It feels like the 2019-20 season has only just ended, but with the draft and free agency upon us, attention has already turned to the upcoming campaign and many online betting sites have the NBA outright futures markets listed.
A month ago, the Los Angeles Lakers won their 17th championship as LeBron James earned his fourth chip with three different franchises. The Lakers are expected to go close again next term, and the betting odds reflect that.
NBA Championship betting
The market that sees the most action in the leadup to a season is the NBA Championship winner market.
Most of the sportsbooks listed on My Betting Sites Canada have the odds up months in advance, and this gives bettors an opportunity to potentially get better odds before they shorted closer to tip-off.
Odds for the favorites are generally quite tight, but you might find some good value on dark horses if you lock your wagers in ahead of time.
For example, the Philadelphia 76ers are +4000 for the title on some betting sites, but if they make some smart offseason moves, they may well be a lot shorter than that by Christmas.
As was the case last season, the Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, and Milwaukee Bucks are the top three in the betting, but this time the Brooklyn Nets and Golden State Warriors aren’t far behind.
Betting by Conference
There are separate markets available for both the Eastern Conference and Western Conference, so if you want to place a bet on a team making the finals, you can do so.
Some betting sites even provide an each-way option, meaning you can put half of the stake on the team to make the NBA finals, and the other half on them to make the Conference finals.
As this is a more niche market compared with the NBA Championship futures, you might find even more variation and potentially excellent value in the odds.
The Houston Rockets are +1000 with some sportsbooks to make it out of the West, but other bookies have them at +1600 and that is with the option to wager each-way.
It is important that you shop around for the best odds, lines, and terms before placing any pre-season wagers.
The Most Valuable Player market is always an interesting one to look at ahead of a new season, especially as many fans tend to speculate about which young players are set to break out, and which stars are going to dominate the league.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has won it on each of the last two occasions, and while he is the favorite to make it a threepeat, he is joined at the top of the market at +600 by Luka Doncic.
Trae Young, another star of the 2018 draft class along with Doncic, is all the way down at +8000, while the first two picks of last year’s draft, Zion Williamson and Ja Morant, are at +6000 and +10000 respectively.
The usual suspects are expected to content, and Kevin Durant is at +1600 upon his return from injury.
There are many different ways to approach NBA betting before the season gets under way, and if you believe you have found value in one of the markets, it is never too early get involved.
One of the most important points to stress is that each wager should be thoroughly researched, both in terms of taking on board as much information as possible and looking around for the best odds.
Of course, you could wait for the draft and free agency to conclude before placing a bet, but be aware that odds are likely to have changed by then.