Updated 2020 NBA Championship Odds

Updated 2020 NBA Championship Odds

The NBA is coming back to finish the 2019-2020 season. The plan is to resume games on July 31 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex outside of Orlando, Florida. 22 teams will kick-start the end of the regular season before a full 16-team postseason with the Finals stretching into October.

Now let’s take a look at the opening NBA Championship betting odds after Adam Silver’s comeback plan reveal.

Updated 2020 NBA Championship Odds

Los Angeles Lakers +200

When we last saw LeBron and company, the Lakers (49-14) had the best record in the west and second-best record overall. L.A. won eight of 10 before the suspension. More importantly, the Lakers have been equally good at home (23-8) as on the road (26-6).

Milwaukee Bucks +275

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks have the best record in the league at 53-12 while ranking first in scoring (118.6 ppg) and fifth in points allowed (107.4 ppg). The Bucks rank first in team field goal percentage (47.7%) and second in defensive field goal percentage (41.3%).

Los Angeles Clippers +300

Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and the rest of the loaded Clippers have the fourth-best record in the league (44-20), but it should be known that they’ve struggled away from home in going just 19-13 on the road. The question begs to be asked. Can the Clippers win away from their comfy confines of the Staples Center?

Boston Celtics +1200

The young and blossoming C’s have the fifth-best record in the league (43-21). They’ve recorded at least 20 wins at home and on the road, making them one of the more dangerous teams entering the re-start because of their ability to play at a high level away from T.D. Garden.

Toronto Raptors +1400

The Raptors (46-18) won four straight before the suspension, and the defending champs have the look of a dangerous underdog team that won’t beat themselves in the playoffs, especially following last season’s experience-building run to the title.

Houston Rockets +1500

Tied for the ninth-best record in the league (40-24) James Harden and the Rockets have been a mixed mess of explosive offense and non-existent defense as they rank a stellar second in scoring (118.1 ppg), but just 22nd in points allowed (114.4 ppg).

Denver Nuggets +2400

The Northwest-leading Nuggets (43-22) have an elite defense that ranks eighth in points allowed (107.4 ppg), but an offense that has put up a modest 110.4 points per contest to rank 20th in scoring. With all of their games now being played away from home, it’s important to not that Denver is just 18-14 on the road this season.

Philadelphia 76ers +2400

The Sixers have the 12th best record in the league and they’ve been the best home team in the league by far in going 29-2 in South Philly. However, with an uninspiring 10-24 road record, it remains to be seen hos Philadelphia will fare from here on out with every game being a literal neutral site affair.

Miami Heat +3300

Miami (41-24) has overachieved all season long, but they’ve gone just 14-19 on the road and they have a serious drop-off in talent once you get past Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo.

Dallas Mavericks +4000

The Mavs have the 13th best record in the league and a true superstar in forward Luka Doncic. The Mavs can score the ball with anyone in ranking sixth in scoring (116.4 ppg), but their 15th-ranked defense leaves a lot to be desired (110.3 ppg).

Utah Jazz +4000

The Jazz have the seventh-best record in the league (41-23) and they’re one of just seven teams that has won at least 20 games on the road. Utah has a top 10 defense, but they rank a modest 17th in scoring and just don’t have enough weapons at that end of the court outside of Donovan’ Spyda’ Mitchell (24.2 ppg).

Brooklyn Nets +5000

The Nets somehow have the 15th-best record in the league despite sitting at 30-34 entering the re-start. Still, this is a team that has gone an uninspiring 12-20 at home and has leadership problems, thanks to the quirky Kyrie Irving, who just isn’t very well-liked by his teammates.

Indiana Pacers +8000

With the 11th-best record in the league (39-26), the Pacers look dangerous seeing as how they’ve gone 21-11 at home and 18-15 on the road. The good news for Indy is that, the time off due to the pandemic pause could see Victor Oladipo return closer to the all-star level he was playing at before suffering a horrific leg injury over a year ago.

New Orleans Pelicans +9000

The Pelicans have the 18th-best record in the league (28-36) but they will enter the re-start as one of the most dangerous teams around seeing as how the young Pels picked up their play in a big way after getting superstar rookie Zion Williamson on the court after a lengthy absence to start the season.

Oklahoma City Thunder +9000

The Thunder have the ninth-best record in the league (40-24) thanks to their ability to win at home (20-13) and on the road (20-11). With a bunch of proven veterans (Chris Paul) and young stars like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City looks quite dangerous to me.

Portland Trailblazers +15000

The Blazers have a losing record (29-37), but this is also a veteran-laden team with one true superstar in Damian Lillard, and another all-star caliber performer in C.J. McCollum.

Unfortunately, Portland is just 11-23 on the road and that just doesn’t bode well heading into the post pandemic return.

Memphis Grizzlies +17500

Memphis has the 14th-best record in the league (32-33), but they young Grizz have recorded a winning record at home (18-15) and a decent 14-18 mark on the road. More importantly, Memphis has a legitimate star in point guard Ja Morant (17.6 ppg, 6.9 apg) that has absolutely no fear of anyone!

Orlando Magic +17500

Orlando has the 16th-best record in the league (30-35), but they’ve gone just 14-20 on the road and a modest 16-15 at home. The Magic also don’t have a true superstar to turn to in the clutch.

San Antonio Spurs +17500

The Spurs have the 20th-best record in the league (27-36), but they’re an uninspiring 11-22 on the road and has just one player (DeMar DeRozan) averaging over 20 points per game.

Phoenix Suns +20000

The Suns (26-39) have one of the game’s best scorers in shooting guard Devin Booker (26.1 ppg), but the young Suns have also recorded losing records at home (13-22) and on the road (13-17).

Sacramento Kings +25000

The Kings have some nice young talent, but they also have just the 19th-best record in the league (28-36) by going 14-17 at home and 14-19 on the road.

Washington Wizards +30000

The Wizards have the 22nd-best record in the league (24-40) and they shouldn’t even be sniffing a playoff berth, seeing as how they’ve gone an awful 8-24 on the road this season.

Bet The NBA's HORSE Challenge

Bet The NBA’s HORSE Challenge

NBA H-O-R-S-E Challenge Takes Center Stage in the Basketball Universe

Get ready for some basketball action with current and past stars from the NBA and WNBA. The NBA and ESPN have finalized plans to televise a HORSE shooting competition, featuring NBA stars Chris Paul, Trae Young and Zach LaVine of Chicago as well as women’s roundball Hall of Famer Tamika Catchings and a few other recently retired NBA alumni throwing down in a single-elimination format.

Young will face off against Chauncey Billups while Catchings takes on Utah jazz point guard Mike Conley. LaVine will do battle against former Boston Celtics superstar Paul Pierce while CP3 takes on Allie Quigley of the WNBA’s Chicago Sky. Title sponsor State Farm will donate more than $200,000 in support of coronavirus response efforts.

Odds FOR/AGAINST Winning NBA Horse Challenge

  • Trae Young +305/-425
  • Chris Paul +305/-425
  • Zach LaVine +355/-535
  • Mike Conley Jr. +460/-780
  • Paul Pierce +800/-1700
  • Chauncey Billups +850/-1750
  • Allie Quigley +1100/-2300
  • Tamika Catchings +1250/-2750

Trae Young

Young put up a stellar 29.6 points per game this season in just his second year in the NBA. All I can say is that if Young faces an opponent that can’t consistently make shots from long range, then this tournament is an absolute wrap!

Chris Paul

The Oklahoma City Thunder point guard and future Hall of Famer has put up 17.7 points per game this season while owning a career average of 18.5 points and 9.5 assists per game. The aptly-named CP3 is sneaky good from behind the arc, as he owns a career 37.0 percent shooting mark from downtown.

Zach LaVine

The Bulls shooting guard is averaging a career-high 25.5 points per game this season. You may already know that LaVine is one of basketball’s best high-flying dunkers. What you may not know is that he also drained 38.0 percent of his shots from beyond the arc. If dunks are allowed, LaVine will easily win, but since I suspect they won’t be, he’ll have his work cut out.

Mike Conley Jr.

The Utah Jazz point guard has career averages of 14.8 points and 37.5 percent shooting from beyond the arc. The heady and gifted lefty could surprise!

Paul Pierce

P Squared as he is appropriately known as, put up 19.7 points per game in his career while shooting 44.5 percent from the field and 36.8 percent from distance. I’m expecting him to pull off a couple of ‘old guy’ Horse shots in this fun-filled affair.

Chauncey Billups

The former NBA champion retired with career averages of 15.2 points and 5.4 assists per game while shooting a modest 41.5 percent from the field. However, Billups, who was once called ‘Mr. Big Shot’ for his propensity for draining timely ‘big shots’ looks like a player that could challenge for the win, even if he hasn’t suited up since hanging up his sneakers following the 2013-14 NBA season.

Allie Quigley

The Chicago Sky point guard is a three-time all-star that has put up 10.3 points per game while shooting a blistering 39.9 percent from beyond the arc. Could Quigley pull off an upset by hitting consistently from deep? I think so!

Tamika Catchings

Former Tennessee and Indiana Fever superstar might be in the Hall of Fame following her 2016 retirement from the game, but she put up a healthy 16.1 points and 7.3 boards per game during her fine career. Catchings is a long shot though that owns a career 41.5 percent shooting mark from the field and 35.5 percent mark from downtown.

2020 March Madness Cinderella Teams

2020 March Madness Cinderella Teams

In under a week, millions of people will be filling out their March Madness brackets and if you are looking for a few Cinderella to pick here are four that need to be on your radar.

2020 March Madness Cinderella Teams

East Tennessee State Buccaneers (27-4 SU, 15-13 ATS)

Haven’t heard of East Tennessee? That’s okay, you could come to know the Buccaneers very well once March Madness gets underway. East Tennessee State is 27-4 heading into the Southern Conference semifinals. The Buccaneers have won nine straight at the time of this writing and the Buccaneers rank a fantastic 28th in points allowed (63.1) and equally impressive 51st in scoring (75.9 ppg).

What They Do Well

East Tennessee State gave top-ranked Kansas all they could handle before fading late and they took out LSU by 11 points in their only two games against teams from a major conference. The Buccaneers have three double-digit scorers on their roster and they can play at any pace.

What They Don’t Do Well

Shooting free throws is about the only thing ETSU doesn’t do well as they make just 68.8 percent of their collective shots from the charity stripe (250th).

Stephen F. Austin (28-3 SU, 17-10-1 ATS)

The Lumberjacks got on the national map following their stunning 85-83 road win over Duke in their fifth game of the season, but Stephen F. Austin is definitely more than a team that just got ‘lucky’ against the Blue Devils.

What They Do Well

The Lumberjacks force almost 21 turnovers per game to lead the nation in that category. Stephen F. Austin also averages a stellar 80.6 points per game while shooting a blistering 49.1 percent from the field to rank eighth nationally in both categories. The Lumberjacks have won 15 straight at the tie of this writing so they’ll hit March Madness with a ton of momentum.

What They Don’t Do Well

The Lumberjacks also commit a whopping 17 turnovers per game and they don’t shoot it well from the free-throw line by making a collective 69.1 percent from the foul line (240th).

BYU Cougars (24-7 SU, 19-11 ATS)

No. 2 Gonzaga might be the cream of the crop in the West Coast Conference, but BYU looks capable of pulling off at least one or two upsets once the national championship tournament gets underway.

What They Do Well

The Cougars can score the ball with almost any team in the country as they put up a stellar 80.6 points per game (10th) on a scorching 50.4 percent shooting mark from the field (3rd) and incendiary 42.4 percent mark from beyond the arc (first). BYU also defends the three-point shot very well in limiting their opponents to 31.1 percent shooting from downtown (73rd). The Cougars gave San Diego State all they could handle in a five-point loss in their second game of the season and the Cougars split with Gonzaga while beating the No. 2 team in the country by 13 points almost two weeks ago.

What They Don’t Do Well

The Cougars might be one of the best shooting teams in the country, but you’d never know it when they go to the free-throw line. BYU makes just 70.4 percent from the charity stripe to rank an uninspiring 196th in that category. The Cougars are also just mediocre when it comes to rebounding the ball as they give up one more board per game than they pull down.

Northern Iowa Panthers (25-6 SU, 19-8-1 ATS)

You might have already heard of the Panthers thanks to their stunning upset of No. 1 Kansas in the second round of the 2010 NCAA March Madness championship tournament.

What They Do Well

Anyway, this season, Northern Iowa has the look of a Cinderella ballclub because they are elite at both ends of the floor in putting up 75.8 points per game (57th) while limiting the opposition to just 64.3 points per contest defensively (43rd). The Panthers shoot it very well in making 48.2 percent from the field (12th), 39.6 percent from beyond the arc (5th) and 76.0 percent from the free-throw line (29th).

What They Don’t Do Well

On average, the Panthers commit 2.1 more turnovers than they force and they don’t have much of a shot-blocking presence as they average just two per game. The Panthers also have just two double-digit scorers on their roster and just four players that put up more than 9.0 points per contest, so this is a team lacking quality depth on the bench.

2020 March Madness Key Dates

2020 March Madness Key Dates

Welcome to March Madness! AKA the 2020 NCAA Men’s Division I basketball tournament. This year Selection Sunday is set for March 15th. Once the field of 68 teams is revealed the games will begin with the “First Four” in Dayton, Ohio, on March 17-18. 5Dimes’ brackets will be available on March 16th. Odds to win the 2020 NCAA Men’s Division I basketball tournament are available now!

The bedlam will be in full swing from March 19 to the 22nd with the first and second rounds. The four regionals AKA the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight are scheduled for March 26th to the 29th. 2020’s Final Four is on April 4th in Atlanta with the national championship game to tip-off on April 6.

2020 March Madness Key Dates

  • Sunday, March 15 – Selection Sunday
  • Tuesday, March 17 & Wednesday, March 18 – First Four (Dayton, Ohio)
  • Thursday, March 19 & Saturday, March 21 – First and Second Rounds (Albany, N.Y.; Spokane, Wash.; St. Louis, Mo.; Tampa, Fla.)
  • Friday, March 20 & Sunday, March 22 – First and Second Rounds (Greensboro, N.C.; Omaha, Neb.; Sacramento, Calif.; Cleveland)
  • Thursday, March 26 & Saturday, March 28 – Midwest (Indianapolis) and West (Los Angeles) Regionals
  • Friday, March 27 & Sunday, March 29 – South (Houston) and East Regionals (New York City)
  • Saturday, April 4 – Final Four (Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta)
  • Monday, April 6 – National Championship (Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta)
Updated 2020 NBA Championship Odds

5 NBA Finals Matchups You Want To See, 5 You Don’t!

After a successful All-Star break it is time to take a look at the future. Here are five NBA Finals matchups that everyone wants to see and five no one does.

5 NBA Finals Matchups You Want To See, 5 You Don’t!

5 NBA Finals Matchups I Want To See

Milwaukee Bucks vs LA Clippers +355

There’s no NBA Finals matchup I’d rather see right now and I believe this matchup is actually going to take place. Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks have been the best team in all of basketball this season and have the look of a team that won’t be seriously challenged in the weak Eastern Conference. Still, the reigning MVP and his band of merry mates are going to have their hands completely full against two-time Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and a Clippers team that got even stronger recently thanks to their additions of Marcus Morris and Isiah Thomas.

Milwaukee Bucks vs LA Lakers +338

While the Bucks have been red-hot since the start of the regular season, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers have their own legitimate championship hopes out west. What self-respecting NBA fan doesn’t want to see the Greek Freak try to throw down some hellacious jams on James and Anthony Davis? Oh, and since I’m in a giving mood, if these two teams do meet, you can expect the Bucks to win it all simply because the Lakers are lacking quality depth on the bench.

Boston Celtics vs LA Lakers +2000

Remember Jayson Tatum’s vicious dunk on LeBron James in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals two years ago? I do, but if you don’t, here it is! Besides that, Boston looks like one of just a couple of teams that could actually challenge Milwaukee in the East and the still-blossoming Tatum is a huge reason why. Points blank, you can expect a knock-down, drag-out thriller if these two contenders make it to the finals.

Toronto Raptors vs LA Clippers +2215

The defending champion Raptors might have lost Kawhi Leonard in free agency following their first championship win in franchise history, but Toronto has looked surprisingly solid and are the hottest team in the league with a whopping 14 straight wins at the time of this writing. Seeing Leonard go up against his former teammates, including now, all-star forward Pascal Siakim, might not be great for TV ratings, but I believe it it would be a competitive series.

Philadelphia 76ers vs Denver Nuggets +8500

While I’m disappointed with the struggling 76ers right now, I’d love to see the all-star center matchup and contrasting styles of Denver’s Nikola Jokic and Philly’s Joel Embiid and a similarly interesting matchup between point guards Jamal Murray and Ben Simmons.

5 NBA Finals Matchups No One Wants

Philadelphia 76ers vs Houston Rockets +6850

While I’d love to see some on-court ‘drama’ from Embiid and Houston’s Russell Westbrook, this potential finals matchup won’t be good for the league’s ratings, nor would it be good for basketball purists that like to see a better brand of hoops besides the isolation style both of these teams play.

Boston Celtics vs Denver Nuggets +8500

While the Celtics and Nuggets are two of the league’s best title contenders in their respective conferences, I’m not sure how many fans outside of Boston and Denver would actually watch this series. The good news is that it would definitely be competitive with a chance to go the distance. The bad news is that no one’s getting fired up to see Kemba Walker and Paul Millsap.

Toronto Raptors vs Utah Jazz +10100

Again, while both of these teams are legitimate NBA Finals contenders, the fact of the matter is that the Jazz have absolutely no pizzazz outside of entertaining high-flyer Donovan Mitchell and some blocks by Rudy Gobert. Likewise, while Pascal Siakim and Fred VanVleet are fine players, no one will be in a big rush to leave their summertime fun to see these guys.

Miami Heat vs Houston Rockets +8700

I love Miami’s additions of Andre Iguodala and Jae Crowder, but the only reason anyone would watch this potential NBA Finals pairing is to see Jimmy Butler and Russell Westbrook potentially come to blows. Ooh, maybe this is a finals matchup I’d want to see!

New York Knicks vs LA Lakers +999999

East Coast vs West Coast usually sounds like fun, but watching LeBron, the Brown and the Lake Show win in 4 straight will be only fun for one city.

Updated Post All-Star NBA Over/Under Season Win Total Odds Revealed!

Updated Post All-Star NBA Over/Under Season Win Total Odds Revealed!

We are at the All-Star break and 5Dimes oddsmakers have released updated NBA over-under season win totals. Keep reading to find out how each team is expected to finish their 2020 campaigns.

Updated Post All-Star NBA Over/Under Season Win Total Odds Revealed!

Eastern Conference

  • Atlanta Hawks: 24.5
    The Hawks need 10 wins over their final 26 regular season games to top this total. While I love Trae Young and the direction Atlanta is headed in, I don’t see it happening. Play the Under.
  • Boston Celtics: 55
    Will Boston win 18 of their last 28 regular season game to reach 56 wins? In the immortal words of the legendary Marv Albert…Yesss!
  • Charlotte Hornets: 26.5
    The lowly Hornets need just nine wins in their final 28 games to reach 27 victories, but it’s not happening seeing as how Charlotte has absolutely zero stars on their roster.
  • Chicago Bulls: 28.5
    Can Zach LaVine and company win 10 of their final 27 games? I’m counting 15 ‘sure’ more losses over the course of the regular season right now, so it could happen!
  • Cleveland Cavaliers: 20.5
    If the Cavs keep winning seven times out of every 20 games as they’ve done so far this season, Collin Sexton and company will get there!
  • Detroit Pistons: 26.5
    Can Andre Drummond and company pick up eight wins over their final 27 games to top their O/U total? Despite their underachieving ways, the answer is yes. I’ve got the Pistons going at least 9-18 to close out the regular season.
  • Indiana Pacers: 47.5
    The Pacers needs 16 wins in their last 27 games and believe it or not, I’ve got Indy going 16-111 the rest of the way at the very least.
  • Miami Heat: 53
    Jimmy Butler and company need to go 18-10 the rest of the way to top this Over/Under total and I’ve got the Heat going 20-8 to close out the 2019-20 regular season.
  • Milwaukee Bucks: 66.5
    There’s absolutely no way that Milwaukee fails to win 19 of their final 28 games. Play the Over…it’s a lock!
  • Brooklyn Nets: 38.5
    Kyrie Irving and the Nets need to avoid losing more than 15 of their final 29 games, but I’m counting at least 17 more losses coming, so…there’s that!
  • New York Knicks: 25.5
    The Knicks need nine more wins over their final 27 to top this total and believe it or not, it could happen, even though I personally wouldn’t bet on the Knicks with your money!
  • Orlando Magic: 36.5
    Orlando just needs to record a winning record from here on in to top this O/U figure. Unfortunately, I’ve got the Magic coming up just short of doing so.
  • Philadelphia 76ers: 52.5
    The Sixers need 18 more wins to top their O/U total and with Philly being elite at home and having 13 more games in the City of Brotherly Love, I say they’ll get them!
  • Toronto Raptors: 56.5
    The Raptors need 17 wins in their last 27 games to top their O/U win total odds and I think think it’s a lock that Pascal Siakim and the defending champs get there after winning 14 of their last 15.
  • Washington Wizards: 29.5
    Outside of star shooting guard Bradley Beal, the Wizards are completely inept. Still, The Wiz need just 10 wins over their final 29 to top their O/U total. It’s gonna be close in the nation’s capitol, like real close.

Western Conference

  • Dallas Mavericks: 48.5
    The Mavericks need to go at least 16-11 over their final 27 games and I think it’s a lock that Luka and company get there. Despite having 15 road games remaining, the Mavs look good seeing as how they’ve gone 18-8 on the road this season.
  • Denver Nuggets: 55.5
    Denver needs to win 18 of their final 27 games to reach 56 victories, but I’ve got the championship-hopeful Nuggets coming up just short, because they have 14 road dates remaining and home games against elite opponents like Toronto, Milwaukee and the Clippers.
  • Golden State Warriors: 21.5
    There’s no way that Golden State wins 10 of their final 27 games while risking some ping pong balls in their chase for the first overall pick in this summer’s NBA Draft.
  • Houston Rockets: 52.5
    If the Rockets win 19 of their final 28, they’ll reach 53 victories. Unfortunately, I’ve got James Harden and Russell Westbrook falling agonizingly short of reaching their figure.
  • Los Angeles Clippers: 55.5
    The Clippers need to get hot in a hurry down the stretch run, but I’m going to say Kawhi Leonard and company come up short of 56 victories as they mostly concentrate on getting Paul George healthy.
  • Los Angeles Lakers: 61.5
    If LeBron James and the Lakers win 21 of their final 29 games, they’ll reach the 62-win mark. However. With 14 games remaining against teams that should reach the playoffs this year, I’ve got L.A. coming up just short here!
  • Memphis Grizzlies: 38.5
    Ja Morant and the upstart Grizz need to get 11 wins in their final 28 games. Consider it a done deal!
  • Minnesota Timberwolves: 26
    The T-Wolves need 10 more wins over their final 29 games. Now that they’ve paired friends D’Angelo Russell with Karl Anthony Towns, I think Minnesota gets there, although I personally would have a hard time laying any money on the perennial underachievers.
  • New Orleans Pelicans: 38.5
    The Pelicans need to go 16-11 the rest of the way to to reach 39 wins and I believe they’ll get there as they furiously try to reach the playoffs behind Zion Williamson.
  • Oklahoma City Thunder: 47.5
    Simply put, I say chalk up Chris Paul and the surprising Thunder to get at least 15 more wins to top this figure seeing as how Oklahoma City has recorded a winning record at home and on the road.
  • Phoenix Suns: 33.5
    I feel for Devin Booker. I mean, I really feel for Phoenix’s lone star. Play the Under.
  • Portland Trail Blazers: 39
    The Blazers might have one superstar in Damian Lillard and a slightly lesser one in C.J. McCollum, but it won’t be enough to help the Blazers find the consistency that had elided them all season long.
  • Sacramento Kings: 33
    The Kings need to get 13 more wins over their final 28 games. Uh yeah…it’s not happening.
  • San Antonio Spurs: 36.5
    Where are Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker when you really need them? 37 wins is not gonna’ happen!
  • Utah Jazz: 53.5
    The Jazz have been phenomenal at home and rock-solid on the road. 17 wins over their final 28 games looks like a lock to me!
2020 March Madness Cinderella Teams

3-Point, Slam Dunk, Skills Challenge Odds

The highlight of the NBA All-Star festivities are the 3-point, Slam Dunk  and Skills challenge and if you want to bet on the complete NBA All-Star Weekend keep reading!

2020 NBA 3-Point, Slam Dunk, Skills Challenge Odds

NBA Mountain Dew Three-Point Contest

  • Damian Lillard +380
  • Davis Bertans +400
  • Duncan Robinson +425
  • Joe Harris +425
  • Trae Young +450
  • Buddy Heild +800
  • Zach Levine +900
  • Devonte’ Graham +1025

This year, the three-point contest will include two extra shots. Each shot will be from six feet behind the 3-point line and will be worth three points. In addition, contestants will get an extra 10 seconds to complete all the shots, raising the time limit from 60 seconds to 70 seconds.

With that said, prohibitive favorite Damian Lillard is shooting 39.8 percent from beyond the arc while averaging four threes per night to rank second to James Harden (4.5) in made threes per game. Washington’s Davis Bertans is shooting a stellar 43.1 percent from downtown while Miami’s Duncan Robinson is draining a blistering 43.7 percent from three-point distance. Brooklyn’s Joe Harris is shooting 40.8 percent from the three-point line while Atlanta superstar point guard Trae Young has made 37.0 percent from beyond the arc. Sacramento shooting guard Buddy Heild has made 38.7 percent of his three point attempts while Chicago’s Zach Levine has made 37.6 percent of his treys and last, but not least, Charlotte’s Devonte’ Graham has made 37.2 percent from beyond the arc. While I’m not making a prediction here, I do like one of the best big-time shot-makers (Lillard or Young) to claim this year’s three-point title.

NBA AT&T Slam Dunk Contest

  • Aaron Gordon +110
  • Derrick Jones Jr. +165
  • Pat Connaughton +475
  • Dwight Howard +450

Orlando’s Aaron Gordon has been denied this award the last couple of years despite putting on a show with some serious throw-downs. While LA Lakers center Dwight Howard won the dunk contest back in 2008, I’m expecting Bucks forward Pat Connaughton to get a lot of love in this event simply because you just don’t see white guys with his jumping ability. I’m also expecting Miami’s high-flying Derrick Jones to challenge Gordon for the win with the lefty throwing down several highlight reel-making jams already this season.

NBA Taco Bell Skills Challenge

  • Spencer Dinwiddie +390
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander +450
  • Pascal Siakim +500
  • Jayson Tatum +450
  • Khris Middleton +500
  • Patrick Beverly +550
  • Domantas Sabonis +800
  • Bam Adebayo +1200

Boston’s Jayson Tatum won this event a year ago, but prohibitive favorite Spencer Dinwiddie won it two years ago and I believe the Nets’ do-it-all combo swingman could repeat simply because he’s a player that can pass, dribble and shoot with the best players in the league. I also love Oklahoma City’s super speedy Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Toronto’s Pascal Siakim to challenge, along with Boston’s still-blossoming Tatum. Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton will have a chance, but I’m ruling out Indiana’s Domantas Sabonis and Miami’s Bam Adebayo because of their respective lacks of feet speed.

2020 March Madness Cinderella Teams

2020 College Basketball National Title Outlook

With the 2019-20 NCAA college basketball season heating up and steamrolling toward its annual March Madness national championship tournament, now is a great time to look at the contenders, pretenders, under the radar championship hopefuls and those handful of teams that you shouldn’t think about backing until next season at the earliest.

College Basketball National Title Outlook

2020 NCAA Basketball Title Odds

  • Gonzaga +750
  • Kansas +800
  • Michigan State +900
  • Baylor +950
  • Louisville +975
  • Duke +950
  • Kentucky +1500
  • San Diego State +1200
  • Oregon +1500
  • Dayton +1500
  • Ohio State +2000
  • Maryland +1800
  • Auburn +2000
  • Florida State +2200
  • Seton Hall +2000
  • Villanova +2400

Top Tier Match Madness Teams

  • Baylor
  • Gonzaga
  • Kansas
  • Michigan State
  • Louisville
  • Duke
  • San Diego State
  • Dayton
  • Florida State

Top-ranked Baylor looks like an extremely legitimate championship favorite, mostly because of their terrific defense which ranks fifth nationally in points allowed (58.0 ppg). The Bears ride an impressive 18-game winning streak into the new week in a season that has seen a record number of team reach No. 1 overall. No. 2 Gonzaga ranks first in the nation in scoring (88.6 ppg) and they have one of the game’s best head coaches in Mark Few, not to mention a whopping six players that all average double figures in scoring. Despite coming up agonizingly short of winning it all the last few years, the Zags will have another great chance come March.

Three-loss Kansas  is ranked third in the nation and the Jayhawks have a solid offense and defense that rank 69th (76.0 ppg) and 16th (61.1 ppg) respectively. Still, Bill Self’s squad lost against Duke in their regular season opener and at dangerous Villanova, but it is their convincing home loss to Baylor that has me questioning whether or not the Jayhawks are really worthy.

Preseason No. 1 Michigan State (No. 14) has lost a whopping six games so far, but the Spartans are usually better the closer it gets to March and they are led by a heady All-American in point guard Cassius Winston. No. 6 Louisville has won eight straight since their convincing 78-65 home loss against No. 5 Florida State. And speaking of the Seminoles, they’re looking great right now after recording road wins at Florida and Louisville. No. 9 Duke (18-3) has won three straight since suffering consecutive home losses against Clemson and Louisville, but the Blue Devils failed to win it all a year ago with three first round draft picks on their roster, so there’s that.

Seventh-ranked Dayton ranks sixth in the nation in scoring (82.1 ppg) and the A-10 leaders an excellent defense at the other end of the floor. However, the Flyers play in a mediocre A-10 conference that just isn’t very daunting. While the Mountain West Conference isn’t exactly known for producing basketball powerhouses, but unbeaten fourth-ranked San Diego State is just that thanks to a stingy defense that ranks fourth nationally in points allowed (57.7 ppg) under longtime Steve Fisher assistant Brian Dutcher, who is largely credited with bringing current NBA superstar Kawhi Leonard to the school.

Always Dangerous

  • Villanova
  • Kentucky
  • Auburn
  • Oregon

Eighth-ranked and now, perennially-powerful Villanova  looks dangerous once again heading down the stretch run of the regular season, even if they don’t looks as dangerous as their recent pair of national championship-winning teams. No. 13 Kentucky has a boatload of raw talent, but the Wildcats look too young – again – to win it all. Currently, 17th-ranked Auburn might have suffered consecutive losses to Alabama and Florida while getting held to a pitiful 47 points against the Gators, but I believe the Tigers are going to bear watching as we get closer to March. Last, but not least, 11th-ranked Oregon (18-5) has a wonderful trio of backcourt performers, but the Ducks are lacking in the frontcourt and that looks like their Achilles heel heading into March.

Under The Radar

  • Virginia
  • North Carolina
  • Indiana
  • Texas
  • Seton Hall

Virginia’s step backwards is understandable after the Cavaliers lost some key starters from last year’s national championship winning squad, but I don’t know what in the name of Dean Smith is going on with North Carolina. Indiana and Texas will both contend, but their respective shortcomings will leave the exit March Madness relatively early. No. 10 Seton Hall has a gaudy national ranking, but losses against Michigan State, Oregon, Rutgers and an awful Iowa State team tell me eh Big East leaders aren’t quite ready for prime time.

2020 NBA Title Hunt Update

2020 NBA Title Hunt Update

The 2019-2020 NBA season is in mid-season form with the All-Star game on the horizon making it a perfect time to check in on the latest NBA Title odds and which teams are in the playoff hunt and more.

2020 NBA Title Hunt Update

Last season’s NBA Champion Toronto Raptors may be Kawhi-less but they in the top ten on the NBA Title odds board barely clocking in at tenth. The 2020 NBA Title favorites are the Los Angeles Lakers followed by the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers both with in striking distance.

2020 NBA Title Odds

  • Los Angeles Lakers +260
  • Milwaukee Bucks +325
  • Los Angeles Clippers +350
  • Houston Rockets +1300
  • Utah Jazz +1500
  • Philadelphia 76ers +1550
  • Denver Nuggets +1650
  • Boston Celtics +2200
  • Dallas Mavericks +2650
  • Toronto Raptors +3000
  • Miami Heat +3250
  • Indiana Pacers +6000
  • New Orleans Pelicans +10000
  • Brooklyn Nets +12500
  • Portland Trail Blazers +15000
  • Oklahoma City Thunder +22000
  • San Antonio Spurs +35000
  • Orlando Magic +40000
  • Memphis Grizzlies +50000
  • Phoenix Suns +100000
  • Sacramento Kings +150000
  • Detroit Pistons +200000
  • Minnesota Timberwolves +250000
  • Chicago Bulls +350000
  • Golden State Warriors +500000
  • Cleveland Cavaliers +999900
  • Charlotte Hornets +999900
  • Atlanta Hawks +999900
  • New York Knicks +999900
  • Washington Wizards +999900

The Best in the Business

  • Milwaukee Bucks
  • Los Angeles Lakers
  • LA Clippers

While the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers entered the regular season as the two most talked about teams and top two prohibitive favorites thanks to their respective offseason additions of Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard respectively, it is Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks have been the best team in the league – period. Milwaukee ranks first in scoring (119.9 ppg) and first in defensive field goal percentage (41.2%). While LeBron James and the Lakers could use the tragic death of Kobe Bryant as motivational fuel and the Clippers are led by a two-time Finals MVP that raises his game each and every postseason, the Bucks have the look of a team that is going to be difficult, if not impossible, for anyone to beat, despite their lack of a second superstar.

They’ve Got a Shot

  • Denver Nuggets
  • Toronto Raptors
  • Boston Celtics
  • Utah Jazz
  • Houston Rockets

After finishing second to Golden State in the Western Conference a year ago, but falling short of reaching the conference finals, Denver is right back in the championship mix in the loaded Western Conference. All-star center Nikola Jokic is playing lights out and the play of second-year forward Michael Porter Jr. give the Nuggets another clearly, versatile weapon. Recent wins over the Bucks, Jazz and Rockets suggests Denver and their fifth-ranked defense could beat anyone. Toronto has been surprisingly solid despite losing Leonard in free agency after winning it all last season. Pascal Siakim is back to being healthy and Fred Van Vleet is a seriously underrated ‘monster killer’. Toronto ranks fourth in points allowed and second in defensive field goal percentage and the Raptors will definitely challenge for their second straight conference crown at the very least.
Boston looks a lot like the dangerous group of young stars they did two years ago and even though the C’s could probably use some size in the frontcourt, they rank a stellar second in points allowed (105.3 ppg). Utah has a well-rounded roster featuring one, still-blossoming all-star in Donovan Mitchell, another all-star player that might be the best defensive player in the league and a cast of other competent performers that make them look dangerous at the very least. Houston has a pair of former league MVP’s in James Harden and Russell Westbrook and they rank second in scoring (118.7 ppg). Unfortunately, the Rockets are almost completely inept defensively (again) and look like a team destined to come up short of its championship aspirations – again.

Under The Radar Contenders

  • Miami Heat
  • Dallas Mavericks
  • Oklahoma City Thunder

Miami has overachieved since the start of the regular season thanks to the unorthodox ‘leadership’ of gritty veteran Jimmy Butler first and foremost. Unfortunately, the Heat are still lacking quality depth, although their hard-nosed ways could see them pull off at least one postseason upset. Dallas has an undeniable superstar in do-it-all forward Luka Doncic. Now, if only Kristaps Porzingis would show up, even semi-consistently. Oklahoma City has also surprised in a big way after moving Paul George in their massive trade with the Clippers. The bad news is that the Thunder’s three best players are all point guards (Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dennis Schroeder).

It Could Happen

  • Portland Trail Blazers
  • Indiana Pacers
  • Philadelphia 76ers

The Blazers are heating up nicely thanks to Damian Lillard’s historic six-game run and the on-going chemistry improvement after adding veterans, Carmelo Anthony and Trevor Ariza. Right now, I’m thinking each of the aforementioned Western Conference playoff contenders should be wary of the red-hot Blazers. The Pacers might not be getting a whole lot of national media attention, but I love their well-composed roster and I believe they could really challenge in the East if Victor Oladipo becomes a factor later in the season as he makes his way back from a horrific injury that cost him a year. In Philly, the 76ers are underachieving and it’s not because of a lack of talent, at least not with the starting five. The bad news is that the Sixers are razor thin on the bench once you get past impressive rookie Matisse Thybulle.

Bettor Luck Next Year

  • Golden State Warriors
  • Memphis Grizzlies
  • Brooklyn Nets
  • Phoenix Suns
  • New Orleans Pelicans
  • San Antonio Spurs
  • Atlanta Hawks

If you’re taking pleasure in Golden State’s demise after they basically ruled the league for the past five years, then you’d better enjoy it now because, come next season, the Dubs could easily be right back in the championship mix, after pretty much ‘tanking’ this year because of a series of what looks like now, perfectly-timed injuries that will give them a high draft pick in this summer’s NBA Draft. Memphis has an unadulterated star in gifted rookie point guard Ja Morant while Brooklyn will have Kevin Durant on the court to pair with the talented, but enigmatic Kyrie Irving (ugh). I expect the Suns to be way better in year 2 of the Monty Williams era and the future looks bright in New Orleans as long as Zion Williamson can stay healthy. The Spurs still have Gregg Popovich leading them and Atlanta has some excellent young talent, starting with sweet-shooting point guard Trae Young.

Re-build or Bust

  • Orlando Magic
  • Chicago Bulls
  • Sacramento Kings
  • Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Washington Wizards
  • Detroit Pistons
  • Charlotte Hornets
  • New York Knicks
  • Cleveland Cavaliers

While each of these struggling franchise has some glimmer of positive vibes (Karl Anthony Towns, Bradley Beal, Coby White and Collin Sexton) each organization is clearly a couple of years away from challenging for anything significant. Sure, a playoff berth could potentially be in the works for one or more of these teams come next season, but I definitely wouldn’t bet the farm on it!

NBA + Christmas = Fun

NBA + Christmas = Fun 🎄🏀🎊

With other major sports taking Christmas Day off, the NBA has taken over the holiday with fiver super-sized NBA tilts, well 4 and half since Zion is still sidelined for the Pelicans.

NBA + Christmas = Fun

Boston Celtics at Toronto Raptors

The Celtics have won three straight and and seven of their last nine while ranking 15th in scoring (111.2 ppg) and a stellar second in points allowed (103.2 ppg). The defending champion Raptors had won five straight heading into their Monday night road date at Indiana. Toronto ranks 11tH in scoring (112.0 ppg) and seventh in points allowed (105.9 ppg). Toronto has gone a stellar 13-3 at home while Boston is a modest 8-5 on the road. The Raptors win by a half-dozen points on Christmas Day. The Celtics are a dismal 0-8 ATS in the last 8 road dates against Toronto.

Milwaukee Bucks at Philadelphia 76ers

Milwaukee has won three straight and nine of ten while ranking a stupendous first in scoring (120.6 ppg) and equally impressive ninth in points allowed (107.1 ppg). Philly managed to snap a three-game skid by beating Indiana on Saturday. While the Sixers have been rock-solid at home this season (15-2), the Bucks are the deeper team by far and that will be the difference in this Christmas Day matchup. The Bucks are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The 76ers are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.

Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors

Houston has won three straight and five of six. While Golden State managed to snap a five-game skid by getting past New Orleans, the Rockets could win this one by double digits with their backups starting. The injury-riddled Dubs hare ranked a dismal 26th in scoring (104.6 ppg) while also ranking a discouraging 22nd in points allowed (113.6 ppg). James Harden and company are ranked a stellar second in scoring (120.4 ppg) and their 4-1 ATS mark in their last five means they should cover what will almost certainly be a double-digit spread. 

L.A. Clippers at L.A. Lakers

The Clippers have alternated wins and losses over their last six, including a 118-112 road loss at Oklahoma City on Friday. The Lakers have dropped three straight including a 128-104 blowout win against Denver on Friday. LeBron James and company will be looking for payback for their 112-102 loss against the Clips on October 22, but they won’t get it against Kawhi Leonard and a Clippers team that will be well-rested coming into this affair and looking to deliver another message. The Clippers are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games as a favorite while the Lakers are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games overall. Golden State has gone 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.

New Orleans Pelicans at Denver Nuggets

The Pelicans are a complete mess and it doesn’t look like Zion Williamson is going to come riding to the rescue any time soon, if at all this season. Denver has won six straight heading into their Monday night road date at Phoenix and this Christmas day pairing looks like a huge mismatch the Nuggets should have well in hand by halftime! The Pels are 1-6-1 ATS in their last eight road games. The Nuggets are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games against a team with a winning percentage below .400.

NBA Christmas Day Team Records

Team SU Record ATS Record O/U Record
76ers 1-2 (33.3%) 1-2 (33.3%) 1-2 (33.3%)
Celtics 4-5 (44.4%) 5-4 (55.6%) 5-4 (55.6%)
Lakers 8-13 (38.1%) 12-9 (57.1%) 6-13-2 (31.6%)
Warriors 4-4 (50.0%) 2-6 (25.0%) 2-6 (25.0%)
Raptors 0-1 (0.0%) 0-1 (0.0%) 1-0 (100.0%)
Nuggets 1-3 (25.0%) 1-3 (25.0%) 3-1 (75.0%)
Pelicans 0-2 (0.0%) 0-2 (0.0%) 0-2 (0.0%)
Rockets 5-4 (55.6%) 7-2 (77.8%) 2-4-3 (33.3%)
Bucks 1-0 (100.0%) 1-0 (100.0%) 0-1 (0.0%)
Clippers 4-3 (57.1%) 4-3 (57.1%) 3-4 (42.9%)

LeBron James is 9-4 SU and 8-5 ATS while averaging 26 points, 6.7 assists and 7.6 rebounds per game on Christmas Day. Russell Westbrook is 6-3 SU and 7-2 ATS while averaging 23.4 points, 8.6 assists and 7.4 rebounds on Christmas Day. James Harden is 6-1 SU and ATS while putting up 26.3 points, 6.7 assists and 5.4 rebounds on Christmas Day. 

NBA Christmas Day Player Stats

Player Stats
LeBron James 26 PTS, 6.7 AST, 7.6 REB in 13 Christmas Day games.
Jayson Tatum 21.5 PTS, 0.5 AST, 6.5 REB in 2 Christmas Day games.
Anthony Davis 29 PTS, 4 AST, 15 rebounds in 1 Christmas Day game.
Jrue Holiday 9 PTS, 2 AST, 3 rebounds in 1 Christmas Day game.
Draymond Green 10.7 PTS, 5.2 AST, 7.7 REB in 6 Christmas Day games.
Ben Simmons 9.5 PTS, 5.5 AST, 11 REB in 2 Christmas Day games.
Joel Embiid 29.5 PTS, 2.5 AST,16 REB in 2 Christmas Day games.
Al Horford 10.3 PTS, 5.3 AST, 7.7 REB in 3 Christmas Day games.
Russell Westbrook 23.4 PTS, 8.6 AST, 7.4 REB in 9 Christmas Day games.
James Harden 26.3 PTS, 6.7 AST, 5.4 REB in 7 Christmas Day games.
Giannis Antetokounmpo 30 PTS, 3 AST,14 rebounds in 1 Christmas Day game.
Paul George 26.0 PTS, 3 AST, 9.5 REB in 2 Christmas Day games.
Nikola Jokic N/A Hasn’t played on Christmas Day