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The Return of the NBA - What Do We Know?

The Return of the NBA - What Do We Know?

When it comes to the big four professional sports leagues in the US, the NBA arguably had the most successful return to play program. The bubble at the Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida served as the guiding example for other organizations, especially when it came to logistics and the safety of the athletes involved. 

Then again, it can be argued that the NBA had the easiest job, as team rosters are nowhere near as big as they are in other sports. Still, the feat was impressive. Despite this accomplishment, the 2020-21 season was always the true test of the league’s organizational capabilities. 

So, what has the NBA come up with to ensure that everything is safe and functional? A lot of things, actually. Let’s take a look at some of the key points surrounding the return of NBA basketball in this strange, strange year. 

What will the season look like? 

December 22 has been selected as the start date for the 2020-21 NBA season. The end is scheduled for May 16, but this is a tentative estimate and it’s very possible that things will change in case of unexpected developments, such as new COVID-19 outbreaks, issues with vaccines, and pretty much anything else. 

In total, teams will be playing 72 regular-season games instead of the usual 82. The 10-game reduction is due to the late start, which was caused by the Orlando Bubble taking place from July to October. 

When it comes to scheduling, only the First Half of the season has been determined, with games set to run between Dec. 22 and March 4. This incomplete format is due to literally nobody knowing how the pandemic will be developed. Each team will play teams within their conference three times, and others two times. 

It’s also worth mentioning that another reason for having a shortened regular season due to the Olympic Games being rescheduled for 2021. Both the US and many other countries have high aspirations when it comes to the basketball part of the competition, and nobody wanted to see a scenario where weakened teams would take the stage in Tokyo. 

Even though there will be a small window before the Games, it’s still unknown how this will affect the national team commitments of players who will make deep playoff runs. 

Will fans be present at games? 

The NBA allowed the teams to decide this for themselves. Different states have different rules and have been hit by the pandemic with various levels of severity, so letting each organization abide by the decision of the state’s Governor seemed perfectly logical. 

As of December 22, most teams have already decided that they will not be allowing fans at home games, while a small minority still hasn’t published a public statement. It is believed that they are hoping to get a green light from the authorities, especially if the ongoing vaccinations turn out to be successful. 

Some teams, however, have decided to jump the gun and allow their home arenas to be filled at a limited capacity. 

In the preseason, for example, the Memphis Grizzlies did have a small number of spectators, but they were mostly friends and family members of the players. The Grizz haven’t issued a formal statement of this, but social media posts from people close to Ja Morant all but confirmed this. 

The Cleveland Cavaliers took a particularly cautious route, deciding to allow only 300 fans per game. In Dallas, the Mavericks have created a set of elaborate seating charts as a means of allowing as many spectators as possible, while still adhering to the social distancing rules in place. 

Teams in Florida have taken the riskiest approach, with the Magic and the Raptors (more on their situation in a bit) deciding to let 3,000-4,000 fans into their arenas. You can see the full list of every team’s policy here, as well as keep up with future developments and updates. 

What about the Toronto Raptors? 

As the only Canadian team in the NBA, the Raptors were in a bit of a pickle from the get-go. Travelling between countries has been restricted since the pandemic began, so many were unsure how Toronto would handle hosting games and having the Raptors travel abroad for every road game. 

There were even rumours that they might not participate in the 2020-21 NBA season, but they were quickly dispelled. Ultimately, it was decided that the team would have Tampa’s Amalie Arena for the time being. 

Has the salary cap been affected?

The NBA, the NBPA, and the Board of Governors have agreed to an amendment to the existing CBA on Nov. 9. Since there were no issues such as those plaguing the upcoming NHL season, things were quickly sorted out. 

109.14 million was the cap last season and will remain the same in 2020-21, as well. The tax level is $132.6 million. To cope with the financial hit of fans not being present at games, teams will have their tax payment reduced in proportion to their reported losses. 

How will the playoffs look like? When will they take place?

From May 18 to May 21, the Play-In Tournament will take place. In it, teams with the 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th best winning percentage in each conference will face off against each other. This was a novelty introduced in the bubble, and the NBA decided to keep the format, as it turned out to be exciting. 

It’s interesting that the Play-In Tournament ranks teams according to their winning percentages, and not their win-loss record. This is probably because the NBA is preparing for games potentially being cancelled. 

Once the Tournament is done, the playoffs will take place from May 22 to July 22. Again, this is all tentative scheduling, and the dates might end up changed depending on future developments. 

What weird things can we expect? 

Well, for starters, you can expect a lot of players to be rusty. Some of them haven’t stepped foot on an NBA court since March, so you shouldn’t overreact to a couple of disappointing performances. 

It will also be an interesting challenge for the rookies, many of whom haven’t played organized basketball in almost a year. Without a proper training camp and a longer preseason, they will be thrust into the fire immediately. Many analysts predict that most of the top pics will underperform, as they will be making their NBA debuts in an unprecedented situation. 

Adam Silver noted that the league will ‘wait its turn for vaccinations’, but that isolated cases wouldn’t result in the cancellation of the season again. However, you should expect to see a few games cancelled, especially if a large majority of a team’s roster gets infected. 

Even wilder scenarios have floated around, such as teams switching to another state if things get unsafe where they currently are. 

Some experts believe that such an outcome would be a great way for the NBA to gouge the feasibility of moving to new markets, as well as returning to old ones. San Diego, Las Vegas, Seattle, and Louisville have been suggested as the most realistic option.

This is in line with commissioner Adam Silver recently saying that the league has ‘dusted off some of the analyses on the economic and competitive impacts of expansion.’

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NBA Betting Tips and Predictions

How to bet on NBA?

ProTipster is one of the best NBA betting tips sites where hundreds of NBA tips are posted each and every day. Single bets are still considered the most popular NBA bets as you have no more than one bet on your betting ticket. However, if you want to bet with lower stakes, we recommend you to try your luck with accumulator (parlays) bets. The ACCA bets consist of two or more selections and all of them need to be correct if you want to have returns.

The most popular short-term betting option is Match Winner. Predicting the outcome of the match is the essence of betting, but sometimes teams you backed need to cover the spread (handicap). Since favourites need to overcome a big pre-match deficit, handicap bets are a bit risky.

A number of NBA predictions on ProTipster include total points over/under NBA expert picks. When it comes to betting on totals, make sure you check out head-to-head record, teams news and stats. For example, if the top scorer of a team A misses the match against team B, team A is likely to score fewer points than usual.

You can predict the outcome of the first half as well, but keep in mind that the vast majority of coaches in NBA rest star players in the second quarter. Favourites often overcome the deficit in the second half as they tend to improve defensively in the dying minutes of the game. 

Last but not least are specials. With special bets, you need to guess how many points will player A score or how many rebounds will collect in a game etc. NBA betting experts, who place NBA tips on ProTipster, follow team news closely as player A will surely take more shots if a team leader (top scorer) is out of contention with an injury.

NBA Betting Odds 

The best way to beat the bookies is to find value NBA odds. There are several ways to do so, but we strongly recommend you monitor NBA odds movement on a daily basis. If odds are dropping or increasing rapidly, bookmakers surely know something we don’t and in these kinds of situations you should check out team news. Injuries and suspensions of key players play an important role when it comes to betting on basketball as NBA teams rely too much on their star players.

When you place accumulator bets NBA odds are multiplied, meaning that you can create a betslip with nice betting odds if you back two or three favourites to beat their respective rivals. However, keep in mind that popular online bookmakers often offer very low odds on title-chasing NBA teams. When the difference in class between the two teams is too big that bookies do not offer odds on favourites to win all. In that kind of situation, you need to back favourites to cover the spread (handicap).

NBA Live Betting

Live Betting is yet another popular betting option. The biggest advantage of in-play betting is the fact that bookmakers offer higher odds and additional types of bets. The Live betting increases the winning chances of the punter as he watches the game he wants to put his money on.

For example, if key player picks up an injury at the start of the match, his team is unlikely to emerge triumphant. On the other hand, if coaches rest their starters, substitutes are unlikely to score as many points as bookies expected before the match.

As mentioned previously, when it comes to Live Betting on NBA, we recommend you to place your bets in the fourth quarter as top teams produce their best performance in the match finale.  

Bear in mind that there is a great live and in-play betting service available at bet365.

How NBA Predictions on ProTipster can improve your Betting

The National Basketball Association – or NBA – is the dominant basketball league in North America and is considered the best basketball league in the world. The regular season runs from October until April with each team playing 82 games.

During the regular season, you’ll find NBA tips on ProTipster. As games take place on any day of the week there should always be NBA tips available although there is a mid-season gap for the All-Star game.

The NBA comprises of 30 teams – 29 from the USA and one from Canada – split into two conferences. These two conferences are then split into three divisions. The eight teams in each conference with the best win/loss record qualify for the playoffs, which take place between April and May with the finals in June.

The NBA is one of the few professional sports in the USA where every team plays every other team at least once. Each team plays opponents in their own division four times a year, six of the remaining teams in their conference four times a year and the other four three times. They also play each team in the other conference twice a year.

Playoff and final matches are played as a series of seven games. The first team in the bracket to win four games advances to the next round, with the losers eliminated. This means that there will be plenty of games even in the post-season to find NBA tips in.

NBA Predictions for Today

NBA betting tips are posted in a variety of markets. The most common one is the Moneyline market, where a tipster will back a team to either win a game by a number of points or the other team to not lose by the same number of points. There are also NBA tips available in markets such as total points in half or game and Asian handicaps.

All NBA betting tips posted on ProTipster are individually rated by our smart algorithm, based on various factors of a tipster’s performance. The rating is given as a score between 0 and 10 displayed on every tip to help you find which NBA tips are best for you – the higher the score, the more likely the tip can help you improve your gambling profits.

Our basketball tipsters post their NBA tips on a daily basis, therefore, you can find hundreds of both NBA predictions today and NBA predictions tonight each and every day. The 2019 NBA regular season starts on October 22, 2019, and ends on April 15, 2020, meaning that you will have enough time to find value NBA odds.

If you want to post NBA picks yourself, make sure you open your tipster account with ProTipster. Not only you can publish your NBA predictions to our platform, but you can follow the best predictions from NBA experts.

Post your own NBA Betting Tips

Once you join our betting community, you are allowed to post NBA predictions yourself. Not only you can publish your NBA picks, but you can take part in ProTipster Monthly Competitions as well and win real cash prizes. Every tipster competition on ProTipster has its terms and conditions and we recommend you read them in detail as that will help you qualify for monthly cash prizes.

When posting both NBA predictions today and NBA predictions tonight you can choose from various betting markets (Match Winner, Asian Handicap, Half Time, Home Team Total, Away Team Total, Total Points etc.). Before you create your NBA pick, make sure you show fellow NBA tipsters and ProTipster readers how confident are you using one of six options (5, 20, 40, 60, 80, 100).

History of NBA

Founded in 1946 and consisting of 30 teams from American and Canada, the NBA is widely regarded as the best professional basketball league in the world. The New York Knickerbockers (they’re not called the Knicks really, fun fact!) played the now-defunct Toronto Huskies in the first ever NBA game in history way back on 01 November 1946. Japanese-American and New York Knicks point guard Wataru Misaka was the very first player to break the NBA colour barrier in the 1947-48 season, whereas the first African-American player was Harold Hunter, who signed for the Washington Capitals back in 1950. nba picks Annual NBA picks before the season commences is known as the NBA draft, which dates back to 1947. These NBA picks are typically college basketball players, and the teams who did not make the playoffs the season prior participate in the NBA Draft Lottery to determine the first three NBA picks of the draft. This has been in place since 1985, with 14 balls numbered 1-14, and 1,000 four-digit combinations are assigned to the 14 lottery teams. The worst team receives 250 combinations, the second worst getting 199, the third worst team 156, and so on. After the first three draft NBA picks are determined, the rest of the teams are ordered in reverse order based on their record in the previous season.

Best Teams in NBA 

Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics are the most successful club in the history of NBA. Founded back in 1946, Boston Celtics play their home games at TD Garden, the arena which can hold up to 18,624 spectators, speaking of basketball games. The TD Garden outfit won their 17th NBA title in 2008, with the team beating Los Angeles Lakers 4-2 in the finals. The likes of Larry Bird, Bill Russell Robert Parish, Kevin Garnet, John Havlicek and Shaquille O’Neal are one of the most notable players who wore Celtics jersey in the past.

Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers are the synonym for NBA. The basketball giants were the dominant force in the NBA at the start of the 21st century, with the team winning five trophies from 2001 to 2010. Los Angeles Lakers are the second most successful franchise in the history of NBA (16 Championships) and it is well known that the likes of Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Magic Johnson, Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul Jabbar played for the Staples Center club in the past. LeBron James, who is on the right track to overtake Kobe Bryant in third place in the NBA all-time points list, played for Los Angeles Lakers as well, but he failed to win a trophy with the famous NBA team. 

Golden State Warriors

Despite the fact that Toronto Raptors won the 2018/2019 NBA title, Golden State Warriors are considered the best NBA team of the 21st century. The Warriors clinched their sixth NBA trophy in 2018, with the team rolling over LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers 4-0 in the finals. Best ProTipster bettors back Steve Kerr’s troops in their NBA predictions as terrific guard Stephen Curry is still part of the team. The likes of Kevin Durant, Wilt Chamberlain and Chris Mullin are one of the most famous basketball players who whore Golden State Warriors shirt in the past. The Warriors welcome their rivals at Chase Center, the arena with the capacity of 18,064.

Biggest Stars in NBA History

Michael Jordan

Born on February 17, 1963 in New York City, Michael Jordan is a legendary basketball player who won six NBA titles with Chicago Bulls. “Air Jordan” scored 32,292 points in 1,072 appearances for the Bulls from 1984 to 1998 when retired from basketball for the second time. Back in 1993 he decided to retire after his father was shot dead at a highway rest area in Lumberton, North Carolina. Michael Jordan returned to NBA in 1995, continuing where he left with Chicago Bulls. In 2001, he returned to NBA for the second time, but this time out he joined Washington Wizards. However, due to the lack of top-class teammates, Jordan failed to win a trophy with the Capital One Arena club.

Kobe Bryant

Ever since Los Angeles Lakers retired, basketball tipsters have been avoiding the Staples Center outfit in their NBA expert picks. Bryant sits in the third all-time scoring leader in NBA, with the former Lakers ace scoring 33,634 points in 1,346 appearances in the professional basketball league. The legendary shooting guard has 5 NBA trophies with Los Angeles Lakers (2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010), winning NBA Finals MVP award on two occasions (2009, 2010). Kobe Bryant participated in 18 NBA All-Star games. The “Black Mamba” is the product of Lower Merion high school.

LeBron James 

Over the years LeBron James has established himself as one of the best players in NBA. Regardless whether you place your NBA predictions today or NBA predictions tonight, if you see “King Lebron” in the Los Angeles Lakers starting lineup, we strongly recommend you to back the 16-time champions in your NBA picks and parlays, as he often wins games by himself. Lebron James has two NBA trophies with Miami Heat (2012, 2013) and one with Cleveland Cavaliers, who defeated Golden State Warriors 4-3 in the 2016 NBA finals.