Wed, Oct 30, 1:30pm by Dominic Ciconte
Check out the previews and get all your betting information for the three divisions in the Eastern Conference by browsing through our Sports Blog.
Now is the time to do your research, place your bets and enjoy another great NBA season. Turn your knowledge into cash!
The Pacific Division is made up of the Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors.
Last season the Clippers led the division with 56 wins, ahead of Golden State (47 wins) and the Lakers (45 wins) – the Suns and the Kings were in the lottery and expect to be there again this season.
This year we expect the Clippers and Warriors to compete for the Pacific crown, while the Lakers could join Sacramento and Phoenix in the bottom half of the table.
Sacramento might have survived a bid to move it to Seattle in the off-season, but on the court, the Kings are still a rabble.
Led by the incredibly talented, but incredibly immature DeMarcus Cousins, the Kings have too many mediocre power forwards to lay claim to any hope of playoff basketball. Cousins, by all rights, should be playing power forward, but he has to play centre because there is no one better suited.
The back court is not so bad. Isiah Thomas is a jet up and down the floor who is improving with experience and the acquisition of pass-first point Greivis Vasquez was a masterstroke, if for nothing more than to get rid of selfish guard Tyreke Evans.
Sacramento is slowly building something nice, but Kings fans won’t see any real results on the court for a season or two yet.
Championship: $301/1 @Sportingbet.com.au
Pacific Division: $51/1 @Sportingbet.com.au
Regular season wins: 31.5 wins @ Sportingbet.com.au
Our tip: Get some minutes into the kids, get Cousins to show up every night and you have yourself a 25-win team. We like the under 31.5 at Sportingbet.com.au.
Joining the 76ers, Kings and Celtics in the running for the number one draft pick next season is Phoenix.
They just traded their best big guy, Marcin Gortat, to the playoff-bound Wizards for a future draft pick and the corpse of Emeka Okafor. If that isn’t tanking, we don’t know what is.
At least the back court of the energetic Eric Bledsoe and the talented Goran Dragic will be fun to watch.
The Suns hope rookie Alex Len will develop into a prime mover, but there really isn’t much else to crow about.
Championship: $151/1 @ IASbet.com.au
Pacific Division: $81/1 @ IASbet.com.au
Regular season wins: 20.5 wins @ IASbet.com.au
Our tip: Before the Suns traded away its centre Marcin Gortat, we thought the over for 20.5 wins was good, but now we recommend you go under that line with IASbet.com.au.
The Lakers’ 2013-14 season is in limbo until it can determine if Kobe Bryant is able to return to something near his previously-dominant-self.
Don’t expect the Lakers to rush back their aging superstar from achilles surgery, as we get the sneaking suspicion that the Lakers (and the NBA) wouldn’t mind a high draft pick in next year’s stacked draft.
In all seriousness, the Lakers are very hard to pick. If they tank, they’ll go way under, but, if they don’t, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol, with a returning Bryant, could still lead them to the playoffs.
Championship: $61/1 @ Centrebet.com
Pacific Division: $9/1 @ Centrebet.com
Regular season wins: 34.5 wins @Centrebet.com
Our tip: We’re betting on the Lakers tanking their season and going the under 34.5 offered by Centrebet.com.au, but, tread carefully on this one.
While their Los Angeles counterparts are falling, the Clippers are flying.
The Clippers did their title chances no harm in the off-season, grabbing floor spacer JJ Reddick, back-up point guard Darren Collison, the dependable Jared Dudley and big guy shooter BJ Mullens.
They may have arguably the best back court in the league with Chris Paul and Jamal Crawford added to the mix.
Depth will be no issue and they know what they’re going to get from CP3, but just how far the Clippers can go may depend on Griffin’s development. For all the 20-10 nights and highlight reel plays, Griffin is nowhere near the complete player the Clipps need him to be if they want to win the championship.
Championship: $15/1 @ Centrebet.com
Pacific Division: $1.55/1 @ Centrebet.com
Regular season wins: 57.5 wins @Centrebet.com
Our tip: The Clippers competition in the Western Conference has weakened. The Thunder are without all-star Russell Westbrook, the Grizzlies, Lakers and Nuggets have all lost ground, the Spurs are a year older and the Warriors are still learning how it all works. Houston might be their biggest challenger for the west.
We’ll be bold and say they can win it all this season. The $15 for the championship is incredibly tempting and we think the Clippers can top the 57.5 wins on offer.
This may be the best team the Warriors have put on the floor since the immortal Wilt Chamberlain was dropping centuries in San Francisco.
Led by the swish brothers, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, the Warriors have one of, if not the, best back courts in the league and certainly the most dangerous from three-point range.
Curry is THE best shooter on the planet and the addition of defensive maestro Andre Iguodala automatically turns the Warriors into contenders.
Important power forward David Lee has been a monster in pre-season and looks fit and firing. With Aussie centre Andrew Bogut looking lean and fit, he can cover for Lee’s questionable defence.
A minus is the fact the Warriors have six legitimate starters for five spots. Will Harrison Barnes swallow a bench spot? If he does, he could win sixth man of the year.
Provided Bogut can stay healthy, winning the west is something that is not beyond them.
Championship: $21/1 @ IASbet.com.au
Pacific Division: $2.75/1 @ IASbet.com.au
Regular season wins: 50.5 wins @Sportingbet.com.au
Our tip: After an exciting playoff run last season, the Warriors come into this season with big expectations and we are buying into their hype. We think they will continue to improve and top the 50.5 wins on offer at Sportingbet.com.au.
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