NBA Futures Wager: Phoenix Suns to Win the 2022-23 NBA Championship

by Al McMordie

The Phoenix Suns won 64 games last season (eight games more than the #2-seeded Memphis Grizzlies), and were 51-21 in the regular season in 2020-21.  So, Phoenix has proved it can be a great regular season team.  The goal now is to make the transition to be a great team in the Playoffs.  Two years ago, the Suns came close when they lost 4-games-to-2 in the NBA Finals to the Milwaukee Bucks.  But Phoenix flamed out badly last season when they lost the final two games of their 7-game series to Dallas by scores of 113-86 and 123-90.  Those last two blowout losses certainly left a mark, as nobody is giving the Suns credit for all they accomplished until that point.  To wit:  Phoenix currently is tied (with the Los Angeles Clippers) for the highest season win total (52.5 games) among the Western conference teams, but is well behind the Clippers and Golden State Warriors when it comes to NBA Championship odds.  And that is due to playoff pedigree.  So, Golden State has odds as low as +575 (Caesars).  The Clippers -- who have yet to win a title, but who have 2-time Champ Kawhi Leonard -- are even lower (+550) at DraftKings.  But the Suns' odds are as high as +1300 at Caesars!

With futures wagers, I like playing on teams that suffered collapses in the playoffs the previous year.  I've always believed that serves as supreme motivation.  A classic example in the NBA is the San Antonio Spurs who did everything BUT win the title in 2013.  They were up by five points late in Game 6 in Miami, so the NBA was rolling the Larry O'Brien Trophy toward the court to get ready for the post-game celebration.  Of course, Ray Allen and the Miami Heat had other ideas, and the Spurs title hopes were dashed by a miraculous comeback win by the Heat.  But that series loss spurred the Spurs throughout the next season, and they steamrolled their opponents en route to a 5th NBA championship.  Admittedly, the Suns have NEVER won any championship, so they have less of a Playoffs well to draw from.  But I think this could be their season.  And the odds are a relative overlay.  Take the Suns at 13-1 odds (Caesars) to win the 2023 NBA championship.  

Good luck, as always...
Al McMordie

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