Usually, when the regular season’s final games are played, no one tends to care a whole lot. Playoff positions are wrapped up, and teams are more concerned with guys staying healthy. With the long layoff, teams may try a little harder in these final eight games.
Will anyone try hard enough to go undefeated? Maybe. At the same time, you have to wonder if someone could go winless, as well.
Some books, like MyBookie.ag, have posted odds on those very questions:
Odds On Any NBA Team to go 0-8 after Restart
- Yes +300
- No -500
Odds On Any NBA Team to go 8-0 after Restart
- Yes +400
- No -700
Sportsbooks are not really giving either a great chance of happening. A winless restart has a 25 percent chance of happening and an undefeated one, 20 percent. So, there is a chance—just not a good one. But does that mean you should bet ‘No?’
If anyone goes undefeated, it will likely be either the Lakers, Clippers, Bucks, and maybe the Rockets. Houston has the kind of offense that can beat anyone when it clicks. But with games against the Bucks and Lakers on their schedule, it is unlikely they beat both.
The Lakers appear to be dialed in (well, everyone but maybe Dwight Howard) and sound like they are on a mission. But they know they are in, and since there is no home-court advantage this year, they may not care about being the top seed in the West.
So, once LeBron James and Anthony Davis say they feel good, they may not see the court again until the playoffs start. Should that happen (or Frank Vogel decides to rest either or both) with the teams they are facing (Clippers, Raptors, Jazz, Thunder, Rockets, Nuggets), they could easily lose one.
The Clippers have a relatively easy schedule with their first against the Lakers being their most challenging game. Denver, Dallas, and Oklahoma City might give them trouble, but probably not. As for the Bucks, Houston, Toronto, and Boston are their only challenging games.
While the Bucks could lose one or two, they could just as easily take all three.
When it comes to someone going winless, you could look at every team towards the lower end of the standings. But you might as well just look at one—the Washington Wizards. The Wizards will be without their top two scorers, Bradley Beal and David Bertans. It is hard to see them replacing that much production.
However, the one team they might beat is heading into the bubble down quite a few guys—the Brooklyn Nets. Between the injuries and the guys sitting out, the Nets will almost look like an entirely different team. Their game against the Wizards might be the only one they have a shot at winning.
So—how should you bet?
As for anyone going undefeated—take ‘No.’ The Lakers and Bucks have a shot, but both will be more concerned about remaining healthy for the playoffs. But it will not be shocking to see either the Nets or Wizards going winless.
So, take ‘Yes.’