Perfect Ten (Week of March 13th)

Suspensions and injuries rule the day in the NBA at the moment and it may come down to a battle of attrition as teams battle for playoff positioning. Let’s take a look at this week’s Perfect-Ten and the Top Five MVP Candidates.

Perfect Ten (Week of March 13th)

#10. Sacramento Kings (+2800/+8000) - The Kings fell out of the top 10 last week but I can’t overlook a team that is now tied with Memphis for the #2 seed in the West with 40 wins. Strengths: The Kings can score with anyone and Fox is a hidden gem in the west. Weaknesses: The Kings can score but where’s the beef on defense? Last Week’s Rank: Unranked

#9. New York Knicks (+2800/+9000) - The Knicks dropped three-straight games before upending the Lakers on Sunday. Strengths: The Knicks responded well on Sunday after dropping three games in a row. They are tenacious and tough to beat at home. Weaknesses: Brunson’s injury is a concern, especially a foot injury. Last Week’s Rank: 8

#8. Cleveland Cavaliers (+1400/+4500) - Cleveland regains a spot ahead of the Knicks and the homecourt if the two square off in the playoffs. Strengths: Donovan Mitchell looks like he could win a series by himself in the playoffs. Weaknesses: Cleveland needs other players to step up eventually, as the competition gets tougher in the playoffs. Last Week’s Rank: 9

#7. Golden State Warriors (+500/+1000) - This week starts with a possible playoff preview with a game against Phoenix. The Warriors are getting healthy at the right time. Strengths: Curry’s injuries this season could be a plus as he will be fresh come playoff time. Weaknesses: Does this team have enough in the tank for one more deep run in the playoffs? Last Week’s Rank: 7

#6. Los Angeles Clippers (+650/+1300) - Kawhi Leonard is starting to look like himself and that should scare the rest of the Western Conference. Strengths: The Clippers' weakness has turned into a strength as the team’s scoring has improved significantly since the all-star break. Weaknesses: The Clippers need to delicately handle Leonard and George down the stretch. An injury to either and this team is cooked. Last Week’s Rank: 5

#5. Philadelphia 76ers (+475/+1200) - The Sixers and Celtics or Bucks series in round 2 should be a war. Can Harden and Embiid hold up? Strengths: Maxey has played much better as of late, which could solidify the Sixers' second unit. Weaknesses: Can Harden and Embiid handle extra minutes in the playoffs? Last Week’s Rank: 5

#4. Phoenix Suns (+235/+425) - The Suns’ odds rose slightly this week as Durant’s injury puts a scare into Suns fans. Strengths: Devin Booker looks like an MVP candidate once again, the first time this season. Weaknesses: Age and injuries came to a head with Durant’s warmup injury. Last Week’s Rank: 4

#3. Denver Nuggets (+290/+700) - The Nuggets' odds finally dropped this week as they remain the West’s #1 seed. Are the oddsmakers finally buying in? Strengths: Michael Porter looks healthier by the game. Weaknesses: Finding consistent scoring around Jokic. Last Week’s Rank: 3

#2. Boston Celtics (+140/+320) - Boston has won two straight entering this week but still waits for Robert Williams II to return from a hamstring injury. Strengths: Dominant on-ball defense and two premier closers in Tatum and Brown. Weaknesses: The Celtics need a healthy Williams to win it all this season. Last Week’s Rank: 2

#1. Milwaukee Bucks (+175/+400) - The Bucks are still two games up on Boston in the loss column and yet, Boston remains the favorite in the East. Do the oddsmakers not trust the Bucks' health? Strengths: The Bucks just find ways to win and have had so few completely flat games this season. Weaknesses: Can the Bucks keep this veteran team healthy? Last Week’s Rank: 1

Top-Five MVP Candidates:

  1. Nikola Jokic (-290) - Now or never to get on the Jokic train. He is the heavy favorite now to win the MVP. Last Week’s Rank: 1

  1. Joel Embiid (+250) - Embiid’s odds dropped this week. Could the leader of the never-ending Sixers’ Process be making a late run at the award? Last Week’s Rank: 2

  1. Giannis Antetokounmpo (+800) - I said last week that Giannis’ has become a victim of his own dominance and, sure enough, an article came out this week that suggested this is a down year. Last week’s Rank: 3

  1. Jayson Tatum (+2500) - Tatum’s odds officially rose even higher this week. Wave the white flag on the Tatum MVP pursuit this year but he will be the favorite along with Doncic next season. Last Week’s Rank: 4

  1. Luka Doncic (+6000) - Like Tatum, Doncic is just about out as a realistic candidate for MVP this season. His thigh injury and the Mavs’ inconsistent play sunk his candidacy. Get ready to pencil him in as a heavy favorite for this award next year. Last Week’s Rank: 5

  • 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.