While there’s lots of attention on the start of baseball, the NBA season is truly beginning to heat up. The shortened year is approaching the postseason, making this final stretch of the schedule even more important.
Those in the Mountain State can wager on every NBA matchup in a variety of ways thanks to the online sportsbooks in West Virginia. Each provides several markets for all of the association’s games.
On Monday night, ESPN showcases two very interesting contests that involve playoff teams.
The Philadelphia 76ers host the Golden State Warriors in the early game, then the Utah Jazz travel to Los Angeles to take on the Lakers in the late tip.
Outside of the number of games, this season is seeing plenty of struggles with injuries. Since the league condensed the schedule, it seems like a lot more teams are dealing with having significant players out.
It will be fascinating to see how organizations handle their injured stars going forward.
Let’s break down both of these enticing games and preview how WV sportsbooks might set their odds.
NBA betting at WV sportsbooks
Warriors vs. 76ers preview
The Warriors and Sixers have each had to work around plenty of major injuries this season.
Golden State’s Klay Thompson got hurt again before the year even started, but the team’s had other issues as well. Most notably, its top draft choice, James Wiseman, has been forced out a few times and will now miss the remainder of the season.
Although the Sixers are doing better in that department, they did need to survive without Joel Embiid for a little while.
Still, both sides are in a decent position with around 15 games left in the regular season.
Philadelphia retook first place from Brooklyn in the East with its latest three-game winning streak. It is basically a lock to secure one of the top three spots in the conference, but earning home court could be crucial.
The Warriors will endure a more difficult path to the playoffs. They sit in the 9th spot at the moment, just a half game behind Memphis.
Despite not having a full roster, Golden State’s won four straight and has a real opportunity to still make the postseason. Guard Steph Curry is performing spectacularly in 2021, averaging over 30 points on 49% shooting.
Even if they don’t snag one of the top eight seeds, this year’s playoffs start with the play-in games involving the 9th and 10th-place teams, too. With the way Curry is playing, lots of fans would love to see that.
The question for the Warriors when they face the Sixers is can they slow Embiid down? Losing their center Wiseman could prove costly against opponents who feature a capable big.
These two battled last month, but neither Embiid nor Curry participated. Philadelphia won 108-98 on the road.
If both stars play, expect the game’s total to go significantly higher. Bettors should also expect to see the Sixers giving at least a few points in the spread, especially at home.
Lakers vs. Jazz preview
Monday’s nightcap could potentially preview the Western Conference finals.
Utah is atop the West and is a game up on the second-seeded Suns. It has the most wins in the league and is still playing well right now.
The Jazz won seven of their last 10.
Similar to Philly, Utah is looking to acquire the No. 1 spot so it can enjoy home court throughout the postseason. This could loom large in a series with the defending champs.
The Lakers are currently in fifth but are still without LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Their roster right now would likely get bounced from the opening round of the playoffs.
The good news is that both are coming back, eventually. When exactly that will happen is a great question.
Although LA is comfortable in the middle of the pack, it doesn’t want to slip any further. Portland is two games back, and Dallas is three behind.
As mentioned, dropping to the 7th spot would force the Lakers to play in the qualifying round.
Davis is nearing his return, but the team isn’t sure when that’s going to happen.
When the two sides met in February, the Jazz took it to the Lakers. Even with LeBron on the floor, the Jazz won the game by 25 points.
However, the Lakers are home for both of their games left against Utah. The Jazz are much more pedestrian on the road compared to their incredible 25-3 home record.
If neither Lakers star is available, then Utah should have another easy win on its hands. Of course, the odds at WV sportsbooks will alter drastically if Davis can suit up.
These injuries don’t seem to concern the books, though. DraftKings WV shows the Lakers with the second-best odds behind the Nets to win the title, at +350.
In spite of their showing to date, the online sportsbook gives the Jazz just the fifth-best chance with odds of +900.
Bettors should make sure they check this game’s starting lineups prior to putting any action down.