The 2020-21 NBA season is coming up quicker than you might expect. After all, the offseason has been greatly reduced this year by the changes in schedule. As a result, those who like to make futures bets are probably hurrying to make their selections for the upcoming season, and we’re here to help.
The NBA is one of the most popular of all sports leagues around the world. As a result, many folks are looking forward to the start of the upcoming season, arriving this year three days before Christmas on December 22. At that point, individual game betting will probably dominate the conversation among real-money sports bettors.
But now, right before the season begins, is the time to think about individual players futures bets. For those who don’t know how that works, you are essentially speculating on how a single player will perform during the upcoming season. You make the bets before the season begins, and, if you win, can collect your winnings at the conclusion of the season.
Best Bets for Individual Players’ NBA Futures
These bets are based on the statistics that a player puts up during a season. You’ll see player futures set up for many of the most widely-tracked NBA futures bets, such as points, assists, rebounds and blocks. Oddsmakers at top gambling sites set these bets up as over/unders, with the oddsmakers setting a number and you betting on whether the player will go over or under that average when all is said and done.
In many ways, these individual players bets can be a more solid investment than any other type of NBA bet. When you’re betting on individual games, there is so much that is left up in the air that can cause variability. A star player can get hurt, one team can just have a hot shooting night, or any other kind of one-night occurrence can come up that can unexpectedly affect the outcome of a game and upend all the planning you did for your wager.
But You Can Base Your Individual NBA Futures Bets on Something a Bit Firmer
Since we’re talking about season-long bets, any game-to-game or week-to-week surprises will tend to even out in the end. Even a player getting hurt won’t be that damaging to your bet, since the over/unders are based on averages per Game, not totals for the year.
With that in mind, we’re here to tell you about the best individual player futures bets that you can take advantage of in the upcoming 2020-21 season. As a matter of fact, we’ll give you one of these bets for each of the 30 NBA teams. Then we’ll tell you our reasoning on why we like the over or the under in each case.
Best Individual Player Futures Bets for the 2020-21 NBA Season
Boston Celtics: Jaylen Brown (Points per Game)
Over 21.5: -115
Under 21.5: -115
Brown is coming off a breakthrough fourth season in which he posted career highs in every category. He raised his scoring average to 20.3 points per Game, which was nearly six per Game higher than his previous best. And Brown is only entering his age 24 season.
Without the ball-dominant tendencies of Kyrie Irving, Brown found far more opportunities. Gordon Hayward is now gone to Charlotte, meaning Brown will be relied upon even more for scoring. And he could really boost his total early in the year while Kemba Walker sits out with injury.
Brooklyn Nets: Kyrie Irving (Points per Game)
Over 24.5: -115
Under 24.5: -115
Irving played only 20 games in his first season in Brooklyn, but he averaged a career high 27.4 PPG when he did play. Of course, he did that without the presence of Kevin Durant, who is slated to suit up right from Opening Night for the Nets. That means Irving will have to share the load somewhat.
That should mean a little bit of a drop-off in the scoring department. But even if he falls two points from his previous level, he still comes out with the over. Look for this to be a lethal two-headed monster all year long in Brooklyn.
New York Knicks: Mitchell Robinson (Blocks per Game)
Over 2.5: +160
Under 2.5: -200
Robinson is a stat-head’s dream, as he fills categories like blocks and field goal percentage at extreme rates. He does all this in very limited minutes, in part because he commits so many fouls. Still, even at a two-year career average of under 22 minutes per Game, he sits at 2.2 blocks per Game.
There seems to be less competition for playing time for him in New York at the center position. It’s true that new coach Tom Thibodeau will likely be less willing to put up with Robinson’s inconsistencies. But if Robinson can just get to 25 minutes per Game, he’ll sail past the marker, at a nice price too.
Philadelphia: Ben Simmons (Assists per Game)
Over 8.5: -115
Under 8.5: -115
Simmons is another guy playing with a new coach, as Doc Rivers takes over to try to correct a somewhat dysfunctional squad. As for Simmons, he’s coming off somewhat of a lost season due to injury. The closest he has come to 8.5 assists per Game mark was the 8.2 he averaged in his rookie year.
Simmons has seen his assist level stagnate a bit since then, even as his shots per Game have dropped. If anything, the feeling is that Rivers might ask him to do more scoring this year. If that’s the case, it’s hard to see him get to the number required. This all could change if the 76ers trade for James Harden.
Toronto: Pascal Siakam (Points per Game)
Under 23.5: +115
Siakam’s first year as the go-to guy in Toronto went pretty swimmingly, and included a career-high in the points department at 22.9. It was only in the postseason where his level of play dropped. And that hangover could conceivably carry over into this season.
But it’s more likely it was just a stumble. Remember that this is a guy who is relatively new to the sport, so he is improving at a faster rate later in his career than others, who have already levelled off by that point. And he should get more opportunities this year, considering the Raptors changes at the center position should mean more usage for Siakam.
Chicago: Zach LaVine (Points per Game)
Over 25.5: -115
Under 25.5: -115
LaVine is clearly the offensive stalwart, and that is only becoming more solidified as time goes by. You could make a case that Coby White being installed as the full-time point guard could cut into LaVine’s opportunities. But he still should be the bell cow in terms of usage.
The concern is that he might not be in Chicago for the entire year. This is a team that isn’t going anywhere in the East, and LaVine, still only 25, could be the trade piece that returns the team the kind of youth and draft capital that they would need to rebuild proper. And if he leaves, it will likely be to a contender who doesn’t need him to score so much.
Cleveland: Andre Drummond (Rebounds per Game)
Over 14.5: -115
Under 14.5: -115
Drummond remains the gold standard for NBA rebounders. He has won the rebounding title in four of the last five seasons, including last season at 15.1 per Game. The Cavaliers don’t have any reason not to play him for the bulk of each game, so there are no playing time concerns.
But it is a bit worrisome that he only averaged 11.1 rebounds in the eight games he played with the Cavs last year after he was traded by Detroit. Granted, that’s a small sample size. But it could point to some hidden reason why he might struggle to get to that lofty number this time around.
Detroit: Killian Hayes (Assists per Game)
Over 4.5: -115
Under 4.5: -115
Trying to speculate on the performance of a 19-year-old kid in the NBA seems like a tough road to do down. But in Hayes case, it’s all about the opportunity. There have already been indications that the Pistons are going to let him roll as their starting point guard.
Granted, Derrick Rose will get a lot of playing time, but he’s a major injury risk. And there certainly could be times when Hayes and Rose share the floor. Considering that he averaged over six assists a game in the European Cup last year, it looks like Hayes could clear the over hurdle as an NBA rookie.
Indiana: Victor Oladipo (Points per Game)
Over 19.5: +100
Under 19.5: -130
Oladipo was clearly a shell of himself when he returned from injury down the stretch for the Pacers. He looked nothing like the guy who enjoyed a career year in 2018-19. Now it’s just a question of which version of Oladipo we get this time around.
While Oladipo struggled last year, T.J. Warren became an electrifying scorer in the bubble. Consider also that Domatas Sabonis, Malcolm Brogdon and Myles Turner will also get their touches in the Pacer system. That means a lot of mouths to feed and a balanced scoring attack, which makes the favorite under the play with Oladipo.
Milwaukee: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Rebounds per Game)
Over 13.5: -115
Under 13.5: -115
The Greek Freak just signed a supermax contract to stay with Milwaukee, so it appears he was happy with the offseason moves they made. It also gives him a chance to deliver a title without having to join up with other superstars to do it. That would make him a rarity in today’s game.
Giannis set a career-high in rebounds last year at 13.6, which put him barely over the mark. The worry is that the Bucks could start to manage his load ever so subtly and reduce his minutes per Game now that they know he’ll be around a long time. As a result, a slight dip in that lofty rebounding total could be coming.
Atlanta: Trae Young (Points per Game)
Over 27.5: -115
Under 27.5: -115
Young is coming off a monster second season, at least in the statistical sense. His 29.6 PPG average was more than ten points higher than it was a rookie. But he was often the only show in town, especially while his running mate John Collins was suspended early in the year.
Collins is back for what we’ll presume will be a full year, and he is joined by a huge influx of free agent talent, including Danilo Gallinari and Bogdan Bogdanovic, two excellent scorers. The Hawks should be a better team this year. And if they’re better, it will mean Young isn’t doing quite as much.
Charlotte: LaMelo Ball (Assists per Game)
Over 6.5: -115
Under 6.5: -115
Ball is one of the most polarizing players to come into the league in many years. Many see him as a next-gen point guard who makes everybody around him better. Others seem as immature and the possessor of an ugly outside shot.
The Hornets aren’t going to worry too much about the outside shots, as Ball should get 30 minutes a game at the very least. With that in mind, the assists-per-minute he would need to get to 6.5 shouldn’t be too daunting. There is an outside shot that this kid is among the league leaders in the category when all is said and done.
Miami: Bam Adebayo (Rebounds per Game)
Over 10.5: -115
Under 10.5: -115
Jimmy Butler got the headlines and Tyler Herro shined in the postseason. But it was Adebayo’s stunning improvement that made the biggest difference in the Heat’s surprising season. And the feeling is that there could be more where that came from, especially in the rebounding department.
When you look at the players surrounding Adebayo in potential Heat lineups, there aren’t any who stand out as even above-average rebounders. That means the onus will be on him to clean the glass, something he is perfectly capable of doing. Look for him to improve upon the 10.2 RPG he posted a year ago.
Orlando: Aaron Gordon (Points per Game)
Over 15.5: -115
Under 15.5: -115
Gordon has bit of a volatile player within seasons, although his overall numbers usually come out around the same. The hope, at least for Orlando fans, is that he can put his hit stretches together more consistently and come away with an All-Star season. Certainly, he alternated the low with the high in his 2019-20 campaign.
There is a void for scoring on this Orlando team. Guys like Evan Fournier and Nikola Vucevic will get theirs, but they are not light-it-up types. The opening is there for Gordon to bust through this season once and for all.
Washington: Bradley Beal (Assists per Game)
Over 4.5: -130
Under 4.5: +100
Beal has made the transformation from shooter to all-around player in spectacular fashion. He was everything for the Wizards last year, and he ended up with his best stats ever. Not only did he soar above 30 points per Game, but his assists came in at a career-high 6.2 per Game.
This year, Russell Westbrook joins the team, and, considering his triple-double tendencies, he will certainly cut into Beal’s counting stats. But it’s hard to imagine Beal the playmaker going away completely. He should have no trouble exceeding the posted assists number.
Denver: Nikola Jokic (Points per Game)
Over 21.5: +100
Under 21.5: -130
Jokic started last season slow, in large part because he was a bit out of shape. But as the season wore on, he started to round into top form. And, after slimming down during the in-season hiatus, he was brilliant in the bubble.
Considering he only averaged 19.9 PPG a year ago during the regular season, you might think that it would be difficult for him to get to the projected number above. But when you look at his playoff numbers of over 24 points per Game, you see what you can expect from him this year. He could be an MVP candidate in 2020-21.
Minnesota: Anthony Edwards (Points per Game)
Over 12.5: -115
Under 12.5: -115
The top pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, Edwards seems to enter into a solid position for immediate playing time. It’s expected that he could carve out a lot of minutes at the small forward spot while also rotating in as the off-guard as well. 28 minutes a game would seem to be a modest estimate.
The problem his playing time might not be all that usage-heavy. Karl-Anthony Towns should be the offensive focus, while D’Angelo Russell will be the #2 scoring option. That means Edwards will have to be mighty efficient to get to 12 points a game, and NBA rookies aren’t often known for their efficiency.
Oklahoma City: Al Horford (Points per Game)
Over 13.5: -115
Under 13.5: -115
Horford is one of those guys whose effectiveness on the floor isn’t quite captured by the stats that he puts up. He goes from a situation where he was the #4 or #5 option at times in Philly, to a spot with the Thunder where they’ll need him to score. After Shae Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City has few proven options.
But that might turn out to be a blessing and a curse for Horford’s scoring potential. The Thunder will likely have a losing record and be well out of the playoff picture come trading deadline time, which means that Horford might go right back to his time as a complimentary piece if he is moved. He would have to bank a lot of scoring before that to make the number needed for the over.
Portland: Damian Lillard (Points per Game)
Over 27.5: -115
Under 27.5: -115
Logo Lillard is coming off his finest season, an amazing year in which there seemed to be no stopping him.
Now come the rumors that he is prepared to extend his already-legendary range to half-court. How do you stop that?
His 30 points a game last year were easily a career-high; before that, he had never done better than 27 PPG. The fact that Jusuf Nurkic will be around all year could cut into his totals slightly. But this guy has proven time and again it’s not a good idea to bet against him.
Utah: Rudy Gobert (Blocks per Game)
Over 2: +100
Under 2: -130
They don’t call him the Stifle tower for nothing. For the past six years he has come in with at least two blocks per contest. Still only entering his age 28 season, it’s hard to imagine him slowing down now.
Granted, last year was a bit of a slow year for him, as he averaged right on that number of two BPG. In addition, Derrick Favors, another pretty good shot blocker, returns to the fold, even though it’s doubtful he’ll be on the floor at the same time as Gobert too often. Look for Rudy to challenge for the league lead as he plays for a contract.
Dallas: Luka Doncic (Assists per Game)
Over 8.5: -125
Under 8.5: -105
Doncic is the pick by many to win the NBA MVP in just his third season in the league. And part of the reason for that optimism is his ability as a passer. He averaged an impressive 8.8 assists per Game a year ago.
There is a bit of a worry in this department that his numbers will take a little hit if Kristaps Porzingis misses considerable time. Right now, he is scheduled to come back in January, but that’s very much in the air. If his injury should linger, Doncic might have to take on a heavier scoring role, which will limit his assist opportunities.
Houston: James Harden (Points per Game)
Over 32.5 (-115)
Under 32.5 (-115)
Before you consider estimating how much Harden will be scoring per Game, consider first the uncertainty surrounding his situation. Many NBA betting sites are giving odds on where he will be playing on Opening Night. He hasn’t shied away from letting people think he wants out of Houston.
If he were assured of staying with the Rockets all season long, he would breeze to the over. But if he were to end up in Brooklyn, Milwaukee or Philadelphia, three potential landing spots, the other big names on the roster would limit his scoring. And it’s seeming more and more likely that he’ll be on the move.
Memphis: Ja Morant (Points per Game)
Over 21.5 (-115)
Under 21.5 (-115)
Morant exceeded all expectations in his Rookie of the Year campaign. But the over/under line here is a full four points higher than what he managed last year.
Can he make that big of a leap into Year 2, at least scoring-wise?
The argument for this happening is based on the fact that the Grizzlies didn’t add any scorers, and their #2 option, Jaren Jackson Jr., could miss till January. But the concern is that Morant won’t sneak up on anybody this year. To get to 21-plus per Game, he’ll have to sacrifice a lot of efficiency and, quite possibly, that wouldn’t be what’s best for the team.
New Orleans: Zion Williamson (Points per Game)
Over 25.5: +130
Under 25.5: -160
It’s time to let Zion loose after he was restrained by injury and conditioning concerns as a rookie. There is no reason for the Pelicans to not find out what he can do in 30 minutes or more of game time. And that’s where Williamson should soar on the scoring front.
Still, 25 points per Game is a lot. He averaged over 22 in around 27 minutes of play a year ago. If you extrapolate that to about 32 minutes per Game, he is right about at the number. But then you have to factor in natural improvements to his game, which should push Zion over the top.
San Antonio: LaMarcus Aldridge (Points per Game)
Over 19.5: -160
Under 19.5: +130
Is it possible that Aldridge is entering his 15th season in the league? He has been one of the most consistent players in that time, so consistent that he’s almost underrated. Last year’s PPG of 18.8 was right in line with the range of 17 to 23 points per Game where he’s lived most of his career.
Gregg Popovich has already talked about the fact that Aldridge will be asked to shoot more threes this year, which should help him out. San Antonio is lacking in any other scorer types besides DeMar DeRozan, who is a possible trade candidate. It looks like Aldridge can exceed expectations one more time.
Golden State: Andrew Wiggins (Points per Game)
Over 19.5: +100
Under 19.5: -130
Wiggins frustrates people because he scores “empty” points, without contributing much else to the flow of the game. But that’s more a concern for Fantasy basketball players. All you have to worry about is as a futures bettor is whether he can get to that number.
Remember that Steph Curry will be in the fold for the entire year (and many years to come), and he will be the high scorer on this team. But you also have to remember that Klay Thompson is out again, which puts Wiggins back in line to be the #2 guy in a wide-open offense. He should be able to clear 20 PPG with room to spare.
Los Angeles Clippers: Paul George (Points per Game)
Over 23.5: +100
Under 23.5: -130
George’s first season with the Clips did not turn out like many had hoped. He missed a good chunk of time at the start of the season, and then flopped somewhat in the playoffs. His scoring average dipped six-and-a-half points from his last year in Oklahoma City.
Still, he is completely healthy heading into this, his age 30 season. And before last year, he had gone four years in a row at over 23.5 PPG. The feeling here is that George, armed with a new contract, answers his critics with a fine comeback season.
Los Angeles Lakers: Anthony Davis (Points per Game)
Over 25.5: -115
Under 25.5: -115
We found out in a big why LeBron James wanted Davis so badly to join him with the Lake Show. Davis, to his credit, didn’t wilt under the pressure of playing for a real contender for the first time in his career. His first-year average with the Lakers was a robust 26.1.
It’s likely that the Lakers are more proactive with load management for Davis this year. The key will be whether that means missing more games (which wouldn’t hurt his average) or playing less minutes (which would.) In addition, LA has added a bit more in the way of scoring as complimentary pieces to LeBron and him.
Phoenix: DeAndre Ayton (Points per Game)
Over 20.5: -115
Under 20.5: -115
Lost in the shuffle a bit with Devin Booker’s superb play was Ayton’s own excellence in the Suns unbeaten bubble run at the end of the regular season. Considering he had missed a good chunk of the season with suspension, it was encouraging to see him improve, even with the possibility of rust being a factor. By the end of the year, he looked every bit the top pick in the draft, which he was in 2018.
Now he gets to try to ascend to All-Star status. He is obviously the #2 scoring option behind Booker, and Chris Paul will score more than Ricky Rubio did a year ago. But Ayton is simply too good not to take a big leap from the 18-plus points he averaged a year ago.
Sacramento: Marvin Bagley (Points per Game)
Over 16.5: -130
Under 16.5: +100
Bagley’s sophomore season was pretty much ruined by a nagging ankle injury that just kept cropping up over and over. As a result, he played in only 13 games. His scoring numbers were slightly down from where he was as a rookie.
There is also the issue of Bagley getting consistent playing time. Richaun Holmes at center and Nemanja Bjelica are both coming off career years in Sacramento, and now Hassan Whiteside has been added to the fold. The best guess is that the Kings play it safe with Bagley’s minutes, which should depress his scoring potential.
We hope that you enjoyed this look at some of the best individual futures bets for the 2020-21 season. Futures bets can quite lucrative at sports gambling websites. Just make sure to do your research and you could find them to be a real compliment to your in-game betting action.
Jim Beviglia joined Gamblingsites.org as a staff writer in 2018, parlaying his years of freelance writing into contributions on a number of different topics. He handles the sport of horse racing for GamblingSites.org and the intersection between the worlds of cryptocurrency and online gambling in a weekly blog.
For his full-time job, Jim handles the television and track announcing duties at a h …