The 2022-23 season is quickly approaching and our betting experts have got you covered. Over the next two weeks we are taking a look at how to approach some of the top teams in league and giving out some futures best bets before the season tips off.
Here is the best case, worst case and betting analysis for this year's Milwaukee Bucks team.
All odds from Caesars Sportsbook
NBA betting preview schedule
Thursday: The case for the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors
Friday: The case for the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks
Monday: The case for the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers
Tuesday: Who to bet for MVP
Wednesday: Betting win totals and awards
Oct. 17: Social media and betting
Oct. 18: NBA title odds and favorites
Best Case Scenario: The Bucks won the NBA title for the 2020-21 season, and entered the 2021-22 playoffs as a favorite to repeat. Even with All Star wing Khris Middleton out injured, the Bucks still led the eventual Eastern Conference champion Celtics three games to two and only lost in a close seven game series with Giannis Antetokounmpo almost dragging them back to the promised land. If the Bucks stay healthy this season, they have the achievable upside to win the championship this season. They currently have third-shortest odds to win the NBA Championship (+650), just behind the Celtics (+575) and Warriors (+600). According to NBA.com's annual survey of all 30 of the league's general managers, the Bucks should be the favorites to win.
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Worst Case Scenario: The Bucks have a high reasonable floor, barring catastrophic injury to Giannis or a large number of important Bucks players. Each of Giannis (15), Middleton (16) and Jrue Holiday (15) missed at least 15 games last season, and the Bucks still finished third in the Eastern Conference. For all three, last season marked the high-water mark for most games missed in the last four seasons. Again, barring an unusually bad injury situation this season, the Bucks are likely to be a playoffs team with home court advantage in the first round. If those types of injuries hit then, like any other team, the ultimate worst case scenario is for them to miss the playoffs entirely.
The bet: Giannis Antetokounmpo Defensive Player of the Year +1000
Betting Spin: While I have the Bucks as the favorites to win the title (+650) and Giannis as a leading candidate for MVP (+650), the odds of those events happening are close enough to appropriate that there isn't a huge amount of value there. One angle with legitimate value is Giannis for Defensive Player of the Year (+1000). Giannis was the DPOY in 2019-20, when the Bucks had the top Defensive Rating in the NBA. That season, Giannis and Brook Lopez locked off the middle and forced teams to struggle in the paint. Lopez missed 69 games last season with a back injury, but is healthy now. If Giannis and Lopez recreate that defensive front line, with Holiday as one of the best perimeter defenders in the league (two time All-Defensive First Team) as well, the Bucks could be an elite defense again this season with Giannis as the acknowledged anchor. Of the other DPOY favorites, Robert Williams III is currently injured, Draymond Green has played 46 or fewer games in two of the past three seasons, and Rudy Gobert is on a new team with unknown levels of support. I'd consider Giannis a favorite for the award, at relatively long odds.