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Ortiz’s NBA Mid-Season Report

Credit: AP Photo/Eric Gay

As we approach the second half of the NBA season with the NBA’s Annual All Star Weekend approaching, we have a pretty good idea of every team’s identity. But from a betting stance, I have a an even better feel. And as always before betting make sure you know the basics as this basketball betting guide covers that and more. So without further ado, here is my mid-season report.

Los Angeles Lakers to win the Western Conference and NBA Finals:
I’m not only sticking with my article from back in December where I said that the Lakers will win the Pacific Division. But I’m doubling and tripling down on the Lakers to win the whole thing.

I’m aware of the activity the Los Angeles Clippers made at the trade deadline to bring in Marcus Morris Sr. who will be a huge asset off of the bench for them. I’m also aware that the Clippers own the season series on the Lakers at 2-0. But we all know how the regular season works and come playoff time I want my money on the King and Anthony Davis.

Plus, the Lakers have plans to sign another player like J.R. Smith or Dion Waiters to add to their bench depth. I’ve been saying it for months now that Waiters to the Lakers would be a perfect fit and a perfect spot for him to hit reset on his career.

The Milwaukee Bucks will NOT win the Eastern Conference:
I made sure the “not” was in all caps, just to make sure that you guys are aware that it was not a typo. While I love what the Bucks are doing and I love how they’re playing as Giannis Antetokounmpo might just be the M.V.P. this year, but I don’t like them enough to crown them as the Eastern Conference Champions. Especially at minus money.

While it might sound crazy, I believe that the defending champions, the Toronto Raptors will win the Eastern Conference Finals. Yes they’ve yet to defeat the Bucks this season, but if you really go back and re-watch their lone matchup this year all signs show that the Raptors are still the better team. If it wasn’t for a terrible first and fourth quarter, then the Raptors probably would’ve blown out the Bucks.

Though that one game isn’t my only reasoning, but they hold key advantages over the Bucks and that starts with a better bench, a better point guard and better rim protection. The loss of Malcolm Brogdon has yet to show as far as their record goes. But come playoff time his loss will definitely show.

Improving Teams That Will Have My Eye Moving Forward:
Memphis Grizzlies:

Sitting at eighth in the Western Conference, the Memphis Grizzlies are already an improved team and are continuing to improve. Jonas Valanciunas continues to be overlooked and is a very underrated big man as he’s a problem especially on the defensive end of the floor. While the loss of Jae Crowder will hurt, the additions of Gorgui Dieng, Jordan Bell and Justise Winslow (If healthy) will be huge for their second half run. Continue to watch the Grizzlies in favorable positions where they’re getting points in the first quarter or first half of games.

Indiana Pacers:
The injury bug caught up to the Pacers for a little bit, but when they return after All-Star Weekend expect to see them at full strength and that will be dangerous. With Victor Oladipo back and healthy this Pacers team is poised to make a nice run. I’d definitely look to bet these guys with plus money, especially when they’re at home.

Oklahoma City Thunder:
The Thunder were the first team to reach the over on their season win total and are by far one of the biggest shocks of the NBA regular considering everything that happened with them this off-season. I’d continue to ride the Thunder train all the way into the playoffs where depending on where they finish, I could see them winning a playoff series and potentially two.

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