Photo credit: USAToday Sports. Pictured: Rudy Gobert
- The 2018-19 NBA season will tip off next Tuesday, October 16.
- Below I lay out my favorite division, conference and title bets for this upcoming season.
In the last month or so, I’ve written about a lot of NBA bets. I’ve explained how the Rookie of the Year market works. I’ve explained how the MVP market works. I’ve given out some win-total bets for teams, most of which were in the running for Jimmy Butler but now seem content to go into the season as bottom-feeders.
Before we get to division, conference and title bets, I think it’s important to ask “why are we betting these?” And I don’t mean that from a “What am I doing with my life, I need to go back to school” standpoint. I also don’t mean it from a “Why does anyone bet? What are we? What is the meaning of life?” standpoint either. Those are questions and issues you’re welcome to explore on your own, though.
What I’m talking about is the reason for making a bet now as opposed to November. Or February. Or right before the playoffs. Or when the NBA Finals is going on and you’re jamming the Warriors at -800 because you can’t believe that’s what’s being dealt and you want to buy a Porsche.
Put simply, there are two primary reasons we are making these bets now:
Reason 1: The market isn’t going to reopen with regularity, or at all. You may never get another chance to even bet the thing in question, and darn it, there’s value. Rookie of the Year isn’t up year-round, it sort of comes and goes among a few offshore sportsbooks. Divisions are in the same category. Win totals pop back up only at the All-Star break. This is your moment.
Reason 2: The price is likely to change — and change quickly — on the bet in question, despite the fact that the markets will be open on a regular basis. Basically, the season will start, and everyone will go “oh, this person is actually the best player by a mile” or “this team may be the 1- or 2-seed in their conference, and they were 300-1; that wasn’t right.”
Reason 2 is really what we’ll be going back to when it comes to these season-long NBA bets. Because yes, the Warriors are going to win the title a really large percentage of the time this season. But I am not going to use this space to tell you to bet on the Warriors right now. And the key phrase is “right now.”
I am interested in betting prices that have a lot of room to drop, and if anything, the Warriors price is probably staying the same or going up. Last season, they were complacent and injured enough that everyone starting talking themselves into Houston and even Philadelphia, which allowed the Warriors to be plus-money just weeks before the playoffs started. Think about that in retrospect. And then laugh. And yes, they were the fortunate recipient of a Chris Paul injury and a historic game-long shooting slump by the Rockets. Still … plus money.
Anyway, we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves. The title stuff is going to be at the end, because it’ll be big and dramatic, and you’ll read about the Northwest Division just to get there. That’s my master plan, anyway. Here are some bets I think are worth making right now.