Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Thursday, January 21, 2016 at 12:00 PM
Since we talked a week ago about the NBA, it’s only become more certain that we’re looking at Golden State and San Antonio being the class of the NBA, while everyone else is hoping those teams suffer some injuries and turn mortal!
Golden State crushed Cleveland on MLK day in a game that looked more like the varsity scrimmaging against the junior varsity. Then, for good measure, the Warriors did the same thing to projected Eastern Conference playoff team Chicago on Wednesday night. San Antonio’s “math” this year is just as good as Golden State’s. Those teams are dominating the league to a degree we haven’t seen in decades.
But…there are still other teams with a shot to win the title if bad injury luck does strike the Warriors and Spurs. Two of them play on TNT Thursday night when the Los Angeles Clippers visit the Cleveland Cavaliers. Players on those teams make a lot of TV commercials if nothing else!
And, both are in the top five of the current composite odds to win the title…
ODDS TO WIN NBA TITLE
Golden State +175
San Antonio +300
Oklahoma City +900
LA Clippers +1600
(A $100 bet on Cleveland to win the trophy would win $275. A $100 bet on the Clippers would win $1,600. Those odds are based on a composite of prices posted offshore and in Nevada. Shop around to get your best price!)
As we mentioned last week, Cleveland is higher than San Antonio in the Futures because they have a better chance of reaching the Finals from the softer Eastern Conference. As great as the Warriors and Spurs are, only one can win the West! The Clippers currently rank fourth in the West on the Futures chart, fifth for the whole league. TNT’s matchup should be a great game. Hopefully it won’t be overshadowed by what Golden State and San Antonio are accomplishing.
My Thursday NBA articles are going to touch on a variety of issues this winter. There’s just no reason to closely follow the Futures prices unless there are notable injuries. We KNOW it’s going to be the Warriors and Spurs up at the top, with Cleveland a prohibitive favorite in the East. Last week we looked at teams the market was either underrating or overrating this season (based on ATS records). This week, we’ll do the same with Over/Unders.
TEAMS PLAYING MORE “OVERS”
Golden State 26-17
New York 24-19-1
I’m using five games above-or-below the .500 mark as a cut-off this week. We only have three teams that reach that threshold through Wednesday night’s games. That tells you it’s been an Under season in the NBA. Right now, there have been 38 more Unders than Overs (according to the standings page at covers.com). Only Golden State has shown any sort of dominating tendency to play Overs. Oddsmakers, sharps, and the public continue to underestimate the Warriors scoring potential as a general rule.
TEAMS PLAYING MORE “UNDERS”
Oklahoma City 17-27
New Orleans 17-24
San Antonio 18-23
LA Lakers 19-24-1
You can see it’s much more of an Under league, with NINE teams reaching that five-game threshold. Miami is an incredible 14 games more to the Under just past the halfway mark of the season. Oklahoma City’s not playing to offensive expectations under new head coach Billy Donovan. We talked about their ATS troubles last week.
Typically, the market does eventually catch up to Over/Under tendencies. But, there are seasons where it takes a long time to do so. And, there are occasionally teams where the market just never believes what they’re seeing! Quants, in particular can be stubborn about their math. If a head coach is forcing a style on a team…or a personnel rotation that favors high or low-scoring games, you can grind out value bets backing the angle. I wouldn’t be shocked if about a third of the teams in that Under hunk continue offering value over the next few weeks. It’s YOUR job to figure out who that’s going to be!
If you’d like some help finding the best basketball plays on the board each night (pro or college), you can purchase my top basketball selections right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, call the VSM office at 1-888-777-4155 during normal business hours. Ask about packages that include the NFL Conference Championships and the Super Bowl as you ride down the road to March Madness.
See you again tomorrow for our next-to-last NFL report of the season…
Friday: How Sharps Have Been Betting the Conference Championships
Wednesday: How Sharps Are Dealing With a Crazy College Basketball Season
Next Thursday: My weekly look at the NBA
Thanks for reading. See you again tomorrow to discuss the New England Patriots facing the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship, and the Arizona Cardinals visiting the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Championship. You probably already know both of those games are right at -3 for the favorites (New England and Carolina). We’ll map out likely weekend betting around lunchtime Friday.
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