It was recently announced that the NBA season would resume on July 31 at Walt Disney World campus near Orlando, Florida. Much to the delight of the fans and the world of sports betting in Canada and the United States, the plan would see 22 of the 30 NBA teams arriving in Orlando around July 7th and participating in a short eight-game regular season beginning July 31st. The results of that would set up a seeding for the playoffs.
Earlier today, the National Basketball Players Association approved the plan. It is assumed that the league already has an agreement with Disney to use the resort for games, practices, and players and staff housing. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the NBA and NBPA still need to work through a number of details, but sides are ready to move together toward the July 31 date to resume play.
Per NBA Commissioner Adam Silver,
“The Board’s approval of the restart format is a necessary step toward resuming the NBA season. While the COVID-19 pandemic presents formidable challenges, we are hopeful of finishing the season in a safe and responsible manner based on strict protocols now being finalized with public health officials and medical experts.”
The field will consist of nine Eastern Conference teams and thirteen Western Conference teams; the 16 teams currently in the playoffs plus the New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Blazers, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, and the Washington Wizards. With this format set, oddsmakers have tagged the Los Angeles Lakers as the odds-on favorite to win the 2019-20 NBA championship.
Online sports betting in Canada has the Lakers (+200) have been the steady favorite since beating the Milwaukee Bucks (+275) and the Los Angeles Clippers (+350) in late March just before the season went on hiatus. The Boston Celtics (+1200) and the Toronto Raptors (+1300) round out the top five teams according to the sportsbooks. The Wizards and Kings at +30,000 each are the league championship longshots.
It’s important to note that these Canadian sportsbook odds come under the specter of uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus testing policy, the value of neutral court playoffs, and considerable speculation about the impacts the three-month layoff will have on team cohesion and momentum.
Current NBA Odds to Win the 2020 NBA Championship
|Los Angeles Lakers||+200|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+350|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+9000|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||+9000|
|Portland Trail Blazers||+15000|
|San Antonio Spurs||+17500|