Brooklyn Nets vs. Dallas Mavericks (+2500)
The Brooklyn Nets versus the Los Angeles Lakers is the matchup the oddsmakers have as the favorite, giving you a +500 return. With injury questions surrounding both teams, this number is way too low to lock up for all season long. Therefore we must choose a long shot or two and these early-season bets in order to put ourselves in a better position to reinvest during the regular season.
I do believe the Nets will come out of the East as they were just a couple of injuries and a size 18 shoe away from reaching the Finals this season. So if we pencil in the Nets as the favorite, we need to find a counterpart that will pay us handsomely. This team needs to have a huge upside while not being the obvious selection right now. This team is the Dallas Mavericks.
The Dallas Mavericks have an MVP candidate in Luka Doncic. Kristaps Porzingis will finally be 2 years off his ACL surgery. While players come back much faster from these surgeries, most will agree that it takes two years to finally feel right after an ACL tear. With Porzingis primed to make a leap back into full health, he can be the X-Factor that this team needs.
The Mavericks added Reggie Bullock, Moses Brown, and Sterling Brown as well as switching coaches to Jason Kidd. While Kidd might not be the most highly-regarded coach, he is a welcome change for the Mavericks as both Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis had issues with former head coach Rick Carlisle. These additions help with the Mavericks’ shooting and defense. While they aren’t big names, they definitely fill out a roster and help complement the Mavericks stars.
Assuming the Mavericks stay healthy, and are headed in the right direction we know that Mavericks owner Mark Cuban will be aggressive in acquiring veteran players. A trade-deadline acquisition could push the Mavericks over the top and at 25 to 1, this is a much better preseason investment than playing the chalky Brooklyn vs. L.A. matchup. In making these season-long bets we are looking for a team with upside. The Dallas Mavericks and potential MVP Luka Doncic have that upside.
NBA East Conference Final Matchup Pick: (visit our Sportsbook Review)
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Los Angeles Lakers (+1400)
The Lakers are the favorite to come out of the West. Although Phoenix looked great last season, I do believe the Lakers would have won if they were fully healthy. This season they surrounded Anthony Davis and LeBron James with a much more shooter-friendly roster which should augment their strength even more.
The Lakers added Russell Westbrook, Dwight Howard, Trevor Ariza, Wayne Ellington, Malik Monk, Kent Bazemore, and Kendrick Nunn, Rashawn Rondo, and DeAndre Jordan. This represents a complete overhaul of the Lakers roster. It addressed the lack of shooting around LeBron. The addition of Westbrook is pivotal. While he does not provide the outside shooting that the Lakers desire, he can carry the team and eat up large portions of minutes.
This will allow Davis and James to get more rest during the regular season and prevent their season-long wear and tear. It should have them more healthy and ready to go for the playoffs. While some question Westbrook’s fit in a tight seven-game playoff series, he definitely will be a huge addition for the Lakers this regular season and will allow them to have a great chance to head into the playoffs healthy.
So we need to have some Lakers exposure here going into the season. Why not match them with the Bucks? Just like the Lakers have injury concerns, the Nets do as well. The Nets lost two of their three-star players to injury during the playoffs last season and all of them are over 30. By contrast, the Bucks are led by 26-year-old Giannis Antetokounmpo who showed how resilient he is during the playoffs when suffering an injury that most thought would knock them out for the season. The injury took him out for one game.
Because of the Bucks pedigree that they earned this season and the likelihood that they can stay healthy, we definitely need some Bucks exposure in our portfolio. At 14 to 1, it has crossed the threshold to where it is now acceptable to invest. The Bucks and the Lakers would also be a dream matchup for NBA Executives. It would pit 2 time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo against LeBron James and Anthony Davis. If this is indeed the exact Finals matchup, not only will we be rewarded with a nice payout, we will also be treated to a spectacular basketball delight.
NBA West Conference Final Matchup Pick:
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.