WE’RE pleased to announce Alan Keane (@AlanK2806) to the WeLoveBetting team as our resident NBA expert. Alan starts with an ante-post preview on the new NBA season.
NBA Season Preview 2016/17
It’s that time of year again, the new NBA season is upon us.
The season gets underway on Tuesday night with both of last year’s finalists in action. Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James welcome the new look New York Knicks while beaten finalists Golden State Warriors host the San Antonio Spurs.
It has been the most exciting off season in recent memory, no doubt that Kevin Durrant formerly of the Oklahoma City Thunder joining up with the team that knocked them out of last year’s play-offs being the biggest story line.
However, other major sides such as the Knicks and the Chicago Bulls have also bolstered their line-ups.
Last year the Warriors set a new NBA regular season record with 73 wins and only nine losses but arguably their pursuit of the record and a tougher run through the Western Conference play-offs meant they came up short against a well-rested Cleveland side.
Cleveland trailed 3-1 in the finals before winning three games on the bounce to take the NBA Championship.
Looking forward it is very hard to look past these two teams once again; they are head-and-shoulders above the competition. Cleveland, who play in the weaker Eastern Conference, get to rotate their squad more during the regular season.
A trip to the finals would be LeBron James’ seventh consecutive and it looks a foregone conclusion.
Golden State on the other hand are coming off the back of a record-breaking season and have added a former MVP and future hall of famer to their roster in Kevin Durrant.
To think the Warriors will top their performance from last season might be a step too far but anything close and they will once again lie atop of the Western Conference.
While naming the finalist betting is not available, I will be doubling both sides to win their Conference, which gives us a return of 6/5 (Betfair) for my first ante-post bet.
Total wins is another nice market for NBA betting, with some lines that have caught my eye.
Harrison Barnes moves from Golden State to the Dallas Mavericks and I think he is set to flourish in his new role under his new mentor Dirk Nowitzki.
The Mavericks won 42 games last year and their season total has been set at 39.5 this season. The over is available at evens (BetVictor) and I feel after they added to their roster this year they should perform even better than last year.
It’s worth noting that Seth Curry, Steph’s brother, is on the Dallas roster and is worth keeping an eye out for. He averaged just under seven points per-game last season and it will be interesting to see how he reacts to his new surroundings.
Reach The Play-Offs
Phil Jackson, the general manager of the Knicks, hopes to bring back the glory days of the 1970’s. They have added some real quality to their roster in Derrick Rose, a former MVP, and his former teammate Joakim Noah.
If Rose can stay healthy and gel with Carmelo Anthony and young Latvian Kristaps Porzingis I think the Knicks have a real shot at making the play-offs for the first time since 2013.
Madison Square Garden needs play-off basketball and more importantly, the NBA needs play-off basketball in the Garden.
I’m taking the Knicks to make the play-offs at 1/1 (Ladbrokes)
Rookie Of The Year
Finally, Buddy Hield came out of Oklahoma in the first round and is quoted as 8/1 (BetVictor) to be named Rookie Of The Year.
He averaged 25 points per-game in college and transferred his output to the NBA pre-season where he averaged 17 points.
Hield is a great shooter and can get to the basket effectively. I think his games suits the NBA and he could be set for a breakout year if he continues to develop his game as the season progresses.
NBA 2016/17 – Golden State Warriors to win the Western Conference and Cleveland Cavaliers to win the Eastern Conference double (6/5 Betfair)
NBA 2016/17 – Dallas Mavericks to win Over 39.5 games (1/1 BetVictor)
NBA 2016/17 – New York Knicks to reach the play-offs (1/1 Ladbrokes)
NBA 2016/17 – Buddy Hield to be named Rookie Of The Year (8/1 BetVictor)