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Jul 13, 2018
Jul 13, 2018

How the free agency window impacts NBA markets

Can the revival of showtime basketball beat the Dubs?

What to look out for next season

How will the changes impact the main NBA title contenders?

How the free agency window impacts NBA markets

Credit: Getty Images

LeBron James’ move to LA has had a big impact on the NBA but how has the free agency window changed the NBA outright market? What else should bettors be looking out for next season? Read on to find out.

How the free agency window impacts NBA markets

It’s still fresh but it has been an exciting free agency so far. Thanks to the main move by LeBron James the 2018–2019 NBA season is one to definitely keep an eye on in terms of betting.

A max contract of four years above the USD $150 million mark is beyond amazing for what the Lakers will get from LeBron and they also have signed the likes of Lance Stephenson as well.

The dust still has not settled from the LeBron signing and there is still ample time for other teams to make moves. From the look of things the Dubs (Golden State Warriors) are not looking bad either as they have added center DeMarcus Cousins.

Can the revival of showtime basketball beat the Dubs?

With the addition of LeBron James to the Los Angeles Lakers (8.980*), the revival of showtime basketball is bound to happen during the up and coming season.

While on the one hand I truly think that there still are a few missing components such as a Center for the team and the fact that Julius Randle, who just signed a contract with the New Orleans (NOLA) Pelicans, has left leaves the Lakers a little weak. However, the free agency time frame is still open and there are many other moves that will occur to strengthen them.

The big question mark to me is where Kawhi Leonard will end up at the end of free agency.

The fact that the NBA salary cap has increased by almost 102% from last season gives hope to teams seeking star and role players alike. This, in effect, also causes the betting odds on the league to become shuffled as well.

On the other side, the Golden State Warriors (1.495*) currently hold five All-Stars from last season. With the addition of Cousins at Center their aim is dead set on heading back to the NBA finals.

The big question mark to me is where Kawhi Leonard will end up at the end of free agency.

If he opts for an east coast team that would be an interesting situation, however, from rumours and talks I have had with league officials and other basketball analytics experts, there is still a chance that LA will make a play for him.

How are the other teams looking?

The Celtics (6.420*), Suns (225.960*), NY Knicks (338.330*), Orlando (450.770*) and Phoenix (225.960*) have all had some great off-season shifts so far, either through the draft or in the current free agency period.

Since the 2014–2015 season we have seen an increase in position-less basketball

GMs, special advisers and executives across the league have been scouting players far and wide (both international and domestic). To me, the first three teams I just mentioned have very good chances of making major strides during the season.

An element that is crucial for these teams is the health of the players. How players will respond to night in night out performances needs to be factored into expectations.

The schedule of 82 regular season NBA games is currently the most testing situation for basketball players. Their bodies do not get enough rest and they can struggle with fatigue at times.

Teams such as the Celtics, for instance, who lost Gordan Hayward at the beginning of last season to an injury as well as losing Kyrie Irving, still managed to make the playoffs in part due to role players stepping up and Coach Brad Stevens being able to use a good number of rotational players to score.

How does this all factor into betting? Well, the money line in the NBA and the total points both sides score is affected by this rotation.

The three-pointer has become the most common method of finding the highest percentage winning shot. That has led teams to switch strategy.

Since the 2014–2015 season we have seen an increase in position-less basketball, wherein speed, team play, hustle and health all are seen as key, ensuring that players score more.

As a result, the numbers scored per game across the board in the NBA since then has gone up which ensures that betting has been that much more interesting.

On any given night we have seen odd role players of the past become stars. Last season these players included Kyle Anderson with the San Antonio Spurs and Jaylen Brown the 21-year-old number three pick of the Celtics who became a sensation for Boston.

The hunger of players that are looking at earning big contracts in terms of the analytics involved in the game has a major impact. It is not a crazy notion to consider the evolution the sport has taken considering that the three-pointer has become the most common method of finding the highest percentage winning shot. That has led teams to switch strategy.

However, we cannot count out teams that now have the components to disrupt that game as of this season.

What to look out for next season

Without touching on the mathematics involved at all there is a lot to be excited about for next season:

  • James Harden is coming off an MVP season
  • The rookie class (including Ayton, Bamba, Bagley, Knox) has crazy big man talent
  • The downfall of the Cavs and the rise of LA
  • What will Porzingis do for NY and how will the Knicks respond to Fizdale?
  • Will the rebuilding Spurs be able to find stability?
  • The collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and how it will affect the league and the players – it’s an annual thing but it affects betting
  • The max. contracts signed this offseason and the restricted free agents looking to find a new home

How will the changes impact the main NBA title contenders?

Reviewing the odds regularly is always critical. It is important to make sure to check the current rosters as well as consider the players who could move teams and assess the potential impact they could have on the title challengers.

Game strategy is likely to see small shifts this season as more big men that can take mid-range shots are coming into the league. The three-point shot will not totally be ineffective but the number of shot attempts that guards will take might decrease slightly.

The Golden State Warriors, the revamped Los Angeles Lakers and Houston are the teams to keep an eye on but do not count the Celtics, NY, Orlando and Phoenix out from the championship race.

Philly (16.720*), Toronto (31.000*), OKC (45.740*) and Utah (92.740*) look to be reliable teams, to me, whilst Detroit (338.330*) will be a dark horse along with the Chicago Bulls (338.330*).

View the latest NBA championship odds.

Odds subject to change

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