With the NBA 2013 playoffs just around the corner, we take a look at the betting odds on who is going to make it and who is not.
Let’s shine our light into the Eastern Conference teams first and work our way up the rankings. So just who is out there with no chance?
The may have had a great season start, but have been on a losing streak that has run well into double digits. That has effectively made their chances a nice, round zero. Orlando Magic could do with a pep talk from Harry Potter and are keeping the Bobcats company at the bottom of the heap.
After a solid 2011-2012 season, the Cleveland Cavaliers have given a most discourteous performance this year. Like Orlando and Charlotte, they won’t be heading to the playoffs. The Detroit Pistons and the Toronto Raptors (eliminated after their 108-98 loss to the Pistons on April 1) are the other Eastern Conference teams who won’t be making a show. The Washington Wizards, Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers have also fallen by the wayside.
Betting On The East
So who does that leave, what are their chances, and who is the favorite to win the Eastern Conference title?
Miami Heat are the definite favorites. Their 65-16 record has meant the other Eastern Conference teams are lathering on the suntan lotion in an attempt to “beat the heat”. They are currently listed as -400 to win the 2013 Eastern Conference and -150 to win the NBA Championship.
With the number two seed locked up, the New York Nicks are expected to rest their starters against the Atlanta Hawks in their final game. They are +650 to win the Eastern Conference, and +1500 to take the NBA Championship. Will Wallace recover from his foot injury to be able to put in some court time during the playoffs? And will that change the Knicks’ chances? We are sure the bookmakers are watching carefully.
The Indiana Pacers have missed a game as a result of the tragic Boston bombings. They have wrapped up the third seed in the Eastern Conference with a 49-31 record so far. Betting runs at +2200 to win the NBA Championship, and +1000 to win the Eastern Conference.
The Brooklyn Nets are the fourth seed, following their win over the Indiana Pacers. However, bookmakers place them at +2800, several points behind the Chicago Bulls, for the Eastern Conference crown. They run at +6000 for winning the NBA Championship.
The Atlanta Hawks and the Chicago Bulls are fighting over the fifth and sixth seed spots. The bookmakers don’t see it that way, however, as they rank the Hawks +6000 for the Eastern conference title, while the Bulls weigh in at +2500. The Bulls are at +5000 for the NBA Championship, while the Hawks are a definite outsider at +12500.
The Boston Celtics are +3000 to take the Eastern Conference and +6000 to take the NBA Championship. They are a hard fighting team and the New York Nicks, who will be facing the Celtics in the first round of playoffs, should prepare for a strong game.
Finally, the Milwaukee Bucks are at +15000 to win the Eastern Conference, and +30000 to win the NBA Championship. Perhaps the fact that their first playoff game is against the Miami Heat could have something to do with that.
West Coast Wild Cards
In the Western Conference the Phoenix Suns, New Orleans Hornets, Sacramento Kings and the injury laden Minnesota Timberwolves will all be missing the 2013 NBA playoffs. Similarly, the Portland Trail Blazers could not be saved by the likes of Damian Lillard, Nicolas Batum and LeMarcus Aldridge. The Dallas Mavericks suffer the fate of unlucky 13, after 12 straight years of postseason games, and miss out on their chance for the playoffs.
However, the fight for playoff slots is far from over in the Western Conference. There are sure to be some nail biting going on as the last games are played and the dust settles on the final eight.
If you love outside bets and underdogs, then you might want to make a quick bet on Utah Jazz. Currently at 43-38, they are very likely to miss their playoff slot. They must beat the Grizzlies, while the Lakers must also lose against the Rockets. As a result, they are +10000 to win the Western Conference title, and +25000 to win the championship (which is still better odds than the Milwaukee Bucks).
The Lakers would do well to beat the Rockets and get a better matchup as a result of snatching the seventh seed. However, due to game timings, they will know the result of the critical Utah Jazz game before they go on the court. Bookmakers actually like the Lakers’ chances, offering +2000 for the Western Conference and +4000 for the NBA Championship.
The Houston Rockets are facing a big game against the Lakers. Win and they could snatch sixth seed if Portland also win. Lose and they could end up in eight seed, facing a first game against the mighty Oklahoma City Thunder. As a result, odds are +10000 for the NBA Championship and +4000 to win the Western Conference. But at least they are definitely in postseason.
The Golden State Warriors, unlike the Rockets, control their own destiny. If they beat Portland, they’ll take on the sixth seed spot. However, they could end up in seventh seed if they lose and the Rockets win. Despite that, they are being given odds of +4000 to win the Western Conference and +10000 to win the NBA Championships.
The Memphis Grizzlies have locked in the number five seed, giving them a comfortable next game where they can rest their starters. However, with the Clippers and Nuggets fighting over third seed, things do not look rosy for the Grizzlies as they have a 1-3 record against both. Odds run at +1300 to take the Western Conference and +3600 for the NBA Championship.
The Los Angeles Clippers won’t fall beyond fourth seed as they won the Pacific Division. However, they could lose the home court if Memphis finishes with a better record than them. The clippers could steal the third seed, but only if the Nuggets lose to the Suns and the Clippers win both of their games. They currently stand at +850 to win the western conference and +2200 to win the NBA Championship.
No such worries plague the Denver Nuggets who occupy the third seed. They could lose out to the Clippers if the Clippers win both of their games and the Nuggets lose to the Suns. However, Denver will retain home court advantage. They are currently +550 to win the Western Conference and +2200 to win the NBA Championship.
The San Antonio Spurs have locked in the number two seed and face an easy next game against the Timberwolves. They are a respectable +850 to win the NBA Championship and +250 to win the Western Conference.
At the top of the pile is Oklahoma City Thunder who stand at 60-21. They will relax in their next game against the Milwaukee Bucks and see who they get to play in the first round of playoffs. They are a relatively safe +125 to win the Western Conference and +450 to win the NBA Championship.