The NBA is moving closer and closer to the restart of the season in Orlando. Teams have reported to the bubble in Disney World and training camps are set to begin on July 9, running through July 29 before scrimmages occur. After all of that, we’ll get basketball! DraftKings Sportsbook has win totals posted for each team’s eight-game regular-season schedule. We break down the best bets to consider.
New Orleans Pelicans OVER 5.5 wins +160
The Pelicans were starting to get scary before the season stopped in March. Zion Williamson was looking like an absolute stud and the team was rounding into health and form. If the Pels don’t miss a beat, they could go on a tear in Orlando. It also helps their schedule is a joke. They play three tough games out the gate against the Jazz, Clippers and Grizzlies. If they can get 1-2 wins from that, hitting six is going to be EZPZ.
After those three, it goes Kings, Wizards, Spurs, Kings, Magic. The Wizards and Spurs will essentially be gimme’s. No Bradley Beal for Washington and no LaMarcus Aldridge for San Antonio. The Magic may be tougher than they appear, but still a weak opponent compared to the field. The Kings are inconsistent and likely won’t have much to play for.
Speaking of something to play for, the Pelicans — particularly if they get that win over Memphis — should have plenty to play for. Even if New Orleans misses the playoffs, sending a statement to the league before next season would be wise.
Boston Celtics OVER 5.5 wins +140
The Celtics just seem like the type of team that will be ready to go into the bubble and get to work. Brad Stevens is a great coach, the team is healthy and they’ve got a legit shot at moving up to the No. 2 seed if they perform well. The Toronto Raptors have a 3.0 game lead on the Celts, but also have a very tough schedule in Orlando.
If we look at the Celtics schedule, it’s also not pretty. The thing is, those tough games should bring out the best in the team. The Celtics start things off against the Bucks, which could be considered a relatively big game. Boston gets the Blazers and Heat before a gimme vs. the Nets. They’ll get a crack at Toronto, which could be big for the standings. The last three games should also be very winnable contests vs. the Magic, Grizzlies and Wizards.
So really, if those last three games end up being wins, all the Celtics would need to do is take 3 of 5 from the Bucks, Blazers, Heat, Nets and Raptors. One of those is an auto win against Brooklyn, so really it’s a 2-2 split against the playoff teams and the Celtics can reach six wins.
San Antonio Spurs UNDER 2.5 wins -134
It’s tough to bet against Gregg Popovich and the Spurs, but this isn’t your dad’s Spurs team. San Antonio will be without LaMarcus Aldridge and their schedule gets very difficult after the first team games — which are against teams with incentive to win (SAC, MEM). Let’s say the Spurs drop both those games. At 0-2 the Spurs would need three wins out of this remaining schedule: Sixers, Nuggets, Jazz, Pelicans, Rockets and Jazz. ALL of those opponents will be fighting for playoff seeding most likely. It’s just hard to see this Spurs squad without LMA winning three of those five games. This line isn’t the greatest but I think it’s safe enough.
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