The long wait is finally over as the 2014/15 NBA season gets underway today. This is great news for basketball fans but it is also great news for Basketball Betting fans, because there is an abundance of betting opportunities.
If you are looking to make the games more interesting while they are taking place, there are considerable in-play betting options to be found, but even if you place your bet in advance, there will be more than enough on offer to brighten up the start of the new NBA campaign. There isn’t an abundance of games on the opening day but with three games featuring some big teams, there is an opportunity to get into the swing of things and to place some basketball bets.
Dallas Mavericks @ San Antonio Spurs
The 2013/14 NBA Champions, the San Antonio Spurs, get things underway and the team will be keen to hold on to their crown. They will know that the bookmakers are now listing the Cavs as the favourites for the Championship this season but there will be a level of belief that the Spurs will be there or there abouts at the end of the campaign.
The Spurs still have some excellent players in their roster, such as Kawhi Leonard, who was the Finals MVP last season. Leonard averaged 12.8 points over the regular season but in the Finals he improved this to a level of 17.8 points. This means that Leonard is a player for the big occasion and he may love the idea of getting the new season off to a flying start. Even if Leonard is not quite on top form, he will be backed up by players with the calibre of Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan and Tony Parker. With a backline that is also fairly strong, even allowing for the absence of Patty Mills with a torn rotator cuff, the Spurs are looking strong and their odds of 1.54 with Bet365 reflects that.
Similarly, the odds of 2.65 for the Mavericks are reflective of where they are. Dirk Nowitzki isn’t getting any younger but the start of the Mavericks 2010/11 campaign will still be a big player this season. Monta Ellis is also likely to be a big player and he will be keen to build on an impressive opening season for Dallas. Dallas are blighted by the loss of top players such as Shawn Marion, Jose Calderon and Vince Carter but they have strengthened their team by bringing in experience in the form of Tyson Chandler.
I expect the Spurs to start their season with a win but when it comes to value, take a look at the Mavericks with a +4.5 handicap.
Orlando Magic @ New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans finished at the foot of the Southwest Division last season, their 34-48 record impressing no one, but this is a chance to start again, and if the Pelicvans can avoid the injuries they suffered last season, they have a chance of performing much better.
One of the key men will be Anthony Davis, who enjoyed his summer in Spain with Team USA. The gold medal winner also averaged 20.8 points for the Pelicans last season and he will be a key man in this campaign.
The Magic finished bottom of the Southeast Division with a 23-59 record, so they have even more to prove than the Pelicans. With Arron Afflalo and Jameer Nelson leaving in the summer, there has been quite a turnover for Orlando, which is probably no bad thing. Nikola Vucevic, Tobias Harris and Victor Oladipo are all returning for the Magic while marquee signings such as Luke Ridnour, Ben Gordon and Evan Fournier will hopefully bring a touch of magic to the Magics.
However, the new look Magics may take some time to settle, and New Orleans Pelicans with a -9.5 handicap is looking a strong choice with Bet365.
Houston Rockets @ LA Lakers
The Rockets were unable to pick up Chris Bosh this summer but they did a touch of experience in the form of Trevor Ariza and Jason Terry. The team will also benefit from retaining Dwight Howard and James Harden, so there could be more to look forward to from the Rockets this campaign. Terence Jones is another player tipped to have a big season and you can probably expect a lot of high scoring matches involving the Rockets this season. Their odds of 1.37 at Bet365 indicate the confidence in their ability going into this match-up.
As for the Lakers, Kobe Bryant will ensure that they are never out of the running but beyond Kobe, there doesn’t appear to be a great deal of depth to this squad. With Steve Nash out for the campaign and Nick Young being out for up to 2 months, you may find that the Lakers take some time to get going this campaign.
Their odds of 3.20 for the game are indicative of this and if you are looking for a good value bet for today, the Houston Rockets with a -6 handicap will be of interest.