We’ve attacked the individual awards with our 2012-13 NBA MVP and Rookie Of The Year betting tips last week so now let’s look at the divisions...
Atlantic DivisionThe Atlantic Divisional is a chook raffle, with the “getting old” Boston Celtics fittingly at the top of the market. At $2.80 we are the biggest price in the world. Fans of Beantown will tell you that Rajon Rondo will go to a new level, KG and The Truth still have it and Jeff Greene is about to show why he was a lottery pick. Jared Sullinger is a handy little addition too. However, we’re more inclined to leave the C’s alone like our name is Ray Allen. They might put together a strong run in the playoffs but the regular season isn’t their go. We’re expecting less from the Knicks ($3.25) than everyone else as well. On NBA 2K13 these blokes would be one of our favourites. A hall of fame point guard dishing alleyoops to Amare, Melo on fire like it’s the Olympics and Chandler protecting the ring better than Frodo Baggins. However, in real life, teams need chemistry and more than one player to play defence. The Garden is a chorus of boos when Melo misses a few shots; how about abusing Amare when he refuses to grab rebounds and actually help out his teammates defensively? He knows he doesn’t play for Phoenix anymore right? Leave us out of the perennial underachievers. Let’s move on to the two teams we actually like. “No sleep till Brooklyn”. Or, don’t sleep on Brooklyn ($4). Their roster has the depth of a urine filled kiddy pool but their starting five has balance, athleticism and enthusiasm. Deron Williams is the second best point guard in the NBA and a great bronze medal hope for the MVP ($15). He will have a HUGE year. He loves the Joe Johnson acquisition (partly because he doesn’t pay the bills) and the rest of the squad fits nicely. Gerald Wallace and Kardashian’s ex do the intangibles critical to winning and Brook Lopez is the third best center in the NBA. The Nets of old are due for some good fortune and judging by their early preseason form $4 for the division is overs. We also love the 6ers of 2012. Lou Williams and Iggy Pop are significant losses but Bynum was a perfect pickup. Rebounds, blocks and points in the paint all improved instantly. Depth at the three spot means Iggy won’t be missed but a lot rests on the shoulders of Jrue Holiday. If he is as good as Philly claim then we have nothing to worry about. Evan Turner could become an Allstar and we love the opportunity to play offense inside out. Kick the rock to Bynum, the NBA’s best postman, and if he can’t score over the double team the 6ers have Young, J-Rich and Dorrell Wright to bury the trey. The $4.50 won’t be there in two weeks’ time.
Central DivisionLet’s move onto the Central Division. The Bulls are awfully short at $1.55. Best case scenario, D-Rose is back by the All-Star break. However, according to the MVP himself, he may miss a lot more. I know Chicago did great in his absence last year and Tom Thibodeau is a genius, but 60+ games without your MVP is a looooong time. We like the Pacers at $2.35. This is based as much on Rose as it is on the resurgent Pacers. We scratch our heads at the departure of Collison but there is enough talent to compensate. The balance is right and we expect a 50+ season from Larry Bird’s boys.
Northwest DivisionThe Northwest is even easier to pick. In 2012-13 Oklahoma City ($1.10) bring the Thunder all year and have the best record in the NBA. A Kevin Durant injury would bring the Nuggets in quickly from $8.50 as they will have a huge year but they still can’t touch a healthy OKC.
Pacific DivisionThe Pacific division is an interesting one. We think the Lakers ($1.25) will be in the NBA Finals this year but that doesn’t mean they’ll be winning 60+ games in the regular season. Dwight’s back and a focus not to peak early means we are expecting a slow start for LA’s number one team. Their number two team ($3.50) could conceivable win more games but that’s optimistic. CP3 is a freak but we’re not convinced by their aging roster. On paper it looks good but Lamar Odom has lost a step, so to Billups, Butler and Hill. It’s possible, but we still think the purple and gold will be too strong. Shout out to the Golden State Warriors who will be decent this year, albeit 15 games short of these two teams. Same sentiment goes out to Minnesota and Atlanta in their respective divisions.
Southeast DivisionWe’ll save our breath on the Southeast. Miami are $1.03, not quite bank interest.
Southwest DivisionThe Southwest is tricky. We like tipping up and coming teams so you’d think we’d be all over the Grizzlies at $3.50 but spitting on the Spurs always has repercussions. We learnt that again last year. They won’t repeat their best in the west record but they are still a very good team. Tim Duncan is the greatest power forward of all time and Greg Popovich is similarly talented. They’re just too professional to slip and $1.90 might prove overs. We’re not convinced by the new look Mavs ($4) but Memphis might talk us into it in the next few weeks. Their frontcourt is arguably the best in basketball (Gasol 2, Randolph & Rudy) and Conley is more than capable at PG. Tony Allen as that defensive chemistry piece shouldn’t be dismissed either. If we were going to back someone it would be these relocated Canadians but I think the smart move might be to stay out. Our best bet is the 76ers at $4.50. Who is your tip to win each division??
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