The Pelicans might be the best long shot bet for the NBA title

Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans. Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans (Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)
Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans. Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans (Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports) /

The New Orleans Pelicans will head into next season with Zion Williamson and Dyson Daniels added to a roster that made the playoffs.

Expectations are high, and many believe the Pels will be the “friskiest” team in the NBA, the one that makes the big leap from fringe playoff contender to potentially challenging for a title.

But let’s face it, New Orleans is still considered a long shot to win a title, and if you are someone who likes to gamble, that may be a good thing.

New Orleans Pelicans: Best long shot bets for the NBA title

According to WynnBet, the Pelicans are being given +4000 odds to win the NBA championship next season.

The top teams are the Boston Celtics (+400), Golden State Warriors (+650), and the Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns, who are both being given +700 odds to win the title.

The Pelicans aren’t even in the next tier, which includes the Nets, Lakers, Heat, 76ers, Nuggets, Mavericks and Grizzlies.

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That seems absurd to me, as the Pelicans could easily be as good or better than any of that tier and probably belong with them in the +2000 range.

Instead, they are in the tier below with the Raptors, Hawks and Timberwolves, just ahead of the Chicago Bulls.

The Pelicans probably are a notch below the top teams in the Western Conference, but after that, it is pretty wide open and they have as good a shot as anyone else, maybe better. No one in the West is adding a player of Zion’s caliber, and when you factor in whole seasons from CJ McCollum and Larry Nance Jr., the Pels could be very dangerous next season.

Long shot bets are long shots for a reason, they are unlikely to pan out, but I’d say a small bet on the Pelicans to win the title is a great value bet considering the odds.

A $25 bet right now would net the bettor a $1,000 payoff if the Pels win the title, which is not a bad return. I think that New Orleans is better than the books are giving them credit for, and that they could definitely contend if things bounce right in the West.

Any bet is probably a sucker’s bet at this point in the offseason, as teams are not even done filling out their rosters, but by mid-season these odds could go WAY down, so now might be the best time to get in on the Pelicans before the rest of the league figures it out.

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