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The PUP List’s NBA Season Preview: Futures Odds Picks

By: Alex Marcheschi

I wish I had waaay more time to do this, but I’m going to have to keep it short and sweet. Boots and I are going to get an NBA podcast going eventually, if you’re reading this and you love the NBA, slide into my DMs and you can come on the pod. I’m going to give my picks in the form of futures bets.

Futures odds are gambling lines, they’re the best preseason rankings out there, because there’s big money at stake. Vegas has to get those right, or they could lose big time. Below, when you see “James Harden +1000” that means the payout on betting Harden to win MVP is 10-1.

I’m a big value guy, so my pick might not necessarily be the most likely to happen, but it will give you the best bang for your buck. Unlike the rapper Future, my Futures picks won’t leave you a cuckold.  Sorry, I had to make that joke.


James Harden +1000

harden eye.gif

James Harden’s new coach is Mike D’Antoni. Yes, that Mike D’Antoni. The one who orchestrated the Suns dynamic offense and somehow got Steve Nash 2 MVPs! He’s going to be able to add another MVP to his resume this year with that boiiii James Harden. Harden is the nastiest guy in the game, in my opinion. I’m not saying he’s the best, I’m saying he’s the nastiest. There’s a difference, you can’t guard Harden like you guard everyone else. Just can’t, he’ll make you look dumb:

Dame Lillard +2000

Dirty Dame. What a dawg. He’s been feelin’ himself this offseason, check out this quote:

“I want to win MVP,” Lillard said when pressed to share his personal goals for the season. “If we come out and do the things we’re capable of doing and we win games. Then that means my performance will be at a level of MVP.”

I buy it, this guy played last night and he did some dirty things. (I’m really trying to get the “Dirty Dame” nickname to stick). Look at these numbers:

I’m not saying he’s going to definitely be the MVP, but I am saying +2000 is stealing money.


Russell Westbrook +350: Russ is going to go absolutely buckwild this year, but the question is, how many wins can he lead them to? Because that matters for voters. I don’t see the Thunder being good enough to garner the MVP for Russ and that payout isn’t good enough.

LeBron James+380: He’s due, let’s just say that. The voters might be hungry for that storybook stuff and finally turn back and vote for LBJ again. Anytime you can get those type of odds when LeBron is involved, ya gotta sniff it.

O/U Win Total Picks

Nugs over 37 wins


Love these guys. Gallo is a sav when he’s healthy. Faried is still a beast down low. And the kicker here is the development of Emmanuel Mudiay, I’m all in on his future and I predict a second year BOOST in his stats. Gimme that over, they can definitely win more than 37 games, no matter how good the West is.

Pelicans over 36.5 wins

That’s all you need to know, Lance + AD = Over City, USA. Also, sup Buddy Hield:

Raptors under 50 wins

Sorry Raptors fans, KD just jinxed your ass hard with that quote. Kiss that relationship goodbye, here comes a underwhelming season where Lowry and Derozan start to hate each other KD & Russ style.

Bulls under 50 wins

Hammer that under. Wade wants to shoot more threes now? Season’s over already. Rondo, Wade and Jimmy Butler doesn’t even sound good as a 2K roster. All of them have egos and shit is gonna go south quick. Also, Hoiberg doesn’t even have the juice to tell Wade what to do. No way he listens to him.

Pacers over 45.5 wins

The Pacers now have Nate McMillan as head coach and their roster is entirely different. They added Jeff Teague, Al Jefferson, Georges Niang and Ty Lawson. Paul George is still there and that’s what matters most. This is gonna be some fun basketball to watch and if the Bulls are gonna suck, that would help Indy get over that 45.5 mark. I love it. PG13 is going to have his best season yet, almost threw him in the MVP talk, but it was too outlandish.

Assists Leader

Rubio +1000

Don’t give that young boi Rubio weapons now! The T-Wolves are one of the most exciting young teams in the league now and he has weapons galore. Karl Towns, Wiggins, Dieng, Shabazz, LaVine, Pek and they added Kris Dunn. Steal of the draft. Alley oops for days out there. Love the value on Rubio.

Points Per Game Leader

Harden +240

jamesy boy.gif

That’s right, he’s back…the fact that odds are so low on this, but pretty solid for the MVP is loophole central. You could easily hit both here, read what I wrote about it during the summer here.

Rebounds Per Game Leader

Anthony Davis +2500


This guy. This guy will be back with a vengeance. That injury last year sucked, everyone thought that was the year AD would evolve into a Charizard type of talent that the league has never seen. The injury ruined it and now people are sleeping on the boi, here’s some advice: don’t schleep.

Karl-Anthony Towns +2000


What happens when a 7 foot dude has handles like a shooting guard and a gigantic frame? What happens when he snipes jumpers? What happens when KG mentors him for a year? A lab mutant. That’s what happens. This kid is the future, he gets after it and with all those young guys out there shooting all the time, he’ll be eating on the boards.

Defensive Player of The Year

Avery Bradley +1200


The most slept on guy in the league. Brad Stevens has that roster tuned up so nice right now and Avery is going to thrive more than ever. Here’s what he told the Boston Herald:

“Hell yeah I can get better,” he said. “My passing-lane defense can be so much better. I watch film and I think, ‘How could I have not got that steal?’ I see it and I can make the play, but I don’t react fast enough. Sometimes I do, and sometimes I don’t. I have to always be in that mindset. Sometimes Lebron (James) and those guys, (Marcus) Smart, they master that aspect of defense. Tony Allen, getting into the passing lanes. That’s my next step.”

If he does that, it’s over.

To Make The Playoffs

Nets +2000

This is my boldest pick by a landslide. Brook Lopez is still in Brooklyn, but here’s the kicker: they added Jeremy Lin. Yes, the roster is not great. But, they have so much young talent and these guys aren’t raw. They’re smart, strong and down to play some team basketball. Check out these college legends on the squad: Isaiah Whitehead, Greivis Vasquez, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Sean Kilpatrick and Caris LeVert. That’s decent. The east SUCKS again, and anytime a team gives the reigns to Jeremy Lin, you have to ride it out. The thrill is worth it, Linsanity remains the best thing to ever happen. Big Nets guy now, big Nets guy.

To Win it All

Cavs +350

cavs hahahaha.gif

Easy. Money. We already saw the Cavs smoke the Knicks and the Spurs smack the Warriors by 29 at Oracle. Just kidding, neither of those things matter.

What does matter is that this is the year Draymond Green completely loses it. KD is going to steal so many of his looks and he won’t be able to handle it. The Cavs are more mature, stronger and extremely calculated.

LeBron is running the Cavs like a mob boss, as Jay-Z said, “we just call the shots by simply moving our thumbs.” When LeBron’s Samsung isn’t both literally and figuratively blowing up, he’s shooting texts around making shit happen. The additions of Birdman and Dunleavy are huge. Nobody messes with Birdman and they can sick him on KD or Dray. The loss of Delly hurts, but it’s not that big. Dunleavy leaves it all on the court and can nail threes.

Also, let’s not write the Warriors into The Finals just yet, the Spurs will be dangerous even without Duncan and the Clippers are always just one step behind. Who knows, but the Warriors are -170 to win it all and that’s not worth it.

ps – Kyrie is going to prove that he’s actually better than Steph this year.





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