NBA basketball is back in a little over 24 hours, and you can already start to feel the excitement on social media. Despite a few hiccups with a few players not obeying safety precautions, the NBA bubble has been flawless. Out of the 346 players who tested in the bubble, 0 tested positive for the corona-virus as of July 13th. This is great news if the NBA expects to crown a champion by October. So lets take a look at the NBA’s Western Conference, and see if we can find value in betting a champion this year.
Los Angeles Lakers: LeBron James is STILL the best player in the NBA, at 35 years old. Whether he wins the MVP this year or not, LeBron has led the Lakers to the best record in the West. Averaging 25.7 points per game, and leading the NBA in assists at 10.6 per game, LeBron and his superstar teammate Anthony Davis look like they’re on a mission to win the Championship this year. AD is have a great year too. He’s averaging 26.7 points, and 9.4 rebounds per game. The only thing holding these 2 superstars back, is the Lakers bench. With Avery Bradley opting out of the bubble, and Rajon Rondo getting hurt before the restart of the season, the Lakers are struggling with depth. Especially at the point guard position. The Lakers are still the prohibited favors to win the championship, but for betting purposes, I would look at a different team to put my money on this year. Los Angeles Lakers betting odds to win championship +250, 5/2.
Los Angeles Clippers: The other team in LA, looks like the better all-around team. At least on paper. Last year’s finals MVP, Kawhi Leonard and All-Star forward Paul George, lead the Clippers into the bubble in hopes of a championship. If Kawhi can win a championship this year, he will be the only player in NBA history to win a championship on 3 different teams. (LeBron will be if he wins also.) But the X-factor for Kawhi to win, is his 3 goons who have his back. Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, and Montrezl Harrell. They are the heart, and soul of the Los Angeles Clippers. I do think there is some value in betting on the Clippers, but you wont profit much of they win. The Clippers are a safe pick, not a great value pick. Los Angeles Clippers betting odds to win championship +333, 33/10.
Houston Rockets: Now here’s a value pick! The Rockets are always in the mix every year, but can never get it done. This year could be different. James Harden leads the team, and the NBA in scoring at 34.4 points per game. Russell Westbrook has been a monster for them all season, and averages 27.5 points, 8 rebounds and, 7 assist. Houston has been known for its lack of defense, and excessive 3-point shots in the past. But if they can get hot this year, it might be a problem for a lot of teams. And seeing as how the Golden State Warriors are not in the NBA bubble, Houston might be able to get to the championship. There is a lot of value in this pick, which is why I’m suggesting to bet the Houston Rockets as a long shot. Houston Rockets betting odds to win championship +1400, 14/1.
Whichever team comes out the Western Conference this year is going to have to earn it. The playoffs are not going to be easy with all the things that can possibly go wrong with COVID-19. Stay tuned in as the season begins tomorrow, and be sure to watch the #HELLAFLAGRANT Podcast to hear more about the NBA bubble/ playoffs. Sleeper pick if the make the playoffs: Portland Trailblazers +8000, 80/1.