Each week, BetPrep Sharp and NBC Sports Betting Analyst Brad Feinberg discusses expected win totals, division odds, Super Bowl favorites, and potential award winners with host and BetPrep Editor Michael Salfino of The Athletic and FiveThirtyEight. It’s the official futures podcast of BetPrep, a free sports betting research site that empowers bettors with the same tools both the sharps and the sportsbooks use.
Here are some highlights from the latest episode of the Givin’ Futures Podcast.
Brad let’s start with your one football play, the Eagles Under 7.5 wins.
Brad: Last week, it was 7.5. And the game against the Chargers was about a pick ‘em. So that was worth half a game. The casinos now are, “No ties! There is no such thing as ties!” So you get these inefficiencies where the number should be lower but they can’t get there (because they have to get to the half-game below it). This team is 3-6. They have eight games left. You are telling me that they are going to go 5-3, almost an 11-win team, and beat this number? I don’t buy it. Prove it.
Let’s start your NBA futures with Paul George at 16-to-1 to win the scoring title.
Brad: I look at the players who are around where George is in points per game. And I just don’t see any of them winning except George and, my favorite, Kevin Durant. He’s going to get his shots; that team just doesn’t have much around him. And he’s playing the minutes. And I gotta tell you, this is just me, again, being an amateur psychiatrist: I think George would love to lead the league in scoring. He’s one of those guys. And to me 16-to-1, I think that’s just too good. I think he has a 1-in-9 or even 1-in-8 chance to win it. So you’re getting about twice what you should be getting.
You mention Durant, who you like at 7-to-1 to win the scoring title and plus-650 to be the MVP.
Brad: These are not good bets. These are great bets. Everyone should be making a significant bet on both of these even though they’re holding your money for a good part of the season. First, the scoring. Durant’s getting almost 29 per game now and this is freakin’ Kevin Durant. This isn’t this isn’t some Joe Blow off the street. I’m not expecting to see Kyrie Irving anytime soon. So it’s just him and James Harden, who isn’t scoring like in the past. You’re gonna call me nuts here. I think he’s almost 50/50 to win it. I bet a lot of money on this.
Now, MVP. Stephen Curry? He was shooting 42% from the floor. The Joker is great but Denver is not going to have a good enough record. Donovan Mitchell just doesn’t put up the kind of stats you need to be a MVP. Paul George? No way (given expected Clippers wins). Giannis is great but the team is playing like, well, you know what (don’t make me say it on a family show). Now Durant is averaging 29 points as we talk with nine rebounds and five assists and shooting 57% from the floor. Are you kidding me? This MVP bet is, again, phenomenal!
You have four plays for Most Improved Player. Dejoutne Murray 30/1, Tyler Herro 16/1, Jordan Poole 23/1, Cole Anthony 25/1.
Brad: I’m gonna say what I did on all these bets. First, let’s talk about Herro. Last year he averaged 15 points a game. Now he’s at 21-22 points per game and I think he’s going to stay there. So Herro had a decent year. But it wasn’t a phenomenal year. Anthony fits the criteria of what I like, he averaged 4.9 points a game last year and 39% shooting right now for 11 games he’s over 20 points a game on 45% shooting. He’s raised his rebounds from 4.7 to 7.1. He’s averaging over five assists. Isn’t that the definition of most improved? His 25-to-1 odds is a really, really nice bet. Murray I got 35-to-1. I don’t like it as much as the other guys we just talked about, but he’s a young guy that has a chance. And Jordan Poole, again, kind of like what we talked about Cole Anthony. He only averaged 12 points a game, this year 18.5. Now he’s never going to get the big rebounds and steals and assists. I understand that. But he’s a scorer and is getting big odds. So in addition to these big plays, I took Miles Bridges as the favorite at plus-450 and if he wins, and he is the most-likely winner, I break even with the other bets. But if he doesn’t, I make a sick profit.
Some team props now, starting with the T-Wolves Under 37.5 wins.
Brad: I took the Over when it opened at 33.5. And now there’s a great middle there. But I like this Under on its own merits. Given their start, they have to go about .500 to beat 37.5 wins. I don’t understand it. I always say this on the show. We’re not making the hard bets where the lines are good. We’re looking for easy bets. This stuff is true edge, true gold. Don’ bet anything other than these (that we give you here) and you’ll make money.
The Lebron-less Lakers Under 48.5 wins.
Brad: Brand name. Automatic respect. But let me ask, how long is LeBron James out? A month, two months? How the hell is this team gonna win 49 games? This is not a good fit, these players the team has assembled. This team isn’t winning 49 games. Even if LeBron does play, I just don’t think they’re good.
The Golden State Warriors at Over 49.5 wins.
Brad: Before the season, I think it was 47.5. Early on, they exceeded expectations by three games. But it’s not that as much as me just liking what I’ve seen from the team. I think the schedule coming up doesn’t look too bad, if you ever wanted to get a middle. I think there’s a chance we can maybe get an Under 52.5 in eight or nine games. I don’t know when but at some point, I think Klay Thompson will be back which can only help. They’re still pacing this team like they’re a 47-win team from this point on. And I’m going to say they’re better than that. So give me the Over with an eye toward the middle coming up when it goes up by about three more wins (in the next week or two).