NBA Second Half Best Bets (Which Futures Offer Best Value Right Now?)

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic remains a good value pick to win the NBA MVP award this season.
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic remains a good value pick to win the NBA MVP award this season. / Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The second half the NBA season tips off tonight as bettors and fans alike look forward to a frenzied finish over the final 20-plus remaining games.

Several teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers and Memphis Grizzlies have completely outplayed their preseason expectations; contending for some of the top-tier spots in their respective conferences.

Other teams like the L.A. Lakers, New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets have been massive disappointments, but could still make a late push past the play-in round and back into the actual playoff picture.

Right now, here are all the favorites for the NBA futures available at WynnBET Sportsbook:

NBA Futures Odds

NBA Champion

  • Golden State Warriors +425
  • Phoenix Suns +425

NBA Eastern Conference Champion

  • Brooklyn Nets +275
  • Milwaukee Bucks +325
  • Philadelphia 76ers +325

NBA Western Conference Champion

  • Phoenix Suns +180
  • Golden State Warriors +200


  • Joel Embid +140
  • Nikola Jokic +280

NBA Rookie of the Year

  • Evan Mobley -500
  • Cade Cunningham +900

Defensive Player of the Year

  • Rudy Gobert +175
  • Draymond Green +200

Here are the BetSided team's favorite second half futures bets as the final stretch tips off tonight.

Best Bet to Win NBA MVP

Nikola Jokic to Win MVP (+280)

Right now, Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid is the favorite to win the league’s MVP award ahead of reigning MVP Nikola Jokic at WynnBET Sportsbook. However, I discussed on "Bet & Breakfast" on Monday why I think Jokic is worth a bet at +280 odds to be named MVP for the second straight season. 

There are a variety of factors involved that could lead to Jokic winning the MVP award, but I want to start with his actual impact on the court. The Denver Nuggets' big man has a net rating per 100 possessions of +20.1, and it’s even more impressive when you see the difference between when he’s on the floor versus when he’s off the floor for Denver. 

To put this in perspective, the Nuggets would have the worst net rating in the NBA (minus-10.4) if you only looked at the non-Jokic minutes this season. Essentially, Jokic is carrying this team to playoff relevancy night in and night out. 

There is no denying Jokic’s value to his team, but the issue is the MVP award traditionally goes to a player that leads his team to the best record, or one of the top records, in his respective conference. 

Embiid and the Sixers still have a shot at that, as they are 2.5 games out of the No. 1 seed in the East and are the No. 3 seed at the moment. Denver, on the other hand, is 15 games out of the No. 1 seed and sixth in the West. 

However, according to Tankathon, the Nuggets have the eighth easiest schedule remaining this season, while the Sixers have the 12th hardest.

This could allow Jokic and Denver to go on a run similar to last season when the Nuggets ended up with the No. 4 seed in the West. If Jokic can do that, despite now having Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. for the majority of the 2021-22 season, he would be deserving of the MVP award in my book. 

There’s also the James Harden factor. We have yet to see Embiid and Harden play together, but is it possible that the former MVP cuts into Embiid’s workload and knocks him down the MVP ladder. 

Harden may propel the Sixers to the No. 1 seed, which would then make Embiid’s case stronger, but if Philly slips in the standings along with Embiid’s production simply because of Harden’s usage, there’s certainly a path for Jokic to overtake the Sixers big man. 

Right now, either player is a solid bet to win MVP, but I think if we are truly looking at value, this is an award that should be Jokic’s for the second season in a row. -- Peter Dewey

Best Bet to Win Defensive Player of the Year

Jaren Jackson Jr. to win DPOY (+700)

Similar to Peter, I too made my case for JJJ on the newest episode of "Bet & Breakfast," which you can find below.

The play on Jackson is built around two different arguments.

First, his stats are worthy of consideration despite being fourth on WynnBET's board behind Rudy Gobert (+175), Draymond Green (+200) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (+450).

Jackson leads the NBA in blocked shots while ranking third in blocks per game. He holds the fourth-best defended FG% within 6-feet of the basket, and he guards every position on the floor consistently in every game. The Grizzlies are top 9 defensively overall at 108.6. Without him, it falls to 113.1, 26th in the league.

The second part is his competition. Draymond Green is a highly impactful defender, but he continues to miss games; 19 to be exact with a back issue. Golden State is certainly better defensively with him on the floor, but they're also No. 1 in the league without him.

Then there's Gobert. There's no doubt of his impact to the Jazz lineup on defense. iI fact the Jazz have the best defensive rating in the league with him on the court. Without him, they fall to 11th.

Much like Green, Gobert has missed plenty of games already this season for Utah; 14 to be exact. Calf strains tend to linger around throughout the season and Gobert has only played 22 and 28 minutes in the final two games before the All Star break.

As for Giannis, his presence in the midst of the MVP race may actually hurt his chances to win DPOY, giving a very specific target for Jackson to hone in on. It may be a bit of a a longshot, but I don't know of any other player that's better positioned to make a run at a regular season award than Jackson. If he keeps up this pace and Memphis continues to challenge for one of the top seeds in the West, the conversation will begin to shift further. -- Ben Heisler

Best Bets to Win the NBA Finals

Brooklyn Nets to Win the NBA Championship (+500)

I understand the hesitation in betting Nets futures, but I actually think the James Harden trade is generating a misguided discount on Brooklyn.

For starters, the Nets bolstered their bench with some necessary depth in the deal, bringing in Seth Curry and Andre Drummond while also adding Goran Dragic in the buyout market. Those are tertiary pieces to Ben Simmons, who unlocks a ton of lineup versatility for Brooklyn that the team didn't have. Yes, the team is likely bound for the play-in game, but remember last year's Lakers team battled similar injuries and had the eventual Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns on the ropes before more injuries led to their first round exit.

Maybe the Nets face a similar fate in this postseason, and there is no doubt a quick turnaround for this newly constructed roster to gel and make a postseason run, but the Nets did trade a player who is having the worst season in recent memory and forced his way out to shore up the rest of their roster. There's also the recent news about Kyrie Irving's likely quick return to the Barclays Center.

If it all clicks, the Nets have the highest upside of any team in the league. That's without Harden. Looking at the rest of the Eastern Conference title contenders, there are issues all over. The Sixers also need to integrate in new pieces and sacrificed their depth for Harden. The Bucks are shallow this season with injuries to the likes of Brook Lopez and now Pat Connaughton. The Heat flamed out last season due to offensive question marks, will they hold up this time around?

There are a lot of factors going against the Nets, but many are focused on the recent losing streak tied to Harden's eventual trade. I'm looking ahead to the postseason when we may be staring at a title contender coming from the play-in game when the full roster hits the floor. -- Reed Wallach

Milwaukee Bucks to Win the NBA Championship (+650)

The Milwaukee Bucks have dropped to +650 in the NBA Finals odds standings and I love that price. Earlier this week, I doubled down on the Bucks winning the championship at +600 and now I can get an even better price on them.

Milwaukee, as weird as its season has gone, is only 2.5 games behind the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Bucks are sixth in offensive rating and 9th in net rating. They are a solid team right now, but have the experience of winning a championship fresh on their minds.

With the Bucks, I’m banking on the fact they have the most continuity in the conference and have the best player in the conference on their team. Also, they are the healthiest team right now.

If the Bucks can stay healthy, this run might be an easier one than last year’s. -- Donnavan Smoot