Here we are on March 1 – many bettors will be focusing only on March Madness for the next month or so. But don’t overlook your NBA betting options. There are only about six weeks left in the regular season, and here are two simple tips to rely on the rest of the way.
NBA Betting Tips for the Final Six Weeks of the Season
The NBA draft lottery has been around since 1984 but it hasn’t stopped teams from tanking and won’t this season, either. The Los Angeles Lakers have more reason to tank than any team. It’s crucial that the Lakers lose as often as possible the rest of the way, so keep that in mind when placing your bets on their games. That’s because if L.A. gets a top three pick in the draft lottery, it keeps the pick. If not, the pick goes to the Philadelphia 76ers. In addition, the Lakers would owe the Orlando Magic their unprotected 2019 first-rounder. That’s payment for the Dwight Howard trade. Should L.A. be in the top three, Orlando only gets a second-rounder in 2017 & ’18.
The Sacramento Kings also have a reason to tank. They already have traded their best player, All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins, to New Orleans. If the Kings don’t get a Top-10 pick in the 2017 draft, it goes to Chicago. If the Kings go full tank and end the season with one of the NBA’s worst records, they’ll have a really solid pick in a rich draft. If the Pelicans fail to make it to the postseason, that’s a second lottery pick for the Kings as payment from the Cousins trade.
The Philadelphia 76ers also appear in tank mode again. They already have ruled out 2016 No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons for the season – he wasn’t able to play at all due to a broken foot. And with one of the worst records in the East, the Sixers have no reason to rush their best player, rookie center Joel Embiid, back this year. He’s dealing with knee troubles. Basically, it sounds like a 50/50 shot we see Embiid out there again in 2016-17. As has been the case since January, the 76ers do not want to see any swelling or soreness on Embiid in that knee.
Which Teams Are Trying?
The Washington Wizards and the Boston Celtics both are fighting for the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference – assuming neither catches Cleveland for the top spot. So the Wizards and Celtics both have reason to care. Washington has been one of the best home teams in the NBA for the past couple of months, so the Wizards badly want home-court advantage in the East playoffs against any team other than the Cavs. Washington is currently in third place in the Eastern Conference while sitting atop the Southeast Division. Washington (24) only trails Golden State and Cleveland for the most home wins (26) in the NBA. The Wizards are one of four teams in the East to have a winning record against both the Eastern and Western Conferences.
In the West, the Golden State Warriors are cruising to the NBA’s best record so they might start resting guys. The San Antonio Spurs are pretty much locked into the No. 2 seed so they might also start resting guys as well. The teams to watch out there for full effort are Utah, the LA Clippers and Memphis as they battle for the fourth seed and the final home playoff spot in the first round. The bottom of the West also has teams that still care, such as Denver, Portland, New Orleans, Dallas and Minnesota fighting for the final playoff spot.
The Brooklyn Nets are the worst team in the NBA but have no reason to tank: they have to give their first-round pick to Boston.