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.
Let’s start with hockey where as of February 14, you like the Penguins to win the Metropolitan Division, +400
Brad: Carolina was given out before as the most likely winner of the division. But anyone who knows me knows I will put in bets I think are going to lose. I think this bet is going to lose. But 4/1 is just too high. They are only one point ahead of Carolina, Carolina has three games in hand. So let’s call that three-to-four points behind Carolina. The Rangers are four points behind but they have two games in hand. It just comes down to this, I probably think the true fair odds here should be closer to 3/1, maybe +275. And I’m going to take 4/1. But I would not take anything less than 4/1. That’s my buy price. I think that they only have to do it 20% of the time for it to be a break-even bet. I think they win this division closer to 25% of the time.
More hockey, the Avalanche to win the Presidents Cup (most regular-season points) at +115.
Brad: They have 72 points as we record. The Panthers have 69. But the Avalanche have a game in hand. So that translates to closer to five points ahead. Carolina has five less points, but they played the same amount of games. So realistically, probably four teams can win. I think Colorado is the best team. And they actually do have really about at least a four-point lead on all these teams. They are 9-0-1 their last 10 as we record. They also play in an easier conference. The best teams are all in the East, except for Colorado. I will take the plus price because I think there’s a 50% chance the Avalanche finish with the most points.
Moving to the NBA, the Suns +550 to win the NBA Title.
Brad: I just think they are the best team. And the West is garbage. You just need a good, well-rounded team. And this team is really tough. I really like their makeup. We know the Suns stars. But I like some of their other players. Cam Johnson can play in the league for a long time. He’s averaging 12 points a game shooting 46% and is a nice volume three-point shooter. He’s shooting 43% from three. Jay Crowder is a glue guy. So the Suns have excellent players beyond their stars. And you don’t need an All-Star team to win the West.
The Cavs at +300 to win the Central Division.
Brad: We gave it out. I think 20-something-to-one, I think 22/1. We gave it out at 13/1. Now it’s 3/1. I still like it. The Bucks have the hardest remaining schedule. The Bulls are third-hardest. The Bulls are dealing with injuries. The Cavaliers have the 23rd-hardest schedule. There gets to be a point where preseason forecasts go out the window. We’ve played almost 60 games. You can more or less say with the standard deviations that there’s no luck at this point. This is who the Cavs are, what their record says. Some sites have the Cavs as prohibitive favorites to win the division. I’m at 40%. The Bucks are the team that scares me but the Bucks have a tough schedule. I’m going to grab the 3/1 and take my chances.
Evan Mobley at minus-240 to win Rookie of the Year.
Brad: He’s going to win the award. You’re paying to have your money held until the winner is announced; but where are you getting that return. He’s played 49 games. If he reaches 60, he can’t lose. Mobley has changed the entire Cavaliers franchise. He’s had almost a Tim Duncan-like effect on the team. And he’s minus-240? Are you freaking kidding me? He has the stats, but he’s so much more than stats. Just from a defense perspective, he’s changed the entire culture. I think he wins unanimously.
With the Super Bowl barely in the rearview mirror, the Cowboys to win the Super Bowl next season at 18/1.
Brad: The fair value is 15/1. A big sportsbook offers a yes/no and the yes was plus-1200 to no was minus-1800. Which is basically saying the fair price is 15/1. I only am looking at the NFC. The AFC is too tough. Tampa Bay is obviously completely done. San Francisco with a new QB is a big question mark. The champion Rams were a this-year team; the window is closing on them. And the real elephant in the room is Green Bay; what are we going to get out of them now? They either trade Rodgers, meaning they are done. Or they keep him and they have the Davante Adams problem and their cap problem. Dak (Prescott) needs to play better, we know. But Dallas seems to have the clearest path right now.
For more picks in hockey, basketball and 2022 season Super Bowl odds, plus a recap of the Super Bowl and a post-Harden analysis of the Sixers, listen to the full Givin Futures podcast here.