Early NBA Futures Value Bets:

It’s been a wild few days in both the NBA and NHL, with free agency and the draft taking center stage in both leagues. This is often a time when you can try to get in front of logical moves, like Paul George’s move to the 76ers, which dropped their price from 12-1 to 8-1. You can also start looking at the award and division markets. I’m going to focus on the NBA here since the NHL draft is generally not as impactful.

NBA Rookie of the Year

I understand why the top two picks, Sarr and Risacher, are the two shortest prices, but I do think there is quite a bit of value. It’s never Risacher for me, I don’t like how he entered the draft or the fit on this Hawks team. There are not enough balls to go around for him to stat stuff. Sarr will get his. The opportunity in Washington is good for a volume prospective so he is the default winner if no one can set up from one of the teams that would like to contend.


From a landing spot perspective, things could not have gone better for Dalton Knecht. Not only is he exactly what the Lakers needed, with the ability to shoot the three and create when he must, but he has the potential to be an even better shooter than we saw in college. Last year, he was constantly asked to create and hoist up shots at the end of the shot clock. Now, on a Lakers team, there will be a lot more spot-up threes and drives off of kickouts. Those are the two things he was phenomenal at offensively at Tennessee. Playing time will be the main question mark, but at 12-1, I’m willing to take a flyer.

Division Winner

Every year, it seems like we have someone who jumps up and contends for a division in the NBA that was a long price before the season. I will look at the Southwest division this year to see if we can produce a price.

Right now, the Mavs are the favorite at +105. They are the best team on paper, but are more built to be a playoff team over a regular season team. You are now counting on Klay and Kyrie, both a year older, to play significant minutes, and they lost Jones Jr, who was a key defensive cog.

New Orleans and Memphis are the next two in line, and while both have talent, neither is all that scary. I’m not ready to pencil in Ja Morant as dominant again, and Zion Williamson needs to figure out how to stay healthy if I will back the Pels.

That gets us to the Rockets and the Spurs. Of the five teams, these would be my top two to bet to win the division at 13-1 and 24-1, respectively, but we will focus on the Rockets. I loved the addition of Reed Sheppard in the draft, which only adds to a solid young core. They have assets to move if they want to improve, but the key is how they played down the stretch. This team started to buy into Ime Udoka in the 2nd half of the season, ramping up the defense and effort. I expect them to take another step forward here, and if they do, 14-1 to win their division will be a steal.