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NBA Season Predictions 2023-2024

Last Updated: Oct 4, 2023

A new NBA season is on the horizon, which means it’s time for our annual forecast. This year’s title race looks wide open, with the Western Conference in particular looking more heavy-handed than ever before. By no means will this be an easy season to predict.

With that said, that unpredictability can make for an even more exciting campaign, especially when it comes to sports betting. The Sacramento Kings were only expected to win roughly 35 games last year, and they ended up earning the No. 3 seed, which would’ve earned you a massive payout.

Below, I’ll try to identify more valuable picks for you to make before the 2023-24 NBA season tips off.

NBA odds are current as of Wednesday, Oct. 4, at 11 a.m. ET and courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

NBA Finals Pick 2024

Bucks defeat Warriors

I initially had the Warriors defeating the Celtics as my 2024 NBA Finals prediction, but the Damian Lillard trade has given me an opportunity to rethink my pick. With that in mind, I’m now taking Milwaukee to take down Golden State.

The pairing of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Lillard is almost incomprehensible. These are two of the most gifted scorers in the game today, with both players averaging over 31 points per game in 2022-23. They should only become more efficient on offense in their first year together.

The Bucks also remain quite deep despite letting go of Jrue HolidayKhris Middleton, Brook Lopez, and Bobby Portis are still on the roster, including several other key role players like Jae Crowder, Malik Beasley, and Pat Connaughton.

Out West, I like the Warriors to prevail thanks in large part to the addition of Chris Paul, who should help this team maintain a competitive edge throughout the regular season — something it lacked in 2022-23. The Nuggets took a step back, and Phoenix remains something of a question mark.

You can lock in the Bucks to win the 2024 NBA Finals at (+400), which I’m making my NBA bet of the day.

NBA MVP Pick 2024

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks (+550)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

The Greek Freak earned third place in the 2022-23 MVP race, marking his fifth consecutive top-five finish. This coming year will be his 11th in the NBA, but even still, it feels like there’s room for him to make an even larger impact on the stat sheet.

Antetokounmpo averaged a career-high 31.1 points per game last season and 32.5 through his first 46 appearances. He’s also unquestionably the best two-way player in the league — no other MVP candidates come close to achieving what Antetokounmpo does on the defensive end of the floor.

And while Lillard’s presence could be seen as having a negative impact on Antetokounmpo’s MVP chances, I lean the opposite way. The Greek Freak has never had another player on his team that will demand as much attention as Lillard does, and we could see Antetokounmpo become even more efficient as a result.

There are other players listed above him in the NBA MVP odds, but it’s hard to go wrong with Antetokounmpo. He’s only a few years removed from earning back-to-back MVP awards, and another could certainly be in the cards.

NBA Rookie of the Year Pick 2024

Victor Wembanyama, San Antonio Spurs (+100)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

Even if you’ve been living under a rock all summer, you’re likely familiar with Spurs rookie Victor Wembanyama. The 7-foot-5 forward is arguably the most versatile prospect to ever enter the NBA, and accordingly, he’s the preseason NBA ROTY odds favorite.

That doesn’t mean Wembanyama won’t have competition, though. Chet Holmgren and Scoot Henderson pose legitimate threats to his candidacy, with the latter gaining steam of late due to Lillard’s departure from the Portland Trail Blazers.

Even still, it’s hard to imagine a better situation for Wembanyama to succeed in his first season. Under legendary coach Gregg Popovich and with underrated talent in Devin Vassell and Keldon Johnson at his side, Wemby should thrive in Year 1 en route to earning the NBA Rookie of the Year Award.

NBA Defensive Player of the Year Pick 2024

Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers (+600)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

Defensive Player of the Year may not be the most glamorous award, but it could be one of the most interesting races to follow throughout the 2023-24 season. The field is massive, and any of the top candidates — or even a sleeper — could feasibly come away with the prize.

With that said, my money is on Evan Mobley. He’s been a defensive force through each of his first two seasons, and at just 22 years old, he’s brimming with untapped potential.

If he can improve as a shot-blocker this year, he’ll have a real chance to emerge as the best defender on what could be the league’s best defensive team. Even though he’s the NBA DPOY odds leader, a wager is well worth the (+600) odds.

NBA Most Improved Player Pick 2024

Mikal Bridges, Brooklyn Nets (+750)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

Bridges became an instant star upon being traded to the Brooklyn Nets this past season. Filling the massive void left by Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, Bridges emerged as a go-to scoring option from all three levels, averaging 26.1 points per game in 27 appearances.

The franchise has all but committed to making Bridges the No. 1 guy moving forward, and one look at the team’s depth chart will confirm that. There are some talented scorers here like Spencer Dinwiddie, Cameron Johnson, and Cam Thomas, but no one is vying for Bridges’ spot.

Few players in this race have as much room for improvement in 2023-24 as Bridges does. As a prospective first-time All-Star and more, he’s easily my top choice to be named the 2024 NBA MIP.

NBA Sixth Man of the Year Pick 2024

Malik Monk, Sacramento Kings (+1300)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

New York Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley is the NBA 6MOTY odds leader, but Malik Monk is my top choice to win the award. The 25-year-old showed out for the Kings in the playoffs, and he’s due for a huge season after proving he can function as one of this team’s top contributors off the bench.

Monk was limited to just 22.3 minutes per game during the regular season, posting averages of 13.5 points, 3.9 assists, and 2.6 rebounds in 77 appearances. In the postseason, Monk’s figures increased to 19.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 3.6 assists in 29.3 minutes per game.

Sacramento has a lot to live up to in 2023-24 after leading the league in scoring, and the team will need Monk to take on a larger role to maintain that momentum. At (+1300), this is a bargain.

Bold NBA Season Predictions

Spurs: Win 35+ Games (+285)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 0.5 Units

The Spurs won just 22 games in 2022-23, tying the Houston Rockets for the worst record in the Western Conference. It’s clear that the tank was on as the franchise angled to acquire the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft — and, by default, Victor Wembanyama — and as a result, San Antonio looks much more threatening.

How threatening exactly is hard to say, especially since the West upped the nasty this summer. The Suns, Warriors, Lakers, and more are coming into the season in much better shape than we last saw.

However, I’m a big enough believer in what Wembanyama brings to the table — and San Antonio’s wildly unheralded ancillary talent — to back them to win at least 35 games. I wouldn’t even rule out an appearance in the NBA Play-In Tournament, but this is a much safer bet that still pays out a substantial amount.

76ers: Miss the Playoffs (+550)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 0.5 Units

All is not well in Philadelphia. The change from Doc Rivers to Nick Nurse should prove to be an upgrade, but the James Harden situation has turned into a major distraction with seemingly no end in sight. It’s worth wondering how well this team will be able to focus on basketball as it persists.

The 76ers are still loaded with talent — Joel Embiid is the reigning MVP and Tyrese Maxey looks poised to make the All-Star leap this year — but as long as Harden remains with the franchise, he’ll be limiting any potential trade gains and forcing the team into a bad spot.

It’s hard not to wonder if it could eventually cause the Sixers to miss out on the playoffs. Embiid has long struggled to stay on the floor, and this core can only win so many games with Maxey and Tobias Harris leading the way.

Warriors: Win 55+ Games (+380)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 0.5 Units

The Warriors struggled mightily during the 2022-23 regular season, going just 11-30 on the road. When healthy, this is a team that has generally been above average on that front, typically finishing with a record well above the .500 mark.

With the NBA making a more concerted effort to ensure that star players are resting for fewer games, we should see the Warriors pick up a few additional wins this season. On top of that, the presence of Chris Paul figures to raise Golden State’s floor.

I’m all in on the Dubs being a potential title favorite this year, and that starts with the regular season. The West is stacked beyond belief — the Pacific Division in particular will be a bloodbath — but 55 wins should be within reach for this group.

Author

Garrett Chorpenning

Garrett Chorpenning is the Lead NBA Editor for The Game Day. His previous work includes covering the LA Clippers for Sports Illustrated and FanSided. He graduated from Ball State University in 2021.

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