The NBA is on track to restart on July 30, and each remaining team will play eight games over the 16-day period. As the league resumes, NBA game odds are posted online, and bettors are already analyzing betting on the games.
The games are scheduled to play every day and will be scheduled on three different courts with two games streamed for national coverage. With games being played all day, bettors can take advantage of getting action on a daily basis.
Due to the changed schedule, the odds, analysis, and ways of how bettors approach games will be different from the regular season. The rescheduling has changed the chance of teams to make the playoffs.
The first game since the shutdown due to the coronavirus will be between Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans. The Pelicans have a young, athletic team, including this year’s No. 1 overall pick, Zion Williamson, and their odds of winning are higher.
The Jazz have clinched a playoff spot and are sitting in fourth place of the Western Conference, whereas the Pelicans are ninth and tied with the Sacramento Kings. The Pelicans cannot afford to lose too many games as they are four wins apart from the eighth seed, the Memphis Grizzlies.
On the same day, the LA Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers are playing as well. Both teams are filled with superstars like Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis.
The teams are the top two seeds in the Western Conference, with the odds of winning going to the Lakers. The effort that the Clippers will put in to win the game depends on whether they care about the seeding or not as they are 5.5 games behind the Lakers, and it is unlikely they will be the top seed.
Impact of COVID-19
All teams have handicapped situations like having a neutral court and no fans. Some bettors were curious regarding the likelihood of positive tests for players and their potential impact.
According to bookmakers, a positive coronavirus test will not invalidate future games or bets. If the games are played, then bets will be actionable.
A positive test would be treated the same as an injury. Most of the betting sites like DraftKings, William Hill, and BetMGM are considering refunds if players test positive before July 31.
“All bets will stand as it would if a player was injured,” said Jason Scott, BetMGM VP of trading. “For every punter disadvantaged on a future or an over, there is someone else on another team and an under who is advantaged. If the player tests positive before July 31, we would consider refunds.”
No Home-Court Advantage
Home-court advantage no longer exists. Many wonder if this will impact the odds and betting of the games. Referred to as just neutral court, the stadium will not have any fans, and teams will just need to do what they normally do without home-court factored in.
Josh Sheeran, director of trading at FanDuel, mentioned that there would be less of an impact. Home-court advantage has significantly decreased over time in major sports. This decrease is mainly caused by better travel plans and “more centralized decision-making.”
The absence of home-court advantage will definitely have an impact in the playoffs, especially Game 7. In NBA history, 80% of Game 7s were won by the home team.
The advantage does not apply to every team. The Philadelphia 76ers were 29-2 at home this season while going 10-24 on the road. On the other hand, the Dallas Mavericks went only 19-15 at home and 21-12 on the road.