After a slow start, the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks won seven games in a row, while out West, the Golden State Warriors saw their seven-game winning streak overshadowed by the Phoenix Suns, who have now won 16 in a row. The Suns and Warriors meet twice this week, including on Tuesday night when one of them will see their winning streak come to an end.
The Suns, Warriors, and Bucks are the hottest teams in the NBA at the end of the first quarter of the NBA season. The Bucks (13-8) are only 1.5 games behind the Brooklyn Nets for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. The Warriors (18-2) hold down the #1 seed in the Western Conference with the best record in the NBA, but the Suns (17-3) are right on their heels.
The Warriors are +600 odds to win the 2022 NBA Championship, according to a recent update by the Circa Casino Sportsbook in downtown Las Vegas. The Bucks are +800 odds to repeat as NBA champions. The Phoenix Suns, last year’s runner-up, are +1300 odds to win the title this season.
The Warriors are the best betting team in the NBA right now with a 15-4-1 record against the spread. In comparison, the Suns are 11-9 ATS while the Bucks are only 10-11 ATS.
The Warriors and Bucks are two of the worst teams in the NBA at hitting the under. If you like betting unders, the Bucks are 14-7 and the Warriors are 14-6.
Bucks upcoming: Hornets, Raptors, Heat
The Bucks looked like they were stricken with a championship hangover to start the season and were 6-8 at their low point in mid-November. Since then, the Bucks won seven games in a row and moved into #4 in the Eastern Conference playoff standings while also regaining the top spot in the Central Division to counter an auspicious 6-1 start by the Chicago Bulls.
In the modern NBA, you must have a strong 3-point shooting team, and you must defend the perimeter and shutdown opposing snipers. The Bucks are great at both, with the third-best success rate from downtown at 36.1%. On defense, the Bucks allow opponents to convert 31.7% of their 3-pointers, ranking #2 overall.
The Bucks have a couple of days of rest to start the week before facing back-to-back games against the Charlotte Hornets (13-9) and at the Toronto Raptors (9-12). On Saturday, the Bucks square off against Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat (13-7).
On Deck Suns: Warriors 2x, Pistons
The Suns started the season 1-3 before unleashing a 16-game winning streak. Yet, despite their run, they’re still trailing the Warriors in a tight Pacific Division race. The Suns extended their winning streak with an impressive 113-107 victory against the Brooklyn Nets over the weekend.
The Suns have the third-highest scoring offense in the NBA averaging 112.6 ppg, thanks to their Big 3 — Devin Booker (23.9 ppg), Deandre Ayton (15.4 ppg), and Chris Paul (14.5 ppg) — and a strong bench led by Cameron Payne, JaVale McGee, Cameron Johnson, and a banged-up Frank Kaminsky.
The Warriors (18-2) and Suns throwdown on Tuesday night in Phoenix with their 16-game winning streak at stake. They meet again on Friday night in San Francisco, with a home game against the Detroit Pistons (4-16) sandwiched in between on Thursday. Once again, the Pistons are the nut-low of the Eastern Conference.
Warriors up next: Suns 2x, Spurs
The Warriors are the premier two-way team in the NBA right now. They lead the league in scoring, averaging 114 ppg. On defense, the Warriors allow a league-low 100.4 ppg. They have the fourth-best ranking at defending the 3-pointer, allowing opponents to knock down only 32.1% of their treys.
It’s no surprise to see that the Warriors connect on 36.8% of their 3-pointers and rank #2 in the league. A torrid Steph Curry is tied with Kevin Durant for the NBA scoring lead at 28.6 ppg. He’s shooting lights out with a 42.3% clip from 3-point land and 94.2% from the free-throw line.
The Warriors have just one game this week before hosting back-to-back games on the weekend. They hit the road to play the Suns in Phoenix on Tuesday, which is already getting hyped as a potential Western Conference Finals matchup. The two big dogs play again on Friday in the Bay Area. On Saturday, the Warriors host the struggling San Antonio Spurs (5-13).