NBA Futures – Division Value Wagers That Bettors Need to Consider
It’s always difficult to take too much away from the first couple of weeks in the NBA. Making grand assumptions based off of hot starts can be dangerous, but it’s not like this is baseball we’re talking about.
When the Seattle Mariners randomly looked like one of the best offensive teams in baseball to start 2019, yeah, there was cause for pause.
In the NBA, the more games that pass through, it’s likely you’re starting to see teams in their true form. Could that mean we need to take the Phoenix Suns seriously? Does that suggest we bury the Golden State Warriors for good?
It’s early, but the writing may be on the wall for some teams already. That could also play into the way you bet on the NBA.
I’m not sure anything we’re seeing changes the NBA Finals landscape that much (I’m still going Bucks vs. Clippers, for what it’s worth), but for NBA prop bets and other NBA futures, you should keep an open mind.
That has me looking at some amazing value in NBA division betting. With that, let’s take a look at the NBA division winner odds for all six divisions and see where bettors could entertain some elite betting value.
Atlantic Division – Toronto Raptors +550
The Philadelphia 76ers are 5-1 at the time of this writing and admittedly look like the best team in this division, if not one of the best teams in the league. But the Celtics and Raptors historically challenge for the top of this division, and at 4-1 and 4-2, respectively, they’re right there with Philly.
Respectable NBA sportsbooks like SportsBetting.ag concur, listing the Sixers as the clear favorites, but putting Boston and Toronto just behind them when you look at the latest Atlantic Division odds.
I still like the 76ers to win this division and give the Milwaukee Bucks a run for their money to get out of the Eastern Conference. But how do you completely ignore the Toronto Raptors at +550?
They’re the defending champs, people. Show some respect.
Toronto lost Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, but they remain a veteran team that defends well and runs a pretty efficient offense. The depth, balance, and coaching of this team gives them a real shot and makes this +550 price borderline mouth-watering.
Central Division – Indiana Pacers +700
I will tell you right now that nobody is taking this division from the Milwaukee Bucks. It would literally take a devastating injury to Giannis Antetokounmpo to make that happen, and that isn’t something bettors should hope for, nor project.
That said, Indiana is finally starting to show their upside, and once they get healthy, they could be a force. They also happen to offer pretty nice odds at the moment.
Andre Drummond is playing out of his mind, and Blake Griffin will be back eventually, but the Pistons are always so inconsistent and tend to be terrible on the road. They’ll be competitive, but they’re not winning the 50+ games needed to take this division.
Chicago is talented and fun, but it hasn’t translated yet. I think they’ll make a playoff push later in the year, but they’re not cohesive enough to truly challenge the Bucks.
Cleveland is probably the worst team in this division. Kevin Love will almost certainly eventually get traded, too, as this team still isn’t sure what their identity is.
You can’t actually bet on the Bucks at this crazy -800 price tag. It’s the Pacers or bust. They’re not winning, but they offer nice +700 Central Division odds, and they do have a ton of versatile talent.
Despite losing Victor Oladipo last year, the Pacers still finished strong down the stretch and made the playoffs with 48 wins. If Milwaukee regresses a bit and this team gets hot, it’s possible they could give Milwaukee some problems.
Southeast Division – Atlanta Hawks +1400
I really like what I’m seeing from the Miami Heat. Yes, they have a nice record, but they’re also incredibly deep, explosive, and efficient. And they play defense.
Jimmy Butler is happy, and Miami looks like the favorite in this division. However, Butler is known to sour on his NBA city, and it’s not like the Heat have been a juggernaut in recent years.
If what we’re seeing crumbles, bettors need to look ahead and wonder which other team could emerge from the Southeast Division. Here are the odds to win the Southeast Division over at SportsBetting.ag.
If I’m betting right now, Miami is the obvious pick. If this is who they are, they’re going to run away with this division.
That being said, I really like the value associated with the Atlanta Hawks. Trae Young is as explosive as any scorer in the league, and he has a really nice team of versatile players around him that can shoot and defend.
Atlanta has defensive potential, but they also push the pace offensively. That allows them to match up and compete with virtually anyone.
It may take a collapse from Miami, but it’s the Hawks — not the Orlando Magic — that have the look and feel of the second-best team in this division. They also happen to be offering Southeast Division betting odds that are simply hard to ignore.
Pacific Division – Los Angeles Lakers +200
No, I’m not here to tout the Phoenix Suns. I’ll admit what the Suns are doing is very impressive, though. Devin Booker finally has a competent point guard in Ricky Rubio to run the offense and set him up, while the Suns are (gulp) playing defense.
Phoenix really does have the makings of a surprise playoff team, but the odds are stacked against them here. They have not one but two LA-based goliaths to run through, and I can’t envision them getting past both.
One of the Los Angeles basketball teams will win the Pacific Division. It’s up to you to decide which one. Here are the latest Pacific Division odds to help you start that process.
The Kings are being driven into the ground by Luke Walton’s terrible coaching. There, I said it. The Golden State Warriors are punting the season, too.
It’s only elite betting value if there’s actually a chance of it panning out. Stick a fork in the Dubs and Kings in terms of making a run at this division, though.
This is really a two-team race, and while I think Kawhi Leonard and a healthy Paul George edge out the Lake Show, I don’t think bettors can ignore a fun +200 price tag. The Lakers look built to wreck the regular season, and as I write this, they’re sitting in first place.
A few too many Kawhi Leonard rest days, and the Lakers could easily snag this thing.
Southwest Division – Dallas Mavericks +700
This is the type of bet you need to go run to place before it gets too obvious. I’m not saying the Dallas Mavericks are for sure winning the Southwest Division, but I am saying that the other teams in this division have pretty obvious flaws.
Houston is the tentative favorite just based on James Harden’s absurdity. He’s already posting another insane NBA MVP-like stat line, and he’s also got some nice help via Russell Westbrook.
But the Rockets are absolutely atrocious (29th) on defense. It’s arguable they won’t survive to the point where they win this division.
Here’s how the top NBA betting sites map it out right now.
The Rockets make sense as the favorite, but not at this price. Harden is a beast, but his supporting cast has not been very reliable, and the Rockets can’t defend worth a lick.
If that continues, there could be serious trouble in Houston.
The Spurs are the next-best bet in the eyes of online NBA sportsbooks, but they play slow, and when they’re not connecting on offense, they can really look bad. They also aren’t the defensive stalwart they once were, so the Spurs sneaking in and stealing the division isn’t all that stable, either.
Insert the Mavs, who are literally in first place as I write this and have one of the best scoring duos in the NBA. Forget about Kristaps Porzingis, though. Luka Doncic is chasing a triple-double on the season and is doing it all for this Mavericks team.
He may very well be a legit 2019-20 NBA MVP candidate.
Dallas isn’t deep and doesn’t defend very well, but they have one of the best players in The Association, and they’re well-coached. Doncic could lead this team to the top of the division as things stand, and if Dallas pulls some strings and makes a splash before the NBA trade deadline, there’s hope for a lot more than that.
Northwest Division – Portland Trail Blazers +800
How disrespectful do NBA sportsbooks need to be to put the Trail Blazers as the fourth-best team inside their own division?
I know Portland is off to a 3-4 start, but three of four losses came against playoff teams, and this has been one of the most efficient offenses in basketball.
There is no faulting the logic as things stand, of course. Minnesota leads the division and deserves a little recognition, while Denver and Utah entered the year as viable threats to take first place.
All things considered, take a look at how NBA online betting platforms are pricing these teams in the Northwest Division.
Denver is a fine favorite, as they won the division last year and look good again. Utah was just four games back with a 50-win season in 2018-19, too, while they only got better in free agency as well.
But the Blazers were literally one win from winning this division last season and still have a fantastic roster that’s capable of doing further damage.
Portland is down big man Jusuf Nurkic at the moment (leg), but he’ll eventually be back, and a balanced and explosive offense could see some positive regression.
The Blazers are going to be in the mix at the end of the year; you can count on that. The question is if bettors want to take a stab at that blistering +800 price or wait until it drops.
I’m not here to tell you to bet on any of the teams above. I just can’t get over how much potential value there is with NBA division betting this season.
Once the dust settles, I think you’re still looking at the Clippers, 76ers, Bucks, and Heat as division champions. The Lakers are a fantastic pivot off of the “other” LA team, though, while the Blazers and Mavericks offer amazing value as realistic threats to win their respective divisions.
It’s on the bettor to take a shot on value bets, but it’s also worth pointing out again that it’s so early in the 2019-20 NBA regular season. Injuries, natural regression, tough schedule runs, and so much more can play into major changes in how we view these teams.
Luckily, we’re with you every step of the way, whether it be with NBA betting posts on our blog or our daily NBA picks. Thanks for stopping by, and good luck with all of your basketball wagers!