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Best of Dan Ippolito

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Top 10 2019 NBA bets to consider

4 November 2019

Here in the U.S., we are in the middle of one of the busiest times of the year for sports betting.

This week, five sports leagues will be in action (NCAA football and basketball, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League and the National Hockey League).

As the NBA season began less than two weeks ago, we take a look at some wagers to consider for the remainder of the season.




10. Houston Rockets
Tonight, the Houston Rockets will take the court on the road against the Memphis Grizzlies. Coming off a rough 129-100 loss to the Miami Heat last night, the Rockets are looking to go one game above .500 with a win tonight.

bet365 Sportsbook & Racebook lists the Rockets as a -5.5 favorite. This seems like it should be an easy cover for the Rockets with Memphis still missing Andre Iguodala, who would most likely be guarding James Harden. The Grizzlies may also be without Jaren Jackson Jr. and Grayson Allen.

Rockets’ guard Russell Westbrook is questionable tonight, but even if he isn’t able to go, Harden will take over the show with Eric Gordon, PJ Tucker and Clint Capela chipping in.

At 1-4, the Grizzlies’ lone win came at home against the Brooklyn Nets in overtime. Other than that slight bright spot, Memphis hasn’t shown any reason why they would be able to keep this game within six points.

Bet $110 on the Rockets at -5.5 to win $100.

9. Brooklyn Nets
The Brooklyn Nets are hosting the New Orleans Pelicans tonight. Listed as a 3.5 favorite at bet365, Brooklyn aims to get on the right track to where they were expected to be this season.

After a disappointing opening two weeks, the Nets need to really start playing some defense if they want to see results in the win column. Giving up 119.5 points per game is fifth worst in the NBA. The Pelicans are even worse defensively, allowing 122.5 points per game.

The Nets sit at 2-4 with both of those wins coming at home, while the Pelicans are 1-5 with a road record of 0-3. The Nets had an impressive win against the Rockets at home on Friday, but then didn’t perform well in a four-point loss to the Detroit Pistons on the road the following night.

Look for Kyrie Irving, averaging 30.5 points per game, to continue to put the ball in the basket and help his team right the ship on defense and come away with a convincing win.

Bet $110 on the Nets at -3.5 to win $100.

8. Denver Nuggets
The Denver Nuggets are in a tough Northwest division with the Portland Trailblazers, Utah Jazz, Minnesota Timberwolves and Oklahoma City Thunder. The Jazz are favorites to win the division at 5-to-4 odds at bet365. Behind them are the Nuggets at 13-to-10. The Nuggets seem like a better pick to win the division because of what they showed last season and a few new additions.

The Nuggets’ 54-28 record last season was good enough for second place in the Western Conference and first place in the Northwest division. The 10 guys that were constantly rotating in the lineup are returning for the Nuggets with two additions that many fans are waiting to see how they pan out. Michael Porter Jr., who sat out his rookie season because of an injury, is ready to go and make a major impact for his team. The Nuggets also drafted Bol Bol, a 7-foot-2 center from Oregon. This adds depth to the frontcourt giving triple-double machine Nikola Jokic and veteran Paul Millsap more rest so they can be fresh during their minutes on the court.

Bet $100 on the Nuggets to win the Northwest Division to win $130.



7. Tyler Herro
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 draft, Zion Williamson, is out for several weeks to start his rookie campaign. This opens the conversation much more for Rookie of the Year candidates. According to the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino SuperBook, Zion is no longer the favorite at 5-to-1 behind Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies at 3-to-1. Despite being out, he is tied as the second favorite with RJ Barrett of the New York Knicks, which tells you how good people expect him to be.

However, at 8-to-1, Tyler Herro from the Miami Heat is a pick that provides a ton of value. In the preseason, Herro averaged 14.2 points and just over four rebounds in 26 minutes per game. That may not impress many at first, but the impact lies in his efficiency. Herro shot 46.4% from the field, which is already solid for a shooting guard. His shot from behind the three-point arc was 51.9%, which is remarkable. It is only five games in preseason but that 51.9% from three is higher than the 2018 regular season’s three-point percentage leader Joe Harris who shot 47.4% from distance.

In the regular season, Herro has continued to score, averaging 15.7 points per game while shooting 43.2% from the field and 36.4% behind the arc. His three-point percentage has dipped from preseason, but that is expected at first, going from preseason caliber defenders to a much higher quality of defenders.

Herro, a rookie from Kentucky, could be a real boost for the Miami Heat, and if he keeps up this trend I see a really good argument for him being a top Rookie of the Year candidate.

Bet $100 on Tyler Herro for Rookie of the Year to win $800.

6. Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics had quite an offseason. Losing Kyrie Irving, Al Horford and Terry Rozier to free agency, fans in Boston may have started to lose hope in what was supposed to be a bright future for the team.

Some of that hope came back pretty quickly after Irving left when Boston signed Kemba Walker to team up with Gordon Hayward and rising stars Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.

The Celtics are 9-to-2 on bet365 to win the Atlantic Division behind the favored Philadelphia 76ers at 4-to-9.

The Celtics, at 4-1, sit a game behind the 76ers who are 5-0 after squeaking out a one-point win against the Portland Trailblazers Saturday night.

My worry with the 76ers is going to be injuries. Joel Embiid has had a long list of nagging injuries that have hindered him in the regular season since he entered the league in 2014. When fully healthy, he is one of the toughest guys in the NBA to stop, but the problem of keeping him on the court remains. Without Embiid it would be extremely tough for the 76ers to win the division. Horford, who signed with the 76ers, showed signs last season that he can’t be a 35-40 minute per game guy anymore. He will be effective when on the floor, but overuse could be an issue for him.

The Celtics, on the other hand, have young guys with a focus on defense. Adding Enes Kanter and Walker not only boosts aggressiveness but it adds to the already impressive Boston defense under head coach Brad Stevens. Marcus Smart was named to the NBA First Team All Defense last season and will look to continue to show why he is considered one of the best defenders in the league. With the team being able to go 10 or 11 guys deep in the lineup and play both sides of the ball, watch out for the Celtics taking the division from the 76ers.

A $100 bet on the Celtics winning the division would win you $450.




5. Miami Heat

The Miami Heat have sprinted out of the gate with a 5-1 record, despite Jimmy Butler missing the opening few games due to paternity leave. They have a two-game lead in their Southeast Division, which they sit at 8-to-13 odds on bet365 to win.

After the opening two weeks, it seems the Southeast may be one of, if not, the weakest division in the NBA. Only one other team, the Charlotte Hornets, are .500 or better with a 3-3 record.

Everyone knew that Butler would put up very solid numbers for the Heat, but the surprise of the team so far is undrafted guard Kendrick Nunn. Nunn is leading the team in scoring, averaging 19.5 points per game and playing nearly 30 minutes per game.

Another great value of the Heat is their depth. So far, they have nine players who are averaging at least 22 minutes per game on the floor. The ability to go deep into the bench gives them a big boost, allowing their starters to be rested for clutch time in the fourth quarter.

Bet $100 on the Heat to win the Southeast for $62.

4. Houston Rockets
Unlike the Southeast, the Southwest division is much more competitive and tight. As of today, the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs are atop the division with 4-2 records. Right behind them are the Houston Rockets at 3-3.

The start of the season on the defensive side of the ball has been much worse than imagined for the Rockets. Giving up 127 points per game is good enough for last place in the NBA. However, I do expect that to change with PJ Tucker, Russell Westbrook and Clint Capela all being capable of tough and aggressive defense.

If the defense comes around and improves, the Rockets’ record will benefit due to their offense. The team leads the league in scoring at 121.3 points per game. That isn’t shocking to many considering Harden’s scoring ability was paired with Russell Westbrook in the offseason.

Bet $100 on the Rockets to win the Southwest for $36.

3. LA Clippers
When you look at the roster for the LA Clippers, you see a team filled with defensive talent on top of scoring. Patrick Beverly, Kawhi Leonard and Montrezl Harrell are going to make it tough for any player to score on them. If that wasn’t enough, Paul George will be making his 2019 season debut sometime this month, and he was named to last year’s NBA All-Defensive First Team.

We know that Leonard and George can score the ball at will. Lou Williams is the NBA’s all-time bench scoring leader, so he will contribute great offensive numbers. It’s the role players like Landry Shamet, Maurice Harkless and JaMychal Green who will need to show offensive support to make this team great, which I think is possible.

The Clippers took down the LA Lakers on opening night without George, so they’ve proven they can beat the best of the best in the Western Conference. Usually when people think of Western Conference champions, they think Golden State Warriors. However, they shouldn’t be a problem with Klay Thompson most likely done for the season, Steph Curry out for at least three months and Draymond Green going through a minor injury at the moment.

Bet $100 on the Clippers to win the West for $190.

2. Milwaukee Bucks
After the regular season last year for the Bucks, fans had their eyes set on an NBA title but saw their team come up short after losing in the Eastern Conference Finals to the eventual NBA champion Toronto Raptors.

Despite losing Malcolm Brogdon to free agency, the Bucks returned four of the five starters from 2018 and added Wesley Matthews and sharp-shooter Kyle Korver. Both Matthews and Korver will bring a good perimeter shooting factor to the offense.

Adding a larger three-point presence will open the floor even more for reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo to create and drive to the basket.

With all of these falling into place alongside Kris Middleton’s scoring ability and Brook Lopez’s defensive awareness and newly discovered three-point talent the Bucks are capable of big things this season.

The Bucks sit at 4-2 on the season with a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight. At 21-to-4 on bet365, the Bucks are at great value to win the 2019 NBA Championship.

A $100 bet on the Bucks to win it all gets you $525.

1. Giannis Antetokounmpo
As last season’s Most Valuable Player, Giannis “The Greek Freak” Antetokounmpo looks to win the award in back-to-back seasons for the first time since Steph Curry did so in 2014 and 2015.

Giannis averaged 27.7 points per game, 12.5 rebounds per game and 5.9 assists per game last year. He shot just under 58% from the field due to his ability to get to the basket at will with his speed and length.

Giannis is listed as the favorite to win the regular season MVP at 13-to-5 on bet365. Anthony Davis and James Harden are right behind him in the race both at 9-to-2.

Giannis is out of the gate quickly again this year averaging 26.7 points, 13.8 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game.

If “The Greek Freak” can continue to improve on his jumper from mid-range and three-point land, then he will become even more unstoppable than he already is and win a second MVP trophy in as many years.

Bet $100 to win $260 on Giannis Antetokounmpo to win MVP.
Top 10 2019 NBA bets to consider is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.
Dan Ippolito

As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports. Email him at daniel@casinocity.com, or follow him at @casinocity_dan on Twitter.
Dan Ippolito
As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports. Email him at daniel@casinocity.com, or follow him at @casinocity_dan on Twitter.