The NBA is back and the bubble is off and rolling as we head full-steam ahead into the postseason. Before that though, there is some money to be made on undervalued teams as we saw on night one of the bubble. Which teams can we expect to be money-makers before the playoffs start?
Before the season went down, the Toronto Raptors were pretty banged up. Now they’ve had some chance to rest and get healthy and for a team that was 35-28-1 ATS before the season got suspended, they have been getting very little title love.
The defending champs may not have Kawhi Leonard anymore, but what they do have is a dynamic and deep roster of talented players. They have a superstar in the making in Pascal Siakam and one of the better defenses in the entire NBA.
Simply put, this team is built to win. They rank second in defensive efficiency this year and between their depth and length, I will be very surprised if the Raptors lose money ATS during the bubble.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Another team that bettors were only catching on to later in the season is the Thunder. Picked to be a lottery team by most pundits before the season, this young group led by Chris Paul is a force to be reckoned with in the bubble.
While their playoff chances may not get off the ground in an increasingly tough West, the Thunder should bring some noise ATS during the restart. They ranked inside the top 10 in defensive efficiency before the season was suspended and they have some of the best guard play in the league with Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Dennis Schroder.
The only thing standing in their way is Schroder’s new baby which is due any day now. He will leave the bubble to be with his wife once she goes into labor, so the Thunder may not be a great bet until their talented sixth man returns from becoming a daddy.
The Mavs may be down two of their big men and one of their rotation guards for the restart, but they still have Luka Doncic and a talented roster of role players and stars.
The Mavs may not be undervalued by the sportsbooks much, but I do think bettors may look at them as the next tier down in this restart, when it’s possible they should be looking at them as contenders.
Dallas may still be a year away, but these crazy circumstances could be a positive for the Mavs rather than a negative. Kristaps Porzingis looks healthy and with that one-two punch and the scoring of Tim Hardaway Jr and Seth Curry, don’t sleep on the Mavs in the seeding games, or the playoffs.
Portland Trail Blazers
Portland is probably one of my favorite teams to bet on during the bubble. They are way healthier than they were when the season was suspended and with a big time front court they can make some noise.
The question that remains to be answered is will they make enough noise to knock the Grizzlies out of the playoffs? I’m not sure on that one, but with Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins healthy, this team could surprise a few people ATS if the NBA odds are too bearish on their chances against contending teams.
With the East being so top heavy it’s hard to find lower seeded teams that have the potential to surprise bettors and books alike. However, I think that team may be the Orlando Magic.
Orlando has always been tough. They play tough defense and they have enough high-powered scorers to keep them close in certain games.
Now they get their x-factor, Jon Isaac back, and with him healthy, the Magic may have one of the best frontcourts in the bubble right now.
Orlando’s length and shooting make them tough to guard and tough to score on as well. Nikola Vucevic may not be a great defender, but with Isaac back and Aaron Gordon playing some of the best basketball of his career, I will be surprised if the Magic lose money ATS both in the seeding games and the playoffs.