Expert Sticks With NBA Pick on Spurs +550 to Win Championship

Kevin Stott

Wednesday, December 2, 2015 2:53 PM GMT

There seems to be a small golden nugget at the bottom of the pan & pick worth discussing, but it’s hard to tell if it’s the real thing or just Fool’s Gold with the NBA Finals series half a year away. 

Nothing But Little Fish in These Cold and Dark Waters
Probably the worst professional sports betting Futures market in which to try to make some money on, the NBA Futures Book market again looks boring and sparse, with last season’s defending champions, the Golden State Warriors and superstar Stephen Curry off to a torrid 19-0 start and one of the league’s perennial doormats—the Philadelphia 76ers—off to an ugly 0-18 start and 13½ games out of first place in the Eastern Conference by December 1st. Whatever is beyond the Haves and the Have Nots is the state of the Modern NBA as the Warriors have as many Losses as they did before the season started and are now eyeballing the NBA record while the lowly Sixers have as many Wins as you and I combined and we haven’t even been passed the basketball yet by these greedy shot-loving, bis short-wearing knobs.

C’mon Klay. I’ve been wide open for three months, bruh. So the NBA’s glorious 70th Regular Season seems like a three-team race once again and these NBA Championship and Eastern and Western conference Odds updates reveal little change a perception or very little value, let alone the reality of having to wait until June to actually reap the potential rewards of your bet should you win. Anyone attacking NBA Futures markets may be doing so in the niche realms or maybe in the particular Divisional markets or Rookie of the Year race as these three markets are as stale as expected. Sorry. We seek Truth and avoid Hype and the truth here is unless you think genius Head Coach Gregg Popovich and the Spurs (+550 to win NBA Championship, Bovada) with new piece PF LaMarcus Aldridge can knock off the Warriors in the West and then likely the Cavaliers and LeBron James in the NBA Finals, then there is really nothing to see here.

The NBA is such a star-driven league, with teams having solid Starting 5’s, a really good Bench, a good Head Coach and a believing Fan Base and city the only candidates to have a realistic chance to win an NBA championship. And trying to avoid Injuries to key players in a season which can run from October to June—if you’re Lucky—is also key, so depth and planning for those potential losses of personnel is a big part of the pie. And it seems only the Usual Suspects have a chance—barring a major Injury to James, Stephen Curry or LaMarcus Aldridge—again this time around. Let’s look at the NBA Odds and then more bitch some more while wondering why the Indiana Pacers (11-5) are at 28/1 to win it all while the Toronto Raptors (11-7) are at 40/1.

 

NBA Championship Odds—(Bovada, December 1)
Atlanta Hawks 33/1
Boston Celtics 66/1
Brooklyn Nets 500/1
Charlotte Hornets 250/1
Chicago Bulls 18/1                                                 
Cleveland Cavaliers +260
Dallas Mavericks 100/1
Denver Nuggets 500/1
Detroit Pistons 100/1
Golden State Warriors +150
Houston Rockets 33/1
Indiana Pacers 28/1
Los Angeles Clippers 12/1
Los Angeles Lakers 1000/1
Memphis Grizzlies 50/1
Miami Heat 28/1
Milwaukee Bucks 150/1
Minnesota Timberwolves 250/1
New Orleans Pelicans 200/1
New York Knicks 150/1
Oklahoma City Thunder 12/1
Orlando Magic 300/1
Philadelphia 76ers No Odds
Phoenix Suns 200/1
Portland Trail Blazers 300/1
Sacramento Kings 300/1
San Antonio Spurs +550
Toronto Raptors 40/1
Utah Jazz 100/1
Washington Wizards 100/1
Eastern Conference
Cleveland Cavaliers +300
Chicago Bulls +900
Miami Heat 12/1
Indiana Pacers 12/1
Atlanta Hawks 14/1
Toronto Raptors 18/1
Boston Celtics 33/1
Washington Wizards 40/1
Detroit Pistons 50/1
New York Knicks 66/1
Milwaukee Bucks 75/1
Charlotte Hornets 100/1
Orlando Magic 100/1
Brooklyn Nets 300/1
Western Conference
Golden State Warriors -110
San Antonio Spurs +250
Los Angeles Clippers 7/1
Oklahoma City Thunder 7/1
Dallas Mavericks 50/1
Utah Jazz 50/1
New Orleans Pelicans 100/1
Phoenix Suns 100/1
Minnesota Timberwolves 125/1
Portland Trail Blazers 150/1
Denver Nuggets 250/1
Los Angeles Lakers 500/1

 

The Same Old Song & Dance, Are the San Antonio Spurs Really Worth a Shot?
Let’s be honest here. We want to pretend there’s some remote sense of balance in the NBA and that some of these odds are worth a Futures Bet or talking about, but astute sports gamblers are usually way ahead of the curve and it looks to be the same as it was last Regular Season—and maybe even worse in terms of imbalance and ability to find some decent NBA Futures Bets that actually have a chance to win, usually the point of betting unless one approaches it from a strictly Recreational standpoint and is aware of that realty. In short, a bet one makes he or she doesn’t care about and almost expects to lose, but hopes to get some entertainment value from. Like taking Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder (12/1 to win NBA Championship, Bovada) to win it all because you like them or think they may have the best chance of getting through the rugged gauntlet of the West and teams like the defending champion Golden State Warriors and Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs just to get to the NBA Finals to have a chance to win the bet or maybe hedge at that point if that’s your style.

For me, and it seems many others, only three teams have a realistic chance of actually getting to the NBA Finals and then winning it and the oddsmakers have been, and are all over it and this may be the easiest sport for them to make Futures odds for. And it comes down to looking at the NBA Championship, Eastern Conference and Western Conference markets backwards moving out with the rhetorical question, “Can anybody beat the Warriors, Spurs or the Cavaliers?” And it seemed at this point (December) last season, the answer was a resounding “No” and it feels even worse this season. We might as well have the Warriors and Spurs play in the Western Conference Finals here in the Winter and just ship LeBron and the Cleveland Cavaliers (-300 to win Eastern Conference, Bovada) into the NBA Finals from the East.

As far as any value, fun and potential here, it seems the Spurs (+250 to win Western Conference, Bovada) would be the only play with the prices on Golden State and Cleveland just not enticing enough. Not even close. It comes down to “Can the Spurs beat the Warriors in a potential 7-game series in the Playoffs?” and the answer is yes as this team has a Head Coach smart enough to know to to try to body-up and get physically rough on Warriors  (+150 to win NBA Championship, Bovada) sharp shooters Curry and Klay Thompson and with the addition of former Trail Blazer Aldridge, has a big body in the paint to both free up Tim Duncan and try to neutralize Draymond Green. But to beat the Warriors, San Antonio will have to shoot lights out and be prepared for some run-and-gun ABA-style hoops, meaning players like Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, Manu Ginobili and Patty Mills will all have to be relative hot-shooting from the outside for the duration of a theoretical Warriors-Spurs series—something this team is entirely capable of doing, especially remembering how last season ended for them and knowing that veterans like Duncan, Ginobili and Parker continue to grow long in the tooth and that this could be their last realistic go at winning another NBA Championship. The same old Spurs in so many respects.

NBA Championship Futures Pick: San Antonio Spurs +550 at Bovada