Against The Odds

The Futures lines are out for the 2007-08 NBA Champion. If gambling were legal, I’d offer some insight into who is going to win it all. But since gambling isn’t legal… ah, who am I kidding. I love gambling. The legality of it is a minor obstacle, much like an annoying gnat that won’t leave me alone.

I gamble with my friends about everything. I even set odds for myself about how long it will take to randomly pick two matching socks out of my drawer. Two years ago I placed money on three events during the NBA All-Star weekend: the dunk contest, the three-point shootout, and the skills competition. I won two out of the three (stupid dunk contest was a sham… Nate Robinson?!?! Please.) I’ll bet on first quarter lines, half-time lines, the over-under, and even the spread. I don’t care what I’m betting on, just give me some action. I’ll even parlay the chances of KG grabbing eight boards by halftime with the over-under number of times Coach Wittman draws up a play that scores coming out of a time out. (Note: That bet doesn’t have a good chance of winning anything. Ever.)What are the odds Mark Madsen makes 5 free throws in a row? I don’t know… but I’m sure you could find odds somewhere on the net. And that’s the beauty of internet gambling. There are so many websites and possibilities to get some action, it’s almost endless. You’ll find “Prop” or “Propositional” bets for almost anything. If you just like to have a little fun, you can make some unique wagers on pretty much any sporting event. Heck, if the WNBA was the only game on any given night, and I could bet on it, I might even watch that. Ok, on second thought, I wouldn’t watch it. Sadly, I’d probably still bet on it though.

One might ask, “Where do I go to place a bet or to see the nightly lines?” One such website is BetUS.com.  BetUS.com offers action on all the major sports, even boxing and UFC fighting. It also offers a Casino, Poker, and Horseracing wagers. They also have some pretty funny Lindsey Lohan “Prop” bets, such as: “Will she announce she is pregnant”, “She will announce she will wed”, “She will be arrested for selling drugs”, “She will move to Amsterdam”, and “Will she date K-Fed?” Personally, I’d bet on dating K-Fed, as it offers staggering 35 to 1 odds. And, as we all know her life has become a veritable disaster anyways. Dating K-Fed can’t be too far off. It would complete a circle of sorts. I don’t think she can truly bottom out until she dates Kevin Federline. After that, then all bets are off. I wouldn’t put anything past her at this point. Heck, dating K-Fed would probably revive her career. I should make a phone call… The Lindsey Lohan props are just the tip of the iceberg. They have a plethora of “Entertainment Prop Bets” that are at least worth your time to check out, in terms of how absurd they are. They are all legit, so maybe you could get lucky with some well placed bets.

Anyhow, I digress. Like I said at the beginning of this thing, the Futures lines are out for the 2007-08 NBA Champion. I want to take a look at the odds for the various clubs and analyze who has a shot to make good at winning a title, and what teams are merely pretenders. Maybe I can help someone make some money. If you bet big and lose because of my advice, well, I hope you don’t know where I live.

 

The Contenders:

Dallas Mavericks: 7/2

Phoenix Suns: 7/2

San Antonio Spurs: 4/1

Boston Celtics: 5/1

For obvious reasons, these teams all are pretty solid bets if you plan on placing any. Personally, I don’t see any reasons why the Spurs shouldn’t have the lowest, or “worst” odds. They won it all last year (as the few of you that watched already know) and are returning the same core intact. Dallas and Phoenix are toss-ups. There are certainly many worse teams that one could place their money on. I just don’t think Phoenix has what it takes to win the championship, and you never know with Dallas. What Mavericks team will show up in the playoffs? The Spurs are a decent bet, as they offer pretty good odds for such a loaded team. The only problem is that they have to go through Dallas, Phoenix, and the other Western Conference hopefuls. On the other hand, I’d put my money on my boy KG and the Celtics. Five to one odds are pretty good, especially considering they play in the Leastern Conference. All they have to do is make it to the Finals and anything can happen. Remember the Finals two years ago when D-Wade attempted approximately 872 free throws? I sure do. (If I didn’t already know otherwise, I would have guessed it was a mortal lock that Tim Donaghy reffed those games.) For you opportunistic types, I envy you who got your bets in on the Celtics before they acquired KG. The odds against the Celtics were 90 to 1 before (and shortly after) this year’s draft at the end of June.

 

I Guess It Could Be Worth Your Money:

Detroit Pistons: 11/1

Chicago Bulls: 12/1

Cleveland Cavaliers: 14/1

Miami Heat: 14/1

Houston Rockets 15/1

These are the teams that are just below the top tier of contenders. The Eastern Conference teams are infinitely more appealing than the Rockets in this scenario, due to how hard it is to emerge from the West. However, if the Celtics don’t dominate as expected, any one of these 5 teams has a legitimate chance to proclaim the east. The Celtics could be bitten by the injury bug, and if that happens, the Eastern Conference is once again up for grabs. If I had to pick a team from this list that has the best chance to win it all, I guess I’d go with the Bulls. They all have approximately equal odds, so that isn’t a factor for me here. I think the Pistons are just too old and I don’t see them rallying together to make another Finals run. The Heat? Ugh, how do they have 14/1 odds? That’s a sucker bet. These guys make the Pistons look like the Under 20 National Soccer Team. I wouldn’t touch the Heat unless they were offering 20 to 1 odds, at the minimum. They lost Kapono, and Shaq is yet another year older. D-Wade may or may not come back healthy in time for the season, who knows. The Rockets would be a great pick, if they played in the East. The Cavs were a flash in the pan that played well at the right time. Before the Celtics re-loaded, any handful of five or six teams could be this year’s Cleveland Cav’s. A good late season run of solid basketball could be enough to make it to the Finals representing the East. Now? Just keep it simple and bet on the Celtics.

 

People Will Still Bet On These Teams:

Denver: 22/1

LA Lakers: 25/1

Utah Jazz: 25/1

Golden State Warriors: 35/1

These are the teams that people will bet on because they know that they’ll make the playoffs, and offer pretty huge payouts if they were to shock the world and win the title. Unfortunately, there are two minor problems. These teams all play in the Western Conference, and there are three Western Conference teams that are undoubtedly better than any on this list. Still, these teams will all get a lot of action because of their enticing odds. If I had to take one team on this list, I’d go with the Utah Jazz. They are a very solid and young team, which will only get better. Last season’s Western Conference Finals run gave them a tremendous amount of big game experience. I almost think their odds should be lower, but they do play in the West. If they were in the East, their odds would be no worse than 10 to 1. The team I would avoid like the plague is the Lakers. Who knows if Kobe will even suit up for them this season? Even if he does, they have made no legitimate improvements whatsoever. I guess there is still time for them to land Jermaine O’Neal before the season starts, but at what cost? Having JON instead of Lamar Odom won’t land them a title. I think there are better odds that they retire Slava Medvedenko’s jersey number than they win the Finals this season.

 

The Playoffs Do Have 16 Teams So Someone Has To Make It:

Portland Trailblazers: 38/1

Toronto Raptors: 38/1

New Jersey Nets: 40/1

Orlando Magic: 40/1

LA Clippers: 45/1

Washington Wizards: 50/1

These are the lucky teams that fight for the opportunity to become first round playoff fodder. Yeah, I know Golden State beat Dallas last year, but whatever, that didn’t win you your futures bet. These teams will be fighting amongst themselves for the final few playoff spots. My initial thought is, how did Portland get these odds? I know they have improved their team, but let’s not get ahead of anyone. And they play in the Western Conference, you’ve got to be kidding me! Best case scenario I could see them winning 40 games, but winning the title? Please. The linemakers must not have noticed that Elton Brand is out for the year. Either that or… actually, I have no idea what else they could be thinking. I fully expect their odds to drop into the bottom bracket when these are updated. The best bet for your money is probably the Wizards I guess, as they have huge odds and could make the playoffs in the East. With that said, I wouldn’t bet on any of these teams to actually win the title. Now, some of these teams could be pretty good long shot bets to win the Eastern Conference if they were to get really lucky, but that’s about the extent of their chances.

 

I Guess You Could Call Them Longshots:

Seattle Supersonics: 60/1

New Orleans Hornets: 60/1

New York Knicks: 70/1

Milwaukee Bucks: 80/1

Sacramento Kings: 80/1

The Knicks are an intriguing team, if you like giving your money away. As an established bettor, I really can’t advocate betting on any of these teams with a clear conscience. I’m sorry, but I just can’t. Wager on these teams at your own risk. Here’s a hint: there is a reason why these teams have such long odds.

 

Hopeless Homer Bets:

Atlanta Hawks: 100/1

Charlotte Bobcats: 100/1

Indiana Pacers: 100/1

Memphis Grizzlies: 100/1

Minnesota Timberwolves: 100/1

Philadelphia 76’ers: 100/1

I was shocked, just SHOCKED, to see the Wolves with such long odds. Then, I woke up and remembered that we had traded KG. To be honest, I’m surprised the odds of these teams are only 100 to 1. I mean, I fully guarantee that not a single one of these six teams will come within a sniff of winning the title next season. Why don’t they just make the odds like 100,000,000 to 1? Or, it would be even funnier if on the website, instead of having any numbers, it just said: “One gazillion to one.” I don’t think they would have to worry about going to court to dispute how much money a “Gazillion” is, because none of these teams will even make the playoffs, let alone win the title! Absurd! At least if they did list one hundred million to one odds, they might get a little action on these teams. It would certainly bring in some easy profit. In fact, if anyone emails me and wants to bet on any of these six teams, I will give you 100,000,000 to 1 odds. I guess I’m just feeling lucky today.

CW

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