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Are the Warriors on another planet?

Pau Gasol

Take the unplayable Warriors of last year and add some luxury reinforcements to get the prototype of a team that is already announcing themselves as winners for next June. Insolent in the post-season a few months ago, in the wake of a Durant - Curry duo unstoppable, the Californian franchise has retained all its major elements (Green, Thompson, Pachulia), but especially to enlist Nick Young and Omri Casspi. Two artillerymen who, when they take fire from the bench, can produce matches at 20+ points. A luxury that Golden State could have been happening, which allows the franchise to start the season by watching the competition high.

Quite sure to finish top in the West thanks to a major five and an incredible bench depth, Curry and his teammates seem to have the means to do better than their historic record of a season in 2015/2016 with 73 successes and 9 defeats. That year, the defending champions began with 24 wins, but stumbled playing Cleveland in the Playoffs, after a final (4-3) that will remain forever in their memories.

We saw a much more mature formation during the previous year, content to "do the job" in the regular season (67v-15d), before rising from the start of the Playoffs. Titled with 16 victories for one defeat (against the Cavs in the final), Steve Kerr's men largely erased the disappointment of 2016. Aware that they have the means to write history in front of the most dominant team of all time, these magicians will leave nothing to the competition. So, who will be able to stop the the Golden State crew?

The rating of a Warriors title is proposed at 5/9 at Bet365

King James has surrounded himself this summer

Pau Gasol

There's Lebron James and the others. Not well enough to shake the Warriors in the 2017 final (4-1), the Cavaliers dropped the best league leader in Boston, in exchange for the elite Isaiah Thomas. A choice and a daring bet for the fallen champions, who also snatched the arrival of Derrick Rose. Left to play a doubling role, the former MVP could well start in the 5 major, relegating Isaiah to the bench. The two jewels will compete, and that's good.

To these two arrivals are added those of D-Wade and Jae Crowder! The legendary 35-year-old back finds his friend Lebron, with whom he won two trophies (2012, 2013) under the Miami Heat jersey. Former teammate Thomas in Boston, will invite him in the five major, alongside Kevin Love.

The Cavaliers ability to invite themselves for the fourth time in the NBA final will depend on the influence of Derrick Rose and Isaiah Thomas, the two leaders. One of the two will have to emerge as the holder, avoiding the injuries. We cannot replace Kyrie Irving easily, the bet is daring. The Cavs have taken risks: it is the price to pay to try to pay the heads of the Warriors. We have the feeling that it was King Lebron who built this team around him, with players he enjoys. The quadruple MVP knows that everyone will play for him, and will assume sole responsibility for a failure. For what looks like his last year in Ohio, the one who became a legend dreams of offering a new title to his family.

Bet on a title of the Cavaliers at 5/1 at Bet365!

Behind the two monsters, a quartet emerges

Pau Gasol

There is only Golden State in the West. Losing to be rolled on from the start of the Playoffs, the Houston Rockets struck hard on Chris Paul. Wonderful but not well enough surrounded by the Clippers, the leader will form a great duo with James Harden. The two men, surrounded by artillerymen, will have fun with all the defences of the league. We are eager to see the Texans ramp up collectively. It remains to be seen whether they will be able to rise to the level defensively, they who presented only the 17th record (103 points cashed per game) in 2016/2017 in this sector. On paper, Houston is better equipped than San Antonio or OKC to invite himself to the final conference.

The side of a coronation of the Texans is proposed at 8/1.

San Antonio had not been able to defend "West Coast" final, due to an injury of the immense Kawhi Leonard from the first match. His winger remains healthy, SA can still do very badly. Especially since the Texans enlisted a huge Rudy Gay with the Kings but whose prospects of putting on a ring one day were non-existent. With Gasol, Aldridge, Gay, Green, Parker or the irremovable Ginobili, the Spurs have the talent and the experience. They will have to rely on their young talents (Dejounte Murray, Bertans ...) to acquire this dose of insouciance necessary on leaving the bench. San Antonio ( rating of 12/1) is the classic mistake. The Spurs are expected to fight with Houston and Oklahoma for second place in the regular season.

Pau Gasol

There is only MVP Russel Westbrook to bring lightning to Oklahoma. The man who finished last season in triple-double (31.9 points, 10.6 rebounds, 10.4 assists) will be surrounded by Carmelo Anthony and Paul George. Volunteer but too lusty to aim at anything at the Pacers, George joined OKC hoping to put on a ring one day. Concerning "Melo", a page turns with the Knicks. Irreproachable in the attitude, the winger of 33 years proved through this transfer that he was ready to put his talent at the service of the collective. Oklahoma is no longer there to do the show: it is now about bringing home a title. Bet365 offers a rating of 18/1.

In the East, only Boston has the means to counter Cleveland over the duration of a regular season. The Celtics had finished the regular season 2016/2017 in first place on the line, before being martyred by Cleveland in the Playoffs (4-1). What will happen to the Irving-Hayward duo? The Celtics will build around the two All-Star, focusing on the collective. Horford third man, young talent (Tatum, Green) and several duty players (Morris Baynes ...) enough to run one of the first two places. It is in the playoffs that we will know more about the real potential of these Celtics!

Milwaukee and Minnesota will treat us!

Pau Gasol

Gianni Antetokounmpo, that tells you something? The Greek of Nigerian origin is Milwaukee's happiness. At only 22 years old, he already seems ready to play a role in the MVP discussion. Worn by a young and talented roster, the Bucks will build around their prodigy. The player slammed 22.9 points average last season: he wants to break the barrier of the 30 in 2017/2018. Behind the top of the favourites is Milwaukee!

Minnesota also begins with tremendous potential. Wolves have probably had the most successful transfer window, recording the arrivals of Jamal Crawford, Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson and Jeff Teague. The departure of Rubio (Utah) is largely filled for a franchise scheduled to win. As for the Bucks, the matches of the Wolves will be worth the detour. A magnificent epic in Playoffs is not impossible for these two rising franchises.

We do not forget the Wizards of John Wall. The top three league leaders, who had come up against the Celtics in the conference semi-finals will be even supported by Bradley Beal and Marçin Gortat. Washington will also be able to count on leader Tim Frazier (ex Pelicans), the only rookie of choice. They are still a devilishly competitive team, capable of creating a surprise in the East.

Another favourite is the New Orleans Pelicans, who are coming forward this season with a duet Demarcus Cousins - Anthony Davis. It will not be surprising to regularly see the two monsters shock you as soon as you wake up, when you get to know the top 10 of the night. If their bench depth remains undoubtful, the Pelicans will be logically in the top eight in the West.

Some useful tips to bet on the NBA

Pau Gasol

Surprises in the NBA are frequent and it is important to assume that anything can happen. Several elements are to be monitored before placing a bet but the most important of them is the dynamics of the team. The results of a franchise are often cyclical because they depend on shooting skills, group confidence, motivation, communication in defence and more generally alchemy between players. Dynamics are long to create but also to discard. Therefore watching the recent history is essential before placing a bet.

Absences of major players are also to be watched. With the high pace of the schedule it is not uncommon for some players to save money to cure serious injuries. Since basketball is the collective sport where the contribution of an individual can have the most impact, it is essential to monitor the list of players likely to miss the next meeting. Some teams are dependent on their best player and to know of a last-minute major package can make it possible to benefit from very nice odds. The other consequence of this infernal cadence is of course the accumulation of fatigue. Once or twice in the season a team must chain matches away to the four corners of the country in a short period of time. The meetings played during these road trips and the miles travelled are heavy on the physical and mental freshness of the players.

Some teams know very quickly that they will not be able to qualify for the playoffs. But the more bad a team is, the more likely it is to get a good pick at the end-of-season draft and thus recover a good player. Some teams said to be rebuilding do not hesitate to deliberately lose matches by experimenting with certain tactics or by granting playing time to mediocre players. Negative series after the All-Star Game of February are therefore frequent among the teams to the penalty in the classification. For example, in 2016, Brooklyn completed their season with 10 defeats in a row by putting resting Brook Lopez yet in perfect health.

Finally, a tip early in the season is to spot teams that have changed coaches during the summer. Some franchises with defensive identity completely transform their profile under the impulse of a new coach who brings a new game philosophy based on the attack. Conversely, if a landlord has paid a high price to recruit a pivot with a defensive profile, it also gives an indication. Bookmakers tend to rely on statistics of the past season to predict the number of points scored in a match but these changes are all opportunities to take a bet of the kind over / under judicious.

NBA key stats

In the 82 games played by each of the 30 teams in the regular season, between 195 and 200 points are averaged per game. Meetings involving two forward teams can sometimes generate more than 220 points, while those who see two limited formations offensively or focused on their defensive tasks are regularly closed below 180.

Since 2000/2001, 10 of the 13 titled teams were among the top two in their regular season conference. If surprises are common in the regular season, they are therefore rare in Playoffs!

The best teams usually have between 65 and 80% victories, while those in the fight for the top 8 qualifier for the Playoffs are between 45 and 55. The last two or three win an average of only one game in four.

Betting on the NBA

Judging the form of teams is very important in NBA. A franchise can play up to 4 games per week and often runs by series. But it is especially the timing that must be considered. A team preparing to play 6 consecutive games in front of its public will be able to work calmly.

On the contrary, it is common to see a team travel to the four corners of the United States within a few days and crack both mentally and physically. These "road trips" are trying and are usually closed by defeats. Seeing a big team falling down a small team after several games played away from home is not uncommon.

Beware of the team calendar and try to detect a lack of motivation! 82 games are played in the space of a few months and all franchises play a few games without real desire. There are regular big surprises at the end of the regular season, especially when the rankings are frozen and the teams are already turned towards the Playoffs, or the holidays.

Finally, note that surprises are very rare during the Playoffs! The favourites finally give their full effort and do not disappoint. Moreover, historically, the NBA Champion is 80% of the time placed in one of the first two places in the regular season.

Presentation of the League

The NBA is the best basketball league in the world and makes all players dream, whether European or American. It is composed of thirty teams, distributed fairly in two Conferences (East-West). During the regular season, the teams compete according to their proximity and play a total of 82 games. At the end of this first phase, the eight best franchises of each conference, divided by the percentage of victories, are qualified for the Playoffs.

During these Playoffs, a table is established in each Conference according to the ranking. The 1st opposes the 8th, the 2nd is opposed to the 7th, etc. Confrontations are played in the best of seven games and the team having finished in front of their opponent in the regular season always receives four times if the series runs out.

Finally, the NBA final always pits the winner of each conference. It also competes in the best of seven games and the team with the best percentage of victories in season enjoys the advantage of the prosecution in the event of a decisive match. The teams currently dominant in the NBA are the San Antonio Spurs (Parker, Duncan, Ginobili, Leonard, etc.), the Los Angeles Clippers (Griffin, Paul), the Cleveland Cavaliers (Lebron James, Kyrie Irving) Thunder from Oklahoma (Durant, Westbrook) and the Chicago Bulls (Rose, Noah).

The L.A Lakers or the Boston Celtics have an outstanding record but have started a transition phase and have not yet recovered.

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Article "NBA" updated in 21/10/2017

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