The Kings continue to play well with a lineup of wings and a point guard loaded with offensive skills. They aren’t ready for a title, but they look like a playoff team. Strengths: Players finding their proper roles. Weaknesses: Lack of interior strength. Last Week’s Rank: 8

#6. Brooklyn Nets (+320, +600) - The oddsmakers are still all in on this Brooklyn team as they have more than survived the loss of Durant for this stretch. Now rumors are swirling that they are trying to add another piece to help Claxton down low. But then there is the Ben Simmons problem. Strengths: Irving playing his best ball in a couple of seasons. Team shooting. Weaknesses: Not enough quality trade options. Simmons continued injury issues and reluctance to play. Last Week’s Rank: 6

#5. Memphis Grizzlies (+450/+1100) - A 5-5 run thanks to a win on Sunday to avoid a losing ten game stretch still drops the Grizz two spots. Am I the only one that worries when Morant has to sit here and there, given his slight frame. Amazing talent, is he fragile? Strengths: Team speed. Team ball spacing Weaknesses: Size behind Steven Adams. Last Week’s Rank: 3

#4. Milwaukee Bucks (+390/+800) - Milwaukee moves up as Memphis falters but they are a wildcard. Will the Bucks consider a bigger move at the deadline with the uncertainty of Middleton? Strengths: Team defense and interchangeable wings. Weaknesses: The grind of another run in the playoffs ahead and the fear of overusing Giannis. Last Week’s Rank: 5

#3. Philadelphia 76ers (+550/+1100) - Is this the year of Philadelphia? The Phillies in the World Series, the Eagles in the Super Bowl and here come the Sixers. Strengths: Spot up shooters to feed off of Harden and Embiid. Weaknesses: Should the Sixers look for insurance in the trade market in case Embiid or Harden break down? Last Week’s Rank: 4

#2. Denver Nuggets (+350/+800) - The needle still hasn’t moved for the Nuggets yet, still a solid payout for both the conference and the title. Will the Nuggets be shopping at the trade deadline? Strengths: Ball movement and defensive depth. Weaknesses: Veteran wings that can fill it up for the second unit. Last Week’s Rank: 2

#1. Boston Celtics (+190/+370) - The Celtics suffered a three-game losing streak that ended in controversial fashion in a win over the Lakers. The Celtics miss the presence of Marcus Smart right now. Strengths: Reliance on the three and occasionally getting bogged down in one-on-one offense.Weaknesses: Pure shooter off the bench. Last Week’s Rank: 1

Top-Five MVP Candidates thus far:

  1. Nikola Jokic (-115) - From an afterthought to the prohibitive favorite to win the award. The Joker is back in rarified air. Last Week’s Rank: 1

  1. Joel Embiid (+260) - Don’t look now, here comes Embiid. The NBA’s traditional runner-up for MVP is back in the hunt and, if Denver falters, he might land in the driver’s seat for the award. Last Week’s Rank: 3

  1. Luka Doncic (+700) - Luka’s odds went up again this week and, again, not due to his play. Rumors are now out there that Dallas wants to find a running mate for him. If they can do that and bolster the team’s playoff chances, Doncic may move back up the ranks. Last Week’s Rank: 3

  1. Jayson Tatum (+850) - Tatum’s odds keep rising. He is having a tremendous season and is in line to end up with the highest points per game ever for the storied Celtics’ franchise. Unfortunately, he is likely a year away from being considered a front-runner for this award. Last Week’s Rank: 4

  1. Giannis Antetokounmpo (+1100) - Memphis faltered this week and Morant missed some time. Giannis remains as steady as ever and always valuable. 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.