Best NBA Future Props to Consider for the Rest of 2017-18 Season
All odds on these prop futures come via BetDSI and are accurate leading into games played on March 9. Definitely make sure you’re double-checking these lines to both make sure they’re still available and that the potential returns on them haven’t shifted.
Will Markelle Fultz Play Again During The Regular Season?
Lines: Yes (-130)/No (+100)
Philadelphia 76ers rookie Markelle Fultz has only appeared in four games this season. His situation has been truly bizarre.
He showed up to training camp with a different-looking jump shot. The assumption: He was favoring a shoulder injury. But his percentages plummeted so fast, so quick, people started to wonder why the Sixers were playing him at all.
And yet, they claimed he was fine, until he apparently wasn’t. They shut him down for what was supposed to be a few games. But a few games turned into a few weeks; a few weeks turned into a few months; and now, we’re more than 75 percent of the way through the season and Fultz still hasn’t returned.
Don’t bank on that changing now. Not this season. The Sixers have been publicly optimistic. Videos have surfaced of his improved jump-shooting form. But the year is too far gone for him to return now.
Re-incorporating any player after a protracted absence is hard enough. Integrating a rookie? Who must be subject to a learning curve to begin with? While you’re chasing postseason seeding? That’s borderline reckless.
The Sixers won’t do anything to jeopardize their playoff standing. They acquired some extra depth in Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova on the buyout market. They could use what Fultz brings as a secondary shot creator, but the risk is too great.
The Pick: No (+100)
Will Kawhi Leonard Play Again During The Regular Season?
Lines: Yes (+100)/No (-130)
And you thought Markelle Fultz’s injury situation was baffling.
Kawhi Leonard wasn’t supposed to miss this much time. Head coach Gregg Popovich was optimistic at the start of the season that he was nearing full strength. But even after he eventually returned, his right quad injury never subsided. He has appeared in only nine games on the season, and people are starting to think he won’t be back this year.
Don’t be one of them.
Yes, the same logic that applies to Fultz must be accounted for here. The Spurs have no business bringing Leonard back too late in the season. They can’t afford to have him working through rust as they’re chasing playoff seeding.
But this presumes they’re playoff locks, which they’re not. Six teams are vying for the Western Conference’s final eight postseason slots. The Spurs are one of them. And they’re guaranteed nothing. Just two games separate them from the lottery, and they have the NBA’s toughest remaining schedule to close things out.
Leonard, meanwhile, recently spoke to reporters for the first time in months. The timing is not a coincidence. The Spurs know they could miss the playoffs without him. He knows they need him. He’s been medically cleared to play. They won’t do anything to compromise his long-term outlook, but they’re not just going to leave their shaky postseason odds to chance either.
The Pick: Yes (+100)
When Will Thunder Be Eliminated From Playoffs
Lines: 1st Round (-115)/2nd Round (+165)/Conference Finals (+550)/Not Eliminated (+700)
This particular bet is tantalizing, in large part because the Oklahoma City Thunder aren’t even guaranteed to make the playoffs. Andre Roberson’s season-ending injury has torpedoed their defensive standing, and they have the league’s second-toughest schedule, behind only the Spurs, to finish out the season.
Still, this team is talented—incredibly so. Russell Westbrook and Paul George are hammering opponents when they don’t have to play with Carmelo Anthony, and Steven Adams has been sensational all year. They still stack up against some of the NBA’s best teams, including the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors.
Getting into the playoffs while avoiding both those squads is the key, though. They won’t beat either the Warriors or Rockets in a best-of-seven series. They need Roberson for that.
Fortunately for them, they’re just as likely to finish in third, fourth or fifth place as they are sixth and seventh. If they can successfully evade those latter two spots, there’s a good to great chance they’ll be able to grind out at least one series victory.
The pick: 2nd Round (+165)
Rockets’ Next Loss With C. Capela, J. Harden, C. Paul In Lineup
Lines: Before March 16 (-135)/After March 16 (+105)
Perhaps you think this shouldn’t be a prop bet. After all, who cares?
The Rockets are 34-1 through games in which Clint Capela, James Harden and Chris Paul log minutes together. Seriously: 34-1. Forecasting their next loss isn’t easy—especially when the team as a whole is on a 16-game winning streak.
Houston will have four chances to suffer its next loss before March 16: at Toronto Raptors; at Dallas Mavericks; versus San Antonio Spurs; and versus Los Angeles Clippers. That’s not the easiest stretch to work through.
The Mavericks game is an afterthought. They’re tanking. They can be scrappy, but the Rockets will win. Every other game is up for grabs. The Rockets are better than them all, but the Raptors are the only team that ranks in the top five of both offensive and defensive efficiency; the Spurs are the Spurs; and the Clippers are fighting for their playoff lives.
It would be tempting to roll with “after March 16″ if the Rockets were laying something more lucrative. But a +105 isn’t nearly enough for us to gloss over the imminent difficulty they’re about to face.
The Pick: Before March 16 (-135)
Will Russell Westbrook Average A Triple-Double For The Season?
Lines: Yes (+145)/No (-195)
Russell Westbrook already averaged a triple-double last season, when he earned his first and only MVP award. He’s on the verge of doing the same again—minus the MVP award.
Entering March 9, Westbrook is averaging 25.4 points, a league-leading 10.2 assists and 9.6 rebounds. Close, right? For sure. But not close enough.
Westbrook’s point and assist totals are on lock. His rebounding numbers are a different story. He’s on pace to play in 79 games, which means he needs to clear 790 total rebounds to be at 10 per night. Looking at his current total, he’ll need to grab more than 11 per game for the rest of the season to make that happen.
News flash: It ain’t happening.
Westbrook is a great rebounding point guard, but so much of his success last season was predicated on the Thunder creating boards for him. They aren’t doing that as much this year. The presence of two other ball-handlers, in Carmelo Anthony and Paul George, makes for two different players who can crash the glass and then dribble up the floor. That will eat into Westbrook’s rebounding totals by default.
The Pick: No (-195)
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