NBA, NHL Taking Next Steps In Returns

The National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League are both looking to return to action at some point next month. Both leagues announced return-to-play plans a few weeks ago, and players are now back to training and practicing in anticipation of the returns.

The NBA will be inviting 22 teams to Orlando, Fla., to finish out the 2019-20 season. Players will report to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, and all of the games will take place at this location.

The NBA will be giving each team eight regular-season games before starting their playoffs. Only 16 teams will make it into the playoff field, which means that six teams will be going home after playing just eight games.

The NHL has decided to cancel the remainder of the regular season, and they are going straight into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The league has decided to include 24 teams in the playoff field, with a play-in round taking place before the traditional 16-team format.

Sites have yet to be announced for where the games will take place, but the league will be choosing two “hub” locations. The league will be aggressive in its COVID-19 testing policies, and it is unclear when the league will actually start playing games.

Odds to Win 2020 NBA Championship

With the NBA officially announcing their return at the end of July, FanDuel Sportsbook has updated its odds to win the 2020 NBA Championship. Here are the current odds:

  • Milwaukee Bucks +240
  • Los Angeles Lakers +260
  • LA Clippers +340
  • Houston Rockets +1300
  • Boston Celtics +2000
  • Toronto Raptors +2400
  • Denver Nuggets +2500
  • Miami Heat +2700
  • Philadelphia 76ers +2700
  • Everyone Else +2900

The Milwaukee Bucks had the best record in the NBA before the league shut down operations, and they are the favorites to win the NBA championship. The Los Angeles Lakers and LA Clippers are next in line, and they appear on a collision course to meet in the Western Conference Finals.

The race in the Eastern Conference looks to be a little bit more wide open after the Milwaukee Bucks. The Boston Celtics check in at +2000 while the Toronto Raptors are at +2400. Toronto is the defending champion, and they will not be an easy team to knock off.

FanDuel Sportsbook is also offering bets on if teams currently outside of the playoff field will qualify for the postseason. Teams will have eight games to fight for a playoff spot, and the race in the Western Conference is expected to be tight.

Odds to Win 2020 Stanley Cup

The National Hockey League will be conducting a round-robin tournament to determine seeding for the top four teams. FanDuel Sportsbook has also released its 2020 Stanley Cup odds, but these will likely change when the final seeds are announced.

Here is a look at the current odds:

  • Boston Bruins +600
  • Tampa Bay Lightning +600
  • Colorado Avalanche +800
  • Philadelphia Flyers +850
  • Vegas Golden Knights +850
  • Washington Capitals +900
  • St. Louis Blues +1100
  • Dallas Stars +1500
  • Pittsburgh Penguins +1800
  • Everyone Else +2300 or Higher

Two Eastern Conference teams, the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning, are currently listed as the favorites to lift the Stanley Cup at +600. Both teams were having great regular seasons before the league shut down.

The Colorado Avalanche entered the break with the second-best record in the Western Conference, but they currently have the best odds. The defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues are listed at +1100. There are several other teams that can make a deep playoff run, including teams not listed above.

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