The 2020-21 NBA season has been over for less than one month, but the 2021-22 season will be here before we know it. When it begins, a lot of eyes will be on Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal to see if he can win his first NBA scoring title.
It’s not too early to begin thinking about that and other futures bets concerning the Wizards. It is especially necessary to do your homework following the reported trade they have made with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Wizards let go of point guard Russell Westbrook in the deal and received three quality pieces in return – Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
The trade means the Wizards are no longer a two-superstar team. The only superstar remaining is Beal, who finished second in the NBA in scoring last season.
Without a ball-dominant guard on the floor, will Beal take and potentially make more shots? The odds at several sportsbook apps suggest that is exactly what is going to happen.
What Are The Odds?
When DraftKings opened its market for 2021-22 NBA scoring champion in early July, it listed Beal as the overall favorite with +250 odds. Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry, who edged Beal for last season’s scoring title, was second at +500.
Those odds have changed in the first month of betting. Beal has slipped to +275, and Dallas Mavericks point guard Luka Doncic has moved into the No. 2 spot at +425. Curry dropped all the way to +600.
Beal is +275 at BetMGM. Doncic follows at +450, and Curry sits at +500.
The best odds on Beal can be found at Caesars, where he is +300. Doncic is +450 and Curry +500.
Factors To Consider
Beal finished last season with a career-high scoring average of 31.3 points per game. He trailed only Curry, who finished at 32.0 points. Damian Lillard was a distant third with 28.8 points.
Curry’s average is expected to take a hit because of the expected return of guard Klay Thompson. Thompson missed the last two seasons with injuries but averaged at least 20.0 points per game in the last five seasons he played.
The opposite could happen for Beal, who no longer has to share the ball with Westbrook. On the other hand, defenses can focus more on Beal with Westbrook no longer a factor.
Then there is the question that might come up over and over again throughout the season: Are the Wizards going to trade Beal?
He is entering the final year of his contract. Washington must determine whether it will re-sign and build around him. If not, the likely alternative is trading Beal to a contender during the season.
If that happens, Beal’s scoring average would almost certainly be negatively affected.
Beal’s scoring average will not take a major hit, but it may not have to for him not to win the scoring title.
Doncic is getting better every year, and Lillard is on a mission to get Portland into title contention. Then there is Kevin Durant, whose Brooklyn Nets never reached their potential last season.
Beal is in a great spot to keep scoring at will, but considering the negative factors, there is no value at his current price point.
Unless the price for Bradley Beal rises to +500 or higher, you should avoid betting on him to win the NBA scoring title next season.