Now that sports gambling is legal in Colorado, I placed a few bets :-) The way I see it, I watch the game and play the game more than most people who bet, so I might as well place a couple season long bets. Not risking much, but time will tell how I understand the NBA or not. Anyways, monetizing your hobby is imho a very American thing to do. I placed these bets via FanDuel (referral link for $50 free bets). Do you think I'll make or lose money?
Regular Season Wins Over/Unders
Over 41.5 Knicks -118
Last year the Knicks won 57% of their games. Thibs as coach gurantees a top ten defense. Immanuel Quickley, RJ Barrett, Obi Topin, and Mitchell Robinson (only 31 games played last year) should all improve, plus replacing Elfrid Payton and Reggie Bullock with Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier is adding a lot of shot creation. I think they'll win more than 50% of their games this year. The NBA is better when the Knicks are good!
Over 29.5 Spurs -132
Last year the Spurs won 46% of their games. The Spurs haven't won less than 30 games since 1996-1997. Poppovich is still coaching the team. All their core players (Dejonte Murray, Healthy Derrick White, Olympian Keldon Johnson, Lonnie Walker, Rim Protector Jakob Poetl) are still improving. They will miss DeRozan's playmaking but not his defense. After this short offseaon, I just don't see enough negative to drop from 46% to 35% winning percentage.
Under 25.5 Rockets +104
26 wins isn't that many, but it would be an 8% improvement from last year. And while this team is going to super fun to watch (Jalen Green can fly), I expect them to be the worst defense in the league. There's not much rim protection, the starting backcourt is 19 and 21 years old, and by the trade deadline, the incentive could be to trade away veterans (maybe Eric Gordon, Jae'sean Tate, Daniel Theis, and John Wall?) for younger players or future assets.
Over 51.5 Suns -110
Last year, the Suns won 71% of their games, and the line for this year is 63%. Olympian Devin Booker, DeAndre Ayton, and Mikal Bridges are all a year older (that's a good thing), but CP3 is also a year older (not such a good thing). I'm not expecting a 71% winning percentage again or for them to be the healthest team in the league again, but with the confidence of team that won the West and the anger of the team that lost the NBA Finals, I think 52-30 or better is likely.
Most Improved Player (MIP) and Most Valuable Player (MVP)
Honestly, I'm not too confident in these bets below, and wrongly made them more out of personal interest in the Warriors, Nuggets, and how the heck has Durant only won one MVP?
MIP Jordan Poole +1200
Wish I bet this one earlier! Before the preseason it was +3500, but then he scored 109 points in 113 preseaon minutes on 51% shooting, & was named starting shooting guard. Who knows when Klay's back? Poole's gonna get his shots up. This award historically favors large scoring jumps.
MIP Micheal Porter Jr. +1000
Talk about someone who is gonna' get up shots! Micheal Porter SHOOOOTS and with Jamal Murray out a lot of the year with injury, there are going to be a lot of shots for Porter. Plus after agreeing to a max contract extensions, it's clear the Nuggets want him to shoot a ton.
MVP Kevin Durant +650
Up until Kyrie Irving's decision to not take the vaccine over playing the game of basketball in front of millions of people, I wouldn't bet on any of the Nets big three to win MVP. But now, the vote won't be as split, and it's crazy that the best player in the world is 33 years old with only one MVP.
MVP Steph Curry +800
If the Warriors are a top 3 seed, this bet is gonna' be looking good. Ball movement is going to be much better this year but the scoring burden is still heavily on Curry's shoulders, that could lead to a solid team record and monster individual stats. Long live Steph Curry!