Betting NBA Futures
Looking for 2019 NBA Futures Odds? The 2018-19 regular season has come and gone, and with 16 teams remaining, it’s time to look at who is best set up to challenge for a championship. For the first time in what seems like forever, LeBron James is out, so who is left to really test the Warriors is this year’s go at a title? We’ve got you covered.
NBA Handicapping Tips
2019 NBA Futures Odds: Golden State Warriors -225
The Warriors were always going to be the favorites entering the postseason. For a while there it was touch and go whether or not they’d earn the top seed out West over the surprising Denver Nuggets, but even if the Dubs had landed the second or third seed, there was never going to be a team with better title odds heading into Game 1 of their first-round series.
Against the LA Clippers, the Warriors will see a team that was scrappy, well-coached and somehow got better after it traded away its best player (Tobias Harris)—all while clearing cap space for Kawhi Leonard or another star this summer. But the Warriors are also seeing the team that’s perhaps the most vulnerable, hence the eighth seed.
Things won’t start to be interesting for the Warriors until at earliest the second round.
2019 NBA Futures Odds: Milwaukee Bucks +650
The Milwaukee Bucks will have plenty of doubters, simply because they’ve never been in this position. The Giannis Antetokounmpo-led Bucks have demons of postseasons past to exorcize, but the good news if you Fear The Dear is that the path to the Eastern Conference Finals is looking great. Milwaukee was the most balanced team with the best player and the best body of work all season. None of that is going to stop now.
2019 NBA Futures Odds: Toronto Raptors +950
The Raptors at +950 might be my favorite bet of the bunch. This team was just outside the East’s No. 1 spot all season, and that’s with Kawhi Leonard missing 22 games along the way. But here’s the thing: Most of that time missed was for the NBA’s newest favorite synonym for rest, “load management.” All that time missed was because nobody in Toronto cared about getting the No. 1 seed—not after last year, at least. All that time missed was so this team could be at full strength at the right time. If the Raptors are ever going to break their curse, it’s this season. That’s, of course, not a guarantee that they will, in fact, break it. But at +950, you have real potential with real upside.
2019 NBA Futures Odds: Houston Rockets +1100
There’s something that not many people are going to talk about. You’re going to hear plenty in the coming days about how Houston squandered an opportunity at the No. 3 seed, setting themselves up for a potential Round 2 matchup with the Warriors. But while everyone’s going to talk about how the Rockets failed to postpone their demise as long as possible, there’s another argument to be made: Seeing the Warriors earlier may actually be better for Houston. Last year, Chris Paul hit his (basically) annual injury in the postseason and James Harden was worn down by the Western Conference Finals. Maybe, just maybe, the Rockets did themselves a favor taking on the favorites (assuming they get past Utah, who is no bunny slope with Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert leading the way). Maybe.
2019 NBA Future Odds: Boston Celtics/Philadelphia 76ers +1600
It’s quite fitting that these two teams, the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers, are tied for fifth behind the truer power houses. If someone had told you ahead of the season that they’d sit at +1600, you’d be ready to give your money away. These squads were supposed to compete with the Toronto Raptors for the top seed out East, and yet they found themselves constantly dealing with identity issues and underperforming stars. All that said, it’s also fitting that they remain in the top five of title odds entering the playoffs. They are talented enough and well-coached enough that if they do go on to make the Eastern Conference Finals (or even if one makes the Finals), nobody should be shocked. They just each have a lot of work to do to prove they’re worthy of true contender status.
2019 NBA Futures Odds Prediction
This is the Warriors’ title to lose. It was always going to be that way, and that’s where we stand staring the playoffs in the face.
Don’t get me wrong—the Rockets or Thunder (or second-seeded Nuggets) have a real shot at up-ending them, and the Bucks or Toronto Raptors could give them a fresh non-LeBron-centric opponent to face off against that could really throw them for a loop.
But nobody can say that a team other than the Warriors are an easy prediction.
What happens to Golden State and its roster this summer will be interesting and could change the landscape of the lead, but at least for 16 more games, Durant and Co. are ready to remind the league that they sit atop the throne, and that’s not changing by the end of the 2019 postseason.
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