By Adam Thompson | | 6 mins
Raptors NBA Title Odds Jump & 7 Restart Betting Takeaways
Of all the top contenders for the NBA title, the Toronto Raptors were in many ways the forgotten team.
The Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers were, and are, considered the top contenders in the latest NBA title odds. But after that short list, the Houston Rockets, Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets and even the struggling Philadelphia 76ers were getting more love than the Raptors, who are in the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference.
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But Saturday’s 107-92 dismantling of LeBron James and the West-leading Lakers opened more than a few eyes. At the very least, it put the Raptors (47-18) on par with the other teams challenging for the No. 4 spot on the NBA title futures board.
Oddsmakers were *very* impressed with the Raptors' win over the Lakers on Saturday. On @bookies, Toronto's title odds...:— Mark Strotman (@markstrot) August 3, 2020
Entering the bubble: +2200
After exhibition games: +1800
After Lakers win: +1400
Here are the top 10 teams on the NBA title odds board, and the highest odds available for each:
|Los Angeles Lakers||+250 (DraftKings)|
|Milwaukee Bucks||+290 (Caesars)|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+350 (Caesars)|
|Houston Rockets||+1600 (DraftKings)|
|Toronto Raptors||+1700 (Caesars)|
|Boston Celtics||+2000 (DraftKings)|
|Philadelphia 76ers||+2500 (Caesars)|
|Denver Nuggets||+3000 (DraftKings)|
|Miami Heat||+3200 (Caesars)|
|Dallas Mavericks||+5000 (DraftKings)|
NBA odds current as of publication
NBA Restart Betting Winners
Every team is playing at the Walt Disney World Complex in Orlando, Florida. But there is a home team and an away team in each game. The NBA has done an admirable job making sure it’s noticed by viewers, whether it’s showing fans watching virtually on a large video board, flashing the home team’s graphics or playing the right music at the right times.
Apparently it has worked. The home team has dominated through the opening 19 games of the NBA restart. So far, the hosts are 13-6, a 68.4% win rate that crushes the mark set when there actually is a home team.
Logic would say that lofty “home success” will come down — actual hosts won 54.0% of games during the 2019-20 season.
Hit Or Miss Longshots
The Pelicans haven’t come ready to play, and the Wizards are simply undermanned. The Grizzlies are 0-2, but one loss was by two points, the other was in overtime. Those who have been backing the motivated Suns and Spurs, however, are happy about it.
Phoenix, led by up-and-coming stars Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, are an extreme longshot to get to the No. 9 seed. But so far so good, handling not only the Wizards, but beating the favored Mavericks 117-115 on Sunday.
The Spurs, missing several key pieces, were written off after LaMarcus Aldridge had season-ending surgery during the hiatus. But DeMar DeRozan and Co. have responded, beating the Kings 129-120 and the Grizzlies 108-106. Just like that, the Spurs lead the chase for the No. 9 seed in the West and an 8 vs. 9 play-in matchup.
No team invited to the restart was worse against the spread than the Spurs (25-37-1) — only the Pistons and Timberwolves were worse.
Five teams covered their opening two games, including the Rockets, who upended the East-leading Bucks on Sunday. The Clippers and Orlando Magic have also overachieved in the eyes of oddsmakers.
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NBA Restart Betting Losers
The underdog made a statement on the opening night of the NBA restart, with the Jazz and Clippers each covering as underdogs. Utah won straight-up. Since then, however, it hasn’t gone as well. In the 17 games since, the favorites are 10-6-1.
Cynics have spouted on social media that the only reason several “non-contenders” were invited was so the NBA could get a potential first-round matchup between James and the Lakers against Zion Williamson and the Pelicans.
New Orleans hasn’t done its part. The Pelicans have handled their rookie phenom with kid gloves, sitting him in the end of a close opening loss to the Jazz, and he managed just 14 minutes in a blowout loss to the Clippers.
The Pelicans, fighting for a No. 8/9 seed, aren’t fighting as hard as hoped, and it’s hurting backers’ wallets, going 0-2 against the spread.
Sacramento was a longshot to make a dent in the Western Conference playoffs, but the schedule was favorable to at least give it a go. That didn’t happen. The Kings lost 129-120 to the Spurs and 132-116 to the Magic — two teams with losing records. They now likely have to win out, and with matchups against the Mavericks, Lakers and Rockets upcoming, that isn’t looking good.
Six teams have opened 0-2 ATS so far, and five are in the West. Along with the Pelicans and Kings, other o-fers on the spread include the Lakers, Grizzlies and Mavericks, as well as the Wizards in the East. The four above-mentioned West teams are all above-.500 overall against the spread this season. The Wizards are back to .500 following the restart.
The Biggest Dogs
TJ WARREN WITH THE FIRST 50 PIECE IN THE BUBBLE ?? pic.twitter.com/UJlUJTaOh4— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 2, 2020
The biggest point spread of the restart has been just 7.5 points. The Magic downed the Nets 128-118 to win and cover. The Suns were -7 in a 125-112 win over the Wizards, covering as well. Two teams have been -6, however, and each lost straight-up. The 76ers couldn’t stop TJ Warren, who scored 53 in for the Pacers in a 127-121 win, while the Mavericks lost 117-115 to the upstart Suns despite 40 from Luka Doncic.
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