The NBA is back! Twenty-two teams were invited to the Orlando bubble for an eight-game playoff-seed schedule prior to a full postseason. Games tip-off on Thursday, July 30, featuring the Utah Jazz vs. New Orleans Pelicans and the Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers.
BetMGM will have odds and props for all games so we’re bringing you the best bet for every day of the NBA action.
Brandon Ingram Over 22.5 points (-118)
Brandon Ingram aka Slenderman should be getting more hype entering the bubble. He’s in the midst of a breakout season, averaging a Pelicans-high 24.3 points per game (a six-point increase from last season), and BetMGM‘s second-favorite to win NBA Most Improved Player.
The Pelicans need Ingram to get buckets if they have any hope of coming from a 3.5-game deficit to get the 8-seed in the Western Conference. Luckily for them, Ingram has balled this season against the Jazz. In his three games versus Utah, Ingram scored 33-plus in each game, averaging 39 points on .520 field goal percentage, .476 three-point percentage and .879 free throw percentage. The key to his stat line was his aggressiveness: Ingram got to the free-throw line 33 times and shot 21 threes against the Jazz this season.
His 49-point game against the Jazz on Jan. 16 was his career-high and he looks ready ahead Thursday’s meeting. Ingram played in two restart scrimmages and shot a combined 10 of 18 from the field (five of 11 from three-point land).
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From a team perspective, we can expect a lot of offense. The Jazz-Pelicans have cashed Over tickets in 19 of their last 26 games. Plus all of their earlier meetings this season have gone Over the total by average 33 points per game and the Jazz have a 33-31 Over/Under record on the season
And while Utah is known for their defense, and they are still above-average, they have regressed this season. The Jazz’s 11th ranking in defensive rating is their lowest since 2014-15 and their 9th ranking in opponent’s points per game is their lowest since 2013-14.
If the Pelicans can dictate the flow of the game – they are ranked second in the NBA in pace – then Ingram should be able to get enough looks to at least put up his average.
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