On Friday, the NBA announced the leagues restart schedule that will begin July 30. Each remaining team will play eight games over a 16-day period. The first game since COVID-19 shutdown the league will be between the Utah Jazz and the New Orleans Pelicans.
The NBA games will start between 1 and 2:30 PM Eastern time every day, and the games will be scheduled on three different courts with two courts prepped for national coverage. Teams will play every other day during the two-week restart stretch.
Shortly after the schedule was announced, the oddsmakers released their lines for the July 30 and July 31 games. Oddsmakers are trying to capitalize on an anticipated July 30 return from the NBA. With games going on all day, bettors will be able to take advantage of getting action in on a daily basis.
All 22 remaining teams will play eight games every other day in Orlando. This will help teams prepare for the playoffs, and give teams a chance to still fight for a playoff spot. The rescheduling because shakes up how the remaining eight games will go for playoff seeding.
First, before the league shut down, the New Orleans Pelicans had the toughest schedule in the NBA. Now, they have the easiest eight games of the 22 teams still playing. Sometimes there are coincidences that happen in the NBA.
Other times, it makes people wonder how the team who drafted the most anticipated to rookie since LeBron James gets the easiest remaining schedule while currently sitting 3.5 games back of the eighth seed. Also, the Memphis Grizzlies, who are currently the eighth seed, have the fifth toughest remaining schedule. These are all just funny coincidences.
The Miami Heat have the toughest schedule remaining followed by the Toronto Raptors, Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Lakers, and Memphis Grizzlies rounding out the top five. The Pelicans have the easiest schedule with the Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers, and Orlando Magic having the top five easiest.
Overall, the NBA schedule is set with games going on all day for 16 straight days. This should give NBA fans and bettors an idea on how the new circumstances will affect the games down in Orlando.
July 30/31 Odds
Sportsbooks were quick to post NBA lines as soon as the scheduling came out. With sports bettors looking to get back into action, a lot of people will be looking at the NBA’s all-day action to place wagers.
|2020-07-30||6:30 PM ET||Utah Jazz||-1|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+1|
|2020-07-30||9:00 PM ET||Los Angles Clippers||-1|
|Los Angeles Lakers||+1|
|2020-07-31||2:30 PM ET||Orlando Magic||+1|
|2020-07-31||4:00 PM ET||Memphis Grizzlies||+1.5|
|Portland Trail Blazers||-1.5|
|2020-07-31||4:00 PM ET||Phoenix Suns||-2|
|2020-07-31||6:30 PM ET||Boston Celtics||+5|
|2020-07-31||8:00 PM ET||Sacramento Kings||-1.5|
|San Antonio Spurs||+1.5|
|2020-07-31||9:00 PM ET||Houston Rockets||-1.5|
*Lines courtesy of DraftKings
According to DraftKings, a number of odds make the games fairly even. The Bucks and Celtics have the largest spread, while the Wizards and Suns are the only other matchup with a spread of two or larger.
A lot of this could be because sportsbooks have no clue how a lot of the games will shake after the return. These teams could be rusty or play completely different from what fans saw back in March. Also, playing on a neutral court will also have an impact on games along with regular day games.
A lot of factors will come into play with NBA lines. There is still a possibility that players test positive for COVID-19. As of writing this, the state of Florida had over 9000 confirmed cases the day before, and CDC experts are saying it is turning into another U.S. hotspot.
Health and safety will be important for the NBA to finish its season. Adam Silver has made it clear that once teams and league personnel are in the bubble, they will not be able to leave once they are eliminated.
Right now, NBA players understand the magnitude of the coronavirus and will want to keep themselves and teammates healthy while the remaining 22 teams play for a title. Also, Silver has talked about how the league needs to adapt in unprecedented times, and they are doing so.
The return of the NBA feels real with a scheduled release and odds for opening games. Now, its time to hope that the league will be able to finish the 2020 season.