NBA Futures Odds: Bucks Hold Steady After Hiring Doc Rivers

Despite sitting in second place in the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 35-10, the Milwaukee Bucks fired head coach Adrian Griffin this week and named former Sixers coach Doc Rivers as his replacement.

However, Milwaukee’s latest move hasn’t moved the needle much in the eyes of the oddsmakers quite yet. The Bucks entered the month of January with the third-best title odds on the board at +450, and after hiring Rivers they are still listed with the third-best odds on the board anywhere between +425 to +500 depending on the book.

The firing of a head coach typically indicates instability and unhappiness within a franchise – and the same appears to be true for Milwaukee at the moment. However, the Bucks consistent level of success makes this situation much different than most head coach firings, which is why we’re seeing Milwaukee’s title odds hold steady after making such a huge (and risky) move.

Updated NBA Finals Odds

  • Celtics +300
  • Nuggets +430
  • Bucks +480
  • Clippers +850
  • 76ers +1100
  • Suns +1300
  • Timberwolves +1800
  • Thunder +1900
  • Lakers +3000
  • Heat +3400

Odds provided by FanDuel

The question is though, how will the betting market view the Bucks’ latest move? Personally, I believe the general betting audience will react negatively to hiring of Rivers, especially come playoff time. 

Although it isn’t entirely his fault, Rivers has become notorious for coming up short in the playoffs throughout stints with the Celtics, Clippers and Sixers. But on the other side of that same coin, Rivers has also proven to be an excellent basketball coach and it seems like he’s a great fit to come in and lead Milwaukee’s superstar duo.

If you like Milwaukee to win the championship, I would hold off for now. People are going to sound the panic alarms at the first sign of trouble for this Bucks team – and as the playoffs approach, everybody is going to be discussing Rivers’ postseason struggles with the Sixers and Clippers, and whether or not he’s the issue et cetera. 

Wait and see if that number falls a little bit. Bucks’ future tickets aren’t going to start pouring in just because they hired Rivers.

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Also Keep an Eye On

Updated MVP Odds

  • Joel Embiid +170
  • Nikola Jokic +220
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander +340
  • Luka Doncic +700
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo +1100
  • Jayson Tatum +4800
  • Anthony Edwards +9500

Odds provided by FanDuel

The MVP race got much tighter last week when Sixers center Joel Embiid went off for 41 points in a statement win over Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets – as the two big men left that contest neck-and-neck as the top two names on the board with Jokic owning a slight edge at +240 to Embiid’s +260.

However, Embiid followed up his statement performance against the Nuggets with another major statement this week as he erupted for 70 points on 59% from the floor in a head-to-head battle against the Spurs 20-year-old phenom Victor Wembanyama – and now Embiid is listed as the stand alone favorite to win MVP at +170, followed by Jokic at +230.

The real dilemma is though, will Embiid even be allowed to contend for the award?

Starting this season, players must play a minimum of 65 games in order to be considered for NBA awards voting as a part of the league’s new anti-load management protocols – which means that players who miss more than 17 games will be automatically excluded from the voting pool. 

Embiid has already missed 10 of Philly’s 43 games. So with almost half of the season left to play, Embiid can only miss seven more games in order to contend for the MVP award – and if you are familiar with the big man’s medical history, you already know there’s a good chance of him falling short of that minimum game requirement.

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