The data has spoken. The Lakers are a clear favorite. So is Mavericks sharpshooter Luka Doncic. But the info most likely to create waves in Pennsylvania concerns Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons.
According to DraftKings‘ season data preview, Simmons ranked as the least profitable player for bettors last season.
Is the data correct? And could it happen again this season?
The Sixers’ front office is certainly rooting against that. Philadelphia is currently the fifth favorite in the Eastern Conference and will need a big year from Simmons to climb above that.
The NBA season starts Tuesday, and the Sixers open the season a day later with a game against Washington. So there’s no better time to take a look at some NBA futures and other available wagers at the top Pennsylvania sportsbooks.
Let’s beat the buzzer with some bets.
Lebron’s Lakers are betting favorites, 76ers in top 10
The Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers help kick off the season Tuesday, with a 10 p.m. game on TNT. The Lakers are favored by two points in that game and carry a moneyline price of -112. The Clippers are -109.
In futures betting, the Lakers are the favorites to repeat as NBA Champions with +275 odds. And according to the DraftKings data, the Lakers are also getting 26% of all championship bets.
The rest of the top 10 favorites according to DraftKings are as follows:
- Clippers: +550
- Bucks: +550
- Nets: +600
- Celtics: +1500
- Heat: +1500
- Nuggets: +2000
- 76ers: +2000
- Mavericks: +2200
- Raptors: +2200
Interestingly enough, the sportsbooks seem to view the Brooklyn Nets favorably; they will have both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, as well as a talented group of young players this season. The Heat, who reached the NBA Finals last year, are the sixth favorite, and the Philadelphia 76ers are eighth.
If any of the above teams can land James Harden, who reportedly wants to play for a contender, their current price should provide good value. Harden’s presence will likely lead to a reduction in the odds. According to DraftKings, the Phoenix Suns are the biggest mover on the futures market, going from 70-1 to 40-1 after a strong showing in the NBA’s bubble and the acquisition of point guard Chris Paul.
Over/under for Embiid’s scoring average is set at 24.5 PPG
Scoring average totals also offer another potential wager for the NBA season. Philadelphia center Joel Embiid has an over/under of 24.5. In his comeback season, Kevin Durant has a total of 26.5. And Luka Doncic, who is the favorite for the league’s MVP Award at +400, has a scoring average number of 30.5. In total, DraftKings has PPG total wagers for about 25 players.
Other player futures include the season leader in blocks, assists and rebounds. The top three in each category, along with their pricing at DraftKings, are as follows:
- Hassan Whiteside: +225
- Ruby Gobert: +300
- Anthony Davis/Brook Lopez: +350
- LeBron James: +275
- Trae Young: +300
- Luka Doncic: +400
- Andre Drummond: +125
- Giannis Antetokounmpo: +300
- Rudy Gobert: +400
Philadelphia 76ers team total wager provides season-long intrigue
Another bet that can provide some excitement for the entire season is a team total wager. With the possibility of some games being canceled because of COVID-19 concerns, a few sportsbooks have moved to win percentage wagers instead of a set number of games. DraftKings has set the Sixers’ season win percentage at 58.5%.
That number indicates some potential for a solid season, and there are certainly reasons for optimism. The team made some strong additions at every level of the franchise this offseason. Former Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey joined the team as president of basketball operations, and Doc Rivers was hired as the head coach.
The team acquired veteran shooters Seth Curry and Danny Green to complement Simmons and Embiid. And some analysts are also high on rookie draft pick Tyrese Maxey. Perhaps it all adds up to a much better Sixers team.
DraftKings offering no-brainer bets to kick off NBA season
And if you’d like to get the season off to a strong start, DraftKings has boosted a wager on Joel Embiid over 7.5 points to +100 in Philadelphia’s first game against Washington.
The bet seems fairly safe, which explains the max bet of $25. Players must also opt in before making the wager.
Alternatively, users can take advantage of an opening night +75 point spread special. That’s right, for either game on Dec. 22, you can opt in to get a one-time +75 point boost (at +100 odds) on the team of your choice for Brooklyn Nets vs. Golden State Warriors or LA Lakers vs. LA Clippers.
New users can bet up to $50 for the promo, while existing users have a max bet of $25.
This year has to be better for the 76ers, right?
After last year’s strange season, which ended with a championship trophy raised in October, the NBA returns to a slightly more traditional schedule. The league intends to play 72 regular-season games, which is only 10 fewer than in a typical season. There will be big basketball games played on Christmas Day. And a title will be awarded sometime in the summer.
Maybe, just maybe, the Sixers will get close to it.
But they’ll certainly need a big year from Ben Simmons.
He’ll have to turn all that data upside down.
Lead image credit: AP Photo/Ashley Landis