The NBA season is a little over halfway through. This gives us a great opportunity to check out the Oddstrader Futures Markets tool to make sharp NBA wagers. As the season has progressed, we have a good idea of which one of these teams has a serious chance for contention, and who is a good bet to win end-of-season awards. Let’s use that information to find winning NBA picks.
The Dallas Mavericks have a true MVP candidate in Luka Doncic. Doncic continues to get better each season, and the argument could be made that he is currently the best player in the game. Luka leads the Mavericks, averaging 33.7 points per game, 8.9 rebounds per game, and 8.8 assists per game. Yes, this man is close to averaging a triple-double per game.
The first thing that you need to win an NBA championship is a superstar. The Dallas Mavericks have that. Now you must surround him with capable role players that accentuate his skill set. That’s what the Mavericks are working on currently.
The Mavericks added Christian Wood in the offseason. Wood is averaging 18.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. Wood is a solid secondary scorer. There have been questions about Wood’s defense, but with the offensive firepower that he possesses, he is definitely an asset and can be a major piece of this team’s push for a championship.
The Mavericks have a solid secondary ball handler in Spencer Dinwiddie. Dinwiddie is averaging 16.7 and 5.2 assists in 33.8 minutes per game. Dinwiddie gives the Mavericks a secondary ball-handling option, especially when Luka is on the bench.
The Mavericks are also equipped with solid 3 and D-style players that can give this team the defensive acumen and they need to get the stops necessary to win in the playoffs. Dorian Finney Smith, Reggie Bullock, and Dwight Powell are all excellent defensive players and give the Mavericks options on the wing. In a league that is currently based around forward play, the Mavericks have multiple different players they can put on a high-scoring wing in order to slow him down and give Luka an advantage in a shootout.
Still, these players alone are not going to be enough for the Dallas Mavericks to win a championship. Fortunately for Dallas, they have trade assets that they can turn into a quality player at the trade deadline. The Mavericks owe the New York Knicks their first-round pick from the Kristaps Porzingis trade.
It is top 10 protected so it will most likely convey this year. If it does not convey it turns into a 2024 first-round pick, and if not then, it becomes a 2025 first-round pick. However, with the Mavericks playing so well this year, they could remove the protections from the first-round pick they owe the New York Knicks and that would free up a 2024 and 2026 first-round pick.
This would require the Knicks’ consent, but it seems likely that if the Mavericks had the proper trade target on the table, they can make this move. Because of this technicality, the Mavericks essentially own all of their draft picks, except for this year. This gives them a strong base from which to deal and try to acquire a top player that might be on the move at the trade deadline.
The Mavericks also have strong young players such as Josh Green and Jaden Hardy that could be attractive to rebuilding teams giving away a star. So the Mavericks cupboard is full when compared to other teams being able to acquire a star.
Trades Could Be Key
The Mavericks could be targeting one of many players from teams that are disappointing this season. Both DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls could be available due to the Bulls’ disappointing season.
It is well known throughout the league that Detroit Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic is available. He would be a definitive help to this Mavericks team providing shooting and veteran leadership.
Kyle Kuzma from the Washington Wizards could be on the move and he has already won a championship. He was a key piece of the Los Angeles Lakers 2020 title team. Adding Kuzma to the Mavericks’ lineup could be the final piece they need to be the best in the West.
At 30-1 with a good chance that the Mavericks will greatly improve their roster between now and the beginning of the playoffs, the Dallas Mavericks are by far the best future bet you can make right now. The Dallas Mavericks have all the ingredients necessary to make a title run. It starts with the star, and Luka Doncic has been nothing but spectacular this season. The best NBA future bet you should invest in right now is the Dallas Mavericks to win the NBA title.
NBA Pick: Dallas Mavericks to Win the NBA title (+3000) at Caesars
Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks)
In a similar vein to our earlier bet, Luka Doncic is a great bet to win the MVP. Assuming the Mavericks make that deadline deal they need and make a push up the standings, Luka will be in a great position to grab his first MVP award.
Looking at the Oddstrader Players Futures tool, I can see that the best price for Luka is +430 at FanDuel. Nikola Jokic is the favorite in this market. However, Jokic has won two years in a row and the voters love to give it to a new player.
Earlier we discussed the Mavericks’ path to the title, and that push is going to move Luka to the forefront of the voters’ minds. As well as betting on the Mavericks to win the title, we’re going to get a solid bet on Luka Doncic to win MVP.
NBA Pick: Luka Doncic to Win MVP (+430) at FanDuel
Lauri Markkanen (Utah Jazz)
We also have to add this slam dunk of a bet. Lauri Markkanen was part of the Donovan Mitchell trade. This was considered an afterthought to the trade, as most were impressed with the number of draft picks that the Utah Jazz acquired. However, Markkanen has turned out to be a diamond in the rough. His emergence as an All-Star caliber player has made the trade even more lucrative for the Utah Jazz.
Lauri Markkanen is averaging 24.8 points per game and 8.7 rebounds per game. He has added bulk and muscle to his frame and has been the source of many highlight dunks so far this season. Markkanen has been driving through the lane and emphatically finishing dunks. He is also continuing to show his shooting skills from the mid-range and behind the 3-point arc.
Lauri Markkanen has changed from being a throw-in in a huge trade to being one of the most valuable assets on the Utah Jazz. He will most likely be a first-time All-Star this year. Make this bet now before the odds get out of control. This number should be -300 or more. The final bet that we found using the Oddstrader Player Futures Market tool is for Lauri Markkanen to win the most improved player award.
NBA Pick: Lauri Markkanen to Win Most Improved Player (-105) at BetMGM