1. #1
    Hman
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    Best value bets for the NBA season restart 🏀

    Best value bets for the NBA season restart

    ESPN PLUS ($ MATERIAL)



    The NBA season is set to restart Thursday with two games on the slate. And the return to action in the bubble at Walt Disney World Resort also brings plenty of betting opportunities.


    Betting experts Jordan Schultz, Preston Johnson, Joe Fortenbaugh and Doug Kezirian offer their best bets for the playoffs, the NBA Finals and more.



    Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook unless otherwise noted.



    LA Clippers to win the NBA Finals (+325)

    Kezirian: Caesars is giving bettors a gift, given all the liability it has on the Lakers, and offering a nice payout on the Clippers. At this price, and given the Lakers are without Avery Bradley and Rajon Rondo, the Clippers sure feel like the team to beat. We know what Kawhi Leonard can do, and I am not concerned about the Lou Williams issues. He will eventually return, and the Clips will make a serious run behind Doc Rivers.




    Boston Celtics to win NBA Finals (17-1) and Eastern Conference (7-1)

    Foretenbaugh: Let me start by saying that I don't trust the Bucks when that franchise ventures into deep water. Milwaukee turned a 2-0 series lead against the Raptors in last year's Conference Finals into a 4-2 series defeat and, since that time, has done what to get better? Enter a well-balanced squad like the Boston Celtics, who ranks in the top-5 in the NBA in both offensive and defensive efficiency. Boston is well-coached under Brad Stevens and bursting with quality talent led by Jayson Tatum, all while residing in a conference that is somewhat up for grabs in the Orlando bubble. Given their track record, I'm definitely taking a nibble at both 7/1 to win the East and 17/1 to win the title.




    Philadelphia 76ers to win the NBA Finals (25-1)

    Kezirian: I am baffled to see the Milwaukee Bucks are even bigger favorites right now to win the East (-230) than they were before the pandemic (-220) -- when they had home-court advantage. I just do not get it. There is absolutely no way I would lay chalk in these bubble playoffs, given any star can contract the coronavirus and be sidelined. Just look at what has happened in the first few days of the MLB season. Additionally, the delay allowed both Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid to restore their health. Plus, while they were injured, Philly was able to provide some valuable experience to guys that could play huge playoff minutes. I like what I saw in Shake Milton and Furkan Korkmaz. If Al Horford can channel some of his peak play and Embiid stays healthy, this team will be a force on a neutral court.




    76ers to win the East (7-1)

    Johnson: I've had a crush on the Sixers since before the season started. My model won't give up on them. On paper, they have the second-best roster in the East. Due to a hit-or-miss regular season prior to the hiatus, Philadelphia finds itself in the No. 6 seed. While a lack of home court would typically play a factor in any other season, they avoid this disadvantage playing out the rest of the season in the bubble. This hurts teams such as the Bucks, Raptors and Celtics, for example, and it opens up an easier path for the Sixers.


    When it comes to the lack of continuity during the regular season, they seem to be extremely pleased with the changes they've made putting Ben Simmons at power forward and starting Shake Milton at the point. In 32 games this season, Milton shot over 45% from deep and 54% from the field overall. Rather than having multiple non-shooters on the floor at the same time in the previous starting lineup, this move allows the Sixers to increase their 3-point shooting threat while subsequently bolstering their bench by moving Horford to the second unit.


    When it comes to futures prices, I'm ultimately looking for value due to a discrepancy in my projections compared to the market. We found one with the Raptors last year in the East, and it paid off. I think Philly is the team that offers a similar edge. At the price of +700, we need the Sixers to come through only 12.5% of the time to break even on the proposition. I project Philly to come out of the East 17.1% of the time, or a true price of +485. I'm still a believer.




    Toronto Raptors to win the East (7-1)

    Schultz: This isn't the moonshot gamble the odds might suggest. To be clear, Milwaukee is the best team in the East and Giannis Antetokounmpo has earned the MVP. But we must consider what impact the bubble will have and which teams will benefit the most. The Raptors are a team of overachievers; Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, Kyle Lowry -- these guys are all just hoopers. Then there's basketball-lifer Nick Nurse, who made his mark in the G-League and previously in the UK. Having to "make due" at Disney World is a walk in the park. An excellent Xs and Os mind and elite in-game coach, Nurse will expose weaknesses that others cannot see or unlock. And with the league's second-best defensive efficiency behind only the Bucks, the Raptors are always in close games -- an especially good thing when we consider they rank second in clutch efficiency and fifth in clutch wins.




    Portland Trail Blazers to make the playoffs (5-1)

    Schultz: Few teams will benefit from the long layoff more than the Blazers. With centers Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins both returning to the lineup, head coach Terry Stotts can deploy his flow offense in a way that was simply not feasible all season. Nurkic is the key. He's a physical presence that few teams in the West can match. Offensively, he's a terrific pick-and-roll big who creates real problems as a scoring and passing threat, which will also benefit a slimmed down Carmelo Anthony, who now shifts back to the three. Keep in mind that Portland ranks second in the league in pick-and-roll attempts and first in scoring -- and can now deploy its duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum to maximize Nurkic while reaching the playoffs for the seventh straight year.




    Brooklyn Nets under 2.5 wins (-115)

    At DraftKings
    Johnson: This one is fairly straightforward for me. The Nets' roster in the bubble doesn't resemble anything near a legitimate playoff roster. I only project them to be a favorite in one of the remaining eight games (against the Wizards), and that is far from a certainty they win anyway. There could be a discussion that if the Nets were to play a team with playoff position already solidified in their final game of the regular season, then the Nets would have a better chance of stealing that eighth game. In their case, however, they get a Portland squad that will likely be vying to sneak into the No. 9 spot in the West and compete in a play-in series against Memphis to make the NBA playoffs. I only project the Nets to go 3-5 or better 42.0% of the time, so at the price of -115 on an under 2.5 bet, I'm all over it.


    Milwaukee Bucks under 6.5 regular season wins (-250)

    At DraftKings

    Fortenbaugh: The Bucks have a 6.5-game lead over Toronto for the top seed in the Eastern Conference with just eight contests to play, so what's the incentive here for Milwaukee to play 48 minutes of championship-caliber basketball night in and night out? The goal should be simple: Secure the 1-seed, get the roster back into playing shape and avoid catastrophic injury. Further, the opposition these guys will face over that final 8-game run isn't exactly a walk in the park, with marquee showdowns against the Celtics, Rockets, Heat, Mavericks and Raptors all coming within the first six games. Two losses gets us paid and two losses we shall have.




    Washington Wizards to finish with the eighth seed (16-1)

    At Westgate
    Kezirian: I do not advise you to watch any of their games, but all tickets cash the same, right? I am essentially banking on Washington outdueling Brooklyn -- or what's left of their teams. Both squads are playing without their best players, but I just cannot pass up 16-1 for a collection of talent that could produce a wide range of outcomes. I am confident the Wizards will play hard. I imagine Brooklyn will, too, but I have to grab 16-1. The Nets are just as bad.

  2. #2
    IBetYou
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    I did the Wiz to make the playoffs bet already. One injury to injury-prone LeVert and teh Nets are ******. Wiz need to catch 'em by two games which is the tricky bit. Need the Nets to lose every game.

  3. #3
    lakerboy
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    Every single guy is on Boston. Toronto is still tough.
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  4. #4
    lonegambler23
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    betting experts lmao

  5. #5
    IBetYou
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    The East is going to be fascinating this year. Looks wide open to me. Bucks are the popular choice, but with expectations comes pressure.

  6. #6
    Goat Milk
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    76ers and Pacers my sleepers in the east

    But who knows if a guy gets covid, your future is a wrap

  7. #7
    JMobile
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    A dozen Lakers catch Covid19 in less than a week

  8. #8
    lakerboy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goat Milk View Post
    76ers and Pacers my sleepers in the east

    But who knows if a guy gets covid, your future is a wrap
    Pacers? What you seeing ? They are a scrappy team that wins regular season games because they put out effort but in the playoffs they don't have enough talent.
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  9. #9
    Goat Milk
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    Quote Originally Posted by lakerboy View Post
    Pacers? What you seeing ? They are a scrappy team that wins regular season games because they put out effort but in the playoffs they don't have enough talent.
    I see Oladipo back to 100% most likely, making him one of the best guards in the NBA, and Brogdon with some good experience, 2 games from the finals last year, won championships in college, and Sabonis imo is one of the best bigs in the East, maybe even in the NBA. He's got something old school about him too (mentally). That's not mentioning TJ Warren who is their leading scorer. I just think they have a very rock solid starting 5. Very hard team to beat in a 7 game series probably. They have a of talent this year, don't be fooled by previous years.

  10. #10
    mackave
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goat Milk View Post
    I see Oladipo back to 100% most likely, making him one of the best guards in the NBA, and Brogdon with some good experience, 2 games from the finals last year, won championships in college, and Sabonis imo is one of the best bigs in the East, maybe even in the NBA. He's got something old school about him too (mentally). That's not mentioning TJ Warren who is their leading scorer. I just think they have a very rock solid starting 5. Very hard team to beat in a 7 game series probably. They have a of talent this year, don't be fooled by previous years.
    love this and love you goaty but nba too scripted dawg

  11. #11
    sosawestbrook
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goat Milk View Post
    I see Oladipo back to 100% most likely, making him one of the best guards in the NBA, and Brogdon with some good experience, 2 games from the finals last year, won championships in college, and Sabonis imo is one of the best bigs in the East, maybe even in the NBA. He's got something old school about him too (mentally). That's not mentioning TJ Warren who is their leading scorer. I just think they have a very rock solid starting 5. Very hard team to beat in a 7 game series probably. They have a of talent this year, don't be fooled by previous years.
    Sabonis hurt. not in the bubble. maybe out for the season. them boys don't stand a chance without their Allstar big man.

  12. #12
    sosawestbrook
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    nothing has changed value wise since the start of the season. only exception is the Pels. they are just a significantly better team with Zion. they absolutely can beat the Lakers in a 7game series if they grab the 8spot.

  13. #13
    IBetYou
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    Pacers are as good as anyone in the East when healthy but Sabonis is OUT and Oladipo isn't right.

    Pacers only have Oladipo for one more year I think. Think he will dump 'em - he & Embiid in Miami.

  14. #14
    IBetYou
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    -----although maybe south beach not such a hot spot for the next 5 years :|

  15. #15
    eastvan09
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    I like the Raptors to win the East and the Blazers to make the playoffs.

    If the Blazers get the 8th seed. I wonder what the series prices would be against the Lakers.

  16. #16
    Goat Milk
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    Quote Originally Posted by mackave View Post

    love this and love you goaty but nba too scripted dawg
    I don't think it's scripted otherwise we would have seen Kobe vs. Bron in the finals in 2009. No one cares about the Orlando Magic. We also would never have seen Miami on the verge of self destruction after being down 3-2 to Boston the year after they lost the championship. If Bron doesn't make every jumper in that game and drop nearly 50 on the road, Lebron would have 0 rings right now. And lastly, you can't scrip the NBA when raptors won it all after they needed a game 7 buzzer beater from Leonard to win the eastern conf. semi finals.
    Quote Originally Posted by sosawestbrook View Post

    Sabonis hurt. not in the bubble. maybe out for the season. them boys don't stand a chance without their Allstar big man.
    I'm assuming he's gonna come back in like 2-3 weeks and be present during the playoffs. If not though, yeah, wrap for Indy.

  17. #17
    marcoloco
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    who is the legitimate dark horse?
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  18. #18
    Goat Milk
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcoloco View Post
    who is the legitimate dark horse?
    Philly in the east

    Tough squad

  19. #19
    eastvan09
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    Quote Originally Posted by sosawestbrook View Post
    nothing has changed value wise since the start of the season. only exception is the Pels. they are just a significantly better team with Zion. they absolutely can beat the Lakers in a 7game series if they grab the 8spot.
    Really? The Lakers are scared of the Blazers getting 8th. Blazers have their team healthy now and could gjve Lakers a series. Dame and CJ, Lakers guard depth weakened.

    Who knows, this bubble could be a crazy playoffs if there are early upsets.

  20. #20
    thomorino
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    Philadelphia looks strong and with Milton starting they can move Simmons off the ball late in games. Walkers knee is still beat up, at 9-1 there is likely value on Philadelphia to win the East.

  21. #21
    Buckandadime
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    Could be wrong here but I think OKC makes a lot of noise and has a legit chance to win the division being only 2.5 out and go into the playoffs as a #3 seed..

  22. #22
    thomorino
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    Quote Originally Posted by eastvan09 View Post

    Really? The Lakers are scared of the Blazers getting 8th. Blazers have their team healthy now and could gjve Lakers a series. Dame and CJ, Lakers guard depth weakened.

    Who knows, this bubble could be a crazy playoffs if there are early upsets.
    Portland is a bigger threat than the Pelicans, nitric is healthy now and davis matches up very well with Zion. Pelicans also have no experience they would be happy just to be in the playoffs.

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