By Mark Strotman | | 3 mins
Are Sportsbooks Underpricing Milwaukee Bucks NBA Title Odds?
From the moment Anthony Davis was dealt to the Lakers in mid-June and Kawhi Leonard signed with the Clippers in early July, the NBA betting world has revolved around Los Angeles.
Both the Lakers and Clippers have met expectations: The Lakers are a West-leading 34-9 and the Clippers are right behind at 31-13. They're second and fifth, respectfully, in efficiency and both look like legitimate and obvious title contenders. Oddsmakers agree: Most top sportsbooks have the Lakers and Clippers as title favorites at +300.
Are oddsmakers wrong and can you take advantage of it? The Milwaukee Bucks are in the midst of a historic campaign and by all rights should be the favorites. They are an NBA-best 38-6 and on pace for 71 wins, which would rank third in NBA history. And yet, Giannis Antetokounmpo & Co. are just +320 in NBA title odds at most sportsbooks.
Oddsmakers are criminally underrating the best team in basketball, so jump on their odds as soon as possible. Here’s why:
Bucks Winning At Historical Pace
The Bucks, who are in Paris to play the Charlotte Hornets on Friday, have raced out to a 38-6 record, haven't lost consecutive games, and their worst stretch of the season was 2-2 in October. In fact, since beginning the season 6-3, they're 33-3. They have separate win streaks of 4, 5, 7 (current) and 18 games. And they're not simply earning hard-fought wins; they're blowing teams out.
Their current NET rating of +12.0 is 4.5 points better than the No. 2 Lakers. That's the difference between the Lakers and the No. 12 Pacers. That +12.0 NET rating is currently the second best all-time, trailing only the 72-win Bulls (+12.2).
Bucks Will have Home-Court Advantage in Easier Conference
They're a full 7.5 games ahead of the second-place Miami Heat, and Basketball Reference gives them a 99.9% chance of earning the East's top seed. That's important because Milwaukee is 21-2 at home with an NBA-best +13.4 NET rating. It's also important because the next five top seeds in the East are a combined 91-20 at home and just 57-54 on the road.
Home-court advantage will be critical, and the Bucks will have it throughout the playoffs (and most likely the NBA Finals). Speaking of the East, the Bucks will have a much easier route to the Finals than either Los Angeles team that boasts better odds. Consider that six of the nine top spots in NET rating after the Bucks are in the West, and since Christmas nine of the top 13 teams in NET rating are in the West.
Bucks Have Experience And Match Up Well
Experience matters in the postseason, and the Bucks got it last season. After winning two straight against the Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals, Milwaukee ran into the heart of Kawhi Leonard's magical playoff run that ultimately ended in Toronto's first championship. Now the Bucks know what to expect. There won't be any deer-in-the-headlights look from this team in the postseason.
Antetokounmpo, who is running away with a second straight MVP award and is the favorite at -139 in NBA MVP odds, and the Bucks also match up well with the Lakers and Clippers and have already beaten both in the regular season. They have the size to match the Lakers frontcourt and the depth to match the Clippers bench.
It's not just that the Bucks are having a great season and deserve more credit. They're putting together a historic campaign with an all-time great player and perfect complementary pieces and, yet, aren't the favorites. Whether it's because of last year's collapse or simply money coming in on the Lakers and Clippers, the Bucks provide outstanding value.
There's no way oddsmakers will keep their odds where they are as they inch closer to 70 wins. It's time to jump on their odds and bet them at Unibet.