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NBA Basketball Preseason Prop Betting: Playoff Sports 2019 Part I

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Sep/02/2019

Every year about this time someone will ask me ‘why worry about NBA and NHL now’?  The answer is simple—the name of the game is finding value.  The best time to find value is well before the season begins and with everyone focused on the start of college and pro football season.  The amateur sports bettor waits until after football is over and then scrambles like mad to get himself up to speed with basketball.  The professional is ready to go from the start of the season knowing that preseason prop bets and early season lines are often much weaker than will be seen later in the year.

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We’ll start with the NBA and break down our preview of prop bets into multiple articles.  There’s a lot to cover but that means there’s plenty of good value opportunities to be had!  The NBA playoff proposition odds at BetOnline is where we’ll begin and right at the top of the board there are three interesting bets that are worth a look:

NBA BASKETBALL PLAYOFF SPECIALS

NBA CHAMPIONSHIP WON BY TEAM FROM CALIFORNIA

YES: +140
NO: -160

NBA CHAMPIONSHIP WON BY TEAM FROM LOS ANGELES

YES: +170
NO: -200

Although the Los Angeles Clippers (+350) and Los Angles Lakers (+500) are the favorites to win the NBA Championship the reality is that there are at least ten teams (and possibly more) with a legit shot at winning the title.  For that reason, we’ll look to take some prices when we get to the futures betting odds and take a pass on the single digit favorites.  The Clippers now have Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, the Lakers now have LeBron James and Anthony Davis.  The reality is that teams experiencing a big roster reboot like both Los Angeles teams usually need a year to get the cohesiveness necessary to win a title.

That being said, in a wide open season it’s nice to have a hedge.  For that reason, I like the ‘Championship won by a team from California’ prop.  It gives us coverage on both LA teams and the Golden State Warriors (who I think are going to be surprisingly deadly come playoff time) along with the Sacramento Kings as a bonus.  The Los Angeles specific prop isn’t quite as appealing due to the omission of the Warriors.  Besides, if you’re thinking of playing this prop you’re better off playing the Clippers and Lakers individually on the futures odds board.

BET NBA CHAMPIONSHIP WON BY A TEAM FROM CALIFORNIA—YES +140

NBA FINALS EARLY LINE

EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPION: +220
WESTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPION: -260

This is a speculative play based on the premise that the 2019-2020 season will be one characterized by relative parity throughout the league.  The two Los Angeles teams are getting all of the hype but the reality is that the field is wide open both in the regular season and ultimately to win the championship.  These series prices are in line with what we saw last season with Golden State and Toronto.  The Warriors were a -270 favorite heading into the final series with takeback on the Raptors at +230.

The reason we’re making this play now is that without any dominant teams this year like the Warriors in recent years there’s no guarantee that the Western Conference Champion will end up as the favorite.  For example, what if it’s the Milwaukee Bucks and Utah Jazz in the NBA Finals?  The Bucks will most likely be the series favorite in that scenario.  There are a number of other scenarios that would also produce a NBA Finals where the Eastern Conference team would be favored.

Our best case scenario is a series like Milwaukee/Utah.  In that case, all we need to do is to take the Western Conference team at plus money and we’ve locked in a profit no matter which team wins.  Worst case scenario, we’ve got a position that we can get off of if necessary.

BET NBA FINALS EARLY LINE—EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPION +220

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