Spurs Set to Run It Back but Oddsmakers Don’t Like San Antonio’s Chances

While it certainly shouldn’t have surprised anyone, as it was always the most likely scenario heading into this condensed offseason, the San Antonio Spurs have apparently decided to run it back for another year without making any big moves. Although it’s possible that the Spurs could still make a trade to shake things up, San Antonio’s roster appears to be set.

The Spurs have reportedly agreed to re-sign Jakob Poeltl and Drew Eubanks. Quinndary Weatherspoon is set to return to South Texas on another two-way contract. Chimezie Metu was waived and Bryn Forbes has agreed to terms with the Milwaukee Bucks. Marco Belinelli and Luke Zeller won’t return, while the signings of rookies Devin Vassell and Tre Jones are a mere formality.

Last season, the Spurs finished the season 32-39, which put them in the 11th spot in the Western Conference. While they missed the playoffs for the first time in more than two decades, San Antonio played some of their most promising basketball of the year in the Orlando bubble following the resumption of the 2019-20 season.

Literally no oddsmakers believe that San Antonio will have success next season – those who have kept track of the betting odds know that oddsmakers don’t believe the Spurs will have success next season, despite what happened in the bubble.

No legalized sports betting outfit like FanDuel or DraftKings gives the Spurs much of a chance, and that holds true for what you’d find in Las Vegas or at a world-renowned casino like the Canadian JackpotCity online casino, where one would likely be better off taking his luck to their massive selection of casino games instead.

A Look at the Odds for the San Antonio Spurs

At FanDuel, for example, the Spurs have 100-to-1 odds of winning the Western Conference in the 2020-21 season. That may sound like reasonable odds until you compare it to other teams in the NBA. For example, the Oklahoma City Thunder, a team that is actively getting rid of their best players, have the same 100-to-1 odds. In fact, the only teams in the West with worse odds are the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Sacramento Kings, who both have 110-to-1 odds.

As far as a championship is concerned, the Spurs have 130-to-1 odds, which is tied for the worst odds in the West along with the Thunder and Kings (the Timberwolves are actually 120-to-1). League-wide, only the Charlotte Hornets (160-to-1), Detroit Pistons (240-to-1), Cleveland Cavaliers (250-to-1) and New York Knicks (250-to-1) have worse odds than the Spurs. That is definitely some unwelcome company for the Silver and Black. 

While the Spurs deserve to be an extreme longshot to win a championship this year, it’s clear that oddsmakers don’t believe the Spurs can make any type of noise this forthcoming season. Is it fair for San Antonio to be so close to the bottom of the NBA? That is certainly debatable, especially when you see teams like the Atlanta Hawks (100-to-1) and Memphis Grizzlies (100-to-1) with better championship odds.

As it stands, the Spurs will be bringing back a roster that includes DeMar DeRozan, LaMarcus Aldridge, Rudy Gay and Patty Mills. Those four vets along with a promising young core that includes Derrick White, Dejounte Murray and Lonnie Walker IV, should give the Spurs a chance to battle for a spot in the playoffs. If they build upon what they showed in the bubble, there’s even a chance that they make the postseason, especially because a play-in tournament this season will allow the ninth and tenth seeds to compete for a playoff berth.

Although oddsmakers have given up on the Spurs, San Antonio has shown no signs that they are ready to wave the white flag. By all accounts, head coach Gregg Popovich will return for another season. Will anyone be too surprised if he’s able to get the most out of the Spurs and help them exceed expectations? 

That said, it’s possible that the Spurs could begin to rebuild at any moment. Rumors have swirled that DeRozan, Aldridge and Mills have been on the trading block. If at any moment those three players get traded, that will mean that the Spurs aren’t serious about making a run at the playoffs. At that point, lowering San Antonio’s odds to make them bottom feeders in the West would make sense. However, as of right now, it should be too early to discount the Spurs’ chances of at least being competitive in the playoff picture.

Speaking of the odds, the Los Angeles Lakers are favored to repeat as NBA champions. The Milwaukee Bucks, who played great in the regular season last year before flaming out in the playoffs, have the next best odds. The Brooklyn Nets, who will be led by Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and possibly James Harden, are third. Rounding out the top five are Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers, and the youthful Boston Celtics. Interestingly, the Miami Heat, who represented the Eastern Conference in the 2020 NBA Finals, only have the fourth best odds in the East, so the Spurs aren’t alone in being able to claim the current betting odds are disrespectful.