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How much stock can you put into two weeks of the regular season? A lot, apparently.
Although the bubble was utilized to spring 22 playoff hopefuls back into action, it's altered the way bettors perceive these teams.
It makes for a fun, new cycle of buying and selling teams. Given what we've seen, here are the two teams to buy right this minute.
I loved what I saw from Toronto before the layoff and have been reassured during the restart. The Raptors are for real and have everything you want in a playoff team - discipline, experience, and an elite head coach that can adjust on the fly whenever he finds himself outmatched on paper. (The Raptors were +232 underdogs to beat the Bucks in the Eastern Conference finals last season, then +240 against the Warriors in the Finals; we know how those ended.)
The Raptors are actually in a better spot than they were at this point last season, before they were crowned champions. The obvious missing link is Kawhi Leonard; however, despite losing arguably a top-five player in the league, the Raptors consistently get the job done as a collective. There are few NBA rosters that rival Toronto's top to bottom, as the front office and coaching staff have enjoyed unparalleled success developing players.
It's going to be difficult for any team to consistently light up the scoreboard in a series against the Raptors. They're second in the NBA in defensive rating and have six qualified players with at least a +1.0 defensive box plus/minus rating.
The Raptors sit 13th in scoring offense, but the advanced metrics look a bit better - they're eighth in eFG%, ninth in TS%, and fifth in overall net rating.
Toronto isn't the team to beat - that'd be the Bucks, Lakers, and Clippers - although the ring on the players' fingers would suggest otherwise. This is a rare case when we could get a solid number on a team that just won the title, mainly because the market has flocked to the superteams.
If you're still taking a wait-and-see approach with Toronto, you're already too late to the party.
There's little separating the Clippers from the Bucks and Lakers, but they certainly deserve to be atop the oddsboard. They have star power, depth, playmakers on the wing, and a head coach with a knack for winning. What more could you ask for?
They have an edge over the Lakers in offensive rating, net rating, and true shooting percentage. Although Milwaukee's in a class of its own in virtually every advanced statistic, L.A. has the playoff experience - Paul George and Leonard alone have played in 187 combined postseason games - to combat a Giannis Antetokounmpo-led Bucks squad.
There are just too many lineups and combos that Rivers can trot out. The Clippers lead the league in bench scoring and are undefeated this season when fully healthy.
The Clippers have yet to flip the switch this season. I wouldn't want to be betting against them when they do.
Alex Kolodziej is a betting writer for theScore. He's a graduate of Eastern Illinois who has been involved in the sports betting industry for 12 years. He can quote every line from "Rounders" and appreciates franchises that regularly wear alternate jerseys. Find him on Twitter @AJKolodziej.