The NBA season will resume with a bang when teams get underway at the end of July. The schedule was released Friday.
Caesars Entertainment didn’t waste any time getting spreads up, posting the lines early Saturday for the league’s premier games on July 30 and July 31. The city of Los Angeles will see a highly anticipated cross-town clash when the Lakers and Clippers square off on July 30 in Orlando.
Oddsmakers don’t see any separation between the two sides, as Caesars opened the game as a pick ’em with a total of 220 points. The Lakers are +225 ‘chalk’ to win the NBA Finals at BetOnline, while the Clippers have the third-shortest odds at +350.
Utah and New Orleans will get the action started in the early game on July 30, as the Lakers and Clippers wrap up the two-game slate later in the evening. The Jazz have been pegged as a one-point favorite and the total is 222.5.
The season restart will really ramp up on July 31, as a six-game card foreshadows a hectic slate that will follow for several months. Orlando opened as a one-point favorite against the Nets in a tilt that will tip-off at 2:30 p.m. ET.
(As you can see in the schedule above, the beauty for bettors is that we’ll be getting afternoon games on a daily basis. Without fan attendance to worry about, the games will be spread out with tips from 1:30 in the afternoon until 9:00 at night even Monday-Friday.)
Memphis and Portland are set at pick ’em in the second contest of the day. The Trail Blazers are currently 3.5 games behind Memphis in the standings for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.
Phoenix and Washington are set to battle in a pair of teams on the outside of the playoff picture, with the Suns getting the nod as three-point ‘chalk.’ It has the highest total of any game in the first two days (228.5).
One of the best games on July 31 will tip at 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN, as Boston battles Milwaukee as a five-point underdog. The Bucks are atop the East standings by 6.5 games and they’re -185 favorites to win the conference.
A pair of Western Conference games will close the day. Sacramento is priced as a 2.5-point favorite against San Antonio, while Houston is a slight one-point ‘chalk’ against Dallas. The Rockets hold a 1.5-game advantage over the Spurs for the sixth seed in the conference.
Remember, San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge won’t be a part of the NBA’s restart after he had season-ending surgery in April.