NBA Title Futures: Is There Value Betting the Bucks, Raptors or 76ers?


Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo

Feb 08, 2019, 09:45 AM EST
  • After the NBA trade deadline, the Bucks, Raptors and 76ers are +1000 to win the NBA title.
  • Using consensus projections, we find NBA future value for bettors.

Did you know that four of the five most likely teams to win the NBA Finals reside in the East? These Eastern Conference teams, with the exception of the Boston Celtics, made moves at the trade deadline to improve their rosters.

The Milwaukee Bucks added Nikola Mirotic, the Toronto Raptors dealt for Marc Gasol and the Philadelphia 76ers acquired Tobias Harris. The big dogs in the East are better, but is there value betting the Bucks, Raptors or 76ers to win the NBA title?

To answer that question, I’ve created a consensus NBA Finals projection based on predictions from FiveThirtyEight, ESPN, NumberFire and Basketball-Reference. After determining each team’s chance to win, I calculated the implied probability of winning a championship based on the betting odds available at Westgate.

If the consensus projection is greater than the implied probability, there is value placing a wager.

According to the models, the most likely team to win it all is the Golden State Warriors with a 32.2% chance. Shocker! The two-time defending champs have won 13 of their past 14 games and since DeMarcus Cousins returned, the Warriors are outscoring opponents by an NBA-best 14.8 points per 100 possessions.

When you’ve won three of the past four Larry O’Brien trophies and have five All-Stars on your squad, you deserve to be favored. The betting market is even higher on the team three-peating.

Golden State is -250, a 71.43% implied probability. The 39.23% difference between projected chance and implied probability is the largest gap in the league. At their current price, the Warriors are a pass.

There is, however, one team offering bettors value.