Find line reports, best bets, and subscribe to push notifications in the Betting News section.
Breathe a sigh of relief, NBA bettors: July is finally here, which means we're less than a month away from basketball's bubble restart in Orlando.
We don't know quite what to expect when teams return after a four-month layoff, but if you're aware of what to value when the NBA returns, there's money to be made in a vulnerable betting market.
Here are the NBA title odds four weeks away from the eight-game seeding play, with our favorite teams to bet and fade:
|Los Angeles Lakers||+200|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+350|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||+10000|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+12500|
|Portland Trail Blazers||+15000|
|San Antonio Spurs||+25000|
Los Angeles Clippers (+350)
It's admittedly risky to bet any team under 10-1 given the uncertain circumstances in Orlando, where one key player contracting the virus could derail a club's chances. But favorites dominate basketball, and no favorite is better suited to navigate this postseason than the Clippers.
Kawhi Leonard is 12 months removed from making the case he's the best player on the planet while carrying the Raptors to a title, erasing stars on one end and scoring over them on the other. He's talented enough to do it again, and there's a legitimate second star in Paul George flanking him, alongside a deeper roster than Leonard played with in Toronto.
Depth could mean everything in a risky bubble environment, and L.A. possesses the field's deepest and most versatile roster.
Miami Heat (+2800)
There's so much to like about the Heat heading into the restart. Their lineup is finally healthy, which bodes well for Miami's physical, switching defense that gave teams fits through the first three months of the season. The Heat are also an ideal team to challenge Giannis Antetokounmpo in a similar way that Toronto did a year ago.
Offensively, Jimmy Butler can be "Kawhi-lite" this postseason in what could develop into an ugly on-court product in Orlando. If Butler carries the offense, and a deep Miami bench can exhaust opposing offenses, the recipe is here for a long-shot title winner.
Portland Trail Blazers (+15000)
Let's face it: There isn't a real chance for the teams with 100-1 odds or longer to win it all. But if chaos strikes in Orlando, holding a ticket on one of the longest shots is a nice position, and Portland is the best one to buy.
The Blazers made a long playoff run in 2019 with a similar roster, making it to the Western Conference finals behind the potent backcourt of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. The returning Zach Collins and Jusuf Nurkic will finally support those two, giving Portland arguably the highest upside among the playoff hopefuls.
Los Angeles Lakers (+200)
We're already seeing the bubble circumstances affect a favorite, again showing the risk of buying those teams. For the Lakers, Avery Bradley opted out of the season last week, and Dwight Howard has been considering whether he'll play.
Los Angeles lacks depth at shooting guard and center, and the club can't afford to lose key rotation players. The Lakers also aren't far enough ahead of the Bucks or Clippers to justify paying the shortest price in the field.
LeBron James may have been a driving force behind the NBA's restart, but his team isn't the best equipped to thrive once the season resumes.
Houston Rockets (+1500)
In a vacuum, there's plenty to like about the Rockets' roster. Their two stars are among the best isolation players in NBA history - which works well in Houston's iso-heavy spread attack - and the team's defense is versatile in a way that baffles most opposing squads without strong interior scorers.
Therein lies the problem: The best teams in the playoff field all feature dominant inside scorers and will carve up the Rockets' small-ball lineup, which leaves very little upside to betting on Houston.
If this were a "Western Conference finalist" market, bet the Rockets all the way. To win the title, though? No thanks.
Philadelphia 76ers (+2000)
It's hard to know exactly how much home-road splits will matter in a neutral-court environment. But those records almost certainly won't favor Philadelphia, which is a dreadful 10-24 away from home this year - seventh-worst in the NBA. The Sixers have also posted a losing record (16-19) against teams with winning records, and they've logged the second-worst net rating (+2.1) among the top-six seeds on either side of the bracket.
Add in a disjointed roster and lingering chemistry concerns that a four-month layoff surely didn't fix, and there are enough red flags to write-off the Sixers.
(Odds source: theScore Bet)
C Jackson Cowart is a betting writer for theScore. He's an award-winning journalist with stops at The Charlotte Observer, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Times Herald-Record, and BetChicago. He's also a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and his love of sweet tea is rivaled only by that of a juicy prop bet. Find him on Twitter @CJacksonCowart.