NBA Futures and Daily Bet (7/30)
Updated: Jul 31
The NBA season is officially back! Things are going to look a lot different than they did back in March, but at the end of the day basketball is basketball, and every game from here on out is going to feel like a playoff game. Below find a few futures I like, as well as what I think is a solid opening day bet.
I apologize to all those who want flash, but I can't board the Zion hype train with the Trail Blazers clearly a better team than they were when the lockdown began. On DraftKings, you can find quite a few bets regarding the Blazers that are more than enticing. First, there is a bet about how many "seeding" games they'll win. The number is currently set at 3.5, and I have to say that I absolutely love this bet. The opening game on Friday against the Grizzlies will set the tone for things to come, and while the schedule isn't easy, Portland also is a much better team right now than their record shows. Just look at their starting five right now. Damien Lillard, CJ McCollum, Carmelo Anthony, Zach Collins, and Jusuf Nurkic. Remember Collins and Nurkic are coming off injuries that kept them out for the entire season up until this point. No team has benefitted more from the layoff, and it's going to show right away.
BET: Portland over 3.5 wins (+120)
But we're not done with Portland yet. Everyone is all over the New Orleans Pelicans as Zion tries to mount a furious rally to sneak them into the playoffs as the West's eight-seed. The Pelicans' schedule surely supports this, as somehow their eight opponents win percentage is below .500. But due to a glitch in the restart system, they're going to have to likely win more games than the Blazers in order to force a play-in series with the Grizzlies for the eighth and final spot in the NBA playoffs. All eyes are on New Orleans, which is exactly how Portland likes it. Remember, last season they finished with the third best record in the West and made it all the way to the conference finals. They did all of this very quietly. Which is exactly how they're going to snare the eight-seed this time around. And wow those odds are beautiful.
BET: 8-seed Portland (+400)
What about Milwaukee?
I know a lot of people like to look at juice and let it determine their picks. This is a surefire way to lose a lot of money often, and win a lot of money once or twice. The Bucks have all but locked up the one-seed in the East, and while they will want to make sure they aren't rusty going into meaningful games, their total for seeding game victories is currently set at 6.5. 6.5! That means they have to finish 7-1 or 8-0. We've seen Bucks' head coach, Mike Budenholzer, bench his star players in meaningless games before, so why should this be any different. Even if he decides to play Giannis in every game, it's unlikely he will see the same minutes he's going to get as the playoffs progress. There is no doubt that the Bucks are the best team in the conference, but with games against the Celtics, Raptors, Mavericks, and Rockets, I'm expecting to see at least two losses for a team that will be looking ahead to a meaningful series. I wouldn't be betting this type of juice if I didn't love the bet. My advice: shop around, but make this bet.
BET: Bucks under 6.5 wins (-250)
But I want to bet today!
As do I. Futures are great, but we all want instant gratification. The truth is, I don't LOVE either game today, but I like one of them. The Clippers vs Lakers is surely going to attract a lot of action, but I can't figure out what we're going to get from the Clippers right now. The loss of Lou Williams is certainly going to hurt, but that doesn't mean I think the Lakers are going to run away with this one. The spread shows the Lakers favored by four, which feels about right.
That means I'm once again going to break people's hearts and bet against Zion and the Pelicans in the first game of the night. The Jazz are the fourth-best team in the West, and yet they somehow find themselves underdogs to the 10th-best team in the conference. I'm a firm believer that Vegas knows, and right now Vegas knows that all the hype in the world is around Zion. It's what fans want. It's what the league wants. It's what bettors are going to throw their money at. While fading the public isn't as much of a lock as many will lead you to believe, in this case, it is. The Jazz are better than the Pelicans. It doesn't matter if they're not as exciting.
BET: Jazz +2.5
That's all I have for today. Check back tomorrow for one pick that I absolutely LOVE. Seriously, I don't understand how this line exists. Plus the NHL is back which means I'll have to give hockey some love. As for the MLB, I'll be looking into that on a need-to-bet basis. Meaning if I see something that I absolutely need to bet, I'll make sure to write about it. Otherwise, I'm sitting back and watching the chaos unfold.