Once past giving the Warriors another NBA Championship, plenty of other future betting opportunities on the court
Thank goodness NFL football doesn't work like this. Could you imagine waiting around six months to see IF the Patriots were not going to win the Super Bowl again. That's the scenario facing NBA fans reasoning any way the Golden State Warriors do not repeat as NBA champions.
This is a glass half full-half empty situation. From an investment counselor perspective, six or seven months is not a long time to cash in on what appears to be an almost "sure thing". Here is a comparison of the current odds for the Golden State Warriors to win the Larry O'Brien trophy at a few of the most popular and trusted offshore sportsbooks:
We needn't shop anywhere else looking for bargains as the Warriors are the biggest favorite to win a title among the U.S. major four sports of all time. I believe that says it all. The only possible detour could be a major injury and that would have to be a season-ender, as we all know how Kevin Durant responded last year. His injury turned out to be a necessary month-long vacation providing Durant with the rest he needed to capture the playoff's MNBAVP award.
Therefore, an NBA championship futures strategy might be "betting on one or two horses" here. A similar maneuver to how some handicappers try to turn a profit in horse racing. Not the best move but one that can work if you concede it would take a miracle to beat the favorite. Here's the board courtesy of BetOnline, from the list of preferred sportsbooks:
Odds to Win the 2018 NBA Championship
|Golden State Warriors||-165|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+12500|
|Los Angeles Lakers||+15000|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+10000|
|New York Knicks||+50000|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||+1600|
|Portland Trail Blazers||+20000|
|San Antonio Spurs||+1200|
Usually you can throw out 22 of 30 teams in five seconds as contenders but sadly you can toss about 26 this season with the NBA odds board telling you all you need to know. A bettor would deserve a million to one payoff on the Brooklyn Nets or Sacramento Kings, plus a date with Taylor Swift should they pull it off. I would be interested in speaking with anyone who would bet one dollar on any but maybe about six teams this year. That's how predictable a situation this is.
Perhaps we could invest on either the Houston Rockets at 10-1 or the San Antonio Spurs at 12-1, who could potentially shock the Warriors in a Western Conference major upset on the way to their championship. By the math, that would make more sense than the Cleveland Cavaliers at 3-1 or the Boston Celtics at 16-1 as they would likely have to play each other first before likely getting bounced by Golden State as a big underdog. Maybe throw in the upcoming Washington Wizards as the massive dream team at +6600. However, that is a foolish championship play, saved for other future wagers involving better opportunities.
For example, a bettor has a budget of $1,000 to wager on the NBA championship title. Placing 80% of it or $800 on Golden State at -160 would return $1,300 and a $300 profit. Not a bad return on the largest team favorite for any sport of all-time. Should the Warriors get upset in the Western Conference finals by one of their likeliest competitors, either the Rockets or Spurs, they will indeed be the favorites in the finals. A remainder $200 bet on the Rockets at +1000 or 10-1 returns $2,000 and a total profit of $1,200.
The only hole in this strategy is "your big horse" (Golden State) loses and your longshot (Houston) also doesn't win the championship. The poor value is really on the Cleveland Cavaliers. Especially with whispers of Lebron James possibly leaving after this season to finish out his career elsewhere.
Big NBA Futures Menu
The best news here is that the major offshore sportsbooks have found new ways to accommodate future bettors by offering other options.
We'll give the Western Conference to the Warriors, but betting the Eastern Conference Finals might be a much more lucrative opportunity than it obviously appears. Here are the current odds from popular sportsbook Bovada:
2018 Eastern Conference - Odds to Win
|New York Knicks||+25000|
Should Lebron go down with an injury or his buddy Dwayne Wade not work out to plans, there are three reasonable chances for another surprise team to show up in the NBA Finals. Despite Gordan Hayward's horrible first-game injury, the Boston Celtics are a tricky +400 and not to be counted out. The +900 Washington Wizards are definitely a team on the rise now that star John Wall has some support and the Wizards might be only one player away. The Bucks like the Sixers are looking toward the future and not recommended yet. Forget everybody else.
The most lucrative wagering opportunities are betting the Over/Under Win Totals for the season. Scanning the board from BetOnline can pinpoint a few noticeable trends not to be ignored. The O/U total for Golden State is still set at 67.5 and very close to exactly that at most other sportsbooks. That would allow for only 14 total losses during the NBA's entire regular season if you prefer wagering Over. Wow.
Like Major League Baseball and NFL futures, it is always wise to bet "with the money" and not against it. Among the future O/U win totals at BetOnline a glaring favorite stands out.
New York Knicks Over 30.5 Wins +130
New York Knicks Under 30.5 Wins -150
Sorry Knicks fans but this indicates many unhappy nights at The Garden and another long season for the Knicks out of the playoffs. Also, major improvement for their rival 76ers and several losses to the Celtics and Raptors within the division.
In summation, this week is your opportunity to still "invest" in the Golden State Warriors while carefully selecting a few other NBA teams to bank on in the future. Next April and June is not that far away.
Glenn Greene covers the games from a betting angle every week exclusively at OSGA.com. For weekly betting insights, inlcuding previews and picks from Glenn, click here.