That’s right. Suns’ basketball is just around the corner.
For those readers who live in the state of Arizona, it has now been one year since online sports betting was made legal in the Grand Canyon State. What a year it has been, am I right? How many over/under point totals did you get right? How many times have you bet a point spread and nailed it? How many prop bets did you swing and a miss on?
Due to the fact that many jurisdictions still forbid it, not everyone may wager on sports using a smartphone app. Yet. Even if you can’t, it’s still a good idea to look at the odds and learn how the oddsmakers predict a team’s performance. Their primary concern is making money, and I swear someone has pulled a Marty McFly on us by having a Grays Sports Almanac and merely setting the lines based on that knowledge from the future.
If anyone sees a DeLorean in Vegas, please check for a Californian OUTATIME license plate.
We now know what the odds makers anticipate this Suns team to accomplish as they get ready for the start of the new season. There are several wagers available, ranging from victory totals to playoff odds, from winning the division to winning the championship. Let’s look at what Vegas predicts the Suns will do during the NBA season of 2022–2023.
All totals are from DraftKings Sportsbook.
Total Wins: 51.5
Phoenix has averaged 57.5 wins over the past two seasons, winning 64 last year and 51 the year prior. It’s understandable that the odds makers believe that Phoenix will not replicate last season’s win total. It was the best ever put forth by any Suns team in their 54-year history. Both seasons, Phoenix hit the over on their predicted win totals.
But why such a big drop off from last season? That may have something to do with the acquisitions/health status of the Los Angeles Clippers in the Pacific Division. The Clippers won 42 games last season, but with the the John Wall addition and return of Kawhi Leonard, the team has an over/under of 52.5 wins this season.
We should see some regression with Phoenix as the team focuses on how to peak in the playoffs rather than in the regular season. 51.5? I’ll take the over. 53-29 sounds like an achievable record for the Suns. And if you want to bet the exact win total, the 52-55 range is +245.
To Win the Pacific Division: +225
As mentioned above, the odds makers are a fan of what the Clipper project to be. Sprinkle in the defending NBA Champions in the Golden State Warriors, and the Pacific Division promises to be a challenging division. The Suns have the third best odds to win the division, although their odds aren’t horrible at +225.
The talent is there for Phoenix. They have the experience. They have the know how, the chemistry, and the depth to accomplish the mission of winning the Pacific for the third consecutive season. The next question is if the Suns have listed this objective among their goals for the current season.
The team burned themselves out early attempting to accomplish numerous micro-tasks last season, ultimately falling short in their pursuit of their primary goal: a championship.
To Win the Western Conference: +500
This too is the third best odds in the conference, behind the Clippers (+330) and the Warriors (+340). The Lakers (+750) come in fourth, which means that the odds makers see the Pacific as the toughest division in the NBA.
Should one of these four teams wins the West, it would be the ninth consecutive time a team from the Pacific Division represented the Western Conference in the NBA Finals. The last time a team that wasn’t from the Pacific was in the Finals? The 2013-14 San Antonio Spurs.
To Win the NBA Finals: +1200
Like a 1966 hit song from the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds album, wouldn't it be nice?
These aren’t the greatest odds, but this is most likely the bet the majority of casual Suns fans will make. I know my mother always puts money on Phoenix-based sports teams the win their respective championship each year (she goes to Laughlin on the reg and has been making these bets for years). I now know why I have no inheritance coming my way.
Another fun filled season lies before us and Phoenix finds themselves with an opportunity to win it all. It's not every year you're one of the top six teams relative to the odds to win the title. Let's hope they can capitalize on this momentum that they've built over the past two seasons, put together a true revenge tour, and avenge their pitiful performance in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals last season against the Dallas Mavericks. That motivating factor could ultimately lead to a title.
And that's something I will bet on.