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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