Denver Nuggets Futures Odds: Nikola Jokic Best In The West
The Denver Nuggets are the best in the West, sitting first overall in the Conference with a 25-13 record. They have been unbelievable at home, winning 15 out of 18 games in their building and riding a nine-game winning streak at Ball Arena.
Jamal Murray’s return to form has been admirable, Aaron Gordon and Michael Porter Jr. have improved this season, team chemistry has gotten stronger, and the bench has been one of the best in the NBA.
But most of their inspiration flows through their star player, The Joker.
Nikola Jokic is on a mission this season, searching for his third straight MVP award. Another win would make him the first back-to-back-to-back winner since Larry Bird completed the feat in 1986. The Joker is averaging nearly a triple-double, with 25 points, ten rebounds, and nine assists per game. He continues to make everyone around him better, and his stellar play has been crucial to the Nuggets’ success.
If Denver and Jokic continue playing this way, he should be a lock for the MVP, currently the fourth favorite at +500.
2022-2023 Record: 25-13 (1st in West)
Denver has been the hottest team in the West, trending in the right direction. They have won 14 of their last 20 games and just dismantled a fully healthy Clippers (sixth) by almost 30 points.
The best thing about the Nuggets is their offense. Michael Malone has injected much-needed creativity into the squad while they rank as the fifth-best offense in the NBA. They’ve dropped over 120 points against some of the more impressive defenses, such as Boston, Miami, and the Clippers. More importantly, the scoring has come from everyone rather than just their star players.
Northwest Division Winner Odds
Denver Nuggets -1700
Portland Trailblazers +1200
Utah Jazz +3900
The Northwest Division is Denver’s to lose. They have a healthy five, a half-game lead over the Portland Trailblazers, and have dominated divisional opponents (7-3). Utah has been a surprise this year but doesn’t pose a real threat, while Minnesota and Oklahoma City are afterthoughts.
This is the worst division in the Western Conference, and there is no real value in betting on the Nuggets at -1700. They should win the Northwest with ease.
Western Conference Winner Odds
Phoenix Suns +370
Denver Nuggets +440
Golden State Warriors +460
Los Angeles Clippers +470
Memphis Grizzlies +550
Now, this is where things get spicy. In my opinion, at +440, these odds are a gift, as the other top teams in the West seem a bit fraudulent.
Relative to their standard, Phoenix has been terrible, relying heavily on Devin Booker. They currently sit eighth in the standings and have lost seven of their last ten games. They can’t win at home and won’t make the Conference Finals if they face their kryptonite Luka Doncic.
The defending champions have also been terrible. Golden State has the worst road record in the NBA, going 3-16 away from home and is ninth in the Western Conference. The Clippers may be Denver’s most significant threat to the Western throne, but even they have struggled at times, struggling to stay healthy. Memphis is one final threat, but the team’s inexperience makes it hard to bet on them.
That leaves Denver. There is AMAZING value in taking the Nuggets to win the West at +440. They haven’t lost to any of the other four favorites this year and are looking more dominant with each game. These odds will undoubtedly change over the next month.
NBA Championship Winner Odds
Denver Nuggets +1000 (Tied For 4th Highest)
Considering everything, you would be a fool not to snag the Nuggets at +1000 to win the whole thing. Denver has all the tools a championship team needs and has the playoff experience to go all the way. They have the best chance to make it out of the Western Conference and have been one of the best teams in the NBA this season.
On top of that, they have a superstar in Jokic who can turn any game on its head. He is unstoppable when on his game, and with Murray back in form, the Nuggets can make a similar run as they did in the bubble a few years back.
Take Denver at +1000 and watch as they fulfill their destiny. I’m predicting a Denver/Brooklyn final. Both teams are currently over +400 to win their respective conferences.
Denver’s Upcoming Games
January 6 vs. Cavs
January 9 vs. Lakers
January 11 vs. Suns
Denver will have a chance to build on their nine-game home winning streak as the next three games are at Ball Arena. They can get comfortable at home since they only have four away games over the next month.
I would like to see Murray continue to improve over these next few games. Averaging 19 points over the last two months, he needs to continue scoring at a high rate to keep the pressure off Jokic. Porter Jr. also needs to regain his scoring form. Since his return from injury, he has struggled with three-point shooting and can use these next few games at home to build his confidence.
The rest of January will be the perfect test to see how far Denver can go. They’ll have three crucial divisional games against the Trailblazers, Timberwolves, and Thunder. Then after a brief homestand, they’ll travel East to face Philadelphia and Milwaukee, sandwiched by two games against the surging Pelicans. Only four of their next 13 opponents have a sub-.500 record.
We are about to find out what this team is made of.
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