NBA Futures: How Undervalued Are The Milwaukee Bucks?

Chops February 20, 2019
Bucks Futures

With NBA All-Star Weekend in the rear-view mirror, how do oddsmakers view the remainder of the season?

The Golden State Warriors are not surprisingly odds-on favorites to threepeat, listed around -210 at New Jersey sportsbooks. While they do not own the league’s best point differential (that belongs to the Milwaukee Bucks, more on them shortly), FiveThirtyEight agrees with their favorite status, projecting them at 62% to win the title.

Are the Bucks undervalued?

Led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee owns the NBA’s best record (43-14, followed by the Toronto Raptors at 43-16 and Golden State at 41-16). More importantly, they own the best point differential, often the best indicator to a team’s overall strength, at +9.8. Golden State is the next closest at -7.1, 2.7 points lower. The Bucks have the best defensive efficiency rating (Golden State is 16th) and fourth-best offensive efficiency rating (Golden State is 1st).

As noted, while sites like FiveThirtyEight project the Warriors as title favorites, other advanced analytic sites have Milwaukee as the strongest team.

Despite all of this, Milwaukee is only the third favorite to win the final on BetStars NJ at 10/1 (+1000), and third at FanDuel Sportsbook at +1200 (tied with Philadelphia). On BetStars, they’re the fourth favorite to win the Eastern Conference at +300 behind the Raptors (+250), 76ers (+275) and Celtics (+275).

2019 NBA Title Futures Odds

 DraftKingsBetStarsFanDuel
Golden State-225-205-210
Toronto+900+900+900
Milwaukee+1100+1000+1200
Philadelphia+1200+1300+1200
Boston+1200+1100+1400
Houston+1400+1500+1300
LA Lakers+2200+2200+3300
OKC Thunder+2200+2800+2600
Denver+3000+3300+3300
Portland+5500+10000+10000
San Antonio+6000+4000+10000
Utah+6000+5000+5000
Indiana+10000+12000+18000
Minnesota+10000+10000+18000
LA Clippers+10000+20000+21000
Charlotte+10000+30000+25000
Detroit+10000+30000+21000
Miami+10000+30000+25000
Washington+12500+50000+25000
Brooklyn+12500+15000+22000
New Orleans+15000+12500+18000
Dallas+15000+50000+25000
Sacramento+15000+25000+25000
Memphis+30000+25000+25000
Orlando+200000+200000N/A
Atlanta+200000+500000+40000
Chicago+300000+500000N/A
NY Knicks+300000+500000N/A
Phoenix+300000+500000N/A
Cleveland+300000+500000N/A

Meanwhile, Lakers not expected to reach playoffs

This was probably not how LeBron James expected his first season in LA to go, is it?

James, usually an injury-proof iron man, has missed significant time this season. He was unable to orchestrate a trade for Anthony Davis. And his team is on the outside-looking-in of the Western Conference playoffs.

At 28-29, the Lakers are a full three games out of the eighth seed. At one point during the season, LeBron & Co. were -600 to make the post-season. Now, the  Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas has them as an underdog to make the playoffs.

ALSO READ: Despite Missing 18 Games, LeBron James Is Still The Most-Bet-On NBA Player This Year

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