Written by 2:09 pm Value bets and sports thoughts • 241 Comments

A Different Kind of NBA

In the 1980s, the Lakers or Celtics won 8 of 10 titles. Then, over a 16 year stretch, only the Bulls, Pistons, Rockets, Spurs and Lakers won championships. Then we saw the dominance of Lebron and Steph.

But now, the NBA is wide open. For the better part of the NBA’s history, had you made a deal with someone where you get to pick the top two teams and they get the field, you’d be the overwhelming favourite to win the NBA finals. That era is long gone.

In fact, the two faves right now are the Bucks and Celtics, both of them are in the same conference and they still have to contend with the 76ers and Cavs (not to mention the Heat and Knicks) – just to get to the finals. Even if you figure out who wins the east, they will be in a tight matchup against whoever emerges from the west. The NBA has achieved parity.

What does this mean to a sports-bettor? There are no locks in sports, even more so in the NBA today. A single injury, acquisition, or hot team can swing the balance of power. It makes for a more exciting playoff; Steph’s Warriors, Lebron’s Lakers, Kawhi’s Clippers, and Doncic’s Mavs could all have to play the play-in and a couple may not even qualify for the actual playoffs.

Betting on a fave to navigate these tough fields is a mug’s game. If you can find a tier two team clicking at the right time, you may want to ride them to glory. Otherwise, accept the parity and enjoy the playoffs knowing it’s anyones championship to win.

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Last modified: March 22, 2023