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NBA Futures Explained

NBA Futures Explained

While many fans and bettors focus on the nightly NBA action, there is definite interest in NBA futures. The NBA is an 82-game regular season followed by an exciting two-month playoff period which concludes with the NBA Finals between the Eastern and Western Conference winners.

There are many NBA futures bets available here on VIPCasino too. Prop bets, player bets and seeding bets are just some of the options available for the season. These bets do not have to be placed pre-season either. The odds will update throughout the season depending on player and team performance.

We have taken a look at some of the most popular futures bets available right now and explained them below.

Regular Season MVP

When it comes to futures bets, there are not many more popular than the MVP betting. The winner of the NBA MVP award is presented the Maurice Podoloff Trophy at the end of the regular season and it’s always a topic of heated debate throughout the season. Serbian big man Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets was the winner in the 2020/2021 season.

The award is decided by a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters based in the United States and here in Canada. Each member of the voting panel selects their ballot in order of 1-5 with the player with the most votes winning the trophy at the end of the season. The bet is as simple as it sounds. Place your bet on who you think will be chosen as the league’s MVP.

Recent winners include Stephen Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden, LeBron James and Kevin Durant. As mentioned in our 2022 MVP preview article, the winner of this award is often the standout player on the team with the most regular season wins.

Coach of the Year

Similar to the MVP award, the Coach of the Year is also decided by a panel vote. The winner of this award receives the Red Auerbach Trophy, named in honour of the late Boston Celtics coach who led that team to nine NBA championships between 1956 and 1966. There is a smaller pool to pick from for this wager and the odds at the top of the betting are often very tight right up until the announcement.

While franchise record and standings play a large part in deciding who is the best coach during the regular season, the award often goes to a coach who has contributed to a marked improvement to his team or performed above expectations. 2020/2021 winner Tom Thibodeau of the New York Knicks is an example of this.

Rookie of the Year

This one is always a popular wager for basketball fans as it requires some real knowledge and predictive skills to forecast the winner of the Rookie of the Year award. It’s hard to forecast how a newbie to the world’s elite basketball league will perform. Obviously teams put months of scouting and planning into practice when selecting their draft pick and it’s generally accepted at draft time that the No.1 pick is the best prospect.

However, that does not mean that they will come and hit the ground running in their first NBA season. In fact, the No.1 draft pick often ends up on one of the worst franchises in the league which is not an easy environment to come into. The Rookie of the Year is typically a player who contributes meaningfully to a playoff contending team. The roll call of recent winners confirms this theory.

  • 2021: LaMelo Ball (Charlotte Hornets, 10th in the Eastern Conference)
  • 2020: Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies, 9th in the Western Conference)
  • 2019: Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks, 14th in the Western Conference)
  • 2018: Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers, 3rd in the Eastern Conference)
  • 2017: Malcolm Brogdon (Milwaukee Bucks, 6th in the Eastern Conference)

These players all had major roles in teams playing at a high level (Doncic being the primary ball handler in a competitive team) and that trend looks likely to continue in the 2021/2022 season. Evan Mobley of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Scottie Barnes of the Toronto Raptors are the current favourites. Keep an eye out for their team’s final standing this season.

Conference Winners

Moving away from the individual awards and futures bets is the Conference Winner betting. One step removed from the NBA Finals, this is a prediction of who will come out of each conference. The odds for this bet will be updated as we move through the regular season and into the playoffs.

Home seeding can have a big part to play in the playoffs and this is something that should be considered when placing your bets. Typically the favourites will be the leading seed in each conference but monitor other trends and factors that may impact a team’s run to the finals.

Regular Season Wins

The Over/Under bets are probably the most popular pre-season NBA Futures bets. Bookmakers set the line on how many wins they predict for each team before the season begins. It’s then up to you as the bettor to make a judgement on whether they will be over or under this line.

These bets are popular as they can maintain your interest for the duration of the season. From time to time the odds will be updated and made available throughout the season for selected franchises.

To Make The Playoffs

Another futures bet based on team performance. This is a bet based on a prediction of season-long performance. Traditionally, the teams to make the playoffs were those who finished seeds 1-8 in their respective conferences. However, the recent addition of the play-in tournament has added an extra wrinkle to this.

The franchises that finish between 7-10 now participate in a play-in tourney before the playoffs begin. This has added an extra spice to the final few weeks of the season and also provides bettors with extra opportunities to grab an edge. Again, these odds are updated throughout the season.

NBA Futures Betting

There are many markets available to anyone who wants to place their NBA Futures bets here on We aim to provide you with the best online betting experience in Canada and provide up to date NBA odds for you to bet on. Read more NBA articles here.

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