Gary | Fri 18/11/2016 - 19:50 EST

NBA Futures Bets

NBA Futures Bets
With the NBA season officially in full swing, we're here to take you through some championship odds that you should steer clear of. It's never too early to place your NBA Finals bets, but there won't come a time this season when any of these teams deserve your championship attention.

NBA Fool's Gold Future Picks

By Dan Favale

Enticed by a certain NBA team's championship chances that you really shouldn't be? You're not alone. The futures sector of basketball betting can be tricky. It's difficult to know which squads are worth the investment and which are fool's gold. Fortunately for you, we're here, using Bovada's odds, to tell you which teams you should avoid at the sportsbooks, no matter how enticing their odds may seem now or get later on. 

Oklahoma City Thunder (+4400)


Over the offseason, the Oklahoma City Thunder traded Serge Ibaka and lost Kevin Durant in free agency to the Golden State Warriors. And yet, somehow, they still have top-seven championship odds.

This is a problem.

Because they don't deserve top-seven odds.

Yes, Russell Westbrook is a force in his own right, and some combination of Victor Oladipo, Cameron Payne (when healthy), Domantas Sabonis, Steven Adams and Enes Kanter will pop. But Westbrook has led an Ibaka-less and Durant-less version of the Thunder before, in 2014-15, and the results weren't good. They won 45 games overall, which is sound, but they were under .500 with Westbrook as their lone star and missed the playoffs completely.

It's going to be a similar story this time around. The Thunder will struggle to space the floor and, for the first time in recent memory, might have a better offense than defense. And even if they make the playoffs, they aren't going to get very far. Could you imagine them getting past the Portland Trail Blazers or Houston Rockets, let alone the San Antonio Spurs or Golden State Warriors?

Which brings us to the next problem: The Thunder may not even be the best team in their division when all's said and done. That honor could now belong to the Denver Nuggets, or the Utah Jazz, or the Blazers. The Thunder could, in all reality, be the worst team in the Northwest if the Minnesota Timberwolves make the leap many are expecting.

If you wanted use the Thunder as a long-shot championship pick, that would be one thing. But you're not getting typical long-shot odds here, so it's best to stay away. 

New York Knicks (+4400)


Like the Thunder, the New York Knicks are getting top-seven championship odds when they shouldn't, because, like the Thunder, it's easy to talk yourself into them on paper.

Kristaps Porzingis! Carmelo Anthony! Derrick Rose! Courtney Lee! Joakim Noah! Brandon Jennings! Those names are fun to shout, and in the case of Porzingis and Anthony, they carry legitimate star power. But the Knicks lack depth and players in the prime.

Rose and Noah will never be as good as they were in their heyday. Rose himself is a weird fit, because he's an inefficient ball-dominator who only stands to limit Anthony's and Porzingis' scoring opportunities, and yet he doesn't move the needle on defense.

Speaking of defense, the Knicks won't play much of it. Their offense, which has been hot and cold thus far, should figure itself out. They have enough talent for that. But the defense will be below average to terrible all year. And if that doesn't do them in, the inevitable rash of injuries to one or more key players they'll incur absolutely will.

Bettors, as such, need to worry about the Knicks making the playoffs. Getting past teams like the Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors, into the NBA Finals, then beating the Spurs or the Warriors, is a scenario that's absolutely out of the question.

Indiana Pacers (+6600)


On the one hand, it's wholly comical that the Knicks have better championship odds than the Indiana Pacers. The latter is most definitely more likely to hoist the Larry O'Brien Trophy.

On the other hand, that's not saying much at all.

Right now, the Pacers are sporting top-10 odds, when they shouldn't be. They went to a great deal of trouble to revamp the offense, by acquiring Jeff Teague and Thaddeus Young, and it's already showing signs of compromising their defense.

And the resulting offense hasn't even been that good.

Time will only tell if the Pacers can reach their ceiling. There's a chance they might. Paul George is that good. But the bench is shallow and, again, there isn't much defensive talent on the docket anymore. If this team makes the playoffs, it's liable to get bounced in the first round. 

And when that's the best-case scenario, there's no point investing in top-10 championship odds.

New Orleans Pelicans (+10000)


Okay, now we're entering genuine long-shot territory. And you know what? These odds are still too good for the New Orleans Pelicans.

Ownership and the front office have tried to expedite the rebuild around Anthony Davis to disastrous consequences. The Pelicans are now stuck with bunch of injury-prone contributors, fringe NBA talent and a ton of fliers with unknown ceilings. It's a pretty bad look.

Indeed, when Jrue Holiday returns from helping take care of his wife, Laura, who just underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor, the Pelicans will be better. But they will still be all too reliant on Davis.

For that, they deserve bottom-five or bottom-three odds. The sportsbooks, though, aren't even giving you bottom-10 chances—which, in turn, means the Pelicans shouldn't even register on your super-duper, longer-than-long-shot radar. 

Category : Sports Betting News

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