The 2020 NBA season is set to return on July 30th from the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, FL. 5Dimes NBA oddsmakers have released the odds for the first THREE days of action. Keep reading for a preview of those games.
NBA Orlando Return Odds & Preview
July, 30, 2020
Utah Jazz vs. New Orleans Pelicans
Utah and New Orleans both went 5-5 over their last 10 games before the break, but the Jazz are the more mature and experienced team in this matchup. The difference in this restart opener could be defense where the Jazz have been pretty elite in limiting the opposition to 107.9 points while New Orleans allows 117.0 points per game. All eyes will be on Zion Williamson, but I think Donovan Mitchell will be the best player in this matchup.
LA Clippers vs. LA Lakers
The Lakers lead the Clippers in the West by 5½ games and LeBron James and company went a stellar 8-2 over their last 10 games before the suspension. Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers will be looking for revenge in the most anticipated matchup on the restart docket. The Clippers have taken two of three from the Lakers this season, but the ‘senior’ LA team won the last time these two met. Expect another knock-down, drag-out brawl in this huge meeting.
July, 31, 2020
Orlando Magic vs. Brooklyn Nets
Brooklyn is a half-game up on Orlando in the Eastern Conference standings and they won three straight before the break while going 5-5- over their last 10 games. The Magic also won three straight before the hiatus while going 6-4 over their last 10. The Magic have also won both regular season meetings this season and Kyrie Irving is being questioned for his general lack of leadership – again.
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Portland Trail Blazers
Superstar rookie point guard Ja Morant will have his hands full against Portland Damian Lillard and this will be a great one-one-one matchup to watch. Memphis won the only head-to-head meetings 111-104 on February 12 and the Grizz are up 3.5 games on the inconsistent Blazers who have gone a dismal 11-23 on the road this season.
Phoenix Suns vs. Washington Wizards
Devin Booker and Bradley Beal will square off in a matchup featuring two of the best shooters in the league today. Phoenix has gone 13-17 on the road this season and are being outscored by 1.3 points per game. Washington has been awful in going a pitiful 8-24 on the road this season while being outscored by an average of 4.0 points per contest. John Wall won’t be suiting up for the remainder of the season (what’s new?), leaving Ish Smith and Shabazz Napier as Washington’s floor leaders.
Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks
With 53 wins, Milwaukee has the best record in the league. The Bucks lead the league in scoring (118.6 ppg) and are are tied for the fifth best mark in points allowed (106.5 ppg). Boston is just three games behind Milwaukee in the standings and the C’s rank a stellar second in points allowed (106.8 ppg). These rivals have split two regular season contests with each winning on the road. Besides the Lakers vs. Clippers restart opener, this matchup will almost assuredly be the second-most watched matchup of the restart campaign.
Sacramento Kings vs. San Antonio Spurs
Sacramento is in seventh place in the Western Conference standings while San Antonio is in 11th place in the conference. Both teams in this matchup give up almost two points per game more than they average, but the Kings have been the better road team in going 14-19 away from home compared to San Antonio’s uninspiring 11-22 road mark. You know things have changed drastically when the once perennially-powerful Spurs are underdogs against the once, perennially awful Kings.
Houston Rockets vs. Dallas Mavericks
Houston is in sixth place in the Western Conference while Dallas is in seventh place, just 1.5 games behind the Rockets. Houston is second in scoring (118.1 ppg) thanks to the high-scoring ways of James Harden and Russell Westbrook, but Dallas puts up an impressive 116.4 points per contest. The Mavs limit the opposition to 110.3 points per game while the Rockets give up 114.4 points per game. Simply put, I wouldn’t expect a whole lot of defense to be played in this affair.
August 1, 2020
Miami Heat vs. Denver Nuggets
Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat are in fourth place in the Eastern Conference and they’ve been one of the best home teams in the league in going 27-5 in South each this season. Unfortunately, Miami is also just 14-19 on the road. Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets are in third place in the west and the Nuggets have recorded winning records at home and on the road. Can Butler get the help he needs in order to get past a Denver team that has been knocking at the conference championship door out west for the last three seasons?
Utah Jazz vs. Oklahoma City Thunde
Utah is in fourth place out west, one game ahead of Chris Paul and the Thunder. While the Jazz are statistically better at both ends of the floor, these two conference rivals have split their two regular season dates with each team winning on the road. And speaking of being on the road, both of these title contenders have won an identical 20 games away from their comfy confines.
New Orleans Pelicans vs. LA Clippers
The Pelicans got the best of the championship-hopeful Clippers in their first meeting this season, but L.A. has won two straight against the young Pels. No matter what happens in their restart opener against the Lakers, I’ve got to believe that the loaded Clippers are looking at this game as a must-win kind of matchup, particularly seeing as how they allow eight fewer points per game defensively.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Indiana Pacers
The 76ers and Pacers have identical 39-26 records heading into the restart, but Indy has won two straight in this rivalry, including a 115-97 blowout in the City of Brotherly Love on Dec. 31. Indy was heating up nicely before the hiatus by going 7-3 over their last 10 while Philly was struggling at the break by going 5-5 over their last 10.
LA Lakers vs. Toronto
The Lakers are on top out west, but the defending champion Raptors have nearly identical numbers at both ends of the floor while sitting in second place in the east. Toronto had won six of their last 10 games before the break and they took out LeBron James and company 113-104 at home in their only meeting this season back on November 10. While LA as gone an impressive 26-6 on the road this season, the Raptors aren’t far behind in going 23-9 away from home.