The NBA is returning to action in exactly one month’s time. The situation is still fluid as COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Florida but as long as the players can get to the bubble, they should be fine. A number of players are already bowing out as they don’t feel it’s worth the risk.
Players like Avery Bradley of the Los Angeles Lakers and Trevor Ariza of the Portland Trail Blazers have decided not to return and more are likely to do the same. That’ll make this year’s run through the playoffs all the more challenging and interesting.
2020 Opening NBA Odds
We’ll have two on Thursday, July 30th and 11 more on Friday, July 31st. Let’s take a closer look at all of the games and the opening odds.
Thursday, July 30th
Utah Jazz at New Orleans Pelicans
The COVID-19 pandemic sparked with the Jazz when Rudy Gobert passed it around the team, which kicked off the whole hiatus. At the time, he received a lot of blame but looking back now, the sporting pause was inevitable.
This matchup is important to both teams as the Pelicans are on the outside of the playoffs looking in and they need to make up 2.5 games on the Memphis Grizzlies. Meanwhile, the Jazz is just 1.5 games out of the No. 3 seed and also 2.5 from the No. 6, so they can move up or down quite a bit.
Los Angeles Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers
Odds: Clippers -1
The Clippers-Lakers showdown is what everyone is expecting to see in the Western Conference finals. It’s interesting to see the Clippers are favored in this spot. The Lakers lost a key roleplayer when Bradley pulled out but they quickly rebounded by signing J.R. Smith.
Friday, July 31st
Orlando Magic at Brooklyn Nets
Odds: Magic -2.5
The Magic and Nets are the two final seeds in the Eastern Conference playoff picture as of right now. Both are very likely going to the playoffs. The Nets are only ahead of the Magic by a half-game, though, and the Nets will be without Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, DeAndre Jordan – who tested positive for COVID-19 – and possibly Spencer Dinwiddie as well.
Memphis Grizzlies at Portland Trail Blazers
Odds: Trail Blazers -1
The Grizzlies hold the No. 8 seed in the West and will square off with the No. 9 seeded Trail Blazers in this spot. The Blazers are 2.5 games back. The two teams have only squared off once this season and the Grizzlies won that contest 111-104 on February 12th.
Phoenix Suns at Washington Wizards
Odds: Suns -3
The Suns are a whopping six games back of the final playoff spot in the West while the Wizards are 5.5 back of the last spot in the East. Neither team has a realistic shot of playing beyond the remaining eight regular-season games and will be two of the weakest teams showing up to the Disney bubble.
Boston Celtics at Milwaukee Bucks
Odds: Bucks -5
The Bucks are the top team in the Eastern Conference and will faceoff with the Celtics here, who are the No. 3 team in the East. The Celtics were 37-15 at one point this season but were just 6-6 in their final 12 games before the break. We’ll get an early view of who they are when they return to action in this one.
Sacramento Kings at San Antonio Spurs
Odds: Kings -3
The Kings and Spurs are both longshots to make the playoffs in the West. The Kings were 7-3 in their final 10 games before the break and were playing some of their best basketball. They should have a good shot in this one as the Spurs have announced that power forward LaMarcus Aldridge is out for the season and won’t be participating.
Houston Rockets at Dallas Mavericks
Odds: Rockets -1
The Rockets and the Mavericks are the No. 6 and No. 7 seeds in the West. The Rockets are 1.5 games up on the Mavs but this game will shift those standings. The Rockets started the year 21-9 but entered the break just 19-15 over their final 34 games.
Miami Heat at Denver Nuggets
Odds: Nuggets -1
Two teams that started the season really well but faded down the stretch will clash in this one. The young Heat team, who were one of the biggest surprises in the East, started the year 24-8. However, they were just 17-16 in their final 33 games. As for the Nuggets, they were 21-8 at one point but entered the break scuffling, just 5-6 in their final 11 contests.
Utah Jazz at Oklahoma City Thunder
Odds: Jazz -1
The Jazz will be one of the teams in a back-to-back on Friday when they face the Thunder. Oklahoma City was 20-11 in away games this season – the second-most road wins in the West – which could prove valuable since no teams will have home-court advantage any longer.
New Orleans Pelicans at Los Angeles Clippers
Odds: Clippers -5
Both the Pelicans and Clippers find themselves in a back-to-back spot here, so keep an eye on the load management of guys like Kawhi Leonard and Zion Williamson.
Philadelphia 76ers at Indiana Pacers
Odds: 76ers -3 at FanDuel
The 76ers had one of the biggest home-away record discrepancies as they were an incredible 29-2 at home but wee just 10-24 on the road. We’ll see how they perform in this one as they face the Pacers, the team they are currently tied within the standings in the Eastern Conference.
Toronto Raptors at Los Angeles Lakers
Odds: Lakers -3.5 at PointsBet
The Raptors have had a head start on all of the other teams as they’re already together getting ready for the season. The Lakers will be in a back-to-back spot in this one, so keep an eye on the status of LeBron James and Anthony Davis.