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NBA Betting: WynnBET Trader ‘Intrigued’ to See How Teams Approach In-Season Tournament

The inaugural NBA in-season tournament will begin on November 3, culminating with the Championship Game on December 9. 

All 30 teams have been split into randomly drawn groups of five, and eight will advance to the Knockout Rounds following the end of Group Play on November 28.

The tournament counts for in-season standings except for the Championship Game, and it’s going to be interesting to see what kind of motivation is shown from each team since this is the first of tournament of its kind.

Here are the 10 teams with the best odds to win the NBA Cup, according to WynnBET on July 10:

  • Boston Celtics +650
  • Phoenix Suns +800
  • Milwaukee Bucks +800
  • Denver Nuggets +800
  • Miami Heat +1000
  • Los Angeles Lakers +1000
  • Philadelphia 76ers +1000
  • Sacramento Kings +1200
  • Golden State Warriors +1200
  • Los Angeles Clippers +2000 editor Kyle Odegard caught up with WynnBET Senior NBA Trader Kyle Shields to discuss the NBA Cup, and how the sportsbook is handling a tournament that has no prior history.

Kyle Odegard: Is it hard to handicap this tournament without knowing how each team will treat it? 

Kyle Shields: “This was one thing that we had discussed in the room when making odds for group winners and cup champion. There was a lot of discussion if the high end teams (Suns, Nuggets, Bucks) would compete as hard as some of the teams maybe a tier below (Knicks, Cavs, Kings). Another thing we thought about was if younger teams like the Thunder, Magic, and Hornets would be more likely to really compete for the NBA Cup due to this being a more attainable goal for them as they continue to develop and get better. I’m intrigued to see how each team approaches this new addition to the season.”

KO: Do the odds reflect the unknown nature of the tournament, in that the odds for the favorites are longer than they are to win the title?

KS: “The range of odds for the NBA Cup are definitely tighter than those for the NBA Championship. With there only being 4 games instead of 82 to decide who moves on there will be a lot more variance. This leads to longer odds for the favorites and shorter odds for the underdogs.  Another variable in this is how difficult the group is for each team. The Celtics on paper have the easiest group which means they have better odds at winning the group or advancing as the 4th East team.”

KO: Do you feel like load management in the knockout rounds is unlikely because the NBA will discourage teams from sitting stars?

KS: “I doubt that we will see any load management in the knockout rounds. If teams make it to this stage they are clearly trying to win the inaugural NBA Cup. There is a possibility in the group stage that teams rest guys if they are focusing on staying healthy for the rest of the season but once we hit the knockout rounds I expect teams to be giving it their all.”

KO: Why are the Nuggets at +800 when they are generally seen as the championship favorite?

KS: “This is from a culmination of things that were discussed by the trading room. This is starting with motivation not only from them but other teams in the group. We see every year a championship hangover at the start of the season which is when this tournament is played. They are also in a group with a lot of teams trying to prove things this year. The other four teams in this group (Clippers, Mavericks, Pelicans, Rockets) are off disappointing seasons and I can see them competing hard against the reigning NBA Champions to set a tone early in the season. I would not be surprised if the Nuggets do not make it out of this group despite being the best team in it.”

Here is the list of groups and each team’s odds to win it, according to WynnBET on July 10:

East Group A

  • Philadelphia 76ers +160
  • Cleveland Cavaliers +250
  • Atlanta Hawks +400
  • Indiana Pacers +500
  • Detroit Pistons +1200

East Group B

  • Milwaukee Bucks +130
  • Miami Heat +200
  • New York Knicks +425
  • Washington Wizards +1200
  • Charlotte Hornets +1200

East Group C

  • Boston Celtics -105
  • Brooklyn Nets +500
  • Chicago Bulls +500
  • Toronto Raptors +650
  • Orlando Magic +650

West Group A

  • Phoenix Suns +140
  • Los Angeles Lakers +180
  • Memphis Grizzlies +475
  • Utah Jazz +1000
  • Portland Trail Blazers +1200

West Group B

  • Denver Nuggets +180
  • Los Angeles Clippers +280
  • Memphis Grizzlies +475
  • Utah Jazz +1000
  • Portland Trail Blazers +1200

West Group C

  • Sacramento Kings +250
  • Golden State Warriors +250
  • Oklahoma City Thunder +300
  • Minnesota Timberwolves +360
  • San Antonio Spurs +1200

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