As things stand in mid-August, most of us are focused on football right now when it comes to the futures market. Rightfully so, as I’ll continue pumping out a heavy dose of both NFL and CFB futures and lookahead lines.
However, NBA markets continue to pop up on DraftKings Sportsbook. I have to I’d like to highlight a couple months before the season gets underway.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
Per usual, I’ll put everything official up on Twitter that I bet on personally. For now, I’m just writing up a couple of my favorite futures I have circled. I likely won’t get around to placing anything on NBA until October (pending any massive news). Anything I’ve actually bet will include a unit amount.
We know the story of the 2021-22 Celtics by now. After a frustrating 18-21 start to the season, we saw who they really were, finishing the regular season on a blazing 33-10 run. Boston wound up making an impressive playoff run through a path of opponents all considered to be contenders, all the way to Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
While all teams can tend to punt on some regular season games in today’s NBA, I can see the C’s carrying some of last year’s momentum into this season. Again, this is a team that last we saw in the regular season was on a 33-10 run, and now adds massive depth pieces in Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari. That allows Boston a deeper bench on nights it’s at full strength, as well as the bodies to give some of the starters nights off without sacrificing much production. With a win total juice to the over on an NBA-high 54.5, there’s no doubt this is going to be a very good regular season team, baring massive injury hits.
As for the rest of the Atlantic Division, I only view the 76ers as competition here. The Raptors have a bright future, but should have a tough time keeping up with legit contenders, the Knicks simply aren’t good enough, and the Nets are blowing up one way or another. If we look at the win totals, Philly is set at 49.5, so we’re getting a team projected for five more wins to finish ahead at a -135 price tag. That feels like a cheap price. Not to mention that if anyone on these two teams carries the higher injury risk, it’s probably Joel Embiid, giving the C’s another edge here.
My largest wager in the futures market last season was the Pelicans to finish under their win total of 39.5. Funny enough, New Orleans did in fact stay under their win total with a 36-46 record, and it was never even a sweat ... but this team did in fact make the playoffs!
It was a really weird season for the Pels, who I bet off the news Zion Williams would miss the start of the season, and we wound up never seeing him touch the floor. However, after starting 4-16, it looked like this team could be in the mix for the No. 1 overall pick. Eventually, the Pelicans worked their way to 18-32 by the end of January, but still not a team you’d consider in the playoff mix. But an 18-14 finish was enough to get into the play-in round, where the Pels won both of their games, and there were able to push the top-seeded Suns to a Game 6.
Part of that late-season run was the Pelicans becoming surprise buyers at the trade deadline. New Orleans added C.J. McCollum to a gritty core, and we saw it payoff. Now add Williamson back into the mix to form a core four with McCollum, Brandon Ingram, Jonas Valanciunas and some solid role players and we actually have something here.
While I don’t expect New Orleans to be a contender in the west, it should be able to finish higher than expectations. In a weaker Western Conference, I prefer betting them in the playoff market than the win total. The Spurs were a play-in team last year and should drop to the bottom of the league, while the Jazz were firmly in the playoffs last season and took a step back.
If healthy, I think we’re backing a team here that has the potential to finish as high as fourth in the west, and the floor to have to win us a play-in game to cash this ticket.
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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.
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