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NBA Preview: July 15

By Lior Lampert

For today’s NBA preview, we will be discussing three teams who are considered longshots to win the 2022-23 NBA Championship. In reality, they should be looked at as potential dark horses to not only make the playoffs, but to make some noise in the postseason and have the opportunity to compete for a championship. These three teams already boasted some of the more talented young cores in the league and have all made some interesting offseason moves to further improve their roster. Are the additions made to each team going to be enough to transform them from longshot to contender in one offseason?

The first dark horse that comes to mind is the Minnesota Timberwolves. Coming in at +4000 odds via FanDuel Sportsbook, the Timberwolves are coming off their first winning season and playoff berth since 2018. They just added arguably the best rim protector in basketball in 3-time Defensive Player of the Year winner and 3-time All Star Rudy Gobert to pair up with their budding young trio of Karl Anthony-Towns, Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell. Edwards is currently the favourite to win the 2022-23 NBA Most Improved Player Award, meaning he is expected to continue to build on the incredible season he had last year. Edwards’ improvement, along with Gobert’s added presence and Towns’ dominance makes the Timberwolves a real threat in the West.

Next, listed at +5000 odds via FanDuel Sportsbook, is the New Orleans Pelicans. Last year, they were a below-.500 team who snuck into the playoffs who took the 64-win Phoenix Suns to six games in the Conference Semifinals without their young superstar, Zion Williamson. This year, Williamson is expected to be ready for the start of the season to bolster what is already one of the more exciting lineups in the NBA after last year’s trade deadline acquisition of C.J. McCollum. The Pelicans have length and depth at every position to pair with one of the best trios in basketball and an ascending young head coach in Willie Green. If Williamson and company can stay healthy, no one will want to face them.

Last but most certainly not least, the Atlanta Hawks are +5500 to win the 2022-23 NBA Championship via FanDuel Sportsbook. This one is the most interesting to me for a few reasons. First, the Hawks play in the Eastern Conference, which I feel is more openly available for the taking than the West. Next, the greatness of Trae Young and his ability to take over on any given night cannot be taken for granted, as seen by the postseason performance he put on to get the Hawks to the Eastern Conference Finals just two years ago. Lastly, they just acquired one of the best two-way players in the league in Dejounte Murray to add to what is already one of the deepest rosters in the NBA. Last year, Murray became the first player in the history of the NBA to record season averages of at least 21 points, eight rebounds, nine assists and two steals per game or better. Him and Trae Young should make for an exciting duo and a tough out regardless of the opponent.

One of betstamp’s largest brand values is transparency. Whether you are looking to tail or fade my picks, or potentially just like reading the breakdowns, you can find my full documented betting record here. Best of luck with your bets today.

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