The sports world is always talking about the NBA, so it feels like basketball never really has an offseason. We offer a quick break down of odd to get to the playoffs and win the 2020 NBA Championship Finals.
In reality, The Finals were way back in June and it's time for a brand new season. The NBA is one of the most popular leagues to bet on in the country and the new season means an increase in action at online sportsbooks across the United States.
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NBA Division Predictions And Playoff Picks
Betting on futures is hugely popular before the start of any major sports season and the NBA is no different. There are various markets in which bettors can make picks on NBA futures odds including the following:
- NBA Finals Champion
- Conference Champion
- Division Winner
- Over/Under Total Wins
Here, we'll make NBA playoff predictions by going through each division to select a winner and note other teams that should find their way into the postseason field, which may help guide you toward other futures bets (i.e. total wins).
The Eastern Conference has three divisions and we will break down each.
Atlantic Division Odds
The Philadelphia 76ers (-175) are back to being favorites in the Atlantic once again heading into the 2019-20 NBA schedule. After losing Jimmy Butler, they added Al Horford and Josh Richardson to solidify the lineup and the result is perhaps the strongest starting five in the east.
The Celtics (+400), Raptors (+500) and Nets (+700) are a distant second, third, and fourth in the odds. Boston replaced Kyrie Irving with Kemba Walker, Toronto moved into the post-Kawhi era and Brooklyn is getting a season to gel before Kevin Durant joins Kyrie Irving and the rest of the group.
While all three should be in the postseason, they won't be battling for one of the top spots, though Boston should win over 50 games as well. There's some juice to lay down at -175, the Sixers should easily win the division barring something unforeseen, and we'd definitely pay this price.
Pick: Philadelphia 76ers (-175) and Over 54.5 Wins (-110)
Other Playoff Teams: Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors, Brooklyn Nets
Central Division Odds
This is the one division in the Eastern Conference that's absolutely no contest. Led by the NBA MVP in Giannis Antetokounmpo and All-Star Khris Middleton, the Bucks are head and shoulders above an Indiana team that will be without Victor Oladipo for a significant period of time. While the Pacers (+500) will be in the playoffs and the Pistons (+5000) will battle for a spot, this division title will stay in Milwaukee.
Pick: Milwaukee Bucks (-1200)
Other Playoff Teams: Indiana Pacers
Southeast Division Odds
No disrespect to a young, talented and fun Atlanta team (+700), but William Hill odds for the Southeast tell us only two teams have a real shot at winning it: Miami (-138) and Orlando (+150).
Orlando is defending Southeast champs after going 42-40, but haven't made the type of significant upgrades other teams in the east have. The Heat won 39 games and qualified for the playoffs, then added Jimmy Butler to their starting lineup. In our view, that's worth a few wins and probably enough to win the division this time around.
Pick: Miami Heat (-138) and Over 43.5 Wins (-110)
Other Playoff Teams: Orlando Magic
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The Western Conference has three divisions and we will take a look at each.
Pacific Division Odds
With the Lakers teaming Anthony Davis up with LeBron James and the Clippers acquiring Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, the rivalry appears to be heating up in Los Angeles. The drama that plays out atop the Pacific standings will be one of the most intriguing storylines of the 2019-20 season, with the Clippers currently -145 favorites at William Hill NJ.
The Lakers are next in line at +175, and to us, this is an interesting bet. LeBron and Davis are at plus-money while Leonard, George and Patrick Beverly all have lengthy injury histories. LeBron does as well, so there's a risk, but the value is on the Lakers while the public and league insiders fall in love with the Clippers.
No disrespect to the Warriors, another surefire playoff team, but oddsmakers have made it clear this is a two-team race. We'll admit, though, +600 is an incredible payout for a group that remains very talented.
Pick: Los Angeles Lakers (+145) & Over 50.5 Wins (-110)
Other Playoff Teams: LA Clippers, Golden State Warriors
Southwest Division Odds
With the addition of Russell Westbrook (who is a serious upgrade from Chris Paul at this stage), the Rockets are far-and-away the top team in the Southwest and should ultimately coast to another division title this season. The Spurs (+400) are no longer in the Rockets' class while the up-and-coming Pelicans and Mavericks (+1400) aren't either.
Led by two MVP-caliber players in Mike D'Antoni's offense, Houston will be a fun watch this season. We think San Antonio is still good enough to clinch a playoff berth and while the other two teams are close, there's too much competition at the conference.
Pick: Houston Rockets (-350) & Over 53.5 Wins (-110)
Other Playoff Teams: San Antonio Spurs
Northwest Division Odds
The Jazz (+100) are oddsmakers' choice to lead the division after adding veteran guard Mike Conley to a team that won 50 games last year behind Donovan Mitchell. Are they ready to overtake both Denver (+138) and Portland (+400)?
The Blazers still have two stars in Lillard and McCollum but need Jusuf Nurkic back sooner than later to have a real chance. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets went 34-7 at home last season and won the Northwest before losing in the Western Conference semifinals. Denver's young talent is only getting better and now has some big-game experience under its belt, so that's our Northwest division prediction.
Pick: Denver Nuggets (+138)
Other Playoff Teams: Utah Jazz, Portland Trail Blazers
NBA Win Totals Best Bets | Don't Sleep On Warriors, Nets Going Over The Total
In addition to making NBA playoff predictions, there are also several interesting NBA win totals that stick out. Check out some of our picks for which teams will go over or under their total set by William Hill, one of the top NJ online sports betting apps in the Garden State.
- Brooklyn Nets Over 44.5 Wins (-110)
Kevin Durant may no be suiting up yet, but the Nets remain one of the deepest teams in the east. Kyrie Irving may get the headlines, but pieces like Spencer Dinwiddie, Jarrett Allen, Caris LaVert, and Joe Harris among others, this team can definitely pile up wins in the Eastern Conference and get to 45-37.
- Golden State Warriors Over 48.5 Wins (-110)
One of the biggest mistakes people seem to be making going into this NBA season is sleeping on the five-time defending Western Conference champions.
There are a few new pieces since Durant is gone and Klay Thompson is working his way back from a torn ACL, but this team can absolutely still win 50 games in the west. Behind Steph Curry, Draymond Green and D'Angelo Russell, this team won't look as different as some expect it to.
- Memphis Grizzlies Under 27.5 Wins (-110)
Featuring the likes of Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson, and Grayson Allen, the Grizzlies are a talented but extremely young roster. Not to mention they're also working under a rookie head coach in Taylor Jenkins. Learning how to win games for this group in the highly-competitive Western Conference will be a process and we think it leads to an under in total wins.