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NBA – Week 8 In Review

There hasn’t been any movement in the NBA championship market, but the LA Clippers may change that soon given the recent play of Kawhi Leonard in his latest return from injury.

Suns Getting Hot

As if the loss to the New Orleans Pelicans wasn’t bad enough, the Phoenix Suns embarrassed themselves in the final seconds. Failing to track back in defence on the finals play of the game, the Suns provided Zion Williamson with free passage to the hoop. Somebody of his skill level is going to take that opportunity to please the crowd and his 360 throw-down did just that to wrap up the 128-117 win.

Lost in all of that is the fact the Pelicans are now 17-8. They’re playing with the best record in the Western Conference and still look like a team barely touching the surface of their potential. CJ McCollum has integrated into the team seamlessly, Brandon Ingram has played well when healthy and Williamson has taken his game to another level. His game-ending dunk made it 35 points on 13-17 shooting against the Suns. For the season, he’s averaging 24.5 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists while shooting 61% on two-point shots. His 27.3% on 0.6 threes per game could use some work, but the 22-year-old has plenty of time for that moving forward.

While the Pelicans may be leading a congested West, they’re still not rating too much of a mention in the race for the NBA championship. They’re still out on the 11th line of betting at $23.

Golden State Warriors Winding Up?

Will their 123-107 win over the Boston Celtics act as a trigger to really start the Golden State Warriors season?

Decidedly average up until this win to push them over .500 (14-13), the Warriors looked back to their best when going up against the NBA-best Celtics. Klay Thompson turned back the clock to score 34 points, Steph Curry did his usual for 32 points. The Warriors are now 14-0 in the regular season when both of the Splash Brothers score 30+. Meanwhile, Jordan Poole, who started for the injured Andrew Wiggins, contributed with 20 to terrorize the Celtics on the perimeter.

One of the major talking points to come out of this one is the emergence of Jonathan Kuminga. His 14 points, five rebounds and three assists are nice numbers in the box score, but his individual defence is will have pleased Steve Kerr the most. Kerr talked about Kuminga now being another defensive weapon to throw onto the opposition’s best player. It’s been a tough slog for the Warriors on the defensive side of the ball. It appeared to be the most glaring issue throughout their early-season struggles. However, now up to 14th in defensive rating allowing 112.6 points per 100 possessions, the Warriors are on the up and starting to justify their $8.50 to win the NBA championship.

Kawhi Returns…

Everybody has learned not to get too excited when Kawhi Leonard returns from injury. He’s not going to push things. No recovery plan is too cautious and despite the fact having him nurse his way through a regular hasn’t translated into post-season success, the LA Clippers are taking it slowly.

Leonard looks good, though.

Really good…

He knocked down a game-winner in his first game back. Following a night off on the second night of a back-to-back and a 30-minute outing in their loss to the Magic, Leonard dished out what ended up as a game-winning bucket to beat the Wizards.

Despite the injuries and relatively disappointing start, the Clippers have always been towards the top of the NBA championship odds.

Futures Bet of the Week

It’s early on in Leonard’s return.

We’re relying on him to not only be healthy come playoffs time, but to be healthy enough throughout the regular season to develop the much-needed cohesion with the players around him.

A lot needs to go right for the Clippers to end up on top. However, their $5 to win the Western Conference appeals.

Tip: Western Conference Winner – LA Clippers @ $5

Betting Trends Update

Home underdogs are a bettor’s best friend at the moment cashing in at 57.8% throughout the first two months of the regular season.

On their own, home teams are beating the spread in 53.8% of matches while underdogs are creeping past at a 51.4% clip.

From a Total’s perspective, it’s a coin flip. Unders has come in across all games at 49.5% to the Overs’ 50.5%.

NBA Championship Odds

We don’t need to check in on the teams towards the bottom of the NBA championship list. Here, we keep an eye on those inside the Top 10 each week.

It’s been a quiet week in the NBA Championship market. The Boston Celtics creeping in further as favourites from $4.50 to $4.33 is the only change.

A five-game winning streak to be 17-9 and 2nd in the Western Conference hasn’t been enough to shift the Memphis Grizzlies out of $21. Similarly, the New Orleans Pelicans still can’t crack the Top 10 despite their six-game winning streak and Wests-best 17-8 record.

Following a period when the NBA seemed somewhat predictable, picking a winner this season is anybody’s guess. With the Celtics and Bucks comfortably the two best teams in the league and on the first two lines of betting, the value is likely to be in the West.

Top 10 Odds

TEAMPRESEASON PRICEWEEK 1 PRICE
Boston Celtics$4.50$4.33
Milwaukee Bucks$5.50$5.50
Phoenix Suns$8$8
Golden State Warriors$8.50$8.50
LA Clippers$10$10
Brooklyn Nets$15$15
Denver Nuggets$15$15
Cleveland Cavaliers$20$20
Memphis Grizzlies$21$21
Philadelphia 76ers$23$23

 

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