E-mails pitching online betting odds appear in my inbox nearly daily. Roughly 95 percent are deleted, sight unseen. Two percent are glanced at quickly, then deleted. Another two percent get read, pondered and then deleted.
And roughly one percent catch my eye in a way that makes them somewhat relevant or useful.
Congratulations, NBA free agency oddsmaker e-mail sender of Wednesday, June 29, 2016: you are the one percent.
The subject today was the odds that certain players would sign with certain teams in NBA free agency. For instance: the odds are 5/2 that Kevin Durant will re-sign with the Thunder, but Golden State isn’t far off at 4/1. Other teams are in the mix, too.
This e-mail was (marginally) relevant to me on this specific day because a colleague earlier Wednesday had pitched to me the idea of creating my own list of odds that certain players would sign with the Timberwolves. I considered the idea, but I also considered that I really don’t have a clue — nor am I sure that the Wolves are really going to be major players (or should be major players) in this year’s big money free agency frenzy.
Sure, if they could pry away a guy like Allen Crabbe from Portland (a restricted guy, so good luck) that would be keen. But really this year is about maybe adding some “glue guys” to go with a young core and seeing what Tom Thibodeau can do with it all.
And, well, the e-mail from the oddsmakers seemed to validate this thought. There were 17 players listed — ostensibly the biggest names in free agency this year. Most of them had anywhere from 4-6 teams listed with official odds to sign them, as well as FIELD if you wanted to bet on the collection of teams beyond those listed.
But nowhere among the 17 players were the Wolves listed — not even with Joakim Noah, given even money odds by the site to sign with the Knicks (with the Wizards, Nets and Bulls as other betting options).
That doesn’t mean none of the 17 will wind up with the Wolves. But at least according to the oddsmakers you shouldn’t bet on it. In fact, unless you’re willing to play the long shot of FIELD, you flat-out can’t bet on it.