2015-16 NBA Championship Futures as of November 18th, 2015

The NBA season is a little over three weeks old and already we have seen massive shifts in the NBA futures since the pre-season. 5Dimes Sportsbook has updated their NBA Future odds and we have the latest odds here for you.

The biggest shift, as you may know from reading the NBA Top 30, is the defending champion Golden State Warriors. In the pre-season they were sitting at +480 to win the championship, but currently sit at just +270. That pre-season line may end up being the steal of the season as the way they have been playing thus far shows them to be a far better team than they were last season. They’ve started the season with a 12-0 record and already people are talking about the possibility of them winning 70 games this season. Golden State is really that good of a basketball team. There is still a long way to go, but if the Warriors keep up at this pace they will be a huge favorite heading into the playoffs and this line could end up going even further down.

The Warriors dominance has seen a shift throughout the West as the Oklahoma City Thunder went from +750 to +850, the Los Angeles Clippers went from +1200 to +1250 and the Houston Rockets went from +1500 to +2000. Although the Rockets early play has been so bad that they fired Kevin McHale so they have just as much to do with this ranking as the Warriors do.

The only West team unaffected by the Warriors early run is the San Antonio Spurs who are a +410 favorite after being +500 in the pre-season. They’ve had a soft early schedule and taken full advantage of it. They currently have the second best point differential in the NBA behind the Warriors and that’s without fully utilizing the talents of LaMarcus Aldrige. Let’s hope the NBA gods bless us with a match-up between the Spurs and the Warriors this year because that could be some of the greatest basketball ever played.

The top team remains the Cleveland Cavaliers at +265. They are the cream of the Eastern Conference and there isn’t really many to challenge them for that crown. They’ve gotten off to a great start this season and look destined for the Finals again. They’ve looked great without Kyrie Irving playing and could take things to a whole new level once he returns. The Cavaliers are the only team really worth talking about the in the Eastern Conference so let’s just leave it at that.

Complete NBA Championship Futures are below courtesy of 5Dimes Sportsbook. You can bet any of these by going to http://www.5Dimes.com

Cleveland Cavaliers  +265
Golden State Warriors  +270
San Antonio Spurs  +410
Oklahoma City Thunder  +850
Los Angeles Clippers  +1250
Chicago Bulls  +1800
Houston Rockets  +2000
Miami Heat  +3000
Atlanta Hawks  +3300
Toronto Raptors  +4500
Washington Wizards  +4500
Memphis Grizzlies  +5500
Indiana Pacers  +10000
New Orleans Pelicans  +10000
Utah Jazz  +11000
Boston Celtics  +12000
Milwaukee Bucks  +12000
Detroit Pistons  +13500
Dallas Mavericks  +15000
Phoenix Suns  +23000
Portland Trail Blazers  +25000
Minnesota Timberwolves  +30000
New York Knicks  +30000
Sacramento Kings  +30000
Charlotte Hornets  +40000
Orlando Magic  +55000
Brooklyn Nets  +100000
Denver Nuggets  +100000
Los Angeles Lakers  +100000
Philadelphia 76ers  +150000

NBA Top 30 for November 16th, 2015

The NBA Top 30 is our weekly post aimed on ranking the teams from best to worst with a 2016 NBA Futures minded approach. Using a combination of futures odds, standings and our own eye test we look to scout the NBA championship winner long before the Finals.  

Can anyone stop the Warriors? No, seriously, can anyone stop the Warriors? We’re only 1/8th of the way into the season and we’re ready to crown them again. Meanwhile the Spurs keep going, coaching questions in Oklahoma City, trouble in Houston and the Cavs see the future. There’s still a lot of time until we crown the champion this season, but right now it’s time for Week 3 of the NBA Top 30.

Play of the Week:

Again, can anyone stop the Warriors? Not when Steph Curry is hitting shots like this.

Stuff of the Week:

The Cavs saw their future on Saturday and it is frightening.

Below you’ll find this week’s Top 30 with current future odds courtesy of Bovada.

NBA Top 30

1. Golden State Warriors (+200)

A drop down from +300 last week down to +200 and the season is only three weeks old. At this pace they are going to be -500 by the All-Star break. They are just so good and if everyone stays healthy I can’t imagine a scenario where they aren’t back in (at the very least) the Western Conference Finals. The Warriors at this point are a bigger favorite than Roman Reigns at Survivor Series.

The question this year might be if they can challenge the Bulls 72-10 record. Last season they won a franchise record 67 games and played at a historic pace. They started 9-2 while this year’s team is 11-0. It’s a long ways away and there’s a really tough road ahead, but they haven’t lost yet.

2. Cleveland Cavaliers +275

This team without Kyrie Irving should still be the favorite to win the Eastern Conference and if they never get him back I’d still have them in this spot. They will get him back though and this season seems destined for a rematch of last year’s Finals.

3. San Antonio Spurs +525

“It doesn’t matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius

If that doesn’t sum up the Spurs, I don’t know what does. They just keep putting the pieces together and the next thing you know they are in the Western Conference Finals. LaMarcus Aldrige had a big week with 23 points in a win over his former team followed by a 17 point, 19 rebound performance against the lowly Sixers. While their schedule has been soft, they still have the second best point differential in the NBA behind the Warriors.

4. Oklahoma City Thunder (+1000)

It was only one game and it was one game without Kevin Durant, but this weekend’s loss to the Boston Celtics could be a telling sign for the Thunder’s future. Billy Donovan was a great coach in college, but that loss showed his in not even close to the same league as Brad Stevens. Donovan’s talents are mostly in getting pieces to fit together, but when it comes to high level Xs and Os he just can’t hang.

To win the West, the Thunder will have to go through at least one of the NBA’s best coaches in Doc Rivers, Gregg Poppovich and Steve Kerr. That could get interesting. Stay tuned.

5. Los Angeles Clippers +1000

Same old Clippers. Better than most teams in the NBA, but not quite as good as the elite teams. We keep waiting for the breakout that might never come.

6. Houston Rockets +2500

Kind of a high placement for a 4-6 team, eh?

They are 4-4 with Dwight Howard in the lineup so that’s encouraging, but the problem with them has been defense. Or to put it more succinctly, defensive effort. This is one of the best teams in the West on a talent level and I have to believe that one of these days they’ll look at the standings and realize they would be out of the playoffs if the season ended today and go on a run. This team should be ahead of the Clippers and (maybe) the Thunder. They just have to start playing like it.

7. Miami Heat +2500
8. Chicago Bulls +2000
9. Atlanta Hawks +2500
10. Toronto Raptors +3300

One of these three teams will be in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers. One of these teams will most likely lose.

11. Washington Wizards +5000
12. Detroit Pistons +10000
13. Milwaukee Bucks +10000
14. Indiana Pacers +7500
15. Boston Celtics +6600

Five teams going for three playoff spots in the East. I see them ranking like this, but the Celtics and Pacers are so well coached that I could easily see one or both sneaking in there.

In the pre-season I talked about how much I liked Anthony Davis to win the MVP award this season with a crazy scoring and rebounding year. Should I have been talking about Andre Drummond instead? He’s currently averaging 18.5 points and 19 rebounds per game. Those are huge numbers.

Last week I said this about the Bucks:

They could make a move forward if they continue to play like they have during this four game win streak. The leap Giannis has made thus far this season has been huge and if Jabari Parker plays like the guy they thought they were getting #2 in the draft then this could be another major sleeper in the East. With their length on defense I could see them frustrating the hell out of the Cavaliers.

Saturday night the Cavaliers got a chance to see what I was talking about as they suffered a 2OT loss to the Bucks in Milwaukee. It is just a tough match-up for them. They aren’t quite there yet, but Giannis and Jabari match up really well against Love and Lebron. I’d love to see that series happen in the playoffs this year.

16. Phoenix Suns +30000
17. Utah Jazz +10000
18. Memphis Grizzlies +5000
19. Dallas Mavericks +10000
20. New Orleans Pelicans +10000
21. Denver Nuggets

This is where we differ from a traditional power ranking. Some of these teams are better than the 11-15 teams, but those teams ranked above them probably have a better chance of winning the championship than these teams. The West is much tougher at 1-5 than the East. That’s just a fact of life. Three of these teams will make the playoffs. I see them ranking like this, but I could see the Grizzlies run really being over and Rick Carlisle continuing to prove he’s one of the best coaches in the NBA. It probably doesn’t matter.

The Pelicans at 1-9 are just hanging in there. The odds are totally against them with this awful start, but if they can ever get healthy the talent is there. Still, it make take 50 wins to make the playoffs in the West and it’s hard to bet on any team (besides the Warriors) going on a 49-23 run.

The Rest:

22. Orlando Magic +30000
23. Minnesota Timberwolves +10000
24. New York Knicks +10000
25. Charlotte Hornets +20000
26. Sacramento Kings +10000
27. Portland Trailblazers +20000
28. Los Angeles Lakers +50000
29. Brooklyn Nets +100000
30. Philadelphia 76ers +100000

NBA Top 30 for November 9th, 2015

The NBA Top 30 is our weekly post aimed on ranking the teams from best to worst with a 2016 NBA Futures minded approach. Using a combination of futures odds, standings and our own eye test we look to scout the NBA championship winner long before the Finals.  

The Pistons are suddenly for real, Luke Walton is making his case to be a future head coach, the Pelicans hope to make history and the Grizzlies might be toast. We’re two weeks into the NBA season and the NBA Top 30 is taking shape. Let’s start things off with our vine to blow your mind, it’s the…

Play of the Week:

There probably won’t be a lot written about the Lakers in this space this season so we thought we’d throw them a bone with this MONSTER dunk by Julius Randle.

Stuff of the Week:

When I first dreamed up this post with the Stuff of the Week I expected it to be a place where I could put an Anthony Davis highlight each and every week. Well, he’s in the highlight this week. Not as the blocker, but as the victim. Jeremy Evans out of nowhere.

As you’ll find out below the Pelicans season has been that block in a nutshell thus far and they’ll need to make (recent) history to make a playoff run this season. Below you’ll find this week’s Top 30 with current future odds courtesy of Bovada.

NBA Top 30

1. Golden State Warriors (+300)

That whole thing about defending a championship is harder than winning it? Not true for the Golden State Warriors. Through the first seven games of the season they are already better than last year’s team.

2015-16: 7-0, +18.3 point differential, 111.3 offensive rating, 92.3 defensive rating
2014-15: 5-2, +7 point differential, 102.2 offensive rating, 94.5 defensive rating

With defending MVP Steph Curry also being even better than he was last season. It’s crazy early, but he’s currently leading the league in points per game at 35.5 with 6.5 assists and 5.3 rebounds per to go along with it. Back to back MVPs?

With coach Steve Kerr out until the All-Star break, you have to give credit to the coaching staff. Luke Walton has done a fantastic job as interim head coach and Ron Adams continues to be one of the very best defensive coaches in the league.

This is the favorite to win the 2016 NBA championship and I don’t think it’s as close as people think. As we said last week, this team is ready for a repeat.

2. Cleveland Cavaliers +300

They’ve gelled into much more of a system team thus far this year and are getting contributions all around. The Lebron show is always there if they need it, but they haven’t thus far. The near 20-20 game from Kevin Love isn’t getting nearly enough press as that’s something he hasn’t done since his Minnesota days. If that’s the Kevin Love we’re getting this season then we could have a very fun Finals on our hands.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder +750

Down a spot since last week, but that’s more about Cleveland than the Thunder as they would still have to go through Golden State to get there. The three game losing streak they had last week didn’t worry me, but the Enes Kanter experiment does. He’s a great offensive player, but when he’s on defense they are playing a man short. You can do that kind of thing with a wing player, but it is far more dangerous to do it with a center.

4. San Antonio Spurs +500

They haven’t looked especially dangerous thus far in the season, but we expected that. Not only did they add LaMarcus Aldrige, but they turned over a large portion of their bench as well and these things just take time. This is a place where I’m not putting too much into early season performances because the Spurs find a way. Always.

5. Los Angeles Clippers +900

They hung tough with the Warriors in a loss last week, but that is why they are here. They can hang with the Warriors and if things broke right for them might be able to beat them in a seven game series. They’d be underdogs, but they could hang and that’s what keeps them in the top five.

6. Houston Rockets +1600

We should just call the 3-6 spots “teams that might meet the Warriors in the Western Conference finals and therefore have a chance”. The Rockets have won four straight including wins over the Thunder and the Clippers so they deserve to be in the mix. Watch this team because I could see them climbing in the next few weeks. Healthy Dwight > everything else.

7. Atlanta Hawks +3300

After the loss on opening night to the Pistons and the loss of DeMarre Carroll we thought that the Hawks might not be the same juggernaut we saw last season. Nope, sorry. We were wrong and they’ve won seven straight. These guys play hard and play well together. They have a +5.6 point per game differential on the season and that is definitely sustainable for this squad. They’ll be a top seed in the East and that always puts you in position to contend.

8. Chicago Bulls +1200
9. Miami Heat +2800
10. Toronto Raptors +3300
11. Detroit Pistons +6600
12. Washington Wizards +4000

Dropping the Bulls back into the “if something happens to Lebron” division because their defense just hasn’t been there. We knew that starting Mirotic and Gasol together would have this effect, but allowing 101.4 per game while only scoring 100 is not a good sign for the future and not very Bulls-like.

I am drinking the Pistons Kool-Aid right now. Last night Andre Drummond had a 29 point, 27 rebound game and Reggie Jackson scored 26 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Pistons to a 120-103 win and a 7-1 record. Drummond is ready now and Stan Van Gundy is probably going to win Executive of the Year and Coach of the Year. Holy crap. Could you see this team upsetting the Hawks in a round two match-up? I could.

If you want to make a crazy futures bet head over to 5Dimes and grab the Pistons at +10000.

13. Utah Jazz +10000
14. Portland Trailblazers +20000
15. Phoenix Suns +20000

I think at least two of these teams are making the playoffs and possibly all three. Some crazy stuff would have to happen for them to do anything with that, but you have to be at the dance to have a chance.

16. Milwaukee Bucks +10000

Just on the outside of that second tier-East group. They could make a move forward if they continue to play like they have during this four game win streak. The leap Giannis has made thus far this season has been huge and if Jabari Parker plays like the guy they thought they were getting #2 in the draft then this could be another major sleeper in the East. With their length on defense I could see them frustrating the hell out of the Cavaliers.

17. Boston Celtics +7500
18. Indiana Pacers +7500
19. Orlando Magic +30000
20. New York Knicks +10000

If things break right one of these teams might be able to steal an eight seed in the East, but they’ll probably just end up being tough wins.

21. Memphis Grizzlies +4000
22. New Orleans Pelicans +7500

The All-Disappointing Bracket. The Grizzlies, known for their grit and grind, currently have a -10.9 point differential and are allowing over 100 points per game. The defense is gone and the shooting was never there. If things don’t turn around quickly this could be a very bad year for Memphis.

As for the Pelicans, they are 0-6. The injury gods have been very, very, very unkind to them, but that is still their record. I still like this team a lot (when healthy) and think they have a great coach, but….

and…

It’s hard to see where they fit in the playoff picture. Injuries suck.

The Rest:

23. Minnesota Timberwolves +7500
24. Charlotte Hornets +25000
25. Dallas Mavericks +10000
26. Denver Nuggets +25000
27. Sacramento Kings +15000
28. Los Angeles Lakers +25000
29. Philadelphia 76ers +100000
30. Brooklyn Nets +50000

NBA Top 30 for November 2nd, 2015

The NBA Top 30 is our weekly post aimed on ranking the teams from best to worst with a 2016 NBA Futures minded approach. Using a combination of futures odds, standings and our own eye test we look to scout the NBA championship winner long before the Finals.  

Welcome to the inaugural NBA Top 30 where we rank the best teams in the NBA all the way down to the Sixers. We start each week with the Vine that blows your mind. It’s the…

Play of the Week:

The Magic and Thunder played a crazy game featuring multiple buzzer beaters. My favorite has to be Russell Westbrook’s at the end of regulation. It’s so deep, there’s no time left and you never really doubted it. #CLUTCH

Stuff of the Week:

While Westbrook’s heroics came against the young Magic, our stuff of the week came straight out of a possible Eastern Conference Finals match-up. With the Cavs down two they gave the ball to the best player on earth and Pau Gasol was having none of it.

We have a long way to go before we find out if that block ends up being meaningful in any way. Below you’ll find this week’s NBA Top 30 with current futures odds courtesy of Bovada. Continue Reading…

2015-16 NBA Championship Futures

Who will win the 2016 NBA Championship? Each team still has 82 games to go before they can even think about the playoffs, but the oddsmakers at 5Dimes have their championship odds for us now.

Cleveland remains the favorite they were the moment the 2015 season ended and why not? The Eastern Conference is far easier than the Western Conference and they still have Lebron James who has been to the last five NBA finals. The King stay the king until someone knocks him off. They are the favorite in the Eastern Conference by far and as long as everyone stays healthy everyone on Earth fully expects a return to the Finals. Can they finally win one though? The experience of last year’s playoffs helps, but it’s all about health for this team.

Up next we have the defending champions at +480. This is a weird one as they are actually the second favorite in the Western Conference odds to the Spurs, but they are the top West team here. Maybe the bookmakers think that they have a better shot of winning the championship if they make it than the Spurs do? It’s hard to say why, but this team should definitely be in the thick of it again this season. They brought just about everyone back from last year’s team that had such a great defense and offense. Steve Kerr is a solid coach who has repeated as a champion in his career. He should be able to take that experience and help his team with whatever championship hangover they may have.

The aforementioned Spurs come in at +500. The addition of LaMarcus Aldridge is of course the big story here as he is added to a team that wins 50+ games a year no matter what. The age questions surrounding Parker, Ginobli and Duncan that are always there are there again this season, but they are more bit players than they have been in the past. This is the Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge show now. If they fit well together this could be the beginning of yet another Spurs dynasty. How long can this go on?

One of the most interesting teams in the league this season should be the Oklahoma City Thunder who replaced their coach with Florida legend Billy Donovan. He’s got a great reputation and if he can make things work this year in OKC then he could be a favorite for Coach of the Year. This one all comes down to the health of Kevin Durant. If he made a full recovery from his foot injury, look out.

Complete 2016 NBA Championship Odds are below courtesy of 5Dimes. You can bet any of these at http://www.5Dimes.com

Cleveland Cavaliers  +280
Golden State Warriors  +480
San Antonio Spurs  +500
Oklahoma City Thunder  +750
Los Angeles Clippers  +1200
Houston Rockets  +1500
Chicago Bulls  +1600
Memphis Grizzlies  +3300
New Orleans Pelicans  +3300
Atlanta Hawks  +3600
Miami Heat  +4000
Washington Wizards  +5500
Toronto Raptors  +6600
Milwaukee Bucks  +6800
Indiana Pacers  +9000
Dallas Mavericks  +12000
Utah Jazz  +15000
Boston Celtics  +15500
Los Angeles Lakers  +20000
Detroit Pistons  +25000
New York Knicks  +25000
Brooklyn Nets  +30000
Denver Nuggets  +30000
Minnesota Timberwolves  +30000
Phoenix Suns  +30000
Portland Trail Blazers  +30000
Sacramento Kings  +30000
Charlotte Hornets  +35000
Orlando Magic  +50000
Philadelphia 76ers  +100000