One of my favorite weeks of the year recently arrived, the week the major sports books release their NBA season win total over/unders.
Yes I will concede, these bets for the most part are ‘sucker’ bets and definitely not the way to launch your professional NBA gambling career. However, every year there is just a walk up LOCK. Sometimes multiple. Last year it was those hopeless New York Knicks (the line was 40 1/2; they finished at 17) and this year I’ve found one that is fitting of that juicy gambling term: ‘LOCK.’
Place your bet before the season starts and sit back and watch your investment mature like a fine wine. That’s the way to play the long-term bets, just call it your NBA trust fund.
Sacramento Kings OVER 30.5 (WESTGATE Sportsbook)
There has been some heavy action on this line already with some of the big global sports books moving the line out to 32.5 wins already.
The best part? I think that’s still a great bet! (Note to our overseas and Nevada readers: Bet365 offers a free bonus bet for basketball betting.)
I’ve projected Sacramento winning 41 games during the 2015/16 NBA season, and here’s 5 reasons why:
1) Last season
The Sacramento Kings were pretty bad last year, I’ll happily concede, with three coaching changes only highlighting the dysfunction. However, they still did enough to win 29 games. They only have to marginally improve to clear the line this time around. 3 or 4 extra wins? You bet!
2) George Karl
He might be the fifth Kings coach since 2012, but George Karl is a VERY good basketball coach, make no mistake about that. His record speaks for itself.
He was the 2012/13 NBA coach of the year. He is an above average offensive coach and there are a lot of similarities between this Kings team and the Nuggets team he led to records above .500 eight years in a row in Denver.
Also, let’s not forget that he and DeMarcus Cousins are sweet now. Karl is sorry!
3) Roster improvements
Some fresh faces and some new blood free of a history in the often toxic ‘Kings culture’ is a great thing.
They’ve taken a gamble on Rajon Rondo and why not? It’s a one-year, $9 million deal that essentially carries no risk for them and also puts Rondo in a position where he MUST play well and he MUST buy-in to what they are doing if he wants to get paid well again. Darren Collison serves as a respectable back-up at PG.
Marco Belinelli brings the winning San Antonio culture, 3-point shooting and his crafty off the ball backdoor cuts (2nd only to my man Bojan Bogdanovic).
The #6 pick in the 2015 draft, Willie Cauley-Stein, is NBA ready and should be able to contribute from day one despite the fact he turned up out of shape (c’mon Willie!). It also doesn’t hurt to give Boogie Cousins another Kentucky running buddy.
Kosta Koufos joins the squad and is an above average back-up big man with two years of tough Memphis tutelage in his veins.
4) Natural improvement/Player development
Former 1st round pick Ben McLemore has two NBA seasons under his belt now but is still a baby at just 22 years of age.
He has a stack of natural improvement to come and in a more stable situation he looks set for a breakout year. George Karl would love McLemore to play a similar role to what JR Smith did for him during the Denver years. Only with less drama.
He shot the ball very well for a second-year player last season (35.8% 3pt) and he was also able to start in all 82 games.
Rudy Gay may have had himself a career year last year (no error). He scored a career-high 21.1 ppg and nearly met or exceeded his career-highs in 3-point shooting, FT shooting and assists.
And then there is DeMarcus Cousins. Actually wait, he deserves his own section.
Cousins is still a bit of head case and you know what, he always will be!
He’s a terrific player though and a character almost impossible not to like. Capable of doing things on the court most big men only dream of.
This is the year he asserts himself as one of the best 10 players in the league and emerges as a surprise MVP candidate.
He keeps getting better, and in-season stats of 25 ppg, 15 rpg and 1.8 bpg are not out of the question at all.
His time spent for a second straight year with Team USA over the summer, a nice little kicker to drive his growth this year, and if he doesn’t make the Olympic team it’ll be a horrible injustice.
Jake Henson works for a corporate bookmaker in Australia and will be providing regular NBA gambling advice throughout the season. Follow him on twitter and tweet him your thoughts on any betting market that tickles your fancy – @jwhenson_