BetPrep Givin’ Futures: Not Too Late To Bet Chicago Bulls Over 49.5 Wins?

DeMar DeRozan #11 of the Chicago Bulls shoots a free throw against the Charlotte Hornets during their game at Spectrum Center on February 09, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Bulls won 121-109.
Image Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Each week, BetPrep Sharp and NBC Sports Betting Analyst Brad Feinberg discusses expected win totals, division odds, championship favorites, and potential award winners with host and BetPrep Editor Michael Salfino of The Athletic and FiveThirtyEight. It’s the official futures podcast of BetPrep, a free sports betting research site that empowers bettors with the same tools both the sharps and the sportsbooks use.

Here are some highlights from the latest episode of the Givin’ Futures Podcast.

These NHL and NBA futures were originally discussed on Feb. 20, 2022. Odds may have changed since the podcast episode aired.

All odds via DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook as of 4 p.m. ET on Feb. 22. 

NBA Futures: Chicago Bulls

Zach LaVine #8 of the Chicago Bulls rests during a break in the game against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena on January 01, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Image Credit: G Fiume/Getty Images

The futures bet: Over 49.5 wins
The odds: -110
Where to bet: FanDuel Sportsbook

Brad’s Take: I actually got 48.5 when I first saw it. Now it’s 49.5. The Bulls are 38-21. As we record there are 23 games left. Do you think this team will go better or worse than .500? The Bulls are on pace to win 53 games. If they go 11-12, I lose. If they go 12-11, I win.

I have to think they can go at least 12-11. They do have the second hardest schedule in the NBA. So I get it. Even without Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso, I like the talent here. Coby White has been a revelation. I’m going to take my chance that they don’t play under .500 the rest of the way.

NBA Futures: Milwaukee Bucks

Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks reacts following a play during the second half of the game against the Charlotte Hornets at Spectrum Center on January 08, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Image Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

The futures bet: Under 50.5 wins
The odds: -115
Where to bet: FanDuel Sportsbook

Brad’s Take: This is a team that’s 36-24, which puts them on pace to win 49 games. The Bucks have to go 15-7 to hit the Over here. They have THE toughest remaining schedule in the NBA. Even with an average schedule, I would call shenanigans on a 56-win pace. This is not a 56-win team. I know they are the defending champs. They got fortuitous breaks last year and won. Clearly, they are a good team for sure, but they are not a dominant team like they need to be to go 15-7 with this remaining schedule. If they do, I’ll eat it. I’m taking Under 50.5 for Milwaukee all day.

NBA Futures: New Orleans Pelicans

Brandon Ingram #14 of the New Orleans Pelicans stands on the court during the first quarter of a NBA game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Smoothie King Center on November 22, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Image Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images

The futures bet: Under 34.5 wins
The odds: -110
Where to bet: DraftKings Sportsbook

Brad’s Take: They’re 23-36, on pace to win 32 games. To hit the over, they have to play like a 39-win team and they have a hard schedule. No freakin’ way. This may be my favorite one of these futures. I don’t think this team goes 11-12. I understand they got CJ McCollum. I’m not saying it’s a bad team. I’m really not. But they are much more likely to win 8, 9, 10 games than 11 or 12.  So I’m gonna take my chances and go Under 33.5.

NBA Futures: Toronto Raptors

Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors looks on against the Miami Heat during the first half at FTX Arena on January 17, 2022 in Miami, Florida.
Image Credit: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The futures bet: Over 44.5 wins
The odds: -128
Where to bet: FanDuel Sportsbook

Brad’s Take: The Raptors are good and have the 24th hardest schedule. So right off the bat, that’s a tremendous thing, right?  This team’s 32-25, on pace to win 46 games. And you’re telling me again, 25 games, dealer’s choice: they go 12-13 I lose and 13-12 I win. You’re saying the Raptors are not a .500 team, even with an average schedule? Sometimes it’s not that hard, man. These aren’t 100% of winning bets. But I think this bet certainly wins three out of five times.

All I’m trying to do is give everyone bets that clearly switch the edge from the house to the player. This bet and the other bets we talked about. I always say, “Show your work.” If you’re setting this line, if you’re a sportsbook, show your work. This team’s on pace to win 46 games and has an easy schedule and you’re saying they’re going to go 12-13. No.

NHL Futures: Edmonton Oilers

Evander Kane #91 of the Edmonton Oilers celebrates after a goal during the game against the Minnesota Wild on February 20, 2022 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Image Credit: Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

The futures bet: Oilers to win Pacific Division
The odds: +2,000
Where to bet: FanDuel Sportsbook

The odds for this future are all over the place. The Oilers are +1,200 to win the Pacific Division on DraftKings Sportsbook. That number is +1,100 on Caesars Sportsbook. It’s +2,000 over on FanDuel Sportsbook, which is a better price than what Brad found at the time of recording on Feb. 20.

Brad’s Take: This is a pizza bet. Don’t bet big on this. You’re going to probably lose. I just thought this line was a little bit too high. The Oilers are five points behind the Calgary Flames, and three points behind Vegas for the Pacific Division. There are still over 30 games left in the season. You want to give me 16/1 for a team that’s explosive with the top scorer and also the top player in hockey? The Oilers have the ability to get hot and score and dominate, possibly going on a streak similar to what Calgary just had.

The Oilers clearly should be a big dog but 16/1 is too high even though I have a big position on the Flames to win the division from weeks ago when we gave it out on the show. I believe this price should be closer to +900 or so for the Oilers to win the Pacific, so I see value in this bet.

Want More NHL & NBA Futures?

Just a reminder that these are highlights of a podcast recorded on Feb. 20. You can listen to the full Givin Futures podcast here. The podcast includes other future picks and also Brad’s pro tips for how to live-bet futures.