Mark your Google Calendars and set it to notify you on your smartphones. Oct. 16th is the date we are all waiting for; tip-off of the 2018 NBA season. Handicappers have already put our early lines out for games the two Tuesday games and a odds on a slew of the Wednesday, Oct. 17th matchups that should be a fairly accurate reflection of what the main books in Vegas are soon to release. If you are in an area where it is legal to bet on sports, research the reviews on different sites to make sure you are getting the most out of your sportsbook. Here is a comprehensive look at Bovada.
Let’s have a look at the two games on opening day.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics
We get to start the season off with a possible playoff matchup between the Sixers and Celtics. Boston is at home in TD Garden and are likely to be listed as a 6-point favorite over the young, but potent 76ers squad.
The 76ers didn’t feel the need to chase a big free agent this offseason. But they did secure JJ Reddick and Amir Johnson, and they added a little bit of depth to their bench by adding Wilson Chandler and Nemanja Bjelica. Some Philly fans might be upset that they didn’t add more fire-power to the roster, but their strategy is sound. They made the playoffs with an extremely young and inexperienced team last campaign. Now that same corps of players is a little more mature and has a lot more experience. So, don’t throw a potential wrench into the mix and mess with a chemistry that is working.
Gordon Hayward had an unlucky break last season, but he and Kyrie are both expected to be on the court for opening night. Speaking of young talent, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are going to continue to grow as well and with Aron Baynes back to back up Al Horford; the Celtics will be tough in the paint all night long.
Six points seem fair, given the fact that Celtics are at home. But the 76ers could definitely cover six given the fact that the last time they played the Celtics won with a score of 112-114, on May 7th of 2018 the Sixers won 103-92, and on the May 5th, the Celtics squeaked out a three-point victory of 101-98. In fact, if you average out the last ten games between these teams, the score would be 100 to 103 for Boston. So look for this game to be closer than the projected line of six points.
Golden State Warriors vs. OKC Thunder
The juggernaut that is the Golden State Warriors gets to open their season at home against their Western Conference rivals, the Oklahoma City Thunder. The projected point spread is four buckets in favor of the Warriors.
Eight points at home doesn’t seem like a whole lot given this GSW roster, but OKC has improved significantly over the offseason … at least theoretically. Carmelo has been shipped off to Houston, and the Thunder signed/resigned eight players over the offseason. They hung on to Paul George who was inconsistent last season, but maybe now that he is focused on a four-year deal and isn’t looking to bounce out to LA next summer, OKC will see a different PG13.
The Warriors are scarier than ever … They picked up on of the best big men in the league in DeMarcus Cousins and have Jordan Bell, the young Power Forward/Center out of Oregon to back him up. The Warriors starting line up should be Klay Thompson, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and DeMarcus Cousins. Then when the stars sit, it doesn’t get much easier because they have guys like Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala coming off the bench.
NBA Teams Set To Improve in 2019-2020
Virtually every NBA season sees some teams take steps forward while others experience a decline in form. These improving teams can either come in the form of non-playoff teams working their way toward the postseason or actually getting into the playoffs and competing for a championship after being worse in the prior year. When it comes to the 2019-2020 NBA season, there are some teams that are poised to take that leap forward, as their rosters look to be heading in the right direction for a strong season.
The Phoenix Suns have struggled mightily in recent years, but appear to have put a solid roster together during the offseason. Combined with an exciting young nucleus, their veteran additions have made them a team considered by many to be a candidate to exceed expectations this season. Given the struggles that the team has had since the mid-2000s when Steve Nash was winning MVP awards with the team, this might be the most exciting period of Suns basketball in over a decade.
Devin Booker has become the leader of the new-look Suns. The young guard out of Kentucky has proven to be a prolific scorer during his short time in the NBA and finally appears to have a roster around him that can keep up with everything that he is capable of on the court. Booker is joined by talented young players like Ty Jerome and Cam Johnson, both of whom played in the ACC during their college years when that conference was the best in college basketball. That has helped mold those players into battle-tested additions to a roster that appears fearless.
Veteran additions have also helped the Suns, with Ricky Rubio leading that charge. Rubio’s role as a pass-first point guard has made it easy for Booker to focus on scoring rather than handling the ball. Rubio’s quiet style of play meshes nicely with a team full of young players developing a personality. And when young big man DeAndre Ayton returns to the team, Rubio should be able to get involved with him in hard-to-defend pick and roll situations.
Los Angeles Clippers
For a while, the Los Angeles Clippers have become the best team in Los Angeles basketball as they overtook the Lakers since the arrival of Chris Paul to the team. Paul has long since moved on, but the Clippers are again candidates to be the best team in Los Angeles thanks to the acquisitions of Paul George and Kawhi Leonard during the offseason. Given their strong start to the 2019-2020 campaign, it is safe to say that the Clippers will be one of the most improved teams in the league this year.
The Clippers won seven of their first 10 games to start this season, with Leonard leading the way for them despite his sitting out of a few games during the season. But the scary thing about the new-look Clippers is the fact that they won 70% of those games despite Paul George not having made his season debut up to that point. George is a strong scorer, but his ability to play perimeter defense will be what makes things difficult on opponents when combined with the superior defensive abilities of Leonard.
Unlike many of the teams that put multiple star players together on the same roster, the Clippers’ identity will be built around their defense. In addition to Leonard and George, and their defensive versatility, Patrick Beverly is one of the most tenacious defenders in the league from the point guard position. With the three of those players on the same roster, opponents will be almost forced to dump the ball inside in hopes of beating the Clippers’ defense that way.
Of course, the Clippers and Suns will have to navigate a very difficult Western Conference this season, with virtually all of the best teams in the NBA playing out West. Whether or not these two improving teams can run that gauntlet remains to be seen, but they appear to be on the right path.
Top 5 college basketball freshmen ready to rock the 2019-20 season
College basketball is becoming more and more exciting as 18 or 19-year-old freshmen are ready to show everyone that the 2019-20 season is theirs.
Considering the evolution of this year’s basketball players, we can safely say that they will soon be everywhere, from any sports channel to every online casino. This will be a delight for all the sports bettors, as they are usually eager to place bets on matches, transfers and so on. Aside from this, many game software providers create products such as slot machines with basketball themes and featuring famous players. They cannot wait to add some new faces to their collection and these new stars might just get to have their own slot games.
We can count a few of the best freshmen from Duke like Zion Williamson, RJ Barret, or before them, Lonzo Ball at UCLA, Trae Young at Oklahoma, or Anthony Davis at Kentucky. Naming all the successful college players would call for a long list, but you get the idea.
Instead, we have gathered a list of the best basketball freshmen about to have an impact in the 2019-20 season, from the 2019 prospect of 247Sports Composite Rankings.
James Wiseman, Memphis
The 7-foot, 5-star prospect and the number 1 recruit in the Class of 2019, Wiseman claims honors of Morgan Wootten and Gatorade National Player of the Year, after his senior season.
He is projected to be the frontrunner to go number 1 in the 2020 NBA Draft. His performance will be of big importance to Penny Hardaway’s recruiting of blue-chip talent and Memphis’ success.
Anthony Edwards, Georgia
The 18-years-old “Ant-Man” was a football player for most of his childhood and became one of the top players from Pop Warner. However, since basketball “looked more fun” he switched his focus, becoming a five-star prospect in 2019 and number 2 overall, but his exhibition at Georgia shows great skills in shot-making and shot creation. Coach Tom Crean said great things about his athletic and overall abilities. If he keeps improving his aptitudes, James Wiseman will have a true competitor.
Isaiah Stewart, Washington
Growing up, Stewart used to play soccer and boxing, until fifth grade when he realized he was drawn to basketball more, due to his athleticism and size, which was around 6 feet at age 12. He was named Mr. Basketball USA, Naismith Prep Player of the Year, earned McDonald’s All-American honors, and now he is a 5-star prospect, no 3 overall. Kudos!
Cole Anthony, North Carolina
Anthony focused most of his life on basketball, growing up under the guidance of Steve Harris, who also mentored Kemba Walker, an NBA player.
Cole Anthony was a key player for PSA Cardinals on the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League and on his senior season, he averaged a triple-double of 17.8 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists per game.
The 6’3” player was also named the most valuable player of 2019 McDonald’s All-American Game and Nike Hoop Summit. When playing for the United States at the 2018 FIBA, he scored 18 points in a 113-74 win over Canada and won the gold medal.
Vernon Carey, Duke
Also a 5-star 2019 prospect and no. 6 overall, Carey is the son of Vernon Carey, a former NFL player. Since the apple never falls far from the tree, the American college basketball player is raising to the occasion, being named MaxPreps National Junior of the Year in 2018 and twice the Florida Mr. Basketball in 2018 and 2019.
The top player was chosen to play in the Nike Hoop Summit, Jordan Brand Classic and McDonald’s All-American in 2019.
The highest-rated freshman in his class, he figures to feature in a role down low along with Zion Williamson and Marques Bolden.
While having all the players of the highest caliber, it still does not guarantee any titles. What it does guarantee is entertainment and getting into the action by calculating the odds. The 2019-20 college basketball season started Tuesday, on the 5th of November and everyone can hardly wait to see their favorite players in action.
2019-2020 College Basketball Preview
The 2019-2020 college hoops season is just around the corner, and with that comes the great predictions, the unlikely statistics and the performance metrics that will predict which teams will likely make a deep run in the tournament come March… But it’s never that easy.
Everybody had Duke marching to the Championship at the beginning of last season – and will certainly make similar predictions about this year until, predictably, most of their predictions will fall apart one weekend in March. But every season brings surprises, (Like Baylor coming out of nowhere to win 20 games last season).
That is why college basketball is the most joyful and upsetting sport we have… where one week your team looks as if they could reach the Final Four – and the next week they get blown out at home by East Tennessee State.
Oh, by the way? The three-point line is now 22 feet 1 3/4 inches. That might change the outcome of EVERYTHING.
#1 Michigan State is the best team in the country. Tom Izzo and crew went to the Final Four last season with most of their returning team (A shock in today’s one and done era). It’s hard not to like this team, as senior PG Cassius Winston looks to be the best player in college basketball. Add on returning 6’8” junior Xavier Tillman and we should be watching this team make a DEEP run in March. MSU have 11-2 odds to win it all…
#2 Kentucky has two 5 star freshmen in Tyrese Maxey and Khalil Whitney, who fit nicely into John Calipari’s “Prepare them for the NBA” system. The problem is that in the One-and-Done era, only two teams have actually won the National Championship that are starting five-star future NBA players. (The 2012 Kentucky Wildcats and the 2015 Duke Blue Devils).
# 3 Duke returns Tre Jones and adds two five star freshman studs in Vernon Carey and Matthew Hurt (6’10” and 6’9”, respectively). They will have to face a VERY TOUGH
#4 Louisville team twice during the season who are expected to be better than last year’s 20 win team due to the addition of St. Joe’s transfer Lamarr Kimble (Who can shoot the lights out).
#5 Kansas is dealing with the NCAA recruiting sanctions leveled against them, but the return of Udoka Azubuike from injury and Devon Dotson’s decision to not test the NBA Draft has them looking like the best team in the Big 12. Of course, health is always a concern with Azubuike coming back from a hand injury and after last season’s string of close winds and losses, (Barely beating KSU, Losing to Texas Tech) they need to be playing with a fire that burns from the knowledge of not having a tournament to play in come March.
#6 Florida This team is a powerhouse. Andrew Nembhard and Tre Mann are remarkable playmakers surrounded by great shooters. Virginia Tech transfer Kerry Blackshear, jr. loads them up front. The SEC will be absolutely tough and This could be a title run 20 years after the last one for this Gators team.
#7 Auburn may have some issues from outside, which may make them vulnerable when they face bigger teams – although with 6’8” athletic big Babatunde Akingbola ripping down boards, this team could be one of the more athletic squads we will see this season.
#8 Villanova should be the best team in the Big East, but they may have issues at point guard, unless Collin Gillespie has taken big strides in his game. The always dangerous Wildcats are still superbly coached, balanced in the shooting department and will make magic with an 8-9 man rotation.
#9 Ohio State is tough… like really tough. Ever hear of DJ Carton? YOU WILL. The kid is an elite athlete and scorer and should lead this team far… He will play Michigan State only once this season – and it should be one of the most anticipated games of the year. He’s good enough to lead this well balanced team into the pre-season top ten… We’ll see how far he can take them come tourney time.
#10 Maryland is really balanced and sophomore experience will lead them to some great wins. Again, the Big 10 is full of big time front lines and missing a true big may cost them on occasion. Serrel Smith jr. showed a lot of promise last year and should step up while surrounded by a team with a loaded wing component. They face MSU twice… these are two other must see games.
#11 Virginia is still reeling off of their National Championship last year and won’t be AS good. But will still turn some heads… These guys just always seem to breeze through the giants of the league come tourney time…
#12 Purdue will miss Carsen Edwards as their go to scorer but they still come back stacked. Trevion Williams has NBA potential after a terrific freshman season.
#13 Florida State is awfully scary, and starts a very big lineup – their issues are in scoring in their half court offense. Get them on the break, however, and these guys are going to cause a lot of problems for opponents.
#14 Seton Hall will fight for the Big East title against Villanova – and with their four returning starters, they should get off to a fast start. Myles Powell is the truth – and should be a large factor in whether or not they make a decent tourney run.
#15 North Carolina – bring in superstar point guard Cole Anthony (Son of Greg) who is expected to be one of the best players in the country as a true freshman. The ACC is always a battle and the Tar Heels could make some ripples in the conference with Anthony at the wheel.
Coach Chris Beard has #16 Texas Tech riding high, and brought in grad transfers Chris Clark and TJ Holyfield. (My favorite name in college hoops this year). If Kansas hits any drags, the Red Raiders will be your Big 12 champions.
#17 Memphis – IS THIS THE MOST EXCITING TEAM IN THE NCAA? Perhaps. Penny Hardaway is ready for the big time and he has recruited four possible future NBA players. 7’1” James Wiseman is absurdly talented and Hardaway’s former AAU player… The question remains: Will Hardaway become a superstar coach at the D1 level? Or become a casualty of the Chris Mullin/Clyde Drexler variety and flame out after a couple of seasons? Whatever the case – it should be a fun season to watch the Tigers…
#18 Gonzaga – How do these guys stay so good year after year? Mark Few is a top-five coach, and with his front court drop of Killian Tillie and Drew Timme he returns an extremely impressive basketball team. Texas A 7 M transfer Admon Gilder could be the key to taking this team all the way… And Few has a tendency to get his teams clicking at the right time.
#19 LSU – NCAA Sanctions aside, these guys belong in the top twenty and may challenge for the SEC title. Trendon Watford is poised for a break through year and even though they lost some guys to the professional ranks last year. The problem may be the drama hanging around the program…
# 20 Arizona/Oregon – I had to include one Pac-12 team here, and since the conference doesn’t look that strong, these are the two best teams. One of them belongs in the top 20. Arizona brings in point guard Nico Mannion and Josh Green and if Sean Miller can shake his past demons, he could get these guys playing like a sweet 16 team. Oregon is in a similar position – big time impact freshman, grad transfers and a shooter in Addison Patterson. (Remember, the move of the three point line will affect a lot of percentages… Look for the numbers to fall all around.)
Hopefully that gets you started… but as we all know, these are kids, the tournament determines everything and you just never know what might happen…A team like #26 Creighton could come along and shock the world. (For the record Creighton is a terrific team… we just didn’t have space to get that deep…)
Good luck out there. Watch three point percentages to drop significantly. That is all.