What are the best bets of this upcoming season? What can we expect from the top teams this season? Here’s your all-access guide to understanding betting, and how it applies to this season.
Sports betting, an idea that has drawn a lot of controversy over the years, is reaching its first season in Pennsylvania. For those in the dozen or so states who have already legalized it are looking to profit heavily off of the NBA. But what does a newbie need to know about this season?
Against the Spread- betting with a team receiving or giving points. Essentially, a team starting a game off with a handicap or not.
Cover- The betting result on a point-spread wager. For a favorite to cover, it has to win by more than the spread; an underdog covers by winning outright or losing by less than the spread.
Favorite- The expected straight-up winner in a game or event.
Money line- A bet in which your team only needs to win. The point spread is replaced by odds.D
Describing odds- If positive: +200 means you will win $200 on a $100 bet. If negative: -200 means you need to bet $200 to win $100.
Parlay- A combination of multiple bets. The more you combine together, the riskier it gets. This will improve your monetary win the more you combine, but all MUST win in order for you to win.
Teaser- A type of parlay that allows you to essentially “buy” points if betting against the spread. If the Sixers are -10, you can make it -4, -3.5, or -3.
Push- If a team is expected to win by 5, and they win exactly by 5. Typically, you will not lose money for this, rather just get your money back. This is the worst-case scenario though, just because that means the oddsmakers were actually right.
A Couple Tips and Tricks
Don’t Bet With Your Heart
I have been an all Philly fan my entire life, and I still struggle with this. Philadelphia fans define passion, and this is one of the biggest challenges to overcome. If it were up to us, then we would want the Sixers to go 82-0 and sweep their way through the NBA Finals. Unfortunately, this is virtually impossible.
Keep your fandom aside while betting. This does not mean never bet the Sixers, however. Just be careful when looking at the spreads of their games. More often than not, the Sixers did not cover the spread, only covering 48.9% of the time. This team may be destined for success, but for a better, they can be a nightmare. Expect the Sixers to be favorites more often than not this season, so make sure you are using your brain – not your fandom- when betting this team.
Beware of the Underdogs
The NBA is one of those leagues where the favorite tends to win the championship more often than not. Despite this, this trend does not tend to apply to regular-season games.
Last season, favorites went 3,176-3,202-128. Underdogs actually cover more often than favorites. However, the disparity of favorite to underdog had an even split, with a 6,506-6,506-122 record. Home teams regardless of being a favorite or not, during this time won 58.4% of the time straight up and scored 2.70 more points than the road team. Essentially, there is really no real trend to follow.
Applying this to the Sixers, our team finished 2018 with a regular-season record of 51-31. They thrived as favorites, winning 45 out of 64 games (70.3%!) when expected to win. Their margin of victory was 6.3 in these games. To reiterate, the Sixers will be favored a lot, and expect them to continue this trend of success.
Speaking of Trends…
Every single betting website, Twitter account, Instagram account, whatever is going to talk about trends.
Do not become a trend follower.
Just don’t do it. I am not saying do not follow facts and statistics, but blindly getting caught up in trends could end up having you broke. Make sure you do your research and know the circumstances of the game. Check who is playing, who is not playing, and the performance of the team in their last ten games.
An over/under is just a term referring to point total. Generically speaking, it is referring to the total amount of points between both teams. These totals also tend to almost be 50/50, with a record of 3,232-3,246-89.
Personally, I tend to avoid betting totals. I couldn’t give much of a reason why, but I do not tend to enjoy them very much. Reflecting on the Sixers though, their defense is expected to be much more lockdown this season, while their offense is supposed to continue their spark and intensity. The disparity will cause a similar o/u record, with 51.2% of games going over and 48.8% going under last season.
Putting it All Together
This list is going to hit on many of the relevant futures bets for Philadelphia NBA betters. (Mind you- these change as the season goes on. A futures bet is any bet made for the future. Most future bets are related to winning some sort a Championship but a future bet can be made on almost anything that will occur at a later date.) All odds are from Oddsharks.com.
NBA Championship Odds (Top Ten)
- Clippers +330
- Lakers +440
- Bucks +600
- 76ers +750
- Rockets +850
- Warriors +1200
- Jazz +1700
- Nuggets +2000
- Celtics +2500
- Nets +2700
NBA Playoffs Odds (East)
- Bucks -6600
- 76ers -5000
- Celtics -1000
- Pacers -1000
- Raptors -600
- Heat -310
- Nets -300
- Magic -200
- Pistons +105
- Hawks +245
- Bulls +245
- Knicks +550
- Wizards +550
- Cavs +850
- Hornets +850
- Antetokounmpo +300
- Curry +550
- James +650
- Davis +700
- Harden +800
- Leonard +900
- Embiid/Jokic +1200
- Westbrook +1400
- George +1600
- Lillard +2800
- Towns +3000
- Irving +3300
- Walker/Mitchell +4000
- Doncic +5000
- Simmons +6000
- Butler +7500
A sleeper candidate for a playoff run would probably be the Hawks. As for MVP, I do see good value with Kawhi. Wildly, he is slept on. He lead that Raptors team last year to the promised land, and I expect him to continue that with the Clippers.
I mentioned this in one of my previous articles, but I see the Sixers winning this whole thing. I can see them taking down Kawhi and the Clippers in 6 games. The Bucks will be tough, but I think Brett Brown is ready to complete this process.
Good luck all my veteran and rookie betters this season. Make sure to always only bet what you can afford to lose, and stay responsible. Most importantly, #LetsgoSixers
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports