We are roughly 1/8th through the season and there is a lot of basketball left to be played. There are a lot of stories yet to play out and it is way too early to predict anything. Well, except maybe the Warriors winning another title. That said, there is a good enough sample size out there now that we think we know a little something about this league and we think there are some great value plays still on the board. Let’s take a look at our favorites for November.
[geocode id=5]Toronto Raptors -130 to win the Atlantic Division
[geocode id=2]This was expected to be a race between two of the best teams in the league, the Raptors and the Boston Celtics. What we’ve seen in the early goings makes it hard to believe that the Celtics have any chance of catching them.
Again, it’s early, but the Raptors currently have a 3.5 game lead on the Celtics and are sitting at 11-1. Moreover, they have looked like the more cohesive team in the early going. They’ve won games against good teams by huge margins without Kawhi Leonard and with him, they look unbeatable. Pascal Siakam is having a huge breakout season while the team is getting the best production out of Serge Ibaka in a few years. Kyle Lowry is doing well and this team is playing great on both ends of the floor.
The Celtics will get there, but they’ve dug a hole early and there are still plenty of adjustments to be made. It just feels like this team has too many good players right now. Kyrie Irving, Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier, Gordon Hayward, and Jaylen Brown are all worthy of playing time but there is only so much to go around. The offense has sputtered early and I just don’t see them catching up.
[geocode id=5]Pick a Northwest Division team to win the divison
This is the most fascinating division in basketball as everyone is good. (Well, maybe not the Wolves anymore, but enough has been said about them already.)
My pick here would probably be the [geocode id=5]Nuggets +245. They’ve had one of the hottest starts to the season and have gotten key improvements from all of their major players. Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic have already had some monster games and the defense is much improved with a healthy Paul Millsap.
The [geocode id=5]Thunder +250 are on a seven game win streak after a 0-4 start. Paul George is really getting going and the defense is clicking. The thing that worries me here is that Russell Westbrook is currently out with an injury. This team relies so heavily on those two that I find it hard to go with them.
My preseason pick was the [geocode id=5]Jazz +195 and I can still see a path for them. The defense hasn’t quite been there early, but you have to believe it will get there with the talent level of this team. Donovan Mitchell is going to be a star, Rudy Gobert can shut down anyone in this league and this team is very well coached. I can still see them coming back and taking this.
[geocode id=5]Washington Wizards +240 to win the Southeast Division
That said, this team has had the third hardest schedule in the league thus far while the two teams ahead of them, Charlotte and Miami, have had two of the easiest. Despite the chemistry issues, it’s easy to see that Wall and Beal are the best duo in this entire division. I would like to see some more out of Otto Porter and this team could really be invigorated by a trade, but as is I have to believe they right the ship and win this division. It’s not a tough one to win.
[geocode id=5]Golden State Warriors -155 to win the NBA Championship
This line is going to be -300 by April and I think they look much better than last year’s team. Might as well grab it for half that now.