Every year, the NFL season brings with it a wealth of wagering opportunities for fans. With many games taking place across the country, fans have the chance to bet on their favorite teams and players in different ways. Perhaps one of the most interesting sports betting events of the year is the NCAA basketball tournament, which pits two conference champions against one another in a battle for supremacy. Typically, these games are followed by parlay options, or “sharps” as they’re known, where participants can increase their winnings by taking advantage of certain situations and totals in the game.
Shannon Sharp is the founder of the sharp NBA team, while Skip Bayless is the legendary sports columnist for the paper of record, the New York Times. Together, they form a unique pair whose professional relationship began as adversaries in the sports world, then evolved into a mutually beneficial association between a sports handicapper and one of the most recognizable sports journalists of our time. Sharp launched his sports betting career after graduating from college, using his academic knowledge to study trends and stats in the NBA. The results of his laborious research eventually led him to found the sharp NBA team, which specialized in picking NBA games with profitable outcomes, usually resulting in a profitable return on investment for its members. Sharp is considered among the best at his job, routinely making bets on NBA games that nobody else in his office takes a shine to. He also uses his unique skillset to analyze upcoming games and handicap the outcomes, which he then passes along to his subscribers.
The relationship between Sharp and Bayless actually began back in the 1980s, when both worked for the Dallas Morning News. Bayless was a high school sports writer at the time, while Sharp was a senior writer for the sports department. In 1989, however, Sharp left the Morning News to start a competing newspaper in Dallas, the Dallas Observer. Bayless, who had also been considering an exit strategy from his native newspaper, was hired by the Observer to be its sports columnist. Today, Sharp and Bayless are among the best-known sports journalists in the country, and their unique combination of talent and experience has produced some of the most interesting odds on games throughout the NBA season. Here’s a look at what they’re betting on this year:
Shannon Sharp’s 2018 NBA Season Predictions
Shannon Sharp isn’t one to shy away from controversy, and his predictions for the upcoming NBA season are no different. The sharp NBA team founder made waves last year when he picked the wrong champion in each of the three major sports leagues. His baseball and hockey picks also proved to be bad choices, while his selection of the Green Bay Packers to upset the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL Playoffs was a bold call that didn’t pay off. After a turbulent 2018, Sharp is back with another round of picks, this time for the NBA. The first topic he broached had to do with the Golden State Warriors. In a recent interview with ESPN, he said, “They’re not as good as people think they are. I’ve got them opening the season at +200 odds to win the championship.” This is significant because it’s a whopping +200 odds, meaning that the bookmakers think the Warriors are only 200-1 to win the championship.
Although the odds are against the Warriors, they’re not the only team that Sharp has something brewing with. In an interview with Bleacher Report, he said, “I like the Los Angeles Lakers at +1000 odds to win the championship. I like their team a lot. I’ve got them winning the West.” The West is a much wider conference than the NBA’s traditional four corners, so this implies that Sharp sees room for the Lakers to grow and develop their own star players in the upcoming season. That said, the Lakers are a dark horse to win the championship this year because it’s highly unlikely that all of their star players will be available for the whole season. They’ll miss at least some time to meet with the military or take care of personal matters. The Lakers were actually one of the teams Sharp had originally selected to win the championship before changing his mind. The other two teams he had picked to win it are the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Utah Jazz.
Skip Bayless’ 2018 NBA Season Predictions
Skip Bayless, alongside Shannon Sharp, is one of the most successful sports journalists in America. The outspoken Bayless made his name at the New York Times, where he wrote about sports for the entire country to see. He’s been covering the NBA for more than 30 years, and his ability to predict the future of professional sports is unparalleled. For the past two NBA playoff seasons, Bayless’ picks have outperformed the collective wisdom of Las Vegas bookmakers, turning what would have been losing propositions into winning wagers. He’s back with more picks for the 2018-19 NBA season, this time focusing on a different kind of underperformance. Instead of picking teams that he thinks will underperform, Bayless is going the other way and picking the teams that he thinks will overperform. He also has some interesting comments about the state of pro sports in America.
When asked about the future of the NBA, both in terms of TV revenue and interest in the game, Bayless said, “I think it’s at a low ebb right now. I think the game is in a bit of a lull. It’s not growing. Kids aren’t playing it the way they used to. I don’t know if it’s because they’ve got other games to choose from, if it’s because they’re busy with other sports or if it’s because society is changing and they don’t have time to spend on one game. It’s really hard for a professional athlete to come back after a long time off, so I think it’ll take some time before we see any real return of interest in the NBA.”
What Are The Odds Of The NBA Finals?
With the NBA season now in full swing, it’s time to look at the current favorites and odds for the upcoming Finals. As mentioned above, both Sharp and Bayless have some intriguing takes on this year’s NBA season. One of the more popular odds for this year’s Finals has to do with the L.A. Lakers. According to existing odds, the Lakers are currently +1000 to win it all, followed closely by the Golden State Warriors at +200. The odds of the Finals being a rematch of last year’s championship are also getting shorter as more and more books are setting the stage for a third and decisive meeting between the two titans.
Why Is The 2019 NBA Draft So Exciting?
The NBA Draft is one of the most exciting events in the offseason. Not only do fans get to see some of the best young players in the world, but they also get to see teams select players that they hope will eventually develop into starters or significant contributors.
This year’s draft is particularly interesting because it’s shaping up to be one of the best classes in recent memory. The 2019 class is considered among the strongest in years, and a number of players could emerge as the next great superstar. Here are some of the more notable prospects:
- Deandre Ayton – Arizona
- Jaren Jackson – Clemson
- Mack Hollins – Memphis
- Jrue Holiday – UCLA
- Jonathan Isaac – Florida State
- Robert Dowd – Kentucky
- Jarrett Allen – Ohio State
- Willy Hernández – Chippewa (WIS)
- Charley Eckersley – Miami (Ohio)
Are There Any Strong Opinions About These Teams?
Another way to find out if you should be paying attention to a particular team is to check out what other people are saying about them. There are many good things that you can say about all of these teams, but there are also some things that you should probably stay away from. For example, if you’re in the habit of sharing your opinion about sports, you might want to hold off on saying anything about the Cleveland Indians. While not completely unlikable, the Indians have had some pretty poor results over the last few years, and a big rebound might not be in the works just yet. On the other hand, the other teams mentioned in this article have all had excellent seasons and look like they’ll be tough to beat in the playoffs. If you’re not sure whether or not you’ll like a team, it’s usually best to keep your opinion to yourself – at least until you’ve watched them play a few games.