As the NBA’s 2018-19 season continues to draw near, let us continue to preview of some of the NBA’s top teams and their futures odds.
For a team which lost its top scorer (Gordon Hayward) during the 2017 free agency, the Utah Jazz were one of the surprise teams of last season. After opening the season with a 19-28 record, the Jazz won 29 out of their next 35 games to enter the playoffs where they ambushed the Oklahoma City Thunder and their OK3 in the first round.
With Donovan Mitchell one season older and Rudy Gobert healthier than ever, the Jazz are going to be a handful this season. Utah’s main addition is rookie Grayson Allen, who may end up to be the steal of this year’s NBA draft. We scoured our favorite gambling sites and these are the best futures odds for the Jazz as of 10/08/18:
Only the OKC Thunder have the better odds than the Jazz to win Northwest at +210. Paul George has been sensational in preseason and the Thunder added Nerlens Noel and Dennis Schroder this summer. But while Noel and Schroder add depth and talent, it’s going to take some time to blend them to the team. Meanwhile, the Jazz pretty much have everybody back. I’ll take Utah’s continuity and Mitchell’s development over OKC’s new guys. Best bet: +220 to win the Northwest Division at Bovada
The Spurs winning tradition continued last year but not without drama. The Spurs are the most consistent thing there is in professional basketball but last season, there was plenty of turmoil due to Kawhi Leonard’s quad injury.
Leonard suffered a season injury during the 2017 playoffs and after missing the early part of last season, Leonard came back for only nine games and returned back to the sidelines despite being medically cleared by team doctors. The drama dragged until the end of the season and ended when Leonard got traded last summer. After checking, these are the best odds for the Spurs for the 2018-19 season as of 10/08/18:
The Spurs still have a very good team with Aldridge, DeRozan, Gay and Patty Mills. But this is no longer the championship caliber team we’ve been used to in the previous decade. Winning out West may even be out of the equation given the presence of Golden State and Houston. The Spurs are in the same division as the Houston Rockets and I don’t think they can top Houston this year. San Antonio lost Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green during the offseason. No disrespect to Demar DeRozan but Spurs but he can’t make up for what the Spurs lost. Best bet: -205 to make the playoffs
The Bucks are coming off a disappointing season. Having perhaps one of the brightest potential in the game (if not the brightest) in Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks failed to capitalize on the ultra talented GreeK Freak and finished only 7th in the Eastern Conference standings.
With Antetokounmpo getting better each year, the Bucks made their biggest move of the offseason by signing former Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer. Budenholzer was responsible for making the Atlanta Hawks perennial Eastern Conference contenders from 2013-2018 and his arrival in Milwaukee is expected to improve the Bucks at both ends of the floor. Here are the Bucks’ best odds for next season as of 10/08/18:
The Bucks are tied with the Pacers at +125 to win the Central Division and I think these two teams will indeed go toe to toe for that division crown. Looking at their lineups, the Pacers added Tyreke Evans but lost Lance Stephenson. Meanwhile, the Bucks added big man Brook Lopez, forward Pat Connaughton and brought back Ersan Ilyasova. I think the Bucks got better than the Pacers during the offseason. With a new coach, new arena and facilities, the time is now for the Bucks. Best bet: +125 to win Central Division
Who would have thought that the Indiana Pacers would make the playoffs after losing Paul George to the Oklahoma City Thunder? Only the Pacers, perhaps. But Victor Oladipo blossomed into a star and Domantas Sabonis proved to be a reliable piece, thus making the Paul George trade look like a genius move.
Like Utah was in the West, the Pacers were the biggest surprise in the East. After giving the Cavs some scare in the first round of the playoffs, Indiana kept its core, losing only Lance Stephenson to the Lakers. But Indiana added Tyreke Evans and Kyle O’Quinn for good measure. No doubt this team can win but the question is can they win with the whole league already ready for Oladipo? Here are the best future odds for the Pacers as of 10/08/18:
The easiest bet to make here is Indiana making the playoffs. But at -1000, there’s not value in it. Everyone’s expecting the Pacers to be good this season. But how good? Winning the NBA title is out of the equation. There is a chance that they can win the East now that LeBron has left the Conference but the presence of teams like Boston and Toronto would make it difficult. Indiana “only” has Milwaukee to beat in the Central Division and given Milwaukee’s inability to take their game to the next level in previous seasons, the Pacers are solid favorites to win the Central. Best bet: +125 to win the Central Division
The Portland Trail Blazers had a good 2017-18 season. Not only did they make the playoffs, they beat the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Northwest Division title. But the Blazers outstanding regular season was overshadowed by a poor performance in Round 1 of the postseason which saw them get upset by the New Orleans Pelicans.
A lot of the West’s top teams have gotten even better. The Blazers lost reserves Ed Davis, Shabazz Napier and Pat Connaughton but didn’t make any significant additions. Given what its current core has showed us in previous season, I’m not sure where the Blazers are going this season. Here’s what the betting sites think about the Blazers. We’ve picked out the best odds we found in different betting sites as of 10/08/18
The Jazz and Thunder have better odds to win the Northwest Division at +200 and +225. Most likely, Utah and OKC are going to be the two that will battle it out for the division title. The Blazers still have one of the best backcourt duo in the league in Lillard and McCollum. They also have good talent to surround their 1-2 punch. However, I don’t think the Blazers have what it takes to be elite. They are good, no question. But being elite is another thing. Bet bet: +130 to make the playoffs.
Last season was a landmark for the Pelicans not only because it was only the second time in Anthony Davis’ career that he made the postseason, it was also the first time that the Brow advanced to the second round of the playoffs. Unfortunately for the Pelicans, they faced the eventual champs Warriors in Round 2. Still, there was plenty of reasons to be optimistic.
But the optimism turned into worry when the Pelicans lost All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins to the Golden State Warriors and starting point guard Rajon Rondo to the Los Angeles Lakers. You can argue that the Pels made their playoff run without Boogie but they surely could have not made it to the second round without Rondo. Good thing New Orleans was able to add Julius Randle, Jahlil Okafor and Elfrid Payton. But will these unproven young guys make up for the experience lost in Boogie and Rondo? Here are the best futures odds for the Pelicans in some of the top betting sites as of 10/08/18:
Only two games separated the 3rd to 8th seeds in the West last season with the 9th placed Nuggets just three games behind the 3rd seed Blazers. Save for the Wolves, who may be on the downward trend this season with the Jimmy Butler situation, the rest of the West had gotten better or have kept their cores. New Orleans suffered big losses in Cousins and Rondo and although they’ve added good talent, you know the Nuggets are creeping at a playoff spot. Not to mention every team LeBron James has played in has made the playoffs. Sorry, but… Best Bet: +180 not to make the playoffs.
The Miami Heat are bringing back Dwyane Wade for one fina run and a proper send off. But this won’t be like the Kobe Bryant farewell tour where the Lakers lost one game after another. With Goran Dragic, Hassan Whiteside, Justise Winslow, Josh Richardson, Bam Adebayo and Tyler Johnson back, Miami is still going to be handful. Dion Waiters won’t start the season but when he returns, Miami is going to even get better.
The Heat are one of the few teams that kept their core. Although they didn’t have any significant additions, they didn’t suffer major losses either. Expect the Heat to be at an emotional high this season with this being D-Wade’s farewell tour. Make no mistake, Father Prime can still ball, making this team a formidable team in the East, if Waiters can return and return to form. Here are the best futures odds for the Heat this coming season:
Miami only has Washington as its top competitor in the Southeast Division at -150. Washington added the likes of Dwight Howard, Austin Rivers and Jeff Green during the offseason. But Howard and Rivers are more controversial than perhaps helpful to Washington’s cause. Between Washington’s new look and Miami’s old line-up, I’ll go with the tried and tested. Best bet: +200 to win the Southeast Division.
For some time now, the Wizards have been considered as threats in the East. But with LeBron James’ dominance in previous years and the Celtics’ emergence as a powerhouse, Washington has never been able to go over the hump despite the steady improvement of John Wall and Bradley Beal.
The Celtics, Raptors and Sixers are favored in the East this season and Washington is once again relegated as second class contenders. But with the addition of Dwight Howard, Austin Rivers and Jeff Green, the Wizards have certainly added more depth to an already formidable roster. These are the best future odds for the Wizards as of 10/08/18:
Like the Blazers, the Wizards have one of the best backcourts in the league in Wall and Beal. But they have never been serious threats to win the East, much more go all the way and win the NBA title. However, the Wizards are perennial contenders to win the Southeast Division.With only the Miami Heat to beat in that division, it’s their best shot. Best bet: -150 to win the Southeast Division