Two title fights — for the middleweight and light heavyweight gold — headline the UFC 253 card on September 26. We have an in-depth betting preview to the co-headling bouts right here. Before you even think about wagering on the event, read this for valuable advice!
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NBA Betting Advice
2016 NBA Playoff Teams Who Won't Make 2017 Postseason
By Dan Favale
With the 2016-17 NBA season in full swing, it's a good time to take stock of playoff teams from last year who won't be returning this around. These squads have gotten worse, either by design or chance, and it's a good idea to keep their declining status in mind as you plan your daily and futures betting. All championship odds listed come courtesy of Bovada, and in keeping with the theme of this article, they should be avoided at all costs.
Dallas Mavericks (+20000)
You could see a season like this coming for the Dallas Mavericks. They have been toeing the line of mediocrity for much too long, trapping themselves in that dangerous gray area between rebuilding and competing, always managing to eke out a playoff berth, even if it's by the skin of their teeth.
All of that ends this season.
Head coach Rick Carlisle is a magician when it comes to make the most out of what he's given, however little, but the Mavericks haven't even given him enough to conjure a postseason appearance out of his butt.
Dallas is too dependent on a finite number of plus-numbers. Two of its starters, Harrison Barnes and Wesley Matthews, are averaging more than 37 minutes per night. The bench is almost nonexistent, and the preferred starting five is being torched on the defensive side of the floor.
With a dearth of trade assets and next to no prospects, it's unlikely the Mavericks find their way back to respectability this season. They have one of the worst records in the NBA, the supposedly ageless Dirk Nowitzki is dealing with a sore Achilles and the offense has been middling on its best nights.
Do not bank on this group making the postseason, let alone contending for a title.
Miami Heat (+15000)
The Miami Heat aren't a long shot to win the championship, because they're not in the title discussion at all.
As of now, it doesn't even look like they'll be in the postseason conversation. This isn't necessarily by design, but it was inevitable. They lost proven performers Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng and Joe Johnson over the offseason, forcing them to invest time and money in a younger core that bears more resemblance to an NBA-team-in-training.
With one of the two worst records in the Southeast Division, it's going to take a lot for the Heat to re-enter the circle of relevance. They play fast and free and hard, and Hassan Whiteside is anchoring a top-10 defense. But the offense is a mess that Goran Dragic alone won't fix.
Instead of hoping the Heat will turn it around, it's better to accept reality. And the reality is they're more likely to throw in the towel on this season around the trade deadline than try chasing a playoff berth, and by extension a championship, that isn't even close to within reach.
Indiana Pacers (+5000)
Oh yes, we're absolutely going here.
The Indiana Pacers were promoted as a playoff formality over the summer. They were going to play faster and space the floor and shoot more threes without compromising the integrity of their top-three offense.
So much for that.
The Pacers have one of the three worst defenses in the NBA, and the offense ranks a very pedestrian 16th in points scored per 100 possessions. They have no bench, and their three-point shooting, one of the few bright spots for them this season, is definitely unsustainable.
I mean, the Pacers lost to the Philadelphia 76ers for Pete's sake. In fact, they almost lost to them twice; it took an overtime period for them to emerge victorious the first time around. That's a red flag, as is everything else about the way they play, and thus enough for us to call "pretender" on their playoff and even-more-hysterical championship aspirations.
Memphis Grizzlies (+10000)
This is tough to come to terms with. The Memphis Grizzlies are supposed to grind out playoff berths. It's what they do. Even last season, while dealing with injuries to everyone and their second cousins, they managed to sneak into the postseason bracket.
It's not happening this year.
On paper, the Grizzlies look like they could be really good. Marc Gasol! Mike Conley! Chandler Parsons! Tony Allen! Zach Randolph! JaMychal Green! The list goes on, which should be a great sign.
But the Grizzlies' offense is not up to snuff. They don't have enough shooters or explosive scorers, and they rank in the bottom five of efficiency as a result. Worse, their typically stingy defense has been mediocre at best. They are already struggling to play .500 basketball and haven't looked good even at full strength.
Chances are their run of six straight playoff berths is about to end.
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