With the NBA All-Star break just days away, now is as good of a time as ever to check out the futures market and, hopefully, identify a few teams and players destined to make a playoffs or awards push.
Luckily for us, our good friends at the FanDuel Sportsbook did us a solid and sent us tons of data on how their users are betting futures. The data gives us a good idea of how the general market will wager the rest of the NBA season. Some of the findings may surprise you.
Before we get into it, the FanDuel Sportsbook offers an incredible promotion for new users. You can place your first bet risk-free up to $1,000. If it loses, the FanDuel Sportsbook will refund your wager in site credit. You can lock in this incredible offer by clicking this link.
Now, onto the good stuff.
Top team by bet count to win the NBA Championship
You’re thinking the defending champs, the Los Angeles Lakers, right? Me too. Despite the Lakers having the best odds (+180) though, the public’s favorite team to win the NBA Championship is the Philadelphia 76ers (+1500).
The Sixers command 20% of all NBA Championship winner futures bets and 44% of Eastern Conference winner bets. Joel Embiid told us all to trust the process, and sports bettors listened, betting the Eastern Conference leaders in droves.
Top team by bet count to win the Western Conference
We know the Sixers dominate both on the court and in the sportsbook, but what about the Western Conference?
Of course, it’s the kings of LA. No, not the hockey team. The Lakers. Sure, they’ve hit a rough patch, but they’re coasting until the summer. With a tandem like Lebron James and Anthony Davis (when healthy), do you seriously expect anything but dominance? The Lakers are always a preseason favorite, but if you’re late to the party, you can still get them at plus money (+115).
Largest odds shift in the NBA Championship market
If you’re anything like 100% of the population, you love a dark horse. There’s a team in Utah taking names, kicking arse, and getting plenty of sharp action to go along with it.
If you’ve been following my NBA columns over the last few weeks, I’ve done nothing but rave about the Utah Jazz. Sharp bettors are cashing in on them almost nightly, and plenty are backing them to continue their sports betting dominance into July. (How weird is it to say the NBA Finals is in July?)
The most prominent odds shift in the NBA Championship market is the Utah Jazz, who have seen their title odds move from +4200 to its current +950. All aboard the Utah bandwagon! Join me.
Another team making moves in the title market is the Brooklyn Nets, a sudden sports betting juggernaut. I guess adding James Harden to an already ridiculously formidable core helps. Last week, I wrote about the Nets being a sports betting goldmine into the All-Star break. Sports bettors like them to close out the season hoisting gold themselves. Brooklyn opened the season at +1300 to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy. They’re now sitting at +300, the second-best odds in the FanDuel Sportsbook.
Top player awards by bet count
MVP Winner: Joel Embiid (20% of bets)
Rookie of the Year: LaMelo Ball (16% of bets)
Sixth Man of the Year: Shake Milton (26% of bets)
Defensive Player of the Year: Ben Simmons (37% of bets)
Top-5 players by handle to win the NBA MVP:
What are your favorite futures picks this season? Drop your thoughts in the comment section below.
The FanDuel Sportsbook sourced all odds and data in this article and is subject to change. New FanDuel Sportsbook users can place their first bet risk-free up to $1,000. You can lock in the offer by clicking this link.