The world of sports is at a standstill going into Independence Day weekend; a strange sight for all of us here in the States.
This change of circumstances hasn’t stopped things overseas and even in pockets of our homeland, however, and the Bear Bets is here to give you the best options on money lines, odds, and the like. Below are the best bets for your money for the week of July the Fourth.
Each game will be given with the odds of who to wager for, along with the starting time and reasoning behind the bet. For these bets, they will be evaluated based on the confidence in the outcome. Each unit accounts for a ten dollar bet of confidence, the more units, the stronger the certainty of the bet.
Enjoy, and remember to gamble responsibly.
Manchester City (+105) v. Liverpool; July 2nd, 3:15 PM EST
Reasoning: Man City are the reigning champions of the Premier League title in England, a crown that Liverpool usurped from them this past Thursday when City lost 2-1 in Stamford Bridge. Revenge will play heavily on the minds of Manchester City in this game, being played at home in City’s Etihad Stadium. Look for Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling to put heavy pressure on a lax Liverpool back four on their way to multiple goals.
Confidence: Five Units
Valencia v. Athletic Bilbao (+210); July 1st, 1:30 PM EST
Reasoning: While many reading this will not know the difference between these two sides, Athletic Bilbao can be described in terms of any sports lover can understand. The name of the game in this matchup is goal-differential, of which Bilbao comes out of it in spades. Valencia has a -5 differential, while the Lions have +8.
Another telling number, and one that attack-minded strikers Raul Garcia & Inaki Williams will take advantage of, Valencia has conceded 46 goals compared to Athletic Bilbao’s 28.
Confidence: Two Units
Toronto Raptors-Eastern Conference Winners (+700)
Reasoning: The Toronto Raptors are reigning NBA Champions, a fact many during the regular season seem to have forgotten. Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka, and co. have had ample time to rest on a veteran-laden team led by a fledgling star and matchup nightmare in Pascal Siakam.
As much as fawning over the playoff experience and veteran might of the Raptors is useful, looking to the rest of their Eastern Conference counterparts tells the tale of this bet’s value. Milwaukee has their doubters, and last year’s playoffs were proof positive this Raptors team could swing with the Bucks. Boston, Miami, and Indiana do not have the matchup advantage in a single-player like Siakam will have nor do they carry nearly as deep rosters as Toronto does either.
In extenuating circumstances dominated by precision and reliable play, Toronto will receive that in spades from their star and steady veteran leadership.
Confidence: Three Units
Brandon Ingram– NBA Most Improved Player of the Year (+250)
Reasoning: Averaging the most minutes that he’s ever played, Brandon Ingram went from the kid best known for starting a spat between Los Angeles & Houston to becoming a reliable, lethal winger on one of the NBA’s most exciting teams.
The 6′ 7” forward out of Duke has gone from averaging 18.3 ppg to 24.3 while increasing his three-point shooting percentage, free throw percentage, rebounds, and assists all in the 2019/2020 season. Ingram has grown substantially after being traded out of the Angel City and being alongside a megastar in Zion Williamson has helped even more.
While Bam Adebayo will also have his time in Orlando to make his case, Ingram plays for the more excitable squad, and my feeling is his efforts in Disney will do enough to give him the upset over the Miami Heat big man.
Confidence: One Unit
New Orleans Pelicans- 8th Seed in the Western Conference (+300)
Reasoning: The Pels have two major factors that help them in the race for the coveted final spot in the playoffs, least of which is the man, myth, and legend we all know; Zion Williamson. Williamson’s presence will be felt greatly in Orlando when the Pelicans take center stage against Memphis in their first game, with a supporting cast that is young but especially talented.
One could easily argue that the unique circumstances, specifically with no home-court advantage, may favor a team-high on talent but low on experience. Veterans can’t hide behind a crowd’s support to mask their athletic inefficiencies, only talent and prowess will prevail on an empty court. New Orleans has stars upon stars with Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Jrue Holiday, and Williamson leading the pack with a rag-tag group of supporters behind them.
With what money we have left to wager this week, I’m going strong for the Pelicans to snatch away this last spot, to the NBA’s utter elation.
Confidence: Two Units
All odds and lines pulled from Bovada.lv