In a little over a month, the NBA will be back.
The league’s restart at Disney World complex in Florida is scheduled for July 31, over four months on since play was halted.
But how will the resumption work? Which teams were in-form before the pause? And who is the favorite to win the Championship among US sportsbooks? This article explains all ahead of tip-off.
How the NBA’s return will work
- 22 teams to compete in restart format; 16 already in playoff positions, six teams that are six wins behind the eighth-place seed in each division
- There will be nine teams from the Eastern Conference and thirteen from the West
- Each team will play eight games, the results of which are added to the regular-season game total
- The seven teams in each conference with the best records will earn a playoff spot. This is determined by adding the eight games to the season total.
- No change to standard 16 team playoff format.
The picture before the pause
The Milwaukee Bucks and the LA Lakers head their respective divisions after stunning seasons.
The Lakers were narrowly beaten by Brooklyn Nets prior to the pause, a minor blip in a run that saw Frank Vogel’s team win thirteen of their last fifteen, including wins over the Bucks, LA Clippers, and Denver Nuggets.
The Bucks meanwhile, resume on a three-game losing streak but still maintain a sizeable lead at the top of the Eastern Conference.
Accused of slowing down in some quarters, Milwaukee will have a fully fit Giannis Antetokounmpo to call upon when the NBA starts – it looked as if the last year’s MVP would play no further part in the season after a knee injury sidelined the star man prior to the pause.
Orlando Magic will aim to fight off Washington Wizards for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They’ll be looking to build on a 3 game-winning sequence on what is, essentially, home turf for Steve Clifford and his side.
Who’s the favorite for the NBA Championship?
With US sports betting legal across numerous states, you can wager money on how the conclusion of the NBA will unfold.
According to FanDuel Sportsbook, the winner of the NBA is a straight shoot-out between Milwaukee Bucks (+240) and LA Lakers (+260) with both to face-off in the final also considered a genuine possibility (+300).
Californian rivals, The LA Clippers (+320), are the only other team in the running to win the Championship outright.
This overview of US online sports betting explains how to make sense of American odds and what to think about when betting on sports online.