March Madness is the hot topic right now, but soon the champion will be crowned and basketball fans will set their sights back on the NBA.
Which teams will rise to the occasion and make a playoff run in search of the NBA Championship? Let’s take a look.
Here’s a preview of the top teams expected to win the NBA Finals this year from three major sportsbooks: DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM. Note that I’m only including the top five teams at each sportsbook, but they list other teams that have less of a chance to win with longer odds as well.
These odds tell us a few things. First, the Bucks and Celtics are largely favored to win the NBA Finals as far as sportsbooks are concerned.
Second, each sportsbook has its unique advantages. DraftKings offers the best odds on the Milwaukee Bucks at +310 (a $100 bet would pay out $410). That’s far better than the +240 at FanDuel or +275 at BetMGM.
Celtics bettors, meanwhile, will want to go with BetMGM, where a $100 bet would pay $450 compared to $430 at DraftKings or FanDuel.
FanDuel edges out its competitors with Phoenix Suns odds at a cool +700, compared to +600 at BetMGM and a measly +450 at DraftKings.
The main lesson here? Shop around to find odds for your desired team at various sportsbooks. These sites will compete for your bet by offering advantageous odds on certain teams.
The NBA play-in tournament will take place from April 11 to April 14. Afterward, the NBA playoffs begin in earnest on April 15.
The NBA Finals begin on June 1.
Right now, there’s a pretty clear playoff picture.
In the Western Conference, both the Denver Nuggets and Memphis Grizzlies have clinched their respective divisions and earned a guaranteed playoff slot. The 46-30 Sacramento Kings have also clinched a playoff berth.
The Eastern Conference features the Milwaukee Bucks. They’ve clinched the division with their current 55-21 record. The Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, and Cleveland Cavaliers have clinched a playoff spot.
16 teams will make the playoffs—eight from each conference with the best record. The play-in tournament gives four additional teams a chance in the playoffs.
Right now, the Milwaukee Bucks are the top team to beat. They’ll play the number 8 play-in winner in the first round of playoffs, ostensibly giving the squad an easy path to advance.
Power Forward Giannis Antetokounmpo headlines the Bucks. The team’s roster is rounded out by Point Guard Jrue Holiday, Center Brook Lopez, and forwards Khris Middleton and Grayson Allen.
Milwaukee has sailed through the regular season with an impressive 55-21 record, and sportsbooks favor the Wisconsin-based team to take it all.
The Boston Celtics also have a chance at the championship. They’ll play the number seven play-in winner in the first round of playoffs. The Celtics approach the postseason with a 52-24 record and a talented roster that includes star players Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
The Phoenix Suns, Denver Nuggets, Philadelphia 76ers, and Memphis Grizzlies are all firmly in the picture, too.
A bet on any of these teams would be a reasonable wager, though the Bucks seem to be the most likely winners of this NBA season.
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