The NBA regular season officially resumes this Thursday night with a doubleheader. It begins with the Utah Jazz vs. the New Orleans Pelicans (6:30pm ET), followed by the Lakers and Clippers in the battle of Los Angeles (9pm ET). Both games are being broadcast on TNT.
Note all NBA games will be played from the “bubble’ in Orlando which has been a pretty air-tight plan in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. That means they should be able to avoid the problems that are plaguing Major League Baseball right now.
New Orleans is a 2-point favorite over Utah at Winning Poker Network sportsbooks. The total is 220 points. There is a theory that there will be higher scoring than usual in Orlando with less defense being played. Note that Pelicans forward Zion Williamson is expected to rejoin the team on Wednesday and could be available to play.
The Lakers are a 4.5-point favorite in their game against the Clippers with a total of 216 points. One player who will not be there is Clippers’ guard Lou Williams. He’s in quarantine after getting an excused absence to leave the bubble, but then being photographed at a strip club. That was a bad look even though Williams claimed he was only there to eat and not watch any of the “entertainment”.
Even coach Doc Rivers didn’t seem to be buying that explanation (source ESPN).
“I can’t share much with his journey. I wasn’t on that journey with him. But he’s back here, I can tell you that much. You know, obviously those pictures got out, and that’s something that we obviously didn’t enjoy seeing or like.”
The Lakers (+219) are the current favorite to win the NBA title at WPN sportsbooks. The Milwaukee Bucks (+300) are in second and the Clippers are third (+350).