How did basketball gambling favorite teams do during the first half of the NBA season? The good brothers over at NBA.com took the time to grade each team based on their performance up to the midseason point (January 15th). What are the NBA online betting odds that the best grades didn’t go to the Warriors and Cavaliers? Slim and none, but you already knew that.
The Golden State Warriors (A) are like that kid at school who knows everything because he got held back the previous year. The arrival of two new starters raised some concern as to whether Stephen Curry would get lost in the shuffle, but he’s doing just fine at 24.7 points per game, 46.9% overall and 39.8% from the three-point line. The real question about Curry, though, will only be answered during the postseason, and it’s, can he refrain from choking like he just swallowed his mouthguard? One thing we do know, however, it’s that, despite a bench overhaul, Curry still has several strong reserves that can bail him out whenever he decides to be irrelevant, including Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston, but especially Ian Clark, David West and rookie Patrick McCaw.
The San Antonio Spurs (A+) are the classroom’s nerd – not a lot of fun to hang out with, but he always does his homework. Tim Duncan’s gone, Pau Gasol is no Marc Gasol, and Tony Parker is receding into dotage, but as long as Gregg Popovich is in charge of this team – and NBA online betting odds are they will carry him out feet first – the Spurs will always and forever be basketball gambling favorites. Pop is an equal opportunity employer, too; at the ripe old age of 39, Manu Ginobili stills gets more than 10 minutes per game, as do a dozen other players. Elsewhere, Danny Green leads the NBA in 3-point shooting percentage, LaMarcus Aldridge improves by leaps and bounds, and Kawhi Leonard is gunning for a third Defensive Player of the Year award.
The Cleveland Cavaliers (A) are the popular kid, the cool cat, the big man on campus. LeBron James may not be posting insane stats like the Westbrooks and Hardens of the world, but he’s still the King, dammit. And that makes Kyrie Irving the Crown Prince of Cleveland. Irving’s offensive bag of tricks is unsurpassed in the league, and together with James they create sundry open chances for their teammates. Even Kevin Love – Kevin Love of all people, people – is having his best season with the Cavs so far. The mind boggles.
The Houston Rockets (A) are… the goth kid? The math wiz? The stoner? Running out of parallels here. Coach D’Antoni’s strategy is simple. Let’s say center moves down court, fakes right, passes to the forward. What does he do? Passes to Harden. Bingo. Second play. Jump ball. Ball is tipped to the center. Center shuttles to the guard, back to the center who hits to the forward and over to baseline. What does he do? Passes to Harden.
Yes! Number three. Forward inbounds from here bounce pass to the guard, who zips it back to the forward under the net. What does he do? lf he’s clear, he goes for the lay-up. If not, back to the guard. Okay, not paying attention? Ten laps. Not say Harden alone makes Houston a basketball gambling favorite, but the Rockets’ NBA online betting odds would be very different if he were not there.