NBA restart: Best bets for the early schedule

Yahoo Sports

(All odds from BetMGM)

Opening night: Thursday

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Utah Jazz

Pelicans -2.5: This is a bet that the Jazz will really miss Bojan Bogdanovic, who underwent season-ending wrist surgery in May. Bogdanovic was Utah’s most efficient shooter (41.1 from three) and was averaging 20.2 per game.  

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And then there are the potential chemistry issues between Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell. They are still good at shutting down grumpy fans, but it remains to be seen if they can still work together to stop opposing teams.

As for the Pelicans, they are deep, can attack in waves and were operating one of the league’s most efficient offenses (albeit in a small sample size) with rookie sensation Zion Williamson before the shutdown. Williamson is listed as a game-time decision after his return to the Disney bubble, but there is little reason to think he won’t play. 

Zion Williamson is a game-time decision for the Pelicans. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Zion Williamson is a game-time decision for the Pelicans. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Friday

Orlando Magic vs. Brooklyn Nets/Phoenix Suns vs. Washington Wizards 

Moneyline parlay — Magic/Suns (-114): To be honest, you really shouldn’t be betting parlays. Long term, the value just isn’t there when banking on two outcomes. With that said, this is a spot where it makes sense. 

There is a good chance the Nets and Wizards won’t win a single game in the bubble. They are dealing with massive injuries and opt-outs, and frankly, they weren’t really good before the season was shut down. Now they simply aren’t fielding NBA-caliber teams, and this is the time to strike before the odds get too long.

On the other side, the Magic are a playoff team getting defensive wizard Jonathan Isaac back and the Suns have some nice players in Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, and restricted free agent-to-be Dario Saric could be an X-factor. Monty Williams is a solid coach who led the Suns to some nice wins before the shutdown. 

The Magic and Suns are each laying 7.5 points, so we’ll take them on the money line (both at -286), with the parlay odds at -114.

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