NBA Odds Update: Are the Jazz Worth a Bet?
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 1.5 percentage points.
FanDuel Title Odds: +320
numberFire Champs Probability: 44.2%
How far have the Milwaukee Bucks come this season? Prior to their first game, our models gave them just below 11 percent odds of winning the championship -- those odds are up to a whopping 44.2 percent as of today. FanDuel Sportsbook, which had Milwaukee at 5.5/1 less than two months ago, has them at +320 now -- tied for the best odds in the Association.
The Deer are first in the league in net rating (by 4.5 points), defensive rating, true shooting percentage, effective field goal percentage, points per game, rebounds per game, nERD score, and, of course, winning percentage. Milwaukee is also inside the top five in assists, blocks, and offensive rating. The Bucks are on pace to win 71 games this season, which would be third-most in NBA history.
Given the way most of the Eastern Conference teams are playing, it's tough to imagine a scenario where the Bucks are not heavy favorites to come out of the East. As for the West, Milwaukee's 15-3 record against their non-conference foes is the best such record in the league.
The fact that the Bucks don't have a single player inside the top 75 in minutes per game is going to be a huge boost come playoff time. Get Milwaukee at +320 before their odds shrink even more.
FanDuel Title Odds: +1800
numberFire Champs Probability: 4.1%
Though one of those wins did come against the Los Angeles Lakers, the Boston Celtics have lost six of their last nine contests, including losses to the Detroit Pistons, Phoenix Suns, and Washington Wizards. That has led to Brad Stevens' squad experiencing the largest drop in our title odds of any team (-3.8%).
Boston has had moments this season where they've looked like formidable championship contenders, but then they counter those moments by coming out flat against lower-tier opponents. The Celtics have also lost five of their last six against teams that are currently top six in the Eastern Conference.
All that said, Boston's 18/1 odds are very intriguing. Should anything unfortunate happen to Milwaukee, those odds will start to look like fantastic value.
FanDuel Title Odds: +1200
numberFire Champs Probability: 2.6%
Speaking of inconsistent play, let me introduce you to the Houston Rockets. After starting to look like a cohesive unit, the Rockets have five of their last six, including two contests to Chris Paul and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Houston is sixth in the Western Conference in net rating, which doesn't exactly indicate an easy path to the Finals.
James Harden is shooting just 35.8 percent from the field and 26.2 from three in 2020, yet he continues to hoist up shots at historic rates. Right now, he looks like a player who's more infatuated with stats than team victories. The fit with Russell Westbrook was always going to be challenging given their styles of play, and that won't be any easier if Harden isn't willing to sacrifice any individual accolades.
With Houston (12/1) playing in a loaded Western Conference, there are better bets to be had on the market.
FanDuel Title Odds: +1600
numberFire Champs Probability: 4.3%
The second biggest mover in our title odds were the Utah Jazz. Utah has been on fire, winning 17 of their last 19 contests.
The Jazz have surprisingly balanced metrics this season, coming in eighth in defensive efficiency and seventh in offensive efficiency. Utah currently leads the league with a three-point percentage of 38.8, they are also second in effective field goal percentage and third in true shooting percentage. In summary, this team can shoot.
Over their last 15 games, no team has a better net rating than the Jazz, who also have an offensive rating that's four points better than any other team during that period.
At 16/1 odds, there are worse things to do with your money than betting on Utah to win it all.