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).
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
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.