Dan Favale | Wed 11/10/2017 - 17:03 EDT

NBA Futures: Oklahoma City Thunder Odds

2017-18 Oklahoma City Thunder Betting Odds

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  • Northwest Division: -150
  • Western Conference: +800
  • NBA Championship: +1600

Oh, how quickly things have changed.

While the Oklahoma City Thunder scraped together 47 wins last season, they were never really part of the meaningful big-picture discussion. They were too dependent on Russell Westbrook and a shoddy offense bogged down by a lack of spacing in the aftermath of Kevin Durant's exit. They could be fun, at times, to watch but were never close to rivaling the likes of the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Not anymore, though.

By adding Carmelo Anthony and Paul George, not to mention re-signing Andre Roberson and picking up Patrick Patterson, the Thunder have uniquely positioned themselves to be part of every gambling conversation on the futures front.

Ironically, however, you're best off shirking Northwest Division bets. It's not that the Thunder shouldn't be favorites over the Minnesota Timberwolves, Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz and Portland Trail Blazers. They should be. But all five of these squads figure to contend for winning records and a playoff berth, opening you up to the possibility Oklahoma City doesn't finish as the top dog. And if you're going to swing for the fences, you should be getting far more lucrative returns than what -150 promises.

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Hence the importance of the conference (+800) and championship (+1600) chances. These odds offer much more palatable returns on your investment. Best of all, while all futures bets are basically long-shot wagers, you can make this dice roll without feeling as if you're reaching. 

Because, again, the Thunder belong here.

Indeed, it will take some time for Anthony, George and Westbrook to mesh on the offensive end, but they have the skill sets to complement one another. Look no further than last year's Thunder squad to see that. They boasted an overwhelming number of weaknesses, most of which have now been addressed.

Chief among those flaws: shooting.

Remove Westbrook's own 40 percent clip on wide-open threes from the equation, and the Thunder's supporting cast shot under 32 percent on uncontested triples in 2016-17—by far and away the worst mark in the league. Anthony and George, meanwhile, both put down at least 42 percent of their catch-and-shoot treys.

They'll beef up this offense's slipshod spacing right out of the gate.

My Team's Next MatchOklahoma City Thunder

Another primary crack in the Thunder: secondary playmaking. Westbrook was all alone in that department last year. Head coach Billy Donovan didn't trust Victor Oladipo to run the offense for long spurts without the reigning MVP on the court and was often left turning to Semaj Christon, who, if we're being honest, isn't a real NBA player.

Getting Anthony and George takes care of that, too. Both are exceptional passers when they're the primary ball-handlers, and neither needs to be reliant on others to get their shots. Wide-open spot-up opportunities are nice, but there will be times when the Thunder need ground-up creation from someone other than Westbrook. And, lucky for them, Anthony and George rated in the top 12 of the league last in isolation volume. They'll more than get the job done vacillating between on- and off-ball roles, even if it takes some time.

Flipping Enes Kanter as part of the Anthony trade will cost the Thunder offensive rebounds, and they're not as intimidating defensively with Melo soaking up a bunch of time at power forward. But they'll make that concession knowing what awaits them on offense.

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More importantly, they more so than any team in the NBA are built to keep pace with the Warriors' famed Death Lineup of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green.

George and Roberson are two all-world perimeter defenders. Roberson can take on Curry, which allows Westbrook to be stashed on Iguodala; George can tackle Durant; and Patterson can roll out at the 5 matching up with Green. Anthony is the weakest link of them all, but the Thunder can get away with putting him on Thompson for small stretches.

Moral of the story: The Thunder are one of two to four teams not named the Warriors worth your time when betting conference and championship odds.

Results / FixturesOklahoma City Thunder

Category : Sports Betting News

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