The NBA Restart And Betting Odds To Win The Championship

How And When The NBA Will Return

Basketball fans are rejoicing as the NBA has announced they will restart the season July 31st at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. The NBA’s board of governors approved a league proposal on a restart format featuring 22 teams, after suspending league play on March 11th due to the coronavirus pandemic. The restart will feature the top 8 teams in each conference when the games were suspended and teams that were within 6 games of 8th place. Those teams are Washington in the Eastern Conference with New Orleans, Portland, San Antonio, and Sacramento joining them out West.

The format will call for 8 regular season games for seeding purposes and a possible play-in tournament for the 8th and final seed. If the 9th place team finishes within 4 games of the 8th place team there will be a mini-tournament to decide the final team. Sources say it will be single elimination for the 9th place team and double elimination for the 8 seed.

The league will take extra precautions to keep everyone safe from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The NBA bubble will feature daily testing for all players and personnel along with the limited family members players will be allowed to bring once the playoffs start. Players will be allowed to eat at outdoor restaurants and do other outside activities but must take it upon themselves to maintain proper social distancing.

If a player tests positive for coronavirus he will be removed from action and quarantined while his teammates are monitored as they continue to play. According to ESPN, employees at Disney resort who will be dealing with the players will not be allowed in their rooms and hallways will be carefully managed to avoid crowding.

 

Possible Playoff Matchups And Betting Angles (Odds Courtesy Of Bovada)

With only 8 games remaining the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers have virtually locked up the 1 seeds. That would usually mean home court advantage throughout the playoffs in front of rowdy Lakers and Bucks fans pushing their teams towards a championship. But these playoffs there will be no fans and home court advantage, so seeding means way less than usual. Therefore the last 8 games only matter for matchups. Here’s a look at all the teams, their possible playoff seeds and matchups and what that could mean for bettors.

Milwaukee Bucks +225

Overall Record: 53-12

Record Against The Spread: 36-29

The Bucks have the 1 seed pretty much locked up so their goal over these last 8 games will be to stay healthy and see who they will play. No team in the NBA has had higher point spreads this season than the Bucks. With nothing to play for except getting their chemistry back don’t look for point spreads as high down the stretch which may mean the Bucks could be a team to ride in the last 8 games of the season. As for playoff matchups, the Bucks are most likely playing either The Magic or The Nets.

Our Early Prediction: NBA Finals

 

Los Angeles Lakers +225

Overall Record: 49-14

Record Against The Spread: 36-27

Like Milwaukee, the Lakers would almost have to lose all 8 remaining regular season games to lose the 1 seed so their only goal should be to stay healthy. The Lakers have been very good at the betting window this season going 36-27. Don’t look for that to continue the rest of the regular season with nothing to play for and a tougher schedule against desperate teams. As for playoff matchups The Lakers will most likely play Memphis. If Portland or New Orleans can finish within 4 games of Memphis a much tougher matchup may loom.

OurEarly Prediction: NBA Champion

 

Los Angeles Clippers +300

Overall Record: 44-20

Record Against The Spread: 35-29

The Clippers are widely considered the only other real contender outside of Milwaukee and Los Angeles. Unlike the other two, the Clippers have something to play for in the last 8 games and that’s to hold on to the 2 seed. The 2 seed probably gets them Dallas. If they slip they could be looking at Houston, OKC or Utah. I feel like the Clippers will be healthy and good to go and will hold on to their 2 seed. The only question will be who they will play. There are some dangerous teams who could wind up 7th such as Dallas or Houston.

Our Early Prediction: Western Conference Finals

 

Boston Celtics +1200

Overall Record: 43-21

Record Against The Spread: 39-23-2

The Boston Celtics are considered to be one of two teams that can take down the Bucks in the Eastern Conference. Since Kyrie left for the Nets, the Celtics have been even better than last season but have largely flown under the radar. Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown are very good compliments to star Kemba Walker and the Celtics have become very good at playing small ball. The Celtics should be content with the 3 seed as catching Toronto will be tough at 3 games back and dropping to the 4 seed will take a collapse. The Celtics just want to avoid Milwaukee until the conference finals.

Our Early Prediction: Eastern Conference Semifinals

 

Houston Rockets +1500

Overall Record: 40-24

Record Against The Spread: 30-34

The Houston Rockets are an interesting team in the restart. The Rockets are currently sitting 6th in the west and have only the 10th best record in the NBA. Despite that, Vegas has put them as the 5th choice to win it all. Their overall health and athleticism seem to be big factors. Houston looked like they were losing steam before the season was halted losing 4 of 5. They will be refreshed and ready to go, the question will be if James Harden and Russell Westbrooks can find their jump shots in time for the playoffs. Houston will desperately want to move out of the 6 seed to avoid Denver and set up a matchup with either Utah or OKC.

Our Early Prediction: Western Conference Semifinals

 

Toronto Raptors +2000

Overall Record: 46-18

Record Against The Spread: 35-28-1

The Toronto Raptors pretty much have nothing to play for in the final 8 games with the 2 seed wrapped up and almost no chance to catch the get the 1. They could collapse and fall to the 3 which would lead to a tougher first round matchup with Philadelphia or Indiana but that seems unlikely. The 3 months off will help Toronto immensely as they’ve played with a short bench all season and have had a ton of injuries this season. after an easy first round matchup the Raptors should be ready to make a run at the Finals.

Our Early Prediction: Eastern Conference Finals

 

Philadelphia 76ers +2000

Overall Record: 39-26

Record Against The Spread: 30-35

The Philadelphia 76ers are one of the teams where expert opinions vary wildly about how well they can do on the restart. The most important thing that will be in the 76ers favor is health. Ben Simmons hurt his back in late February and few thought he would be ready for the playoffs. He will be ready July 31st and Joel Embiid will be fully healthy beside him. Philly will be no worse than the 6 seed they currently occupy and will most likely finish in the 4 or 5 seed which means a second round matchup with Bucks. If their goal is to really get to the NBA Finals then that’s not a bad thing. If we know the 76ers they will start to get banged up as the playoffs move on so it’s better to take your shot at the Bucks early.

Our Early Prediction: Eastern Conference Semifinals

 

Denver Nuggets +2200

Overall Record: 43-22

Record Against The Spread: 31-33-1

The Denver Nuggets weathered an injury riddled January to stay in the top half of the Western Conference standings. They are only a game and a half back of the 2nd seeded Clippers but their top priority down the stretch will be not to fall back to the 4 or 5 seed. The 3 seed would probably mean a first round matchup against OKC or Dallas and avoiding the Lakers until the finals. Dropping back could lead to a scenario of having to beat the Rockets and the Lakers to make it farther than last season. If Jokic is in shape and healthy the Nuggets could get back to the Semi’s and make it interesting against the Clippers.

Our Early Prediction: Lose In First Round

 

Miami Heat +3000

Overall Record: 41-24

Record Against The Spread: 34-31

The Miami Heat have been a surprise team all season battling for a top 3 seed down the stretch. No one thought they would be 41-24 in March with Jimmy Butler leading a bunch of young unproven players. Those young players lead by Bam Adebayo have played fantastic at home leading to a 27-5 record, 3rd best in the NBA. No fans in the restart will probably hurt Miami more than most. Their young players have thrived at home and been awful on the road. Without their home court in Miami and all of the distractions Miami Beach brings to visitors I’m not sure how good this team play.

Our Early Prediction: Lose In First Round

 

Dallas Mavericks +3500

Overall Record: 40-27

Record Against The Spread: 37-30

The Dallas Mavericks are going to be a fun team with nothing to lose when play resumes. Many thought they would start to fade down the stretch as star Luka Donic was starting to get bit by the injury bug. Now the only worry about Donic will be if he’s in shape when play resumes. If so the 1-2 punch of Doncic/Porzingis will be ready to do some damage with a host of jump shooters around them. The Mavs are currently the 7 seed with no chance of falling to eighth. They would love to catch either Houston or OKC to avoid the Clippers in the first round. They are currently 3 back in the loss column to both teams.

Our Early Prediction: Western Conference Semifinals

 

Brooklyn Nets +4000

Overall Record: 30-34

Record Against The Spread: 31-33

The Brooklyn Nets were interesting for about a week after the NBA announced a restart date. Nets fans were dreaming of Durant and Irving both returning which would have made Brooklyn serious contenders in the east. With Durant announcing he will not play which pretty means Irving will not try to return either, Nets fans dreams are done. The Nets will finish with the 7 or 8 seed and be an easy out in the first round.

Our Early Prediction: Lose In First Round

 

Utah Jazz +4000

Overall Record: 41-23

Record Against The Spread: 30-34

The Utah Jazz are going to be an interesting team at Disney training camp. They will be bombarded with questions of the relationship status between Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert after Gobert famously didn’t take Coronavirus seriously and most likely infected Mitchell. The Jazz received some bad news that second leading scorer Bojan Bogdanovic will have wrist surgery and will not play. That leaves a lot of people skeptical if this team can have any kind of run since they’ve only played one good stretch of basketball this entire season. The Jazz can be seeded anywhere between 2 and 7 but most likely they’ll be in the 5 or 6 slot which will lead to a tough matchup to make it past the first round.

Our Early Prediction: Lose In First Round

 

Indiana Pacers +7500

Overall Record: 39-26

Record Against The Spread: 35-29-1

The Indiana Pacers have gone above and beyond expectations already. With star player Victor Olidipo missing the first 4 months and Malcolm Brogdan missing a big chunk of the season, it is impressive this team has a win percentage of .600. Going forward the Pacers will only be as good as Olidipo. To make it out of the first round of the playoffs you need at least one star to perform well. The problem is the 3 teams they are most likely to play in the first round are all better than they are.

Our Early Prediction: Lose In First Round

 

Portland Trail Blazers +8000

Overall Record: 29-37

Record Against The Spread: 27-39

The Trail Blazers have been the arguably the NBA’s biggest disappointment this season and would have had a tough time getting the 8 seed if the season were played out. Now with the quirk of a possible 8 vs 9 seed matchup that some say was made for them, they have a real shot to get into the tournament. The long layoff will help them more than most teams with the injuries and the veterans having fresh legs. Look for them to be a scary team in Disney.

Our Early Prediction: Lose In First Round

 

Oklahoma City Thunder +10000

Overall Record: 40-24

Record Against The Spread: 40-24

The Oklahoma City Thunder have been one of best teams in the NBA since Thanksgiving and were riding high when the season shut down. Not even management was confident this team could be a playoff team and with a playoff spot locked up the Thunder are playing with house money. Most believe the team will start a full rebuild next season with a new coach and young players. This team has nothing to lose but with a loaded western conference, even getting out of the first round will be tough. They’ll be underdogs for the rest of the season.

Our Early Prediction: Lose In First Round

 

New Orleans Pelicans +10000

Overall Record: 28-36

Record Against The Spread: 33-30-1

The New Orleans Pelicans have been one of the most exciting teams in the NBA since the debut of Zion Williamson. Many experts believe the Pelicans are the reason the NBA put in this 8 vs 9 seed mini tournament as the Pelicans have slim hopes of catching the 8th seeded Grizzlies but have a great chance at being within 4 games of the 8 seed.

Our Early Prediction: No Playoffs

 

Memphis Grizzlies +25000

Overall Record: 32-33

Record Against The Spread: 34-31

The Memphis Grizzlies have already gone above and beyond expectations for Ja Morant’s rookie season. They will have certainly been fighting for a playoff spot down the stretch and will earn a berth if they can finish more than 4 games above Portland and New Orleans, or beat one of them in the Mini Tournament. With how dangerous Portland is with their vets and New Orleans is with their athleticism and 8-9 matchup doesn’t look good.

Our Early Prediction: Lose In 8-9 Seed Mini Tournament

 

San Antonio Spurs +50000

Overall Record: 27-36

Record Against The Spread: 25-38

San Antonio has been a disappointing team from the beginning of the season in their quest to make the playoffs for a record 23 straight seasons. They will have to jump 3 teams in the standings just to get the 9 seed with a hope to play their way in. With those odds look for Popovich to feature his young players in the final 8 games while looking back on those 22 years.

Our Early Prediction: No Playoffs

 

Orlando Magic +50000

Overall Record: 30-35

Record Against The Spread: 32-33

The Orlando Magic are 5.5 games up on the 9th seeded Washington Wizards so their goal will be to stay at least 5 games ahead to avoid the 8-9 matchup. Realistically they may not have to worry about it as they can easily take over the Nets for the 7th seed and not only avoid the Wizards in the play in tournament but also the Bucks in round 1.

Our Early Prediction: Lose In First Round

 

Phoenix Suns +50000

Overall Record: 26-39

Record Against The Spread: 29-36

The Phoenix Suns have virtually no shot of even getting the 9 seed and trying to play their way into the tournament. The Suns will use the last 8 games to decide a few of their player’s fates but most important have 8 more games of Devin Booker teaming up with Deandre Ayton.

Our Early Prediction: No Playoffs

 

Sacramento Kings +50000

Overall Record: 28-36

Record Against The Spread: 34-30

With New Orleans and Portland to beat out to get to the 9 seed the Sacramento Kings have a tough road to the playoffs. Their chances were slim to make the playoffs if the season wasn’t halted so they have to be ecstatic to have their young players play what will feel like meaningful games to get ready for next season.

Our Early Prediction: No Playoffs

 

Washington Wizards +50000

Overall Record: 24-40

Record Against The Spread: 34-30

The Wizards are 5.5 games behind 8th seeded Orlando and 6 games behind Brooklyn. Getting the 9th seed will be extremely tough as they will have to be 2 games better than either team for a shot. With only 8 games to work with their chances are slim.

Our Early Prediction: No Playoffs

 

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