For most of the 2021-2022 regular season, betting odds on the NBA Finals have prominently featured five teams more than any other candidates: The Milwaukee Bucks, Phoenix Suns, Brooklyn Nets, Utah Jazz, and, finally, Golden State Warriors. All of these squads remain in the mix as the Association enters the second half of its schedule. One of them, though, is also seemingly on the brink of regression.
Anyone who follows the league closely enough knows our 2022 NBA picks for Tuesday, January 25 are about to take a deep dive into whether it's time to worry about the Golden State Warriors. Once considered the foremost 2022 NBA Finals favorite by many, they are now slipping amid injuries and lackluster play. And if they lose to the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday, we may start to hear the alarm sound, both inside and outside the organization.
Of course, before we can render a verdict on the state of the Warriors, we must first take a look at the latest betting odds for the NBA:
|Jaren Jackson Jr||+140|
Rest assured, while Warriors vs. Mavericks betting picks are the meat and potatoes of our mission, we have predictions for the five best NBA games on Tuesday's schedule. And though these basketball betting lines shouldn't move much between now and the various opening tips, you'll still want to recheck NBA betting odds for the ultimate accuracy.
While you're at it, you should also go ahead and browse through our reviews of the top online sportsbooks, where you'll be fast-tracked toward the best NBA betting sites in 2022.
Are the Warriors Still a Top 2022 NBA Finals Favorite?
Most automatically assume the Warriors have a dangerous offense because Stephen Curry exists. That's partially true. But he doesn't play every second of every game. Golden State doesn't have the weapons to survive the minutes without him, and there are nights when he alone can't even carry the scoring burden when in the game.
Somewhat quietly, the Warriors rank 27th in points scored per possession since December 1. That's a huge problem in general. It's especially problematic when going up against a Mavericks team that shockingly has one of the league's best defenses.
Things get even worse for the Warriors knowing that Draymond Green (calf/back), Klay Thompson (knee) and James Wiseman (yet to play this season) are all out on Tuesday night. Linemakers haven't caught up to this info just yet. You should pounce on the upset.
OSB Prediction: Dallas Mavericks (+130)
Nuggets Send Pistons Packing
How is Nikola Jokic not the favorite to repeat as the NBA's MVP this season? He has taken a Nuggets team missing two of its three best players—Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr.—and turned them into a viable Western Conference contender. All the while, he's putting up historically great numbers and improving his defense.
But Jokic's MVP stock is a discussion for another day. Right now, we only care about Denver's matchup against the Detroit Pistons—you know, the same Detroit Pistons who have one of the NBA's worst records and remain without one of their two best players in Jerami Grant. Denver should win going away.
OSB Prediction: Denver Nuggets (-320)
Raptors Squeak Past the Hornets
Has anyone alerted the NBA to the rise of the Toronto Raptors? They have morphed into one of the most dangerous teams since getting most of their roster healthy. Pascal Siakam looks like an All-Star running point, and the transition defense is getting better.
The Charlotte Hornets are of course menacing themselves. They play at breakneck speeds rivaled only by the San Antonio Spurs this season. The thing is, Toronto's size on the perimeter and overall length are uniquely built to slow down offenses like the Hornets'. They're the favorite for a reason.
OSB Prediction: Toronto Raptors (-144)
Anthony Davis' Return Powers Lakers Past Nets
Anthony Davis is set to rejoin the Los Angeles Lakers rotation after missing roughly one month with an injury. Though he will need a grace period to get himself back into shape, and while the Lakers have been one of this season's worst betting options, they are facing a Brooklyn Nets team ripe for a loss.
Both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving will be out. So will Joe Harris and Nicolas Claxton. To make matters worse, Brooklyn's defense has eroded in recent weeks, and James Harden is back to laying eggs every other game. LeBron James should be able to power Los Angeles to a win.
OSB Prediction: Los Angeles Lakers (-154)
Sixers Take Care of Pelicans
Congratulations to Joel Embiid for entering the MVP discussion. He has been on a tear over the past month-plus. He's directing both the Philadelphia 76ers offense and defense. That's just absurd.
The New Orleans Pelicans deserve more respect than their record suggests. They've tightened up their defense and have a more coherent offensive pecking order. We just don't see them having anyone who can contend with Embiid and, by extension, this Sixers team.
OSB Prediction: Philadelphia 76ers (-420)
Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all your NBA betting: