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NBA Championship Contenders at the Quarter Pole

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The season is roughly a quarter of the way through and we’ve had more than our fair share of surprises thus far. If we would have told you before the season began that the Golden State Warriors would be ambling along in fourth place in the West would you have asked suggested that another round of cocktails might not be the wisest choice? We certainly couldn’t blame you but here the defending champions sit at 16-9, matching their loss total for the entire season back in 2015-2016.

Without further ado, let’s give a couple of quick hits as well as the corresponding NBA odds for a championship title being dealt by the best online sportsbooks found all over at Sportsbook Review.

Fab Five

  1. Golden State Warriors (-150) – Only a team like Golden State could still be considered the prohibitive favorite with three other teams above them in the Western Conference standings. Draymond Green has been on the shelf since November 15th, suffering from a sprained right toe, and the Warriors have gone 6-6 straight up without the six-year veteran in the lineup and won’t likely see him dress for another week or more. In addition, center Damian Jones is out for the season with a torn left pectoral muscle, which has left the champs thin in the post. But that hasn’t stopped the oddsmakers from making GSW the favorites to repeat as NBA champions.
  2. Toronto Raptors (+800) – The Raps were viewed as paper tigers by many before the season started after tearing through the 2017-2018 regular season with 59 wins and garnering the top seed in the East before they were swept in the second round by the Cavaliers. Toronto was not content and fired their Coach of the Year, Dwane Casey, and promoted Nick Nurse to take the helm. The Raptors are proving the pundits wrong and the NBA odds seem to back that up as they currently own the best record in the league and have won 10 of 13 in front of their rabid fans at Scotiabank Arena.
  3. Boston Celtics (+1100) – The Celtics were supposed to be a force of nature this season with a healthy Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward to claim the East and make a charge at the Warriors. Well, things haven’t exactly turned out that way as Hayward has just now found his groove as a valuable sixth man off the bench as opposed to an underachieving starter. Jaylen Brown has been hindered by injuries and is not playing up to par while backup Terry Rozier, who looked silky smooth in Irving’s stead late last year, is grumbling that he’s no longer in the spotlight. However, the Green Machine has won three straight and seems to be turning the corner.
  4. Houston Rockets (+1200) – If you want to know how long the NBA season is, imagine a team that is currently under .500 being tagged as having the fourth-best chance to win the NBA championship. If the season ended today, the Rockets would not even be in the postseason but as we all know, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. But a healthy Houston team is a winning Houston team as evidenced by the fact that the Rockets have lost all five games when Chris Paul has been out of the lineup while dropping two of three when Harden was sidelined with a hamstring injury. When healthy, the Rockets are very much a team to beat.
  5. Philadelphia 76ers (+1500) – A one-hundred dollar bill will net you $1500 if you bet the Sixers to win the title six months from now. Philadelphia’s bevy of high draft picks are bearing fruit and after adding the talented Jimmy Butler to their roster, they are officially for real. Nevertheless, the Markelle Fultz experiment continues with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft being hindered by shoulder issues. It’s too early to tell whether this pick has bust written all over it but the Sixers are certainly talented enough to get by and challenge without him.

The next evolution of basketball news, information and rumors.

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6 Things You Can Do To Enhance Your Basketball Knowledge

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Are you looking for an ultimate guide to improve your basketball knowledge? Well, you have landed here correctly. I’m going to list down a few things that you can follow to continually study and learn the game of basketball:

#1: Join Coaching Clinics

Attending coaching clinics is an excellent option to improve your knowledge of basketball. It is because you get to meet coaches who have extensive experience in the field. You can seek their advice to learn more about the game.

There is no specific list when it comes to joining a coaching clinic. You can search online for a coaching clinic that is near to your location. This way, you can easily attend, and you don’t regret missing any session.

#2: Mastermind with Coaches

In today’s digital age, knowledge has no boundary. It is because great technology has to offer benefits to its users. You can now connect, meet, and mastermind with other coaches online. These days, it is incredibly easy to approach your favorite coaches.

You can do that by sending an email, writing a tweet, and texting on a Facebook messenger. You will be glad to know that so many coaches are willing to connect with sports enthusiasts. However, you are required to carefully design your message or query so that you can assure high chances of receiving a response.

#3: Attend Online Free Clinics

Up next, you can check on the online free clinics to acquire reliable information related to the basketball world. You can get access to tons of tutorials to watch online. If you don’t know where to look for such online free clinics, then you must visit the FIBA YouTube channel. It is one of the best platforms to improve your basketball knowledge because this channel uploads useful content and relevant videos to keep you updated with everything on basketball.

#4: Read, Read, & Read

If you are a true sports enthusiast, then reading books is one of the ideal solutions for you to enhance your knowledge. You must invest your time in reading books, particularly coaching autobiographies.

Reading is a sure way to gain knowledge about the former and current coaches, their struggles, and their success stories. You must understand that reading can be your best friend when you are looking to learn the game of basketball.

#5: Subscribe to Coaching Blogs

You can subscribe to useful coaching blogs, so you don’t end up missing out on any latest content published. You will directly get an email or receive a message on your phone related to new articles. You can click on the link and read the article when you have the time. In present times, there are a number of coaching blogs that you can subscribe to for valuable content.

Furthermore, you can visit lines.com for free online content. It is one of the primary sources for up-to-the-minute info on NBA, MLB, college basketball, sports betting, and more.

#6: Listen to Podcasts

The podcast is a new big thing in the field of media. Podcasts attempt to cover a massive list of topics and content to educate the audience. If you want to learn more about basketball, then develop a habit of listening to podcasts. You can listen to them while cooking, cleaning, and driving, just like you listen to your favorite music.

You should not waste your time if you hope to know with every little detail of the basketball world. It’s high time that you do yourself a favor and listen to a single episode every day for a better understanding of the game.

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The Houston Rockets Can Win The NBA Championship?

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  • The Houston Rockets have largely been dismissed as credible contenders for the NBA championship. Coach Mike D’Antoni’s small-ball lineups featuring 6’5 PJ Tucker as Houston’s starting center have been dismissed as gimmicks. However, there is value for bettors to take a flyer on the Rockets winning the championship at +1500 odds.
  • The truncated season works to the Rockets’ advantage. The challenge with the Rockets’ small-ball approach is that their players tire out through the course of a long season from having to expend so much energy defending bigger players. This concern should be mitigated by the fact that there are only eight games left in the regular season.
  • In the past, former MVPs James Harden and Russell Westbrook who both have the ability to majorly impact NBA spreads, have struggled in the playoffs after playing so many regular season minutes. Thanks to the four-month layoff, the Rockets should get the best of a fresh and rested duo of Harden and Westbrook. 
  • The end of the regular season and start of the playoffs may resemble scrimmages without fans in attendance. This environment should help a team like the Rockets that relies heavily on the three-point shot.
  • The Rockets are currently the sixth seed in the Western Conference. The team that ended Houston’s championship aspirations the two previous seasons, the Golden State Warriors, have been eliminated from playoff contention.

Shortened Season

It is tough to think of a team that benefited more from the season’s suspension and the shortened regular season than the Rockets. D’Antoni’s small-ball approach has plenty of critics. D’Antoni plays a short rotation where the tallest player on the court for Houston most of the time is 6’7 forward Robert Covington. Even supporters of D’Antoni’s approach worried that the Rockets’ smaller players would simply run out of gas by playoff time from having to play undersized through a long season.

With only eight games left in the regular season, these concerns should be alleviated. D’Antoni is free to run his short rotation as hard as possible without having to worry about exhausting the energy of his players. Houston’s opponents will have less time to adjust to the Rockets’ unique approach before the playoffs with the season almost completed. 

Harden and Westbrook

The Rockets’ championship hopes rest on the shoulders of the two former MVPs on their roster, Harden and Westbrook. Last season, Harden and Westbrook both played on average over 36 minutes per game, which makes them a favorite for NBA public betting and daily fantasy players.. They played so many regular season minutes that it negatively impacted their playoff performances. In the 2018-2019 regular season, Harden averaged 36.1 points per game for the Rockets while Russell Westbrook shot 42.8% from the field for the Oklahoma City Thunder. In the 2019 playoffs, Harden’s scoring average dipped to 31.6 points per game while Westbrook’s field goal percentage fell off a cliff to 36%.

The Rockets will be getting a rested Harden and Westbrook for the stretch run. Houston should be hopeful that the four-month layoff provided Harden and Westbrook with enough rest so that their playoff performances will not decline like they have previously.

Three-point shooting

The NBA season will resume in Orlando without arenas filled with fans. The environment at these games will resemble scrimmages more so than professional basketball games. A scrimmage-type game should favor teams with an offensive arsenal that relies heavily on three-pointers. The Rockets led the NBA in three-point field goals made per game at the time of the season’s suspension. If you are a betting man keep your eye on the Rockets over under line for three pointers. This may be an easy way to make some cash during the NBA playoffs. 

The Rockets are a clear underdog to win the NBA championship. However, bettors should remember that the only team that has beaten the Rockets the last two seasons was the Stephen Curry-Kevin Durant led Golden State Warriors. The Rockets are worth a small investment at +1500 odds to bring the Larry O’Brien trophy back to Clutch City.

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Basketball Betting Sites: NBA odds ahead of the league’s return

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With the NBA set to return at the end of July, fans have a feast of action to look forward to throughout the summer, and bettors are heading over to the best online sports books where odds can be found for outright markets as well as upcoming games.

The Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers, both of whom have been among the favorites for the NBA Championship all season, will face off on day one of the restart, just as they did on the season’s opening night in October.

It was the Clippers that emerged victorious nine months ago, and they backed that up with another triumph over their city rivals on Christmas Day. But the Lakers, who earned a 112-103 win over the Clippers shortly before the lock down, have a comfortable lead at the top of the Western Conference and are priced as short as +200 with some betting sites to secure their first ring since 2010.

The Clippers may have five less wins than the Lakers as things stand, but they are likely to turn it up a notch in the postseason and, as such, +300 is certainly fair.

Sandwiched in between the two LA franchises in the betting odds is the Milwaukee Bucks, whose star man, Giannis Antetokounmpo, is a lock to make it back-to-back MVP Awards, but the ‘Greek Freak’ is looking to improve on last year’s Eastern Conference finals defeat and lead the Bucks to the NBA finals.

Of course, betting odds vary across all of the best sportsbooks for NBA betting, but there is some +250 up for grabs on a Milwaukee team that has the best record, and arguably the best team, in the entire league.

Beyond the three franchises that head up the betting, there are half a dozen teams that could be considered dark horses, including the reigning champions, the Toronto Raptors. Even without two-time NBA Finals MVP, Kawhi Leonard, who joined the Clippers last summer, the league’s only Canadian outfit are in second place in the East and on course for another playoff run.

The Raptors are generally priced around the +2000 mark, which is about the same as what you’ll get for the Boston Celtics depending on who you bet with.

At a shorter price than the Raptors and Celtics are the Houston Rockets, who despite having the same record to date as the new-look Oklahoma City Thunder, are fourth-favorites for the championship at +1200. James Harden, Russell Westbrook and co would need to usurp the LA teams to get out of the West, and that’s before they run into the Bucks or whoever else emerges from the East, so +1200 is perhaps a touch short.

It all gets underway again on Thursday, July 30 with the Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans facing off in Orlando. The Pels, who are sitting outside the playoffs as it stands, are two-point favorites against the spread versus the current fourth seed.

 

The main event on the first night back is the Lakers vs Clippers, with LeBron James’ team marginally favoured, rather like they are in the outright championship market.

 

A six-game slate including the Bucks vs Celtics and Rockets vs Mavericks follows on Friday, July 31, before another intriguing set of games goes ahead on Saturday, August 1, with the Lakers vs Raptors in the late slot.

 

Given that there is no recent form to base odds off of, and performances may not be at such a high level in the early stages given the inevitable rustiness of the players, the betting odds may vary across the board and bettors could be able to find value in certain markets. To compare the top bookmakers for your basketball wagers, visit My Betting Sites.

 

 

 

 

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