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NBA Top 5: Best NBA title long-shot bets

There are just three weeks remaining in the lockout-shortened NBA schedule and books and bettors have a good idea of which teams have what it takes to make a run at the title.

The NBA Championship odds are leaning toward a Miami-Oklahoma City final, but anything is possible especially after the 66-game grind. That means there is some solid value in the futures market, starting with these five teams:

San Antonio Spurs (+900)

After a win over New Orleans Friday, the Spurs are tied atop the Western Conference with the Thunder. San Antonio has won 10 straight games (8-1-1 ATS) and has just two losses in the past month, but still oddsmakers continue to discount its title chances. Maybe it’s because the Spurs, with Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, are looked at as an old team in a season built for young men? I’ll take veteran experience over youthful exuberance when the going gets tough every time.

Dallas Mavericks (+2,500)

The defending NBA champs are priced at whaaa…? Dallas has been spotty at times this season, but has still shown signs of being a championship-caliber squad. The Mavericks are currently in sixth place in the West, heading into the weekend, and are minus point guard Jason Kidd for at least a few more games. A win over Memphis Saturday would go a long way in their playoff seeding, but a weak road stretch ahead could give Dallas the momentum it needs heading into the postseason.

Boston Celtics (+3,300)

The Celtics are the Spurs of the Eastern Conference – thought of as past their prime but quietly making a charge to round out the schedule. Ray Allen is back, Kevin Garnett is playing with passion again, and Paul Pierce is still Paul Pierce. Add to the mix an emerging Avery Bradley and Brandon Bass’ toughness inside - not to mention Rajon Rondo’s nightly double-doubles - and Boston, with all its experience, will be a tough out come the playoffs.

Memphis Grizzlies (+4,000)

The Grizzlies are all about making teams look stupid and could pull a similar feat, by making books look like fools, if they win the NBA Championship. Memphis, which leads the league in steals and points off turnovers, showed just how dangerous it could be with an upset over the Miami Friday. Now that the Grizzlies are healthy, they boast one of the deepest scoring attacks in the NBA, with Zach Randolph, O.J. Mayo and a resurrected Gilbert Arenas coming off the bench.

Indiana Pacers (+6,600)

Don’t think the Pacers have what it takes to hang with the NBA’s elite. Let us point to Exhibit A: Friday’s 103-98 win over Oklahoma City. Indiana took an early lead and withstood a charge from the Thunder to pick up its fourth win in a row and improve to 7-3 (6-4 ATS) in the last 10 games, heading into the weekend. The Pacers are tough defensively and have displayed a scoring prowess in recent outings, topping the century mark in five straight games. On top of that, Indiana is one of the few teams that can win on the road, which is rare in this wacky season.

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Posted by johntruong911
2 years ago

My money is long gone!
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Posted by johntruong911
2 years ago

Kevin love for MVP!!! Spurs to win it all!!!
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Posted by johntruong911
2 years ago

4/8/12 NBA: LA lakers... Currently, they're 1-10 at the spread look for starters, recent performance fade or hope on after 3-4 games. Lakers next 10 games should win overall!! last 5 at home ATS 1-4? New Orleans are doing well at home. 19-8 road and under dog Note: you may need to check again. Only had a chance to glance at the team. Suggestion: wait for Lakers next home game!
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Posted by theclaw
2 years ago

I suppose you can make a case these are the best long shots if one wants to bet a long shot, but the likely hood you'll win any of thse bets including the Spurs is slim to none. When we look at the single most important stat in basketball --- Field Goal % Differential --- considering the team that wins this battle wins about 79% of all games. The overwelming number of NBA Champs since 1980 have produced a 2.6% or better differential, which includes Dallas last season. Spurs --- +1.7%, weak statistical number 1 seeds rarely win titles, I point this out every year before and during the NBA and NFL Playoffs including the 2012 NFL Playoffs where both number 1 seeds, Packers and Pats were weak statisical teams. Good Luck on those weak Spurs. Dallas ---+1% Pacers ---+.3% Grizz --- (-.1%) making matters even worse is the fact teams out-played in this key stat rarely win a single series. Celtics --- 3.7%, the C's are strong in this stat, however, the remain the single worst rebounding team I've ever seen by far and I've charted every team to make the playoffs since 1980 and many teams in the 70's and 60's. Offensive rebound % --- 19.8%, by far the worst offensive rebounding team I've ever seen Def reb --- 72% Ave --- 45.9% Consider that just 1 team doing it twice have won the title since 1980 below 49% rebounding, the 94 and 95 Rockets, and they trailed in an amazing 50% of the series they played from the 3rd game on. All other NBA Champs trailed a combined 10% from the 3rd game on, only leads me to believe how very, very fortunate they were to win those 2 titles. Thunder --- a monsterous 5% differential. I'll take the better team over the experienced team.
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Posted by bizkilla
2 years ago

All these bets are pretty much dead money. The exception may well be the Spurs. They sure have the pedigree. They were also the team to win it all during the last shortened season. However, this is the season either Miami or OKC will win it all. Also, do not discount the Lakers. They are in disarray but are a team capable of pulling the old "switch."
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Top Response

Posted by theclaw
2 years ago

"I suppose you can make a case these are the best long shots if one wants to bet a long shot, but the likely hood you'll win any of thse bets including the Spurs is slim to none. When we look at the single most important stat in basketball --- Field ..."

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