With just one more weekend from the start of the NBA season, here are my top futures picks for the Central Conference divisions, with betting odds from Bovada.
Cleveland Cavaliers (-200)
Cleveland, along with a few other teams in the West are the only teams with a lot of chalk to win their division right now, and like some of those teams, the Cavs are pretty overvalued. It’s understandable. The Heat were really overvalued in their future odds when they got together four years ago, and now the Cavs, with less of a team surrounding the big three are once again overvalued. After their big three, there isn’t much talent on this roster, especially playoff-tested talent. I don’t think the Cavs are the play in the Central, because there is another team that looks poised to take it.
Chicago Bulls (+160)
Right behind the Cavs is the Bulls, who at +160 might be the play in this division. They have a deeper team than the Cavs, and as long as Derrick Rose outplays Kyrie Irving this season, the Bulls probably have the better team. We just saw an NBA Finals where depth and defense beat the collection of stars, and I think that could happen again this season with the Bulls. They have more shooting than the Cavs too, and it makes them a double-edged sword. Their NBA Odds value is good.
Indiana Pacers (+2500 from Bovada)
If Paul George was healthy and the Pacers hadn’t lost Lance Stephenson, they may have been able to be the third team vying for this division, but with Stephenson in Charlotte and George out with a broken leg, they are barely going to be in the playoff conversation in the East. They don’t have much scoring now, and even though George Hill and Roy Hibbert should up their production now, it won’t be enough to beat the two elite teams in this division. Having to play Cleveland and Chicago in 10% of their games is not going to help the Pacers at all, so don’t waste your time on their NBA Picks.
Detroit Pistons (+5000)
The Pistons are going to be an interesting team this season. No team is probably better equipped to outperform their NBA Odds, but they are also in the position of having a new coach, and a lot of young talent. They added Jodie Meeks this offseason however he will be out for a while with an injury, but if Stan Van Gundy can get this roster to mesh and gel together, this team could push .500 and a playoff spot this season. However that is being pretty optimistic.
Milwaukee Bucks (+10,000)
The Bucks are bringing up the rear in the Central division, as they are 100/1 to win it over the other four teams above. Even though they should be improved this season with the addition of Jabari Parker, and getting a healthy Larry Sanders back, however this team needs some work, and I don’t know how well Jason Kidd is going to do to give them that help. They still don’t have much outside of their young starting five, and while Parker is going to be a great addition for them down the road, he might be a little inconsistent scoring the ball in his first year. This team has a pretty tough division to play in, and outside of some props on them this season betting them ATS or in any future NBA Odds might be throwing out money.