There is no rush for any sportsbook to put up a futures list for the 2020 NBA champion
One of the most memorable lines Jerry Seinfeld created didn’t come from the epic Seinfeld series. In one of his stand-up routines he casually mentioned that sports fans aren’t really rooting for players, but for their uniforms. He must have had the upcoming NBA season most in mind. Only you can add betting on it as well.
No other U.S. league is now so un-loyal to its fans as the NBA, where after an avalanche of trades and free agent signings, it’s truly difficult to recognize teams without an updated roster sheet and scorecard. More changes are expected to come through the next week.
Unfortunately, the first week of July brings along a few other traditions besides fireworks and hot dog eating contests. It includes a bevy of unhappy NBA stars seeking to make guaranteed millions joining teams of their choice only ten days after the draft. It’s nothing new, except for that one fateful bone break in this year’s NBA Finals to change the fate and destination for so many players. One bad crossover dribble for KD (Kevin Durant) not only upset the NBA’s future, but the entire wagering future board as well.
No More Guaranteed Champions
It’s "a lock" we’ll likely never see another team open the season akin to the 2018-19 Golden State Warriors at -160 to win it all and virtually stay on the board close to that intimidating figure the following June. Even losing Durant early in the semi-finals didn’t deter Warriors action. But adding on season-ending injuries to Klay Thompson and various other Golden State players was just too much. Durant’s Achilles tendon injury was the 'no mas' signal and a forever reminder to bettors there are no locks nor guarantees cashing sports wagers.
It was also one of a few red flags to seasoned bookmakers opening 2019-2020 NBA Championship futures wagering. The complete turnaround this year is no guaranteed champ at huge favorite odds. In fact, scanning the list of preferred sportsbooks, we cannot currently find a futures table of NBA teams nor their NBA championship betting odds.
Even with the incredible amount of notable trades, free agent signings and draft selections secured, there seems to be no rush for any notable sportsbook to be first putting up a futures list for NBA champion. I scanned many of the elite including Bovada, 5Dimes and Bookmaker and you are more likely to find odds on Joe Biden's next hug or in-game cricket. But currently, I can't for locate the line from possible favorite Brooklyn Nets to potential longest shot Phoenix Suns.
There are several reasons with the foundation being smart bookmakers don't want to be financially victimized making poor early judgments. However, one main reason is that this Saturday, July 6th is NBA signing day. The official time by midnight that all these multi-million-dollar, multi-year offers we’ve been reading about must be officially signed. After that, most every key roster spot will be known, creating the best opportunity for a potentially balanced line.
Therefore, look for this Sunday or possible early next week as the first excellent opportunity to capitalize upon the most wide-open NBA futures board in several years. Ironically, following the season acknowledging the heaviest betting favorite in the league's history.
All-Star Break Homework
Next week brings upon the second slowest wagering week of 2019. That is unless you’re an expert on the MLB All-Star Home Run Derby or perhaps a Wimbledon shark. A great opportunity to bet early into the NBA Futures board, if available.
If there is one consistent pattern about NBA basketball vs. the other major U.S. sports leagues, it's the traditional way to eliminate 75% of the teams from championship consideration. We can still assume that possibly ten teams at most have a chance to be included. That’s a big advantage, especially this season.
Narrowing it down to the Eastern and Western Conferences, it provides this subjective list:
|Milwaukee Bucks||Los Angeles Lakers|
|Toronto Raptors||Denver Nuggets|
|Philadelphia 76ers||Houston Rockets|
|Brooklyn Nets||Portland Trail Blazers|
It’s incredible adding the Lakers, who may be one of the favorites, while subtracting the unlucky Warriors. A slight case could be made for either the Utah Jazz or Oklahoma City Thunder at longer odds. That's the huge difference about NBA basketball, where one new player (ex: Anthony Davis) on the court can make a monumental wagering change on the board.
How to Bet NBA Futures
A potential strategy this season could be investing in the 'double play'. Meaning wagering upon TWO teams (one in each conference) instead of only one champion to increase potential chance and profits.
For example, wagering upon the Brooklyn Nets at say 5-1 odds and the Houston Rockets at 6-1 odds to win it all. Balance your action upon your top selection. Should that be the Nets, wager 70% of your funds, with remaining dollars on the Rockets. If you get lucky, both teams could play each other in The Finals, guaranteeing a win.
Do the math to estimate best return on investment. The key being not selecting two teams in the same conference.
Overall, wagering upon the NBA Futures will be the toughest, most unpredictable wager this season. The upside will be the most generous possible return if you WAGER EARLY. It makes a lot more sense than guessing upon the NL vs. the AL in the All-Star Game or whether Serena Williams wins again at poor value odds.
Glenn Greene covers the games from a betting angle every week exclusively at OSGA.com. For weekly betting insights, including previews and picks from Glenn, click here.