The NBA is back! It’s an exciting time for sports bettors as the league gets back into action. The seeding games promise to be interesting, especially the Western Conference contests. There are only two games on tonight’s slate, but there are still several attractive plays to consider.
Here are my top NBA betting plays for July 30th, 2020 (Odds courtesy of BetMGM Sportsbook):
Lakers first half moneyline (-167)
With the Los Angeles Clippers missing both Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell, the Los Angeles Lakers are the “no doubt” play for the full-game moneyline. While -222 for the full game at BetMGM is a little steep, I’ll instead opt for the first half play at -167.
The spread is too large (-3.5) to entertain taking the Lakers for the first half, but at just -167 for moneyline, they look like a good value. It’s arguable which team is actually better when healthy, but missing two of their top four players is enough to believe that the Lakers will have at least a one-point lead over the Clippers before the half. I recommend putting two units on this line, but if you can’t stomach the juice, stick to just a one-unit play.
Kawhi Leonard over 26.5 points (-118)
Leonard is averaging 26.9 points per game on the season. He must shoulder a heavier load if the Clippers are to pull out a victory over the Lakers without the services of “bench starters” Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams. He did show some noticeable rust during the scrimmages, but if there is any seeding contest that he will be looking to will his team to win in, this will be it. While catching the Lakers for first place in the conference will not be a major concern, making a statement without two “starters” should play a factor in the minutes he plays tonight.
Leonard averaged 30.6 points per game in his three contests against the Lakers this season, and he cleared 27 points in each of them. The under would be the play against any other team, as Leonard will no doubt be subject to minute restrictions and load management during these seeding games. The juice on this prop suggests that the early action has come in on the over, which cements it as a solid one-unit play.
Anthony Davis no double-double (-154)
It makes sense that the juice sits on the under here. Anthony Davis is currently listed as a game-time decision for tonight’s contest, which makes him an iffy bet to hit double-digit rebounds. However, the Clippers are set to be without Montrezl Harrell, which should make life easier for Davis on the glass.
The risk here is that the Lakers will restrict Davis’ minutes if he does suit up. That risk is amplified by the fact that there is no true home-court advantage to play for due to the rest of the season taking place inside the Orlando bubble. The yes at +115 is tempting, but circumstances dictate that the under is the play, even at the -154 at BetMGM.
Rudy Gobert under 16.5 points (-125)
Rudy Gobert should be in for an expanded role with Bojan Bogdanovic unavailable for the Utah Jazz. He looked good in his scrimmage games, and he went over this number in the last two. That made the over my initial lean for this prop. However, further examination reveals that he has only hit 17 points in 24 of his 62 games (38.7 percent). Further analysis reveals that he tends to be streaky, as 25 percent of his games with 17-plus points games came in an eight-game stretch, while another 12.25 percent came in a three-game stretch.
As always, it’s important to do a little line shopping to inform any of your potential wagering decisions. Gobert is listed elsewhere at 15.5 points with the juice firmly on the under. While I believe that he’s good for the over, there’s no denying that the line is set too high on BetMGM to consider it. With the disparity in numbers offered at different books, it becomes more attractive to play the under at BetMGM. Our analysis supports the under as the play, but due to my initial lean toward the over, we will stick to one unit.
Lonzo Ball over 6.5 assists (-110)
This play might be the safest of all the props we have listed here today. Ball has averaged a rock-solid seven assists per game on the season. He recorded seven or more assists in eight of his nine contests prior to the shutdown, and he should be good for at least three to four easy Zion Williamson assists tonight. He would likely be well over eight assists per game if he hadn’t played under 30 minutes per game in November and December (when he averaged less than five assists per game).
The odds at BetMGM are very fair, considering that this line sits at 7.5 at rival sportsbooks. Probability, average, and trends all suggest that you should play the over at 6.5. This prop is worthy of multiple-unit consideration.
Whether you’re new to sports betting or a betting pro, our How To Bet and Sports Betting Strategy and Advice pages are for you. You can get started with our Sports Betting 101 Section — including 10 Sports Betting Tips for Beginners — or head to more advanced sports betting strategy — like Key Numbers When Betting Against the Spread — to learn more.