Culture of Hoops

Longshot Bets to Win the NBA Championship

Image courtesy of Keith Allison/Flickr.

Image courtesy of Keith Allison/Flickr.

The 2015-16 NBA season tips off tonight and now is the best time to get optimum value with the NBA Championship futures odds. The notables, like the Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs, and Golden State Warriors, are at the top of the board at books like, but for those looking to do some sportsbook online betting, these three teams could cash in big for basketball bettors come the postseason:

New Orleans Pelicans (+3,000)
The Western Conference is a tough place to play, with challenges night-in and night-out. But the Pelicans showed they could survive the rigors of that slate and did test eventual champ, Golden State, despite a first-round sweep. Anthony Davis could be the best player in the Western Conference this season, making a huge impact on both ends of the floor, and he has a solid supporting cast – one that was marred by injuries last year – to keep New Orleans relevant in the super-competitive Southwest Division. Add in new head coach Alvin Gentry, who will kickstart this offense, and the Pelicans will make a run at one of the top four seeds in the West.

Milwaukee Bucks (+5,000)
The Bucks made a major improvement in 2014-15 and did so without a true superstar on the roster. Jabari Parker, who missed last season with a knee injury, looks to step into that role and gets some frontcourt help with the addition of free agent, Greg Monroe. Head coach Jason Kidd kept this young roster motivated and focused, especially on defense where Milwaukee allowed just over 97 points per game. The Bucks lost in six games to the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, but can build on that experience this coming season.

Memphis Grizzlies (+3,000)
Is this the year the Grizzlies finally break through in the West? Memphis has looked dominant at times, but hasn’t been able to win in the playoffs, getting shown the door by the Warriors in the second round last spring, losing three straight to Golden State after jumping out to a 2-1 series lead. The Grizzlies held on to center Marc Gasol and maintained their core players, so everything looks up to par in Memphis. Point guard Mike Conley is possibly the most underrated player in the NBA and the addition of Jeff Green late last year should show greater dividends this season, backing up what is now an aging frontcourt.

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