I suppose we should trust the process.
The NBA’s efforts to resume the season have mostly stayed on track. So Philadelphia 76ers fans who hope to see their team on the court again might very well get their wish.
Late last week, the NBA released the schedule for the seeding games that are supposed to be played between July 30 and Aug. 14 at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida. A number of obstacles still linger in the weeks ahead — most notably, possible outbreaks of the coronavirus among participating players and teams — but at least there’s a plan in place.
And if everything proceeds as planned, basketball will be back. The 76ers will be too.
It’s a process many want to see reach the finish line.
Let’s take a quick look at what basketball and NBA betting might look like when they arrive in just a few more weeks.
Sixers are four-point favorites in their first game back
The Philadelphia 76ers are scheduled for a return to the court on Aug. 1 against the Indiana Pacers.
BetRivers Sports and DraftKings Sportsbook currently have Philly as a four-point favorite in the contest. The 76ers are -167 on the moneyline, while the Pacers are +140.
FanDuel Sportsbook and Fox Bet have slightly different numbers, but Fox Bet has a wealth of betting lines already available, including an over/under for the game set at 210.5.
Eight teams have been eliminated in the NBA’s restart
The NBA’s plan to return features 22 of the league’s top 30 teams, including the top eight teams in each conference and six teams within six games of the eighth seed.
Following the seeding games, the league will transition into its traditional playoff format. A complete list of the teams still in contention and their upcoming schedules is available here.
Philadelphia 76ers not viewed as an Eastern Conference favorite
Despite reaching the Eastern Conference finals last season, the 76ers are not viewed as a conference favorite in the NBA’s 2020 return. The Milwaukee Bucks are the clear favorites at BetRivers/PlaySugarHouse and DraftKings, with odds of -165. The Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors are next at +700. The Miami Heat and 76ers are behind them at +900.
Fox Bet views Philadelphia more favorably at +850, but has boosted their odds to +900.
The rest of the Eastern teams and their odds to win the conference according to BetRivers/PlaySugarHouse are as follows:
- Indiana Pacers: 33-1
- Brooklyn Nets: 100-1
- Orlando Magic: 100-1
- Washington Wizards: 150-1
The Los Angeles Lakers are the favorites out west
LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers are the Western Conference favorites at +160. Their crosstown rivals, the LA Clippers, are close behind at +180. The Houston Rockets (+700) and Denver Nuggets (+1200) are next. The Utah Jazz and Dallas Mavericks follow them at +1400.
The rest of the Western teams and their odds to win the conference at DraftKings are as follows:
- Oklahoma City Thunder: 40-1
- New Orleans Pelicans: 66-1
- Portland Trailblazers: 80-1
- Memphis Grizzlies: 120-1
- Phoenix Suns: 250-1
- San Antonio Spurs: 250-1
- Sacramento Kings: 250-1
Lakers, Bucks are close favorites for the NBA title
Oddsmakers have the LA Lakers (+240) and the Milwaukee Bucks (+250) as the front-runners for the NBA Championship at BetRivers/PlaySugarHouse and DraftKings Sportsbook. The Philadelphia 76ers are an interesting risk/reward wager at +2800. The other teams in the top 10 are:
- LA Clippers: +333
- Houston Rockets: +1200
- Boston Celtics: +2000
- Toronto Raptors: +2200
- Denver Nuggets: +2500
- Miami Heat: +3000
- Utah Jazz: +3300
‘The Greek Freak’ the favorite for the league’s MVP
Futures bets on the league’s eventual MVP are also available now. Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo is a heavy favorite at FanDuel at -2400. LeBron James is next at +1100, followed by James Harden (+8000), Luka Doncic (+8000) and Kawhi Leonard (+9500).
FanDuel also has Rookie of the Year odds available on Memphis’ Ja Morant (-3000) and Zion Williamson (+900).
Live daily fantasy will also return
NBA daily fantasy contests will also resume if the league’s return stays on track. Both FanDuel and DraftKings are likely to offer some massive prize pools to celebrate the NBA’s comeback, so DFS players should watch for those.
Yes, there are still obstacles ahead. And yes, there are many more days of waiting as well. But the NBA has plans. And the league has a schedule too.
It’s enough to give us all a little bit of hope.
We just have to trust the process.