The Boston Celtics entered Monday with the NBA’s longest current winning streak at nine. Did you know that the team with the next-best streak is the Sacramento Kings? Or the next-best team is the Indiana Pacers? Those last two might have a little more work to do to get into our top five behind the Celtics, but they’re turning some heads among those betting online.
Here’s a whole bunch more on the hottest and coldest teams in the NBA, with plenty of information you can use for your sports bets.
1. Boston Celtics
It’s almost embarrassing that we had them at No. 2 last Monday. Their record was still worse than the Milwaukee Bucks, but the teams were heading in opposite directions and the past week provided more evidence that the Boston Celtics were the top team in the league.
Since we last checked in on them, the Celtics rallied to defeat a good Oklahoma City bunch at home and then won the first two legs of a three-game road trip at Atlanta and New Orleans. The win over the Hawks was notable. The Celtics were without point guards Marcus Smart and Malcolm Brogdon were facing a good Atlanta team on the road and they controlled from the tip, leading as many as 31.
The best offensive team in the East then hit 20 3-pointers to topple another over-.500 squad in the Pelicans.
The three wins we’ve just mentioned came not only with key players sidelined but also with MVP candidate Jayson Tatum averaging “just” 21.7 points on 35% shooting. When you’re clicking on all cylinders, you can absorb such issues.
- +550 NBA Championship Odds
2. Milwaukee Bucks
Their grip on the top spot is gone and they could continue to slide even further if they can’t figure out how to put the ball in the hole. During their current 2-4 swoon, the Bucks are averaging 108.0 points – 26th in the league in that time span – while shooting 42.6% – 29th in the NBA.
There seemed to be some frustration bubbling up Friday night when Giannis Antetonkounmpo, made a scene while trying to get in some extra foul shooting. He’s shooting 41% from the field and 50% from the line over his last five games while also missing a few due to various issues.
Injuries have hampered the Bucks. Khris Middleton (wrist) should return soon and that’ll help, as will a four-game homestand that begins Monday night.
- +550 NBA Championship Odds
3. Utah Jazz
If you’re an NBA betting expert wondering if the Jazz were here to stay, the last two games should give you an answer. Utah first took every punch of a 49-point Devin Booker performance and won a 134-133 thriller over the Phoenix Suns, and still had enough in the tank to win at Portland just 24 hours later.
The Jazz have a fringe MVP candidate of their own in Lauri Markkanen and a host of other players who can hurt you. They have a tough test at the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday, all part of what has been one of the more challenging schedules to date.
If Utah can survive the next couple of weeks without Mike Conley (knee), we’ll anchor the team to the top five. As it is, the Jazz already look the part.
- +8000 NBA Championship Odds
4. Phoenix Suns
They’re sort of treading water with Chris Paul sidelined, going 4-5 over their last nine games. However, two of the losses were by one point on the road and everything seemed to click in Sunday’s return home and rout of the New York Knicks.
Paul (heel) is expected to be re-evaluated this week and he’ll make all the difference in these close games. With all the weight of the clutch situations on the shoulder of Devin Booker, the Suns have dipped to 1-4 in games decided by three points or fewer, the worst record in the NBA.
They’re 8-2 in games decided by 10 points or more, so the ability to dominate is there. And at some point later in the season, this team will be better off for having gone through this stretch without its floor general.
- +850 NBA Championship Odds
5. Cleveland Cavaliers
A recent five-game losing streak threatened to drop the Cavaliers out of the top five, but we’ll give them a week to hang around after back-to-back wins this weekend, albeit against Charlotte in double overtime and a shorthanded Miami team.
The Cleveland bench suffered a blow when Kevin Love suffered a hairline fracture in his thumb, so depth will be tested for a handful of games. But with perhaps the best backcourt in the game in Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland, this team has a chance on any night in any arena.
Cleveland is early in a stretch in which it plays 15 of 21 at home. It should be able to rediscover the dominant form it flashed early in the season and pile up some wins before things get a bit more challenging in the New Year.
- +1600 NBA Championship Odds
26. San Antonio Spurs
The Los Angeles Lakers actually have a worse record, but the Lakers pounded the Spurs in Sunday night’s matchup, extending San Antonio’s miserable stretch of basketball.
The Spurs are 1-10 in November and are doing almost nothing right during their current five-game losing streak. In the slide, opponents are averaging 124.2 points on an astounding 54% shooting, compared to just 101.2 on 44% for San Antonio.
All five losses have been on the road and there are a boatload of home games on the horizon. But getting outscored by 23 points a game over a stretch as long as five games indicate you’re not putting up much of a fight.
- +50000 NBA Championship Odds
27. Orlando Magic
They’re 5-7 since an 0-5 start and have weathered a ton of physical ailments, so we hesitate to jump on the young Magic all that much. They’ve had a one-point win and a one-point loss in the first two games of their current three-game road trip.
Rookie Paolo Banchero is out with an ankle injury, which muddies the waters a bit. Once he returns, this team is a fine candidate to leap out of the bottom five. They’re just not quite there yet.
- +10000 NBA Championship Odds
28. Charlotte Hornets
They finally snapped an eight-game losing streak with a win at Orlando last Monday, but then followed it up with three more losses.
There could be some silver linings here. The team is slowly getting healthier, as Gordon Hayward is back and LaMelo Ball was back for a bit until he re-injured an ankle. Also, the Hornets are 0-4 in overtime games, so they’re perhaps a play or two away from a better record. They also entered Monday having played more road games (11) than anyone in the East.
We’re nearly a quarter of the way through the season, so it’s hard to remain patient if you’re a Charlotte fan. But there could be some better days ahead.
- +25000 NBA Championship Odds
29. Houston Rockets
Pop the bubbly and line up the floats! The Rockets are out of the 30th spot in our weekly rankings, at least for now. A win at Orlando two Mondays ago and another at Dallas last week have given this young team a very small taste of success, although we should mention that the Mavericks were resting Luka Doncic in the second half of a back-to-back.
Houston followed that up with two straight home losses, one of which served as the first road win of the season for Golden State.
- +100000 NBA Championship Odds
30. Detroit Pistons
When your head coach says things like “I see growth and improvement,” you know you’re probably piling up the losses. Dwane Casey may indeed be seeing such things, but it’s now a seven-game losing streak for the Pistons, who are 0-10 on the road.
- +100000 NBA Championship Odds