Earlier this season, we asked sportsbooks both online and in Nevada which NBA teams would do the most damage to the futures book if they won the NBA Championship.
Just about every book said the Los Angeles Lakers, but as we all know, that ain’t happening. But there were a few teams mentioned that are still in the postseason hunt as well as some new threats building for books as the playoffs march on.
Here are three teams that books are cheering against during the NBA playoffs:
Miami Heat (Currently -275 to -400)
The reigning NBA champs vary in price depending how much that futures book has riding on the Heat. Miami entered the year as the favorite to repeat and hasn’t swayed much in terms of title odds. That hasn’t stopped bettors from forking over the dough on Miami’s hefty futures price.
“Right now we are in a great position on everyone except Miami,” Jeff Sherman, assistant manager at the LVH Superbook in Las Vegas told Covers. “Since the playoffs started, kids have been laying -300 and -350 non-stop on them. It's not enough that we won't be able to maneuver our position when it gets to the NBA Finals though.”
Online sportsbooks are also feeling the heat from the Heat. UWin.com offered Miami as high as +300 during the offseason and bettors took a big bite of that action.
“We’re almost resigned to the fact that Miami will stroll to the defense of their title,” Russ Candler of UWin.com told Covers. “We dangled a carrot preseason by offering +300 that they’d win and by the time March came around they decided to have another crack at them. So, needless to say, we’re sitting here with our pants around our ankles.”
Golden State Warriors (Currently +2,500 to +2,000)
The MGM Mirage was rooting against the Indiana Pacers back in February, but now the tables have turned and the Warriors have become the biggest threat to their futures book. Golden State, which was as high as 100-1 this season, has drawn a lot of attention during its improbable playoff run.
“The Warriors would be a small loser for us,” Jeff Stoneback, sportsbook manager at the MGM Mirage told Covers. “We had them up around 100-1 but have brought them down to 20-1. That’s a little lower than they should really be but it’s because they would be a negative if they were to win the championship.”
San Antonio Spurs (Currently +700 to +500)
San Antonio shows up on these lists every year, due to its consistent success. The Spurs aren’t the sexiest pick to win the NBA title, especially with the two Los Angeles teams and Oklahoma City drawing all the attention in the West. San Antonio was as big as +1,200 to win the NBA title early in the season.
“You seem to get money on (San Antonio) every year,” Jimmy Vaccaro, veteran oddsmaker for William Hill Nevada, told Covers back in February. “You know you’re going to get the effort, win or lose, and you’ve seen them win without (Tim) Duncan, (Tony) Parker and (Manu) Ginobili. Any time you bet on the Spurs, you have a great chance of going deep into the playoffs.”