With the beginning of the 2022-23 NBA season right around the corner, fans are looking to place their bets on which teams and players will have the most success. Betting has become a much more pertinent factor in the NBA ever since gambling was legalized in a variety of states, including Colorado. Denver Nuggets fans have certainly taken advantage, with the Nuggets often going over on their win total most seasons and with Nikola Jokić taking home MVP trophies in each of the last two seasons.

I’m not a gambling professional and won’t attempt to act like one. As someone who knows the Nuggets well though, I have some opinions on how the season will ultimately shake out. It became clear early last season that Jokić was on track to win his second MVP trophy. At least, it was clear to some of us in Denver.

But what should Nuggets fans be invested in this season? It’s unlikely that Jokić will bring home his third MVP trophy, but there are other bets that intrigue me greatly. Let’s discuss exactly what they are:

All betting odds and information courtesy of the SuperBook Sports Colorado App.

Best Bet: Most Regular Season wins at 8/1

There is a very strong possibility that the Denver Nuggets lead the entire NBA in wins this season.

Last season, the Phoenix Suns led the NBA with a 64-18 record. They’re exceedingly unlikely to repeat that total, and they might not cross 55 wins after experiencing some internal turmoil. The next three highest records last season were from the Memphis Grizzlies at 56 wins and the Golden State Warriors and Miami Heat each producing 53 wins. All three teams lost key veterans, and though the Warriors replaced those players with strong young talent, there’s instability there. Draymond Green punched Jordan Poole in the face.

Though teams like the Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics, and Milwaukee Bucks may all challenge for the best record, the Nuggets are just as likely to earn that title. During the 2020-21 season, the Nuggets went 47-25 and were on a 53-win pace, despite gaining Aaron Gordon and losing Jamal Murray about 50 games into the year. With Murray and Michael Porter Jr. healthy again, there’s no reason why the Nuggets can’t push their win total into the high 50’s this year.

Bet championship odds at 16/1, not conference odds at 8/1

If there’s faith in the win total, then there’s faith in the playoff chances too. The Nuggets formula has a chance of working better than just about any team in the NBA. Their talent is undeniable. The fit is far cleaner than before. There’s a real belief that this team could win a championship.

However, if they’re stopped, it will likely be by one of the other top teams in the West: Golden State, Phoenix, or the LA Clippers. All of those teams have elite perimeter talent that the Nuggets have struggled to contain in recent years. Though the Nuggets have a strong chance to get out of the West, any of those teams could best them in seven-game series. It might not be an upset either.

If Denver does make it to the NBA Finals, they’re unlikely to be stopped at that point. They will have the best player in any playoff series except possibly against the Milwaukee Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Even then, the Nuggets have found success against the Bucks by being unstoppable offensively.

If you’re going to bet Denver wins the Western Conference, you might as well bet they win the championship too.

Wait for better Nikola Jokić MVP odds than 10/1

After winning two straight MVP awards, it would be incredible to see Jokić make a run at his third trophy in a row. There’s absolutely an argument that he could win it too. If the Nuggets end up with the best record in the NBA and Jokić puts up absurd counting stats once again, he will be in the conversation. He rarely sits out games and will likely have the availability argument in his favor. It’s a real possibility.

However, voter fatigue is real. If he puts up similar counting stats as someone else, that player will almost certainly garner favor from voters. Jokić won last season because his numbers were better than the year before and clearly better than anyone else. He made the decision easier. That’s unlikely to happen again this season.

10/1 odds are fine for MVP, but it’s probably wise to wait for that number to drop. If the Nuggets start off under the radar, then that number could drop as low as 15/1 or even 20/1. That’s the correct time to capitalize.

Bet OVER 52 regular season wins, but HEDGE late in the season

Given that my best bet is for Denver to lead the NBA in regular season wins, going over on their regular season win total makes a lot of sense. Over 52 is a big number though, and with the uncertain health of both Murray and Porter, it’s understandable if concern or doubt creeps in.

The formula for the Nuggets is sound though, and Jokić proved that he doesn’t need immense help to get the Nuggets close to that number. Even if Murray and Porter play just 110 combined games, it will be 101 more than they played last season. That helps put into perspective just how good they can be with their other offseason moves factored in. The Nuggets don’t need a ton from their second and third stars to exceed 52 wins.

I’d bet the over and feel comfortable about it. Still, if the number is close at the end of the season and it looks like the Nuggets are resting players prior to the playoffs, it’s possible to hedge the bet late. Either bet on individual games or the season long total if it remains open to stay ahead of the curve.