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

NBA Futures: Go Big or Go Home for San Antonio Spurs

2017-18 San Antonio Spurs Betting Odds


  • Southwest Division: -105
  • Western Conference: +750
  • NBA Championship: +1200

Go big or go home.

That's the mantra you should adopt when betting on the 2017-18 San Antonio Spurs. Don't waste time with their paltry division odds. Investing in a -150 isn't getting you anywhere special unless you fork over a ton of start-up cash, and it's most definitely not worth the risk when the much-improved Houston Rockets linger in the same Southwest corner. 

Work the Spurs' conference (+750) and championship (+1200) chances instead. After all, if they're going to topple the rest of their division, they're going to enter those discussions anyway. You don't outpace the Rockets without doing that.

On some level, this is, admittedly, counterintuitive. For one, the Golden State Warriors still exist. They're the heavy favorites to steamroll the rest of the league.

Betting on anyone else is a sizable risk.

But that's the NBA landscape as we know it. The intrinsic uneasiness of placing money on a non-Warriors squad is not unique to the Spurs. They're part of the rule, along with the Rockets, Cleveland Cavaliers and Oklahoma City Thunder.

Actual equivocation originates when looking at their offseason. They signed 37-year-old Pau Gasol to one of the worst deals of the summer (three years, $48 million), put stock in Rudy Gay overcoming an Achilles injury despite being on the wrong side of 30 and failed to diversify the roster enough to hang with the Warriors' small-ball approach.


To complicate matters further, Kawhi Leonard, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year and perennial MVP candidate, missed the entire preseason slate nursing a quad injury. Nothing too sinister has been reported in light of his extended absence, but he could be out to the start the regular season. At the very least, it might take him a minute to get back in the swing of things. 

An iffy point guard rotation must also be baked into all these warts. Tony Parker is dealing with his own injury that'll keep him sidelined for a large chunk of the schedule. In his absence, the Spurs will turn to Dejounte Murray, an inexperienced sophomore, and Patty Mills, a shoot-first guard who shouldn't be burdened with too many floor-general duties.

Stir in LaMarcus Aldridge's existential crisis within the Spurs' system, and you have just cause to doubt this team—to decide that they won't come close to meeting last year's 61-win ceiling. 

If you want to take this stance, that's your right. You won't face much resistance, not when the Thunder, Rockets and Warriors all profile as improving superpowers.

Just know, though, that underestimating the Spurs is a mistake.

Head coach Gregg Popovich will guide this squad to 50-plus victories. It's going to happen. The Spurs win like clockwork. They contend for a league-best defensive rating like clockwork. They run at calculated paces like clockwork. They piece together otherworldly efficiency in half-court offensive sets like clockwork. That cannot be thrown by the wayside simply because they seem to possess a dearth of star power.

Remember: Many people were expressing skepticism in their potential ahead of 2016-17, just after they were obliterated in the playoffs by the more athletic Thunder and lost Tim Duncan to retirement. They responded by tallying the Western Conference's second-best record and giving the Warriors a run for their money in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals before Leonard's ankle injury ended their season.


Maybe the Spurs don't replicate that success this time around.

But their roster isn't noticeably inferior to last season's group. If anything, with Gay available to play some small-ball 4, the Spurs are more versatile than before.

And so long as they have Leonard and Coach Pop, they deserve your attention as a non-Warriors option on big-picture wagers. 

Results / FixturesSan Antonio Spurs

Category : Sports Betting News

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