In NBA betting, the general rule is the more that is known, the harder it is to find good value. If Team A is exponentially better than Team B, the lines reflect it.
But if that rule is true, then the opposite must also be true. The less that is known, the more volatile the line, the more the public is off, and the greater chance that you can find a line with good value.
Well, never in the history of basketball has there been less known about what is going to happen in Orlando. No home courts, no fans, and everyone living under one bubble. Trying to parse what will happen based on where things stood in March is a fool’s errand.
LA Clippers (+4.5) vs. Los Angeles Lakers – July 30
That takes us to our first best bet this weekend. Are the Lakers really 4.5 points better than the Clippers? Four months away from competitive basketball makes it impossible to say. This feels like too big of a line for these two very evenly matched teams.
Also, it’s important to remember that this is just a seeding game, and the Lakers are already going to be tough to catch atop the West. The Clippers have a much greater incentive when they take the floor.
Orlando Magic (-6.5) vs. Brooklyn Nets – July 31
No NBA team has less to play for than the Nets, and no team is headed to Orlando with fewer of its star players. No Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving, and with no real incentive to win, means that the Nets will be treating the Orlando bubble like a training camp for next season.
The Magic, on the other hand, can pass the Nets in the standings with this one win and move into a better seed. Being the only true home team for the restart may also aid the Magic a bit, but really it’s the tattered shape of the Nets roster that makes this a strong bet to make.
Oklahoma City Thunder (-1) vs. Utah Jazz – Aug. 1
These two teams are right next to each other in the standings, making it an even matchup on a regular day. But this is Utah’s second game of the restart after taking on New Orleans Thursday night. Considering no one has played competitive basketball in four months, turning around and playing again on Saturday will take its toll.
When things shut down in March, Oklahoma City was playing some of the best basketball in the league and was particularly good at winning close games – which is what will happen here.
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