The NBA is back in full swing as almost every team in the bubble has taken the floor. Saturday will include the last of the openers in what may be the single best day of NBA games on the schedule this season. There are five games, four of which will be nationally televised, and a fifth that includes the No. 5 and No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference. The only non-playoff team in the field employs Zion Williamson. A total of 14 2020 All-Stars will take the floor on Saturday. It’s Christmas in August.
So what does that mean for you, the bettor? Fortunately, with two days of games in the books, we can now start to adjust to what bubble ball looks like before the books fully embrace what has happened on the floor so far. These are the best bets on the board for what should be an incredible Saturday of basketball.
All odds provided by William Hill Sportsbook.
Utah Jazz vs. Oklahoma City Thunder: Thunder -1.5
The confluence of events needed for Utah to beat New Orleans on Thursday is not remotely sustainable. The Pelicans played Zion Williamson only 15 minutes. The Thunder won’t grant them the same courtesy with their stars. Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram combined to shoot 9 of 33 from the field. The offensive struggles Utah is facing without Bojan Bogdanovic are very real. They are 8.5 points per 100 possessions better offensively with him on the floor. Without him, they won’t catch enough breaks to beat a better Thunder team than the Pelicans group they just lost to.
Miami Heat vs. Denver Nuggets: Over 211
The most noteworthy trend from Friday’s games? The offense. The lowest point total of the day was 231, and the Mavericks and Rockets soared past 300 total points. Players aren’t in top shape yet, and the result has been lackluster defense in Orlando. The Lakers, Raptors and Clippers are exempt because of their overwhelming defensive talent. The other games, however, should all be viewed as over candidates. Both of Denver’s 48-minute scrimmages topped this total, while Miami’s final scrimmage hit 238 total points.
So who wins 76ers vs. Pacers? And which side of the spread hits in well over 60 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Pacers vs. 76ers spread you need to jump on Saturday, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks, and find out.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Indiana Pacers: Over 216
Trends aside, both the 76ers and Pacers have reconfigured their lineups in favor of offense. The 76ers have moved Ben Simmons to power forward in order to open a startling slot for Shake Milton, who shot over 51 percent behind the arc in his last 20 games. The Pacers, without Domantas Sabonis, have finally embraced the 3-point shot, period. They started three guards, Victor Oladipo, Malcolm Brogdon and Aaron Holiday, along with a power forward in TJ Warren and a center in Myles Turner that can both shoot. Neither figure to be offensive juggernauts, but these two defense-first teams are likely going to be more balanced in Orlando.