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New York Knicks @ Miami Heat, NBA, Week 15, Odds & Predictions
HomeMoneyline (incl. OT)
Phoenix Suns @ Utah Jazz, NBA, Week 15, Odds & Prediction
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Los Angeles Lakers @ Philadelphia 76ers, NBA, Week 15, Odds & Prediction
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The moneyline is the simplest concept in NBA betting. You are simply picking which team will win the game. The margin of victory is not a factor here.
Adding to what is the most competitive division in the NBA, the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors all enter the season with playoff aspirations. For the Celtics, much depends on whether a third scorer can step up to share the burden with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, while the Knicks are hoping continuity plus a refreshed Kemba Walker adds up to another step forward. The Raptors are the wildcard as they enter the post-Kyle Lowry era and retool around a promising core. Rookie Scottie Barnes should be able to contribute straightaway. The pick: Nets (-250)
The appointment of Rick Carlisle should keep the Indiana Pacers in the playoff mix, as long as the Malcolm Brogdon-Caris Levert-Domantas Sabonis core stays healthy, while the Chicago Bulls made plenty of off-season headlines with win-now moves to put Lonzo Ball, DeMar DeRozan and Alex Caruso alongside Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic. The Bulls should be in their fair share of high-scoring games with a potent offense and a shaky defense. The Detroit Pistons and Cleveland Cavaliers can afford to be patient as their young rosters gain more experience. Cade Cunningham, the number one pick, is sure to get all the minutes he can handle in Detroit and the same goes for Evan Mobley in Cleveland. The pick: Bucks (-1000)
The new-look Washington Wizards gave their roster a more balanced look around Bradley Beal this summer, adding Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Kyle Kuzma from the Los Angeles Lakers as part of the Russell Westbrook trade and reaching a deal for Spencer Dinwiddie. The Wizards are still a work in progress but a spot in the play-in tournament again is a possibility. The same could be said for the Charlotte Hornets, who made solid picks in the draft and have a budding star in LaMelo Ball. The Orlando Magic are in full rebuild mode and have a path to another high draft pick next year. The pick: Heat (-125)
The Memphis Grizzlies have the potential to be in the postseason mix again, but trading away Jonas Valanciunas this summer was a surprise. Unless Morant’s shooting numbers climb, they could regress slightly. The San Antonio Spurs have an interesting young core who will have no shortage of minutes to shine after DeRozan and Mills exited this summer, while the Houston Rockets are starting a new era, spearheaded by Jalen Green, the number two pick. The pick: Mavs (-160)
Though the LA Clippers got good news with Kawhi Leonard re-signing long-term, his absence with an ACL injury derails their title chances this season. Then there is the Golden State Warriors’ bid to get back into title contention. Klay Thompson will be back to join Steph Curry and Draymond Green later in the season, but there is enough depth on the roster to keep the Warriors in the top eight in the West. The Sacramento Kings have a chance to finally make a splash as postseason outsiders, but much depends on whether De’Aaron Fox emerges as a top tier point guard. The pick: Lakers (+100)
Meanwhile, the Denver Nuggets will be without Jamal Murray (ACL) for most of the season. Jokic has shown that he can carry the offense, but it is asking a lot of the supporting cast to stay in the midst of the playoff race. That opens the door for the Portland Trail Blazers, who likely have one last chance to convince Damian Lillard that they are trending in the right direction. Expect new head coach Chauncey Billups to get Portland off to a strong start, though he will need to work wonders with a shaky bench.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have a real shot at returning to relevance this year - on paper, there’s an exciting line-up featuring Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards, but it may take an MVP-level run from Towns to elevate Minnesota into the final eight. The Oklahoma City Thunder (and their stash of young talent and draft picks) are a good bet to finish at the bottom of the standings in the West. The pick: Blazers (+850)Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award
Doncic is understandably the favourite here, but there is value further down the list too. It may be tough for Durant and Harden to make their individual cases on such a talented Nets roster, while you could say the same for James and Davis with the Lakers. But Antetokounmpo and Curry are both expected to shoulder heavy burdens this year, and the latter is capable of getting on such hot streaks that he has every chance of leading the league in scoring again. If Klay Thompson returns in the second half of the season, it could give Curry the extra push he needs to make his case.The pick: Curry (+750)Coach of the Year
Erik Spoelstra is renowned for getting the most out of his teams and the arrival of Kyle Lowry gives the Heat a legitimate Big Three. If Miami end up pushing the Nets and Bucks close in the regular season, and Spoelstra manages to get Herro back on track as the leader of the second unit, he will deserve Coach of the Year buzz. With a deep roster, the Heat have a shot at 55+ wins. The pick: Spoelstra (Heat), (+1000)Defensive Player of the Year
As impressive and dominant as Rudy Gobert has been as a deterrent around the rim, voters could be looking for a new narrative for the 2021/22 season. If he stays healthy, Joel Embiid should make a compelling case, particularly if he is anchoring a 76ers defense that no longer has Simmons to lock down the perimeter. That would mean more action at the rim and a larger share of the limelight if Philadelphia remains one of the league’s stingier defenses. The pick: Embiid (76ers), (+900)Rookie of the Year
This feels like an open race between Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Evan Mobley and Jalen Suggs, who will all have large roles immediately as rookies. We’re leaning towards Green as the most natural scorer and the likeliest player in the group to put up eye-popping numbers. The pick: Green (Rockets), (+350)NBA Championship
As we saw again last season, bad injury luck can tip the playoff picture upside down. But, barring major health setbacks, the Nets and Lakers appear to be on an NBA Finals collision course. And if we get this series, the offensive firepower of Durant, Harden and Irving should give Brooklyn a small edge, even if the Lakers have the greater postseason experience. The pick: Nets (+260) over Lakers
Building on our division winner picks above, let’s take a look at how the Eastern Conference playoff picture could unfold. Setting aside our projected division champs (Nets, Bucks, Heat), the rest of the playoff race should be fascinating. We like the Hawks to push the Heat close in the Southeast Division and secure a playoff spot. Despite the uncertainty around Simmons’ future in Philadelphia, the 76ers feel like a playoff lock as long as Joel Embiid is healthy. Meanwhile, there is little to choose between the Knicks, Celtics and Raptors (who should get a major boost on their return to playing in Canada). The Pacers, Bulls and Wizards should also be in the hunt, barring injury setbacks.
Even if you feel strongly that the Lakers are a step ahead of the rest in the West, there should be a tight race to be part of the final eight playoff teams. The LA Clippers could take a step back without Leonard (ACL), but most of last season’s postseason performers will expect to be in the mix once again. There is extra motivation everywhere you look - from Doncic’s bid to get past the first round of the playoffs to the Suns’ response to their NBA Finals loss to the Blazers’ attempts to show Lillard he can win big in Portland. That said, with the West somewhat in flux, outsiders like the Timberwolves and Kings may not have a better shot at breaking through.
Nets over Celtics, Bucks over Raptors, Heat over Knicks, Hawks over 76ers
Nets over Hawks, Heat over Bucks
Nets over Heat
Lakers over Timberwolves, Mavericks over Nuggets, Warriors over Suns, Blazers over Jazz
Lakers over Blazers, Mavericks over Warriors
Lakers over Mavericks
The possibilities are endless for the 2021/22 NBA season, with subplots, trades and major surprises bubbling below the surface - the one thing we can say with certainty is that we’ll have you covered throughout the year on betting.com