Each week, BetPrep Sharp and NBC Sports Betting Analyst Brad Feinberg discusses expected win totals, division odds, championship 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.
Just a reminder that these are highlights of a podcast recorded on February 20th. You can listen to the full Givin Futures podcast here. The podcast includes other future picks and also Brad’s pro tips for how to live-bet futures.
Let’s start with one of your favorite preseason teams, the Bulls Over 49.5 wins.
Brad: I actually got 48.5 when I first saw it. Now it’s 49.5. The Bulls are 38-21. As we record there are 23 games left. Do you think this team will go better or worse than .500? The Bulls are on pace to win 53 games. If they go 11-12, I lose. 12-11, I win. I have to think they can go at least 12-11. They do have the second hardest schedule in the NBA. So I get it. Even without Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso, I like the talent here. Coby White has been a revelation. I’m going to take my chance that they don’t play under .500 the rest of the way.
The Bucks Under 50.5 wins
Brad: This is a team that’s 36-24, on pace to win 49 games. The Bucks have to go 15-7 to hit the Over, a 56-win pace. They have THE toughest remaining schedule in the NBA. Even with an average schedule, I would call shenanigans on a 56-win pace. This is not a 56-win team. I know they are the defending champs. They got fortuitous breaks last year and won. Clearly, they are a good team for sure. But they are not a dominant team like they need to be to go 15-7 with this remaining schedule. If they do, I’ll eat it. I’m taking Under 50.5 for Milwaukee all day.
The Pelicans Under 33.5 wins.
Brad: They’re 23-36, on pace to win 32 games. To hit the over, they have to play like a 39-win team and they have a hard schedule. No freakin’ way. This may be my favorite one of these futures. I don’t think this team goes 11 and 12. I understand they got CJ McCollum. I’m not saying it’s a bad team. I’m really not. But they are much more likely to win 8, 9, 10 games than 11 or 12. So I’m gonna take my chances and go Under 33.5.
The Raptors Over 44.5 wins.
Brad: The Raptors are good and have the 24th hardest schedule. So right off the bat, that’s a tremendous thing, right? This team’s 32-25, on pace to win 46 games. And you’re telling me again, 25 games, dealer’s choice, they go 12-13 I lose and 13-12 I win. You’re saying the Raptors are not a .500 team, even with an average schedule? Sometimes it’s not that hard, man. These aren’t 100% of winning bets. But I think this bet certainly wins three out of five times. All I’m trying to do is give everyone bets that clearly switch the edge from the house to the player. This bet and the other bets we talked about. I always say, “Show your work.” If you’re setting this line, if you’re a sportsbook, show your work. This team’s on pace to win 46 games and has an easy schedule and you’re saying they’re going to go 12-13. No.
Moving to the NHL, the Oilers 16/1 to win the division.
Brad: This is a pizza bet. Don’t bet big on this. You’re going to probably lose. I just thought this line was a little bit too high. They are five points behind the Calgary Flames. Three points behind Vegas. There are still over 30 games left in the season. You want to give me 16/1 for a team that’s explosive with the top scorer and also the top player in hockey? This is a team that has the ability to get hot and score and dominate and have a streak like Calgary just had. They have to win one out of 17 times. I think they win about one out of nine times, honestly. They clearly should be a big dog but 16/1 is too high even though I have a big position on the Flames to win the division from weeks ago when we gave it out on the show.