Sports Betting Insights: NBA Finals Matchup Futures Odds
by Dave Schwab - 4/8/2014
Now that Connecticut has shocked the basketball world in the college ranks with its 60-54 victory over Kentucky as a 2.5-point underdog to lock up another national title, it is time for bettors to turn their attention to the futures odds for potential matchups in this season's NBA Finals.
Sportsbook.ag has posted its odds for which two teams will clash for this year's NBA title, and this week's Sports Betting Insights is going to dig for the best value in the numbers. The matchup at the top of the list pits the Miami Heat from the Eastern Conference against the West's San Antonio Spurs at +240. This has been a fashionable (and very predictable) choice ever since these two powers met in last season's NBA Finals, with the Heat claiming their second straight title with a thrilling 4-3 series victory in the best-of-seven format.
Both of these teams are currently the No. 1 seed in their respective conference with a week to go in the regular season. However; there are some cracks in the foundation for both teams. The Heat's lead is a tenuous one game over Indiana with Dwyane Wade nursing a number of nagging injuries, and the Spurs are suddenly dealing with a back injury to their top scorer, Tony Parker.
The big question when you look at the current odds: can Indiana regain the form that had this team holding down the top spot in the East for most of the season? Home court is huge in a potential rematch with Miami in the conference finals. Playing a seventh game at home will probably be the difference if this series does go on to materialize, so that No. 1 seed is worth its weight in gold. The odds that the Pacers play the Spurs in the Finals are +900
My other big wildcard in these futures odds is the Los Angeles Clippers. Right now they are a game in back of Oklahoma City for the No. 2 spot in the West with a matchup against the Thunder at home looming on this Wednesday's slate. The Clippers have just three straight up losses against 18 wins since late February. Ironically enough, this run started with a 125-117 victory over the Thunder as 5.5-point road underdogs. The odds that they go on to play the Heat in the championship series are +550. The odds that the Thunder hold on to the two seed in the West and ride it all the way to the NBA Finals to face Miami are +280. I would lean towards the value in a Clippers vs. Heat matchup strictly based on Los Angeles' current form.
Sportsbook.ag has only posted odds for Miami and Indiana making it to the championship series in the East, so if you believe a team like Brooklyn or Chicago can go on an amazing run, you can get +1000 odds on either team with a wager on the field. This could be worth a small play given the inconsistent nature of both the Heat and the Pacers down the stretch.
Masters Betting Odds
Professional golf's first major of the season gets underway this Thursday with the opening round of this year's Masters at fabled Augusta National. Trying to pick an outright winner in this event is a very hard thing to do given the overall strength of the field. With Tiger Woods out of the running due to injury, Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott have been opened as +1000 co-favorites to win on Sportsbook.ag's current betting board.
McIlroy has the talent to run away with this event, but his past performance at Augusta does not instill the confidence that he can perform at a high level for all four rounds. The concern with Scott is the fact that he won last season's Masters, and the last time a golfer won back-to-back Green Jackets was Woods in 2001 and 2002.
Your best bet when it comes to wagering on the Masters is to spend your time handicapping any number of prop bets that Sportsbook.ag has released for this year's event. It is much easier to try an predict a Top-5 finish or a top golfer by country as opposed to digging deep into the entire field to come up with the outright winner.
Read more articles by Dave Schwab
Most Recent NBA Handicapping
- NBA Basketball Picks Season Special 3 Handicappers for the Price of 1
- 2021 NBA Championship Odds and Expert Predictions
- Free NBA Picks Wednesday 8/26/2020 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Saturday 8/22/2020 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Friday 8/21/2020 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Thursday 8/20/2020 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Wednesday 8/19/2020 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Tuesday 8/18/2020 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Friday 8/14/2020 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Thursday 8/13/2020 and Opening Line Report