Footy season is done and dusted, which means it’s time to switch our focus to the basketball! NBA gets underway in late October, but the NBL starts this weekend! Here, we take a look at some of the popular futures markets for Australia’s top domestic league and provide our take on where the value lies. Good luck to everyone following our plays during the basketball season!
The most popular market is always the outright winner and this year it’s as an exciting race as ever. At the top of the market we’ve got Melbourne United who were last year’s runners-up, followed by the reigning champions in Perth Wildcats and semi-finalists Sydney Kings. These three teams were the standouts last year and are expected to be fighting it out for the silverware once again. For us, Melbourne United are the team to beat. They may have lost Casper Ware and Josh Boone, but they replaced them with two of the best players in the competition in Melo Trimble and Shawn Long who are both entering their prime. United may not be as good defensively as they were last season, but their offensive firepower will be unrivalled this season.
Another popular market is the Most Valuable Player award. Last year it was won by Sydney King’s Andrew Bogut in his first year in the league, and before that it was won by Perth Wildcat’s Bryce Cotton. Cotton is at the top of the market again this year and he’ll be our pick to win it. As mentioned above, he’s a previous winner, but he’s also won a Finals MVP’s as well. He puts up a lot of points and consistently makes highlight reel plays that give him a lot of attention. The Wildcats will likely be in the mix for best records in the league and Cotton will be their best player, so we’re happy to play him at near double figure odds.
Not a popular market by any stretch, but an interesting one that we see value in. Unlike the NBA, there aren’t too many ball dominant players in the NBL that rack up a ton of points and assists. However, last year we saw Brisbane Bullets’ guard Nathan Sobey average over five assists per game, which led the league by 0.5. Next was Casper Ware and third was Melo Trimble. Sobey will get the chance to run it back again this year in a Bullets side that isn’t brimming with stars, so he’ll get plenty of time with ball in hand. At a $5 chance, Sobey represents some pretty nice value to go back-to-back.
Last but not least we take a look at the NBL’s rebounding market. Last year it was MVP Andrew Bogut who averaged the most boards with 11.75 per game. He was the clear leader, finishing ahead of the now Melbourne United big man in Shawn Long who averaged 9.11 boards. Bogut is the odds-on favourite to lead this category again this year, but we’re keen to take him on. Shawn Long is now a part of a potent Melbourne United line-up that will play at a fast pace and allow him plenty of opportunity to clean the glass. Long was one of the standout big men in the league last year and will be looking to take the next step and get himself back on the radar of some NBA teams. Another thing that Long has on his side compared to Bogut is age and durability. There’s every chance big Bogey goes down hurt at some stage and doesn’t play enough to qualify, so getting a very generous $4 for Long here really appeals.
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