NBA Season 22/23 Preview: Betting, Predictions, Talking Points 

Four months after the Warriors famously knocked off the Celtics to reclaim their spot on the NBA throne, the basketball world is gearing up for the start of the 2022/23 season. As the world’s biggest basketball league, the NBA is home to the best players on the planet, and over the course of the next nine months will capture the attention of basketball fans around the world on a near-daily basis. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about the upcoming NBA season. 


When Does the NBA Season Start?

The 2022/23 NBA season will kick off on the 19th of November at 10:30am AEDT. The first game of the season will see the Philadelphia 76ers take on the Boston Celtics, before the Los Angeles Lakers take on the Golden State Warriors immediately afterwards.


How Many NBA Games Are There in a Season?

A lot. Each team in the league plays 82 regular season games, which with 30 teams adds up to 1,230 games. Once that regular season finishes, however, there’s still plenty of NBA action to go. The playoffs then run for a couple of months, with a couple of play-in games and then 15 best-of-seven series played for what typically ends up being close to 100 playoff games. 


Who Won the NBA Championship Last Season?

Last year was the Golden State Warriors’ turn to triumph; something they’ve done plenty of times over the past few years. They famously won three titles in four years between 2015 and 2018 with one of the best teams in NBA history; a brief drop followed which saw them fall to last in 2019/20 and then just miss the playoffs the year after, but with Steph Curry back to his best and Klay Thompson and Draymond Green back fit and (somewhat) firing alongside him, they quickly returned to the top of the mountain.  


Who Were the Big Movers in the NBA Draft?

The Orlando Magic received the number one pick in the 2022 draft, picking up Italian Paolo Banchero with the pick. Banchero was a late mover up the draft board, but the 6’10, 113kg power forward is expected to make an immediate impact for the Magic.

 The Oklahoma City Thunder came next, something fans will need to get used to given the bounty of first round draft picks they have at their disposal over the next few years, and with it they picked up the prodigious Chet Holmgren. The prodigiously talented seven-footer has the potential to be anything, but unfortunately he won’t contribute for the Thunder on the court this year after being ruled out for the season with a foot injury.

Rounding out the top three was the Houston Rockets, who will be hoping that Jabari Smith Jr can help them to improve on their lacklustre 2021/22 season. Smith Jr was the top rated prospect in the eyes of many, and though he dropped a couple of spots he should still be an immediate help for the Rockets. Smith Jr is a seven-foot wing with defensive and shooting ability; ideal for the style of basketball that the Rockets – and many others – have long tried to perfect.


NBA 2022/23 Preview and Key Talking Points

It might sound like something of a sporting trope, but the NBA 2022/23 season looks set to be an extremely tight one, with six teams vying for favouritism and another five or six not too far below them who could realistically come into calculations later in the year. Last year’s champions in the Warriors, as well as the Celtics’ side they beat, are expected to be right up there again, but they’ll each have plenty of competition making their way out of their respective conferences for the second time in a row.


Eastern Conference

In the east the Bucks should again make their mark led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, with his reliable sidekicks in Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton in tow. And could this be the year the Nets finally fulfill the clear potential they’ve had for the past couple of years? Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are fit and raring to go, forming a duo as formidable as nearly any in the NBA, and Ben Simmons is seemingly finally ready to get back out on the court and help them compete. 

The Bucks and Nets, alongside the Celtics, are the favourites to get out of the east, but it’s indicative of how stacked the conference is that the 76ers and the Heat are viewed as fourth and fifth in the pecking order. The 76ers will be led by an apparently fitter James Harden, superstar Joel Embiid and a highly talented youngster by the name of Tyrese Maxey, while the Heat might be the most well-drilled unit in the league and, courtesy largely of Jimmy Butler, appear to grow an extra leg in the playoffs.


Western Conference

On the other side of the country, it’s the Clippers and Suns who are viewed as the Warriors’ biggest threats. The former of those should be a big improver with Kawhi Leonard back on the court to support Paul George, giving them two of the best two-way players in the league, while the addition of John Wall adds another string to their bow if he can recapture anything near his best. The Suns, meanwhile, will be desperate to atone for a surprise second round playoff exit last year which followed an NBA Finals defeat the year prior.

 Those three teams are the comfortable favourites to win the west, but there are four very talented teams below them who could easily make a move. The Nuggets will be led by reigning MVP Nikola Jokić, and with Jamal Murray back from an ACL and Michael Porter alongside them, they will be very, very good if all goes well. The Grizzlies are filled to the brim with potential and if Ja Morant can somehow get better, look out. The Mavericks have Luka Doncic – enough said – while the Lakers have LeBron James and Anthony Davis – again, enough said. It’s another mighty good conference, and there are plenty of potential winners.

 Gone are the days of the Western Conference boasting a disproportionate amount of the league’s best talent and with it the best teams. The two conferences are now both stacked with talent, and the race to the NBA Finals on both sides looms as an enthralling one.


Who Are the Players to Watch in NBA 2022/23?

Many of the usual suspects fill the top positions for MVP favouritism in the lead-up to the 2022/23 season; Luka Doncic sits ahead of them all with Antetokounmpo and Embiid not far behind, while Durant and Jokić round out the top five. But while we could wax lyrical about them all day long, let’s instead take a look at some players whose performance this year is a little less clear.

At the top of that list is Zion Williamson. The first pick from the 2019 draft is unbelievably talented; his 129kg frame belies his extraordinary athleticism, and already in his young career, when he’s been on the floor he has been an unstoppable force on the inside. Unfortunately, he’s managed just 85 games in three seasons and hasn’t played since May of 2021. Heading into this year, however, he is supposedly in the best shape of his career. If that’s true and he can stay on the court, he is good enough to skyrocket into MVP contention and boost the Pelicans up the Western Conference standings.

Another whose ceiling and floor in season 2022/23 are wide apart is Anthony Davis. Davis is a freakish talent and has achieved plenty in the league, but he’s also very injury prone, seemingly not particularly partial to playing through minor cuts and bruises, and often appears to lack the enthusiasm which would make him potentially the best player in the league. If he finds the kind of form that helped the Lakers win the 2020 championship, and LeBron James continues to defy the laws of age, they will again be in the mix. 


NBA 2022/23 Betting

Take a look at the odds for some of the biggest NBA 2022/23 season futures betting markets.


NBA Championship Odds

Golden State Warriors – $6.75

Los Angeles Clippers – $6.75

Boston Celtics – $7.25

Brooklyn Nets – $8.00

Milwaukee Bucks – $8.25

Phoenix Suns – $11.00

Philadelphia 76ers – $15.00

Miami Heat – $16.00

Los Angeles Lakers – $17.00

Denver Nuggets – $18.00

All Other Teams – $21.00+



NBA Western Conference Winner Odds

Golden State Warriors – $4.00

Los Angeles Clippers – $4.20

Phoenix Suns – $5.00

Los Angeles Lakers – $8.50

Denver Nuggets – $9.25

Dallas Mavericks – $11.00

Memphis Grizzlies – $11.00

Minnesota Timberwolves – $13.00

New Orleans Pelicans – $21.00

All Other Teams – $51.00+


NBA Eastern Conference Winner Odds

Boston Celtics – $3.75

Milwaukee Bucks – $4.30

Brooklyn Nets – $4.50

Philadelphia 76ers – $8.00

Miami Heat – $8.00

Cleveland Cavaliers – $15.00

Toronto Raptors – $19.00

Atlanta Hawks – $23.00

Chicago Bulls – $29.00

New York Knicks – $51.00

All Other Teams – $67.00+


NBA 2022/23 MVP Odds

Luka Dončić – $5.50

Joel Embiid – $6.50

Giannis Antetokounmpo – $7.00

Kevin Durant – $9.50

Nikola Jokić – $10.00

Jayson Tatum – $12.00

Ja Morant – $13.00

Stephen Curry – $14.00

LeBron James – $20.00

Kawhi Leonard – $23.00

Devin Booker – $26.00

Anthony Davies – $29.00

All Other Players – $31.00+


NBA 2022/23 Predictions and Futures Tips


Denver Nuggets to win the Western Conference @ $9.25 

As the odds suggest, this one is a long shot, but there is value to be had in the Nuggets’ Western Conference chances. Last year, they won 48 games for the year before being knocked out by eventual winners Golden State in the playoffs, and that was with Nikola Jokić and nearly no one else. The reigning MVP and partner-in-crime Jamal Murray form one of the most unique and formidable one-two punches in the league when together, so the latter’s return will be a huge boost. Add a fit Michael Porter Jr to the mix, and the valuable addition of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to a team which has previously lacked depth, and their ceiling is very high.


Stephen Curry to win the MVP @ $14 

The Warriors should once again find themselves right near the top of the Western Conference next year, and Curry will almost certainly be relatively comfortably their best player if they do. Already a two-time winner of the award, the last time Curry was MVP was in 2016; set to turn 35 during the upcoming season, if the Warriors finish in the top couple in the west and he averages around 30 points, as he may well do, there will be a nice narrative surrounding his run for the award – and in the media-driven NBA landscape, narratives have a huge influence on voting.  


**Odds quoted are accurate at the time of writing but are subject to change.