Two teams bounced from the basketball playoffs earlier than they hoped a year ago, the Spurs and Suns are expected by many NBA handicappers to take a step back in 2008-2009. The odds to win the championship for both teams reflect this, as they are significantly lower than in years past.
For Phoenix in ‘08, NBA betting lines could be far different than in years past. This will be its first season under new head coach Terry Porter, a former Detroit assistant with a defense-first reputation.
But with a revamped roster featuring last year’s trade acquisition Shaquille O’Neal, these Suns are poised to run less and run more traditional half-court offense. Going away from their bread and butter, which had pushed them into the NBA elite, is the primary reason for their expected downfall.
The Suns possibly boast the most physically-imposing frontcourt in the NBA, with star Amare Stoudemire lined up at power forward. For Suns’ optimists, it’s O’Neal’s presence in the interior that’s expected to help Stoudemire flourish this season, as teams will have a difficult time double-teaming one or the other down low.
Phoenix bettors will undoubtedly need this to be the case in order to cash a majority of their tickets in ‘08. For San Antonio, the season got off to a bad start for NBA betting fans before it even started when guard Manu Ginobili was injured in the off-season.
He won’t return until December, meaning NBA lines on the Spurs will also be considerably different early on. Aside from how they will replace their super-sub, the biggest issue facing San Antonio is its collective age.
The majority of the players in its rotation are in their 30s, so how much longer can the Spurs expect significant contributions from the likes of Michael Finley, Bruce Bowen, and Robert Horry? Adding 28-year-old guard Roger Mason in the off-season helped address this issue, but the Spurs are still a veteran-dominated team.
If they start to show their age, expect their NBA betting odds to be less favorable than they’ve been over the past few years.