NBA Postseason Odds: Analyzing All 30 Teams at the Halfway Point

As we quickly approach the halfway point of the 2021-2022 NBA season, the playoff picture is coming into view. There are a few locks on either end of the spectrum, and then a whole mass of teams in the middle. What value can we find in team postseason odds as we enter 2022?
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NBA Postseason Odds: Analyzing All 30 Teams at the Halfway Point

Western Conference Odds to Make 2022 NBA Postseason

Dallas Mavericks (-1100)

With a five game lead over the 11th seed (remember, 10 teams now technically make the postseason) and Luka Doncic healthy, there doesn't seem to be much danger of Dallas missing out this year. Even while they are missing Kristaps Porzingis presently, they are 6-4 in their last 10. Porzingis and Doncic have only played 329 minutes together this year, which is less than seven full games.

Denver Nuggets (-425)

They may be missing Jamal Murray, the piece that could put them over the top for the championship, but the postseason doesn't seen to be in doubt. They are just a half game out of a locked-in playoff spot and Nikola Jokic is playing the best basketball of his career (32.2 PER). It's amazing to think how bad this team would be if not for Jokic.

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Golden State Warriors (-20000)

If you like making an easy $100, feel free to throw $20,000 at your favorite sportsbook. But I can think of a few ways to earn you more than $100 with $20K in the next four months if you're interested.

Houston Rockets (+2000)

A 15-game losing streak and an 8-game losing streak and it's we're not even halfway through the season yet? Yeah, no chance for the Rockets this year, but at least they have a young core to build around and a massive expiring contract in John Wall to trade next year.

Los Angeles Clippers (-299)

Paul George missing so many games doesn't help matters, but they're still clinging to the 8th seed despite going 3-7 in their last 10. Then George returns, he will help right the ship. And now there are reports Kawhi Leonard is ahead of schedule and could return this year. This team is making the postseason.

Los Angeles Lakers (-286)

The most interesting case on the board for the Western Conference. Logic states that with three mega-stars, they make the postseason. Even if they are without Anthony Davis for another two weeks. But they are 4-6 in their last 10 and are hanging onto the 6th seed by a thread. There has been no cohesiveness to the team this year, so a nice value bet might be throw something at "No" for +290.

Memphis Grizzlies (-3500)

The Grizzlies are the hottest team in the West and winners of seven in a row heading into Friday night. In the process they have moved up to fourth in the conference and are now five games ahead of the Mavericks for home court advantage in the first round. We should be talking about something more interesting like Memphis' chances of making the Finals (+3000), than the postseason.

Minnesota Timberwolves (-115)

Oddsmakers don't really know what to do with Minnesota this year. The expanded field gives them a great chance of making it in, and with three All-Star caliber players like Karl-Anthony Towns, D'Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards, they should get it. But each of those have missed time this year and Minnesota is struggling to stay in the race. My prediction is they sneak in as the 10th seed.

New Orleans Pelicans (+2000)

No Zion, no postseason. It's that simple for the Pelicans. After a surprise foot surgery has caused Zion Williamson to miss the entire season so far, their postseason hopes tanked. I don't know if there has been a setback in his rehab or if he is trying the new Charles Barkley-inspired "if it tastes good, spit it out" diet, but something is up with Zion and it's going to keep his team out of the postseason.

Oklahoma City Thunder (+2000)

Someday, Oklahoma City fans. Someday. You'll always have the memories of Harden-Durant-Westbrook-Ibaka.

Phoenix Suns (-10000)

See Warriors, Golden State. They are without their top three centers due to injury/COVID and are still number one in the West.

Portland Trail Blazers (+190)

These injuries to Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum are truly putting their postseason hopes in jeopardy. The Blazers are 3-7 in their last 10 games. But both are expected back soon, which should get them on track again. I think they sneak in as the Lillard-McCollum-Powell-Nurkic combo is a lot to handle when they are healthy.

San Antonio Spurs (+650)

Somewhere Tim Duncan and Tony Parker are rolling over in their graves. Dejounte Murray is a personal favorite player of mine, but the rest of the roster leaves a lot to be desired and oddsmakers tend to agree. Even though the Spurs are hanging onto the 10th seed, projections have them as one of the five West teams to miss the postseason. The projection system for 538.com gives the Spurs just a 22% chance of reaching the postseason, the fifth-lowest in the conference.

Sacramento Kings (+650)

The loss of Richaun Holmes to injury has impacted them on offense far more than any would have projected, but their true problem is they can't play defense. Only the Rockets allow more points per game to their opponents in the West and the Kings are a dreadful 11-17 against Western Conference teams this year.

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Utah Jazz (-20000)

The Jazz are now closer to overtaking the Warriors and Suns than they are to falling out of the top four in the West thanks to a 8-2 stretch in their last 10 games. They have always been known for tough defense, but the Jazz (116.0 points per game) average the most points in the entire conference this season.

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Eastern Conference Odds to Make 2022 NBA Postseason

Atlanta Hawks (-333)

To have fallen from the Eastern Conference Finals last season to the 12th seed so far this season is quite the drop, but oddsmakers don't appear concerned. Once the Hawks are at full health, they have one of the deepest rosters in the conference and teams like the Wizards and Knicks have been sinking like a stone.

Brooklyn Nets (-20000)

They were the odds-on favorite to win the title before Kyrie Irving came back to action, and now they are huge favorites (+270) over the Warriors (+550) and the Bucks (+750).

Boston Celtics (-135)

Conventional wisdom states that Boston will make it into the postseason, but time is running out and they are still just hanging onto the 11th seed. They are an abysmal 7-13 on the road, but the signs were there last year when they finished just 15-21 away from Boston. In the end, I think Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown find a way to will them into the postseason. But right now the "No" on Boston is looking mighty attractive (+130).

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Charlotte Hornets (-113)

The Hornets may be the worst defensive team in the league (although the Kings, Rockets, and Blazers might like to have a word about that), but I believe they get into the postseason based on one simple fact. The Hornets are 10-5 at home and 10-14 on the road. So, yes, they have played nine more road games than at home so their second half will be loaded with home contests that should push them over the top.

Chicago Bulls (-10000)

It's somewhat disrespectful for the Bulls to be 1.5 games better than anyone else in the conference yet trail the Nets and Bucks in postseason odds. We are picking nits here with the odds, as the Bulls are getting in. The acquisitions of Nikola Vucevic and DeMar DeRozan have been flawless and Chicago now has their own big three with Zach LaVine to challenge anyone in the conference.

Cleveland Cavaliers (-165)

Speaking of disrespect. I know LeBron James isn't walking through that door, but the Cavaliers have assembled a cache of talent that is paying high dividends in the form of a sixth seed in the East. They allow the second-fewest points per game in the NBA and have the third-best defensive rating in the NBA. Evan Mobley has been a bad, bad man and is blowing the field away for Rookie of the Year (+100).

Detroit Pistons (+4000)

Jerami Grant, Cade Cunningham and Killian Hayes are a nice Mini-Me version of a Big Three and Saddiq Bey looks like one of the best late-first round picks in a long time. But it will take some years before this Pistons team is ready to compete.

Indiana Pacers (+500)

The Pacers were in trouble two weeks ago, but have since lost six games in a row to truly put their season on life support. They are five games out of the 10th seed with three times to pass to get in. Maybe only the Raptors have had more injuries and COVID issues than the Pacers, but they look about ready to blow the team up amid all of the swirling trade rumors.

Miami Heat (-5000)

Butler. Adebayo. Lowry. Herro. And now they are getting contributions from guys like Omer Yurtseven and Kyle Guy. This team is loaded and should compete for a spot in the Finals this year.

Milwaukee Bucks (-20000)

Not much to see here. Best player. Reigning champs. Similar winning percentage to last season. If you've got an extra $100,000 lying around, you probably don't need to waste your time gambling it to win $500.

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New York Knicks (+400)

The Knicks have won two thrilling games in a row, which is enough to leap them back into the 10th and last spot for the postseason in the East. But the Celtics and Hawks are getting healthy and are right on their heels. Oddsmakers agree that it doesn't look good for the Knicks, but if you believe in the strong defense and the winning record on the road, +400 is a nice play to lay your money for good value.

Orlando Magic (+4000)

Probably even further out than the Pistons are, although Cole Anthony and Franz Wagner at least make this team entertaining to watch. The Magic are 2-14 at home and are outscored by 10 points per game.

Philadelphia 76ers (-3500)

By going 6-4 in their last 10, the Sixers have been able to climb back into the fifth seed in the East. They still are waiting to hear what will happen with the Ben Simmons situation , but the Harris-Embiid combo has been formidable when they both play together.

Toronto Raptors (+150)

I do not understand this +150 odds from Unibet or other books have similar odds. The Raptors are the seventh seed in the East (1.5 games out of sixth), are finally fully healthy and whole, and are playing one of the most dynamic rookies in the league (Scottie Barnes) next to two All-Star caliber players in Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam. The Raptors looks like the best value available to us while we can still get plus odds.

Washington Wizards (+245)

I would have thought we would see the new look Wizards lineup by now, but the Beal-Dinwiddie-Kuzma-Hachimura-Bryant roster will have to wait at least a little bit longer. Along with the Knicks, the Wizards are the odds-on favorites to get knocked out of the postseason picture when the Hawks and Celtics figure things out. Without a their full complement of players, I also believe they will be on the outside looking in.

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insightpicks

Proudest husband and dad you will ever find. When I'm not with my wife and two kids I split my time working in higher ed, grinding DFS and season-long, collecting silver age comics, studying behavioral economics, and drinking coffee. I once played Pat Connaughton in an actual NBA DFS lineup for money. Astros, Rockets, and Texans for life.

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