On October 19, NBA betting returns for an entire 82-game season. We explain why the Lakers and Nets have and will continue to dominate futures, along with analyzing other 2022 title contenders and underdogs.
Last year, COVID-19 had the National Basketball Association in a playoff bubble that declined television ratings. Handle across the sports betting industry also fell.
Then a rush to a 72-game follow-up season in January 2021 seemed to cause an avalanche of significant injuries. The result, again, affected ratings and overall interest.
So after two messy seasons, your BossAction clients finally get a standard, no-frills, 82-game season. Because of that, you should expect a boost in NBA betting action.
In our 2021-2022 NBA Betting Preview, we break down why the Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets should dominate NBA futures, as well as discuss other potential contenders and underdogs.
Important NBA Dates:
- October 19, 2021: Regular Season Begins
- April 10, 2022: Regular Season Concludes
- April 12-15 2022: Play-In Tournament
- April 16, 2022: Playoff Begin
- June 2, 2022: NBA Finals Begin
NBA Betting Preview: Title Future Favorites
If Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and Kevin Durant stay healthy, the Nets are the team successful bookies should fear the most. Last season, Brooklyn went 46-38 ATS, and the trio played just 13 games together.
After injuries sent Irving and Harden to the bench in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, Durant nearly singlehandedly pushed Brooklyn past Milwaukee in Game 7.
All three are elite passers, shooters, and ball handlers. Chemistry and familiarity won’t be an issue this year.
Therefore, it’s hard to see anything besides a significant injury keeping the Nets from the NBA Finals.
Use bookie software to set manageable limits on Nets futures. If you don’t, you could be in desperate hedging mode this postseason.
Los Angeles Lakers
After exiting in the first round last season and posting a 34-44-1 record against the spread, should the Lakers be the second-best NBA future? We’re not sure.
But L.A. recruited enough big names to grab bettors’ attention. The Lakers traded for Russell Westbrook and signed Carmelo Anthony, Trevor Ariza, Dwight Howard, Rajon Rondo, Wayne Ellington, and DeAndre Jordan.
One problem? The Lakers got older and closer to the basket in a league that covets young guards and deep 3s.
L.A. shot 34.9% from deep last year – Washington is the only other playoff team that shot worse. The Lakers didn’t sign enough perimeter firepower to impact their 3-point percentage outside of Anthony and Ellington.
As for their age, the roster average is 30.9 years. In the last 17 seasons, only the 2012-13 Miami Heat were older and won a title.
Bookies should consider the Lakers a top future bet on paper only. Be cautious with your limits, but if bettors buy the hype, the increased betting action could turn into a positive.
Watch the season unfold and see if a team with ball-dominant slashers like Westbrook and LeBron James can mesh with Anthony Davis and the handful of Laker vets past their primes.
NBA Betting Preview: Top-Tier Finals Contenders
Surprisingly, the Golden State offers lower odds than Milwaukee. Still, being the reigning champs should keep clients interested in the Bucks.
Besides the dominant Finals run by Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks earned the 2021 title by leaping from 17th to 10th in 3-point percentage. With their roster returning intact, there are no signs of a 2021-22 regression.
Milwaukee should be a consistent winner during the regular season. Should the Nets falter, bettors will view the Bucks as a fallback Eastern Conference option.
Golden State Warriors
The Warriors were 15-50 last season and 39-33 in the shortened season. Surprisingly, NBA oddsmaking experts have them in the top three to win the title.
The Warriors finished last season 15-5 before losing their postseason play-in games. Steph Curry won’t slow down any time soon, and Klay Thompson should return from a torn ACL and ruptured Achilles.
It appears sportsbook platform operators are confident the Splash Brothers will reignite Dub Nation.
Your bettors may be confused as to why Warriors futures are so expensive. But if Golden State can splash on the NBA as they did between 2013 and 2019, NBA betting action on the Warriors should rise.
NBA Betting Preview: Second-Tier Contenders
Don’t forget the Suns opened as favorites to win the 2021 NBA Finals against the Bucks. They lost in six. We can blame veteran guard Chris Paul’s wrist issues that required offseason surgery.
As a day-to-day bet, Phoenix ranks second only behind the New York Knicks against the spread. Last season, the Suns went 55-38-1 ATS.
Phoenix isn’t as flashy on paper like the Lakers or Nets, but with Paul, guard Devin Booker, and center DeAndre Ayton, they have a triple threat of experience, elite scoring, and size to compete with the Lakers and Warriors.
Some NBA betting handicappers will see Phoenix as a futures value play. Once the season starts, setting bet alerts on Suns’ games might be a good move.
The Jazz was the No. 1 seed in the West last season. But their second-straight early playoff exit makes them a second-tier contender. However, while the East feels like a two-team race, the Nets, and Bucks, the West feels like a crapshoot.
Consistency could be essential in the West, and Utah was the only team ranked top five on offense where the Jazz ranked fourth and defense where Donovan Mitchell and his mates ranked fifth.
The 76ers finished 2021 as the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. But the Sixers bowed out early, losing to Atlanta in the Conference Semifinals.
Bettors could find value in ATL NBA futures. Right now, odds on the Hawks to win rings hover below seven other teams.
Keep an eye on any trade rumors regarding Ben Simmons. If Philly moves Simmons, who has said he’s done playing in the City of Brotherly Love, what the 76ers receive in return can make the current odds an underlay or overlay play.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers’ odds to win the title are on par with Utah’s and Philadelphia’s. It looks like the luster of the Paul George and Kawhi Leonard super team has mellowed.
But we’re only one season removed from the Clippers finishing second in the West, and the last two seasons LAC has covered in over 54% of their games.
For many players, the Clippers could be an enticing bargain. Like with the Suns, consider setting bet alerts on Clipper games.
NBA Betting Preview: Future Underdogs
Back in April, the Denver Nuggets lost guard and second-leading scorer Jamal Murray. Behind Nikola Jokic’s MVP season, the Nuggets still made the playoffs.
Nuggets’ future odds are currently comparable to the Miami Heat’s and Dallas Mavericks’. If Murray returns one-hundred percent, Denver could surprise.
Set betting limits on the Nuggets to win the title. Aaron Gordon, the reigning MVP, and Murray could make for as solid of a Big 3 as you’re going to find in the league.
In 2021, for the second time since 1970, the Atlanta Hawks made the Eastern Conference Finals. It’s hard to see the ATL winning the 2021 title, but their championship odds – currently hovering in the late +3000s – could intrigue future players.
The Hawks go as far as star Trae Young leads them. Atlanta could leap into contender conversations if forward De’Andre Hunter, whose sophomore jump was derailed by a knee injury, reaches his potential as the team’s second star.
Is it a coincidence that the two teams in the 2020 NBA Finals failed in the first round the next season? Maybe. But even Heat President Pat Riley acknowledged that having three months between the 2020 Finals and 2021 season mentally and physically taxed the Heat.
Although exhausted, Miami still managed to finish with a top-five defense. A re-energized Heat team could surprise. The Heat traded for gritty 2019 champion Kyle Lowry.
Bookies were biting their nails in last season’s playoffs because the Heat’s preseason futures had skyrocketed as high as +6000. Some players may look to pounce on the Heat while their odds are high.
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We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our NBA Betting Preview. Don’t forget that a return to sports normalcy should help agents like you score more profit than ever in 2021 and 2022.
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