Sep 24, 2018; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) talks to a reporter during Milwaukee Bucks media day at the Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY NETWORK
- Offshore sportsbook Bovada has reported where the action is for a handful of 2018-19 NBA prop bets and futures.
- The Golden State Warriors are getting nearly half of the money for NBA championship futures, while the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers have been popular bets for the title and to go over their win totals.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks has received the most money to win the MVP.
On Monday morning, the popular offshore sportsbook Bovada released information on its most heavily bet NBA futures for the upcoming season.
NBA Championship Percent of Money Wagered:
- Golden State: 46%
- LA Lakers: 16%
- Boston: 13%
- Houston: 4.4%
- Toronto and Philadelphia: 2.8%
The Warriors are good at basketball. Most leagues have preseason title favorites in the +500 range, but the Warriors are already -195 before touching the hardwood this year.
It’s a safe pick, but bettors have to lay down some big stacks to make it worth their while.
The next five teams on the list are the only other five teams in the league with shorter than 20-1 odds. Bettors who think the Warriors will win the title but aren’t willing to lay the price could bet on the Celtics or another team from the Eastern Conference and do a bit of hedging if they face off in the finals.
Heaviest Bet Win Total Overs:
- Boston: over 59
- LA Lakers: over 48.5
- Milwaukee: over 48
The Celtics and Lakers are two of the most storied franchises in the league and the two teams that bettors are most bullish about this season.
The Celtics have a lot of things going for them. They didn’t really add anybody in the offseason, but they’ll essentially be adding Gordon Hayward to a team that won 55 games last season.
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, two of the game’s brightest young stars, will be a little older and a little wiser, giving the Celtics one of the most talented cores in the league.
The Lakers, well, they added this guy named LeBron James. They won just 35 games last season, but the bar has been set much higher because of his presence.
King James doesn’t have another established star player like he did on the Heat and Cavs, but does have few young players who can certainly blossom into stars.
Last season, his Cavs team won 50 games, but the Western Conference competition will be undoubtedly tougher.
Heaviest Bet Win Total Unders:
- Pacers: under 47.5
- Minnesota: under 41.5
- NY Knicks: under 28.5
I was a little surprised to see that the Pacers had the most popular under. Last season, they won 48 games and were two games back of the Cavs for the division title.
This season, they’ve added a few solid players in Tyreke Evans and Dougie McBuckets, but more importantly, won’t have to deal with James.
Meanwhile, I’m not surprised at all to see that bettors have soured on the Timberwolves considering the whole Jimmy Butler drama.
Minnesota won 47 games last season but clearly has some internal strife that doesn’t look like it will be resolved before the season starts.
MVP Percent of Money Wagered:
- Giannis Antetokounmpo: 29.2%
- Kawhi Leonard: 12.9%
- LeBron James: 12.6%
- Anthony Davis: 10.3%
- Joel Embiid: 7.1%
- Kyrie Irving: 6.6%
I think we can all agree that Matt Moore persuaded everyone in town to bet on the Greek Freak, who’s currently available at +500.
The 23-year-old superstar has taken big steps forward every season since entering the league and put up a career-high 26.9 points and 10 boards last year.
Ken “Locky Lockerson” Barkley, who also likes Antetokounmpo, says you should bet on someone on a team that you think can win 50 games.
Since many folks also believe the Bucks will go over their win total, it’s only natural that Giannis would be a big reason why, and in turn, be right in the heart of the MVP discussion.