NBA Odds Update: Are the Clippers Elite?
In this edition of the NBA Odds Update, we’ll look at which teams saw their odds move the most since our last update.
Teams that had strong weeks and are starting to look like cohesive units will likely see the most upward movement, while those who had it rough could see their odds spiraling.
If you want to see our odds for every team, be sure to check out our power rankings. Here's a look at the four teams who had their title odds move by more than one percentage point.
Los Angeles Clippers
FanDuel Title Odds: +320
numberFire Champs Probability: 7.8%
The Los Angeles Clippers started out the season with numberFire's highest championship probability, at 21 percent. They have since dropped 13.2 percentage points, as their play looks far from elite.
On paper, the Clippers have the talent to be dominating every opponent they face. However, the reality has been far from that. This week, the Clips lost to the Memphis Grizzlies... at home... by 26 points (!!). Paul George not playing is nowhere near a valid excuse for that piss-poor performance. A day later, again at home, Los Angeles barely managed a win against the lowly New York Knicks.
Since mid-December, the Clippers have the eighth-worst defensive rating in the league. That's a concerning trend, considering that they have some of the greatest individual defensive talents in the NBA. Included in that stretch are games where they allowed 120 points to the Utah Jazz, 140 to Memphis, and 132 to the Knicks.
At FanDuel Sportsbook, the Clippers still have +320 odds, which doesn't exactly make them a great value bet right now.
FanDuel Title Odds: +300
numberFire Champs Probability: 38.5%
While their FanDuel odds stayed the same, numberFire's championship probability for the Milwaukee Bucks rose by more than four percentage points for the fifth time in five weeks.
Milwaukee currently has a five-game lead over any other team in the East. Think about that for a second -- we're not even at mid-season, and the Bucks have already built a five (!!) game lead over their entire conference. Milwaukee's net rating is 4.7 points better than the next closest team. The Deer are first in the league in defensive rating, true shooting percentage, and effective field goal percentage -- just in case you thought their dominance pertained to just one side of the ball.
What's incredible is that the Bucks have done all of this without having a single player inside the top-70 in minutes per game. They certainly won't have to worry about fatigue when the playoffs begin.
Even at 3/1, the Bucks are worthy of your consideration.
FanDuel Title Odds: +2300
numberFire Champs Probability: 2.3%
The Denver Nuggets have won 10 of their last 13, but that didn't stop their championship probability from dropping by 1.7 percent.
Over their last six games, Denver has lost to the New Orleans Pelicans by 12, the Houston Rockets by 26, and the bottom-feeding Washington Wizards by 14. None of that is encouraging. Over those six games, the Nuggets have a net rating of -4.5, good for eighth-worst in the league.
On the season, the Nugs have been shooting the ball at a below-average rate, with the 10th-worst true shooting percentage, effective field goal percentage, and three-point percentage in the league.
At 23/1, it might be worth taking a stab at Denver, given that no Western Conference team looks unbeatable. That said, their odds might grow even steeper if they continue to lose to tanking opponents.
FanDuel Title Odds: +1200
numberFire Champs Probability: 3.0%
If you were on Twitter approximately two weeks ago, you'd have seen fans and some members of the media essentially crowning the Philadelphia 76ers as champion's of the East after their beat-down of the Bucks. However, the Sixers have the league's second-worst three-point percentage since that highly unsustainable performance where they tied a franchise record by hitting 21 of 44 attempts from downtown. Philly also has the league's fifth-worst offensive and net rating during that stretch.
The 76ers' 1.1 percentage drop in numberFire's odds are small compared to their FanDuel drop from 9.5/1 to 12/1. Given that you need to be able to beat teams on the road in order to win a championship -- something the Sixers have done in just 7 of their 19 road contests -- it's hard to justify a bet on this team right now.