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NBA opening week overreactions: Finals already decided?

We are now into the second week of the NBA season and, based on those seven days alone, it is time to start predicting the outcome of the whole campaign.

Well, that would seem the case if you had read the discourse across social media as some spectators have made their mind up for the season already, so here are four of the most common overreactions we have seen and whether they are worth listening to or not.

The Finals are already decided

This is perhaps the most common take to come out of the opening week as both the Denver Nuggets and Boston Celtics hold perfect records in their respective conferences, with fans fearing that the two sides will dominate the regular season and meet in the finals come June.

Whilst both teams have impressed massively, it is probably too early to say that just yet.

The Nuggets have a settled roster, but an injury to star player Nikola Jokic could derail their season entirely while the Celtics look strong with their new-look lineup featuring Jrue Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis, playoff basketball is a different game altogether.

Odds of +150 for the Celtics to win the East are not appealing, even with their strong start, as the Milwaukee Bucks (+150), Miami Heat (+900) or Philadelphia 76ers (+1000) may all have the talent to match the Boston outfit when it comes to the postseason.

View the latest odds to win the 2023/24 NBA title here

Victor Wembanyama is the real deal

This may not be an overreaction, as the number one pick from France has impressed in his opening three NBA games for the San Antonio Spurs, but odds of -150 for the gigantic 19-year-old to land Rookie of the Year seem somewhat short.

The Forward/Center has averaged 15.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.7 blocks in his trio of matches so far, which is outstanding for a rookie.

However, Oklahoma City Thunder’s Chet Holmgren, who qualifies for the award having missed the entirety of the last campaign, has been just as impressive as the Frenchman.

He has averaged 15 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1 steal and a mind-blowing 2.8 blocks in four games so far and the overreaction towards Wembanyama has led to Holmgren being priced at odds of +275 to be named ROY, which could prove to be good value given that OKC will likely finish much higher in the West than the Spurs which would boost his chances further.

Luka Doncic for MVP?

If the season ended today, Luka Doncic would be 0.3 assists per game off averaging a 39-point triple-double and would unanimously be named as the league’s Most Valuable Player.

The Dallas Mavericks star has been in unstoppable form to start the campaign and after being tipped to land the MVP award every year ever since stepping foot in the league, now may actually be his time for glory.

Doncic’s MVP odds have been slashed minimally from +500 to +450 following his start to the season and they may continue to shorten should his individual brilliance continue.

It is a risk to back him to perform at anything near that level for a full 82 games, and the Mavericks may not have the seeding to boost his chances come voting time, but in the form he is in Doncic’s odds will definitely not be getting larger and it may be worth taking the flier on the Slovenian star.

View the latest NBA MVP odds here

The Grizzlies will miss the playoffs

With Ja Morant’s ongoing suspension, it was always going to be a tough start to the campaign for the Memphis Grizzlies but nobody would have predicted them to be bottom of the West after four games.

Taylor Jenkins’ side have suffered defeats to the New Orleans Pelicans, Nuggets, Washington Wizards and the Mavericks and last season’s Western Conference second seeds may have a battle on their hands to even make the playoffs.

Star player Morant will not be back until December, whilst key Center Steven Adams has been ruled out for the entirety of the season and his defensive presence has been sorely missed already.

The Grizzlies are still odds on to make the playoffs, at -170, but odds of +140 about them to miss out of the postseason will not remain for long should this dismal form continue.

With key players out for a long time and sides such as the Pelicans and Mavericks starting the season well, it may be worth taking a punt on the Memphis outfit to endure a disappointing campaign.

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