NBA Betting — Five Situations to Watch After the All-Star Break

Teams regroup after the All-Star Game, as they have had a few days to evaluate things and take into consideration what kind of personnel moves they might make before the February 20 trading deadline.

With eight teams making the playoffs in each conference, the majority of teams in the league are in the running for post-season spots, so when NBA bettors look forward to the “second half” of the campaign (even though we are well beyond that point by now), they can think about these situations as they are unfolding and maybe have a chance to gain some value out of them.

Here are some of the teams worth keeping an eye on as we progress:

BROOKLYN NETS – futures betting odds

To Win NBA Title: +6500
To Win Eastern Conference: +3300

We don’t know how far the Nets can go, but they have gotten a lot of mileage out of the small lineup they have employed under Jason Kidd.

Kevin Garnett has moved from power forward to center, with Paul Pierce taking the other spot up front, even though no one is going to mistake him for a force underneath. Garnett gets to concentrate on defense a lot more. And this isn’t exactly a case of throwing some “mighty-mites” out there; Kidd puts some big people in the backcourt, like 6’7″ Shaun Livingston and 6’6″ Joe Johnson.

Will teams catch onto this and force Kidd to adjust once again?

Ultimately, will this be a better version of the Nets than the one that seemed to get stage fright in the playoffs last season? That is why they got those former Celtic veterans in the first place.

DETROIT PISTONS — futures betting odds

To Win NBA Title: +16500
To Win Eastern Conference: +8000

No one really expects that the Pistons are going to win the Eastern Conference. But they are very much in the running for a playoff spot.

Ownership did not expect this team to be in a virtual tie with Charlotte with the eighth and final position in the East. They expected the Pistons to be better, and why not? Moves were made to bring in Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings, and there was sort of a poor man’s Roy Hibbert in Greg Monroe as well as a rebounding machine in Andre Drummond. But they don’t seem to mesh together.

It has already cost coach Maurice Cheeks his job, and could do the same to Joe Dumars, who may have worn out his welcome. We will see what they do to get a little more cohesive.

NEW YORK KNICKS — futures betting odds

To Win NBA Title: +15000
To Win Eastern Conference: +7000

The Knicks were supposed to take a step forward, and fans certainly weren’t expecting to be 2.5 games out of the last East playoff spot.¬†Injuries have entered into the picture, but that’s not the whole story.

Generally it is not healthy when the coach has to read every day in the paper how close he is to getting fired, and that is what Mike Woodson has had to endure.

What will happen to Woodson? And would giving him the ax make any difference? We’ll see over the next ten days or so, and that may also determine what Carmelo Anthony (who can be a free agent this summer) decides to do. Can the Knicks ever win a title with him?

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER — futures betting odds

To Win NBA Title: +265
To Win Eastern Conference: +113

This is an intriguing situation, because Russell Westbrook is planning on getting back in action against the Miami Heat on February 20 (Saturday). He is a point guard, but he likes to take those scoring opportunities himself.

Is Oklahoma City better because it has another monster scoring option aside from Kevin Durant? Or is the team easier to defend if they know that Westbrook will often take the ball down the court and take things into his own hands?

If you take a look at NBA history, you will find that very few teams have won an NBA title with a “shoot-first” point guard. At this juncture, anything less than a championship is going to be a disappointment for the Thunder.

LOS ANGELES LAKERS — futures betting odds

To Win NBA Title: +80000
To Win Eastern Conference: +40000

We’re not even going to pretend that the Lakers can make the playoffs. Indeed, they are tied with the Sacramento Kings for the cellar in the West and are thirteen games out of a playoff spot. But they are going to be bringing back at least several players in the next couple of weeks, and they will be more respectable, without question, especially when we are talking about Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Nick Young, Steve Nash (who was back, but out again), Jodie Meeks, etc.

This team actually has a 28-23-2 record against the basketball betting odds, and what we’d be looking for is how the oddsmakers adjust and what kind of value this team, which has often been overpriced in the past, can possibly provide.

Get ready to come down the home stretch with some of the sharpest NBA odds and props, along with an aggressive bonus program, at Bookmaker!

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