Perfect Ten (Week of February 13th)

The Kyrie Drama is over…for now. Just a few days left until the trade deadline, which could alter this list drastically. Let’s take a look at this week’s Perfect-Ten and the Top Five MVP Candidates.

Perfect Ten (Week of February 13th)

#10. Los Angeles Clippers (+500/+1000) - I am reluctantly keeping them in the Top 10 but do I believe they could beat Golden State in a 7-game series? Probably not. Strengths: Addition of Plumlee and Gordon gives the Clippers more scoring options. Weaknesses: Can 90% of Leonard win a playoff series? Last Week’s Rank: 9

#9. Sacramento Kings (+3500/+10,000) - While I think the Kings are destined to be a first round casualty, that is still a vast improvement from recent seasons. Strengths: Scoring and pace of play. Weaknesses: Ability to produce against premier defenses. Last Week’s Rank: 7

#8. Cleveland Cavaliers (+1000/+2500) - The Cavs appear to be the clear fourth best team in the East since Brooklyn’s trades. Are they ready for prime time? Strengths: Donovan Mitchell’s leadership and finishing ability. Weaknesses: Inexperience Last Week’s Rank: 8

#7. Memphis Grizzlies (+750/+1700) - Despite the brash confidence of the Grizzlies, their odds shot up after the Irving and Durant trades to the Western Conference. It hasn’t helped that the Grizzlies have struggled in Steven Adams’ absence. Strengths: Athleticism and Brooks ability to disrupt top scoring wings. Weaknesses: Lack of interior defense without Adams. Last Week’s Rank: 5

#6. Phoenix Suns (+245/+450) - Suddenly the Suns are the favorites once again in the Western Conference. When Durant returns, he will give the Suns arguably the best closer in the NBA and most lethal scorers. Strengths: The addition of Durant should really open things up for Devin Booker. Weaknesses: Durant’s health. This thing is a failure if the Suns don’t get to the Finals. Chris Paul is not getting younger. Last Week’s Rank: Unranked

#5. Dallas Mavericks (+700/+1600) - The Irving trade was worth the gamble for Dallas. He will be on his best behavior as he looks to secure his next big deal and, combined with Doncic, there may not be a more formidable duo in the NBA. Strengths: Irving gives Dallas a player that can create more space for Doncic to do his thing. Weaknesses: Does Dallas have enough depth to get through the playoffs? Last Week’s Rank: Unranked

#4. Philadelphia 76ers (+400/+1000) - The Sixers’ title odds have taken a hit with the moves made by Phoenix and Dallas. They still are dangerous if healthy. Strengths: Harden is playing his best ball as a Sixer and his ball movement has lifted the offense. Weaknesses: Can Harden keep up this pace right through the playoffs? Last Week’s Rank: 4

#3. Denver Nuggets (+390/+800) - The Nuggets added some back-court depth with the addition of Reggie Jackson after his release. He provides quality playoff insurance if Murray has to sit at all. Strengths: Perfect blend of shooters and slashers to compliment Jokic’s game. Weaknesses: Can newest acquisition Thomas Bryant provide defense behind Jokic? Last Week’s Rank: 2

#2. Milwaukee Bucks (+245/+600) - The Bucks are the hottest team in the league with ten straight wins. The addition of Crowder at the deadline should provide much-needed front court depth. Strengths: Improved perimeter offense that has the team scoring 115 or more points in eight of the ten wins. Weaknesses: Can the hot shooting hold up? Last Week’s Rank: 3

#1. Boston Celtics (+130/+330) - The Celtics odds continue to lower as the team looks more and more like the team that made the finals last season thanks to their defense. Strengths: Top-tier half-court defense and depth. Weaknesses: Consistency on offense. Last Week’s Rank: 1

Top-Five MVP Candidates thus far:

  1. Nikola Jokic (-155) - Jokic has become the clear front-runner for his third straight MVP but there’s time to look elsewhere for better odds.Last Week’s Rank: 1

  1. Joel Embiid (+350) - Philly keeps playing well but Embiid’s odds rose this week. Harden’s improved play may be cutting into his MVP hopes. Last Week’s Rank: 2

  1. Giannis Antetokounmpo (+750) - I suggested taking a long, hard look at Giannis last week and now his odds have dropped from +3500 to +750. Bucks keep winning and his odds keep lowering. Last week’s Rank: 4

  1. Luka Doncic (+1000) - Irving’s arrival could help the team but hurt Doncic’s MVP chances. His heel injury certainly helped his odds to raise from +800 to +1000. Last Week’s Rank: 3

  1. Jayson Tatum (+1200) - Tatum’s odds lowered slightly this week and he may have a chance to showcase his skills this week with Brown likely out through the all-star break. Last Week’s Rank: 5

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