Professional basketball is one of the few major sports where almost any team, regardless of their record at the moment, can rise to the occasion and beat some other team that they were supposed to lose to. NBA action is always fast and furious, and almost anything can happen.
Clips Lose Two Keys To COVID-19
Take one game tonight for example, the LA Clippers at the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks are standing at 8-8, barely batting .500, while the LA Clippers have one of the best records in the NBA at 13-4, and yet,
Atlanta is favored in both the point spread at -3 points and the moneyline. Wagering numbers are Atlanta at (-152) and the Clippers at (+125). The Over/Under for the game is set at 220.5 points.
But, here we have just one more example of how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the sport of professional basketball. The Hawks top two guys, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, are not going to be allowed to play in the game tonight due to COVID-19 restrictions. While this is somewhat tragic to Hawks fans, it is most likely all for the best as the NBA seems to be particularly hard hit by this pandemic.
The Clippers are on a seven-game winning streak and go on the road starting tonight for a six game road run. Whether or not they can maintain the standards excellence achieved with Leonard and George on the court might be something that bettors will find attractive to speculate on.
Hawks Open Their Doors To Fans
This will be the first game played in Atlanta that is going to allow fans in the stands tonight. Leonard has scored at least 31 points in each of the last three games played by the Clippers and teammate Reggie Jackson said this of Leonard in a post-game interview, “When he’s in a zone like that, you probably treat him like a pitcher. You don’t want to be the guy who’s throwing him off rhythm. You just want him to stay hot, try to close the game out early.”
Three weeks ago, the New York Knicks, inspired by Julius Randle’s shooting 30 points and coming within three more assists of racking up a triple double, the Knicks caught fire and staged an 18-point comeback to beat the Utah Jazz 112-100. That is unlikely to happen again when the teams meet once again in Salt Lake City and where the Jazz will be looking for revenge.
Utah has not lost a game since suffering that defeat and tonight is their chance at a little payback. Bettors will have to lay down a cool $530 to win $100 on the Jazz tonight as the money lines are set at Utah (-530) and (+400) for the Knickerbockers. New York is favored by a huge 10.5 points, and the Over/Under is set at 213.5. The Utah Jazz will be putting their 8-game winning streak on the line against the Knicks tonight.
Wiz Look For Post-COVID-19 Rebound
The NBA front office finally cleared the hapless Washington Wizards to start playing basketball after a prolonged absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. Even so, when the Wiz hit the floor down in San Antonio against Coach Greg Popovich’s Spurs, they did so without 6 of their top players, and still managed to play a respectable game, losing 121-101 to the Spurs.
Tonight, the 3-9 Wizards will be in Houston to take on the 6-9 Rockets as only 3-point underdogs, not bad for a team that has not played since January 11. The wagering moneyline for the game are set at Rockets (-148) and the Wizards (+120) with the Over/Under set at 231.5.
Bradley Beal, the leading scorer for the Wizards, summed up the season so far like this, “The whole season in its entirety is just weird. It’s not normal. Everything is just weird.” Beal is averaging 34.5 points per game and shooting a nice 48.9% field goal percentage. Action tips off at the Toyota Center in Houston at 7 pm ET tonight.