Who Will Win the NBA Championship (the Canadian Perspective)

nba Jan 23, 2023

When it comes to betting on futures, do Canadian betting websites offer better values than American and international markets?  Let's examine Spreads.ca vs. some other top sports betting sites on the NBA odds.

Futures bets mean wagering on an upcoming outcome – usually several weeks or months ahead.

One of the most popular types of futures bets is wagering on which team will win the championship.

Now at roughly the midseason mark, current futures odds range from roughly +350 on the favourite up to +10,000 on the longshots.

What we want to know is – is it wise to bet certain teams at Canadian-based betting websites like Spreads.ca and others at American-based and international sports gambling sites?  Is there an inherent bias based on geography?  Let's assume you have multiple betting options – should you shop around and try to find the best number?  Obviously, the answer to this final question is – yes.

First, let's examine the ODDS TO WIN THE NBA CHAMPIONSHIP.  Keep in mind that wagering $1 returns the following prices:


Right now, the Boston Celtics own the NBA's best record at 35-12.  As the top seed, they clearly deserve to be favourites to win this year's championship.

However, there's an imbalance in the current futures odds which an astute bettor might be able to take advantage of.  Note that each conference sends one finalist to the best-of-seven championship series.  So, even if the Eastern Conference is perceived to have a stronger lineup of teams, all of that is null and void since only one of those teams will make it to the finals.  Hence, the Western Conference champion – no matter who it is – has an implied 50-50 shot of winning the title in a heads-up series.

Spreads.ca lists three of the top four favourites from the Eastern Conference.  This trio of powerhouses includes Boston, Brooklyn, and Milwaukee.  All three are 8-1 or less to win the title.  Combined, those three teams have roughly a 50 percent chance to win the the championship, according to the current numbers at Spreads.ca.  Frankly, this makes wagering on two of these three teams a very poor value.  We'll get to the exception in a moment.

Instead, the betting value on futures clearly is on any of the top Western Conference teams, most notably the Denver Nuggets, currently with the best record in the West at 33-14.  That's just 2 overall wins short of the Celtics.  Why?  The reason is simple – the Nuggets have a much easier path to the championship series.  While any of the East teams must maneuver a gauntlet of 3/4ths of the NBA's best talent according to betting markets, Denver's competition isn't nearly as strong.  So, they're odds at 9.00 (+800) is a superior value.

So, what about betting certain teams at Spreads.ca and the odds at other sites? We checked the numbers at several other sports books.  Sorry, but the Celtics are a very bad bet at Spreads.ca because +400 is available elsewhere (which is +350 at Spreads.ca).  However, the Canadian site is a huge bargain for betting on the Nuggets.  Prices at Denver are around the +600 mark at most other sites. Spreads.ca offers +800.  That is an exceptional opportunity.  It also means the market at Spreads.ca lags behind on some teams, which a smart bettor can jump on and get better odds.

The Nuggets aren't the only exceptional value.  Aside from Eastern Conference favourites being bad bets because of the concentration of top teams, if you like the Milwaukee Bucks to win it all, then Spreads.ca clearly offers a superior price.  Most other sites have the Bucks at +600.  Spreads.ca offers +800.

So, on just two teams (very good teams, at that) – Denver and Milwaukee are getting 25 percent more value at Spreads.ca than elsewhere.  Which leads one to ask – why would anyone bet these teams anyplace else?

As for geographical bias, one expects the popular teams to get more action, which means the odds aren't as good for impartial bettors.  There's only one NBA team in Canada – the Toronto Raptors.  Surprise!  There's no difference in odds on the Raptors at Spreads.ca than a consensus of other sites.  They're pretty much 100-1 across the board right now (that could shift significantly in just a few games, so keep in mind futures odds are very transitional from night-to-night).

The bottom line is – shop around.  However, there's clearly some exceptional values on futures on a few top teams in the NBA at Spreads.ca, which includes Denver and Milwaukee.

Upcoming:  We will post a similar comparison of NHL odds and Canadian bias shortly.