By Bill Speros | | 5 mins
Latest NBA Division Odds Reveal 3 Incredible Value Bets
The NBA season has reached its Dog days of February. This may be an ideal time for those interested in NBA betting to find sound value when wagering on division winners and playoff teams.
The defending champion Los Angeles Lakers have lost four of five and are clearly struggling without the injured Anthony Davis. On the other side of the country and standings, the Washington Wizards are finding their lost chemistry in their lineup and have won five straight. In Washington’s 127-124 OT win over the Lakers on Monday, Bradley Beal played a season-high 44 minutes and scored 33 points. Russell Westbrook added 32 points, six coming in overtime.
There remains minimal movement in divisional odds markets. Heavy preseason favorites such as the Heat, Lakers and Nets have barely nudged. However, this lack of movement has also created potential value for bettors looking to make a reasonable investment in unexpected entries that might finish atop the divisional heap when the season ends.
Here are three value plays you can make right now to win their divisions in the NBA futures betting market, plus a bonus play on an unlikely team to make the playoffs.
Washington Wizards +1800 To Win Southeast Division
The five teams in this division are all playing under .500 and are separated by just two games. But the pricing is immensely varied. At DraftKings, the Heat are -152 favorites to win the Southeast while the Magic are +2000 at the bottom. The Wizards are sitting at +1800. Washington began the season 6-17 before its current run, which included victories over Boston, Houston and Denver.
The Wizards are scoring a divisional best 114.5 PPG, thanks in part to Beal who is tops in the NBA with 32.9 PPG. Washington is giving up a worst 119.3 PPG. It is on defense where Washington has made improvements as of late. During its five-game streak, the Wizards have allowed just 114.6 PPG. That’s a small sample but a solid trend in the right direction. There may finally be enough shots to satisfy Beal and Russell Westbrook, who appears to be finally taking advantage of the leadership opportunity presented to him by his move to the nation’s capital.
The challenge here is looking past the Miami Heat, who took the Lakers to six games in the Finals last year behind the Herculean performance of Jimmy Butler. Bettors should have learned by now never to count our or overlook any Heat team coached by Erik Spoelstra. But the Southeast has four teams all geared up toward the future and that may prove to be an edge as this season extends into the spring.
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Indiana Pacers +850 To Win Central Division
The Pacers are +850 to win the Central at FanDuel. Indiana sits just one game back of the Milwaukee Bucks in the loss column, despite Milwaukee (-1450) holding an 8-0 record against divisional opponents. The Bucks just broke a five-game losing streak this past Friday. The Pacers have the stingiest defense in the division, giving up just 111.9 PPG. They are 3-2 against their divisional opponents. Indiana had a pair of games (against the Spurs and at the Rockets) canceled because of the winter weather that shuttered the Lone Star State and has not played in a week.
The Pacers are rumored to be in the trade market, as well. The Lakers – as noted – are struggling without Davis, who could be out for several weeks. The Lakers need a big man and the Pacers appear to have a spare in Myles Turner. A rumored deal features Turner going to the Lakers and forward Kyle Kuzma heading to Indiana. The deal would undoubtedly boost the potential fortune for Pacers bettors.
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Phoenix Suns: +1200 To Win Pacific Division
Ever since going 8-0 in the NBA Bubble last season, the Suns have been on the radar for shrewd bettors. The Suns missed out on the postseason in 2020 but appear poised to reach the playoffs come this spring. There isn’t much value in that market, given that the Suns are -1500 at FanDuel.
It is winning the Pacific Division where the steel-backboned bettor is poised to find legitimate value. The Suns (+1200), Clippers (+105) and reeling Lakers (-120) are separated by a mere game in the division and tied at 10 games in the loss column. Just the mere math points to a wager on Phoenix. Betting on a team to go from missing the playoffs to beating both the defending champion Lakers and the Clippers in the same division the next season is an incredible ask. But the Lakers and Clippers have underperformed this season – at least compared to expectations. The Suns are holding their own against the Clippers and Lakers in point differential. They are +5.7, while the Lakers are +6 and the Clippers are +6.4.
The Suns are hot, having won 11 of 13 since falling to .500 (8-8) on Jan. 27. Devin Booker (24.7 PPG) appears headed for this second straight All-Star selection. The Suns have a great mix of youth (three starters are under 25) and veteran leadership in Jae Crowder and Chris Paul. This ambitious group may be just the right team to pull off the big betting upset.
Chicago Bulls: +310 To Make Playoffs
For those who are truly daring, Chicago Bulls are a tantalizing +19000 to win the Central at FanDuel. Led by the recent solid play of Zach LaVine, the Bulls trail the Milwaukee Bucks by just 3.5 games and three in the loss column. It might be too much to ask Billy Donovan to get his young and untested team past both the Bucks and the Pacers in the second half of the season.
This team has moved into postseason contention, but the related odds have yet to follow. The Bulls are +310 to make the playoffs at FanDuel. Chicago is currently 8th in the East and would make the playoffs if the season ended today. Of course, it doesn’t. But Donovan’s team has won four of five and has begun to find its groove when it comes to ball movement and unselfish play.
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