Bookmaker's Corner: NBA Odds & Futures
by Richard Gardner | Bodog Sportsbook Manager - 2/16/2010
Atlanta might not be a particularly fun NBA team to watch, but they’re fun to bet on – especially when they’re making you some decent money. The Hawks have only had one cool stretch this season, around the Christmas holidays; otherwise, they’ve made their backers a ton of cash.
The Hawks were particularly profitable early on. Atlanta started the 2009-10 NBA season by covering 11 of its first 12 point spreads. Since then, it’s been going at a slightly-better-than .500 clip.
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The nice thing about betting on the Hawks is that the line is rarely steep. Contrast that to a team with a similar straight-up record like the Boston Celtics, where expectations and fan support are higher.
Atlanta’s only been favored by double digits on eight occasions this season. For the Celtics, that number is 17, give or take a game depending on which sportsbook you use.
Not surprisingly, Celts bettors have been burned big time. Boston’s record against the spread is dreadful, down there with the New Jersey Nets’ mark. Yep, it’s that bad.
But there’s still hope in Beantown.
Over at Bodog’s online sportsbook the Celtics are still among the favorites to win it all this year, at 6/1. The Hawks, meanwhile, are well back at 20/1.
It’ll be interesting to see how Kevin Garnett bounces back after the All-Star break from the knee injury he suffered in mid-January.
Without a healthy Garnett, the Celtics’ chances take a huge hit, so that’s a situation that needs to be monitored.
As for some other notable NBA futures, the Lakers are the 2/1 favorites to win the 2010 NBA Championship, followed closely by Cleveland at 5/2. The only other single-digit odds belong to Orlando (8/1); and if you were to ask Vince Carter, he’d tell you those are good odds.
"This is our chance. This is the last 28 games and we need to make that push for playoff positioning," Carter told reporters after the All-Star Game. "We want to try to play our best basketball going right into the playoffs. This is the time."
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