The San Antonio Spurs have seen their NBA odds shrink following the signing of LaMarcus Aldridge. But there's still some betting value out there if you shop around.
Were you one of the fortunate souls who bought in on the San Antonio Spurs before they signed LaMarcus Aldridge? We've been tracking the Spurs ever since the NBA futures market opened for 2015-16; their basketball odds for winning the championship shrunk from 10-1 at the open to 8-1 at the start of the free-agency period, then all the way to 3-1 after the Spurs signed both Aldridge and David West. No offense to Mr. West, but Aldridge is the key to this line move – even if his arrival in San Antonio seemed predestined from the start.
If you weren't able to get a jump on the market, there might still be time. The aforementioned NBA odds were from the futures market at Bovada; if you check out our full list of NBA betting futures, you'll find the Spurs available as high as 9-1 at Sports Interaction and 10-1 at 5Dimes. That's at press time, of course – these prices might not last long. The big question: Should you buy in?
Breakfast of Champions
That depends on more than just the Spurs themselves. You have to take your bankroll into consideration, and what other bets you might want to place this summer – priorities, priorities. But from a purely basketball perspective, it's easy to make a case that San Antonio has plenty of value at 10-1.
Let's start with the obvious: This was a championship contender even before Aldridge came to town. The Spurs have won four titles since the Gregg Popovich-Tim Duncan Era began in 1997. They've also been to the NBA Finals twice in the last three years, splitting a pair against LeBron James and the Miami Heat. Duncan (+5.5 BPM last year) continues to perform at an All-Star level, thanks to some astute minutes management, amazing genetics, and whatever he pours on his Wheaties in the morning.
The Spurs front office has also kept a steady hand on the tiller over the years, making sure that Duncan is surrounded by a core of talented players. Tony Parker (15.9 PER) and Manu Ginobili (16.2 PER) are on the downside of their fine careers, but they were still better than average on offense last year. Meanwhile, Kawhi Leonard (+6.1 BPM) and Danny Green (+5.0 BPM) have largely supplanted them in importance with their fine two-way play. It's the circle of life. Hakuna matata.
Earthling in the City
Now we introduce Aldridge into the equation. We don't want to go too far in comparing his arrival to that of Duncan back in '97, but if you're old enough to dig up those memories – or if you just check out the YouTubes – you can see how the Spurs did when Duncan was first paired with David Robinson. That was quite the team. Two of those four championships came with that tandem on the floor, then Robinson retired in 2003 and Duncan took center stage.
This is apparently the succession plan once again, with Aldridge in the emergent leader role. In the meantime, Aldridge (22.8 PER last year with Portland) and Duncan should work very well together, with Aldridge providing the mid-range shooting while Duncan posts up. And when Duncan's on the bench, Aldridge can take over in the paint, allowing the Spurs to keep doing what they've been doing for nearly 20 years now.
As for any concerns about San Antonio's thinning bench, signing West on the cheap takes care of that. He'll join a list of reserves that still includes Patty Mills, at least for now, along with Ginobili, Boris Diaw, Matt Bonner and Jeff Ayres, among others. Between that depth and San Antonio's impressive starting five, we're jumping on the Spurs bandwagon while we can still get that bargain price for our NBA picks.
Free NBA Pick: Take the Spurs 10-1 at 5Dimes