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How to Bet the NBA After the Trade Deadline

Scott Morris | February 14, 2023
Suns and Durant trade

Another NBA trade deadline has finally passed with little fanfare. Over the last week of trading before the deadline, it seemed like 15,000 second-round picks were exchanged. The action was fairly crazy and the majority of the noteworthy movements took place on Wednesday—the day before all deals had to be completed. Now, it’s time to start planning your basketball futures strategy. 

Here is a look at some of the key changes and how you can bet on the NBA during the second half of the season.


The Kevin Durant Trade 

Brooklyn dealt Durant, TJ Warren, and a number of draft picks to Phoenix in what is likely the most impactful transaction before the 2023 trade deadline. The Suns shipped Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson to Brooklyn.

The Suns have exactly what they need to get to the NBA finals. They do, however, have a lot of work to do and a limited amount of time. Both Devin Booker and Durant are making their comebacks after lengthy absences due to injuries. The Suns will need time to establish new chemistry. Phoenix will also need to adapt to the loss of wing depth caused by Bridges’ departure. 

On February 6, Phoenix had odds of +1900 at to win the Western Conference. After the transaction, those odds drastically decreased to +425. The Suns are currently listed as strong as +240 to win the Western Conference. They are also second on the board to win the NBA title, trailing only Boston. 

The West is loaded with two-time MVP Nikola Jokic and Denver, Memphis, Kyrie Irving joining Luka Doncic in Dallas, and a healthy Stephen Curry coming back to Golden State soon. It might be wise to see how the new Suns lineup comes together before placing any futures bets on the Suns.


Irving to Dallas

Speaking of the Mavericks, Dallas got Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith from Brooklyn in exchange for Kyrie Irving and Markieff Morris. Additionally, draft picks were involved. 

Kyrie IrvinDallas trails Memphis in the Southwest Division by 4.5 games. The Grizzlies have had a lot of difficulty as they are only 3-7 in their previous ten games. Dallas has won five of its last seven games, including a few without its star player Luka Doncic. 

Recently, Doncic and Irving played together for the first time, and the results were fantastic. The Mavs now have two of the top players in the game and they are one of the NBA’s better defensive teams. Additionally, Jaden Hardy and Josh Green are starting to show flashes, which will benefit Irving while Doncic is off the court

The Mavs have a +3.7 net rating with Doncic on the court. Memphis outperformed the Mavs over the first half of the season, while the Mavs underperformed. Dallas +375 to win the division has value as now the Mavericks can catch Memphis. 


Clippers Ready for a Playoff Run

The Clippers parted ways with John Wall and Reggie Jackson. They acquired veteran guard Eric Gordon and dependable big man Mason Plumlee. Those two acquisitions give the Clips what they need to surpass their season wins total.

The Clippers had a 31-28 record after 59 games, which puts them in sixth place in the Western Conference and just 2.5 games out of third place. Los Angeles only needs to go 15-8 in its next 23 games to hit its season win total of 45.5. 

The Clippers are 20-10 with Kawhi Leonard, who is now healthy, in the starting lineup. With Leonard back, Plumlee as a capable back up in the middle, and Gordon in the backcourt; the Clippers to go Over 45.5 wins is a bet worth considering.


Bucks Prepared to Take Another Shot at the Title 

The Bucks picked up Jae Crowder at the deadline, but more importantly kept Grayson Allen. Crowder will allow Milwaukee some flexibility in the lineup. Giannis Antetokounmpo can play the five with Crowder at the four when the Bucks go small.

With the Suns acquiring Durant, a Bucks-Suns NBA Final priced at +800 might at top sportsbooks be worth a small wager. Both teams have plenty of depth. It’s just a matter of staying healthy.


Lakers to Make the Playoffs

A month ago, this was a ridiculous thought. The Lakers dumped Russell Westbrook (finally) and brought in a number of players that will make an immediate impact. D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Mo Bamba will all contribute right away.

The Lakers are 26-32 and 2.5 games out of the No. 10 spot in the West. They can make up that ground and, if they make the play-in tournament, no team will be more dangerous than the Lakers. At +194 at to make the playoffs, now might be the time to pull the trigger on LA.


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