In the Eastern Conference, outside of dominant Boston and Milwaukee, five games separate third through 11th in the standings.
Things are even tighter in the Western Conference: just six games separate first-place New Orleans and the 13th-place Los Angeles Lakers.
The fact that all but five of the NBA’s 30 teams are within two games of a playoff spot at this point in the season feels unusual, and we’re also looking at some big-time preseason favorites that are among those fighting for those spots. We’re taking a look at four of those teams and weighing in on their value in the NBA futures odds market.
NBA Futures Odds: +700 Preseason / +1600 Current (Caesars)
After a disastrous 2-6 start to the season that saw head coach Steve Nash part ways with the team and the indefinite suspension of Kyrie Irving for making anti-Semitic comments, things have calmed down a bit for Brooklyn, and that’s led to victories in eight of their last 11 games. Either Irving or Kevin Durant have led the team in scoring in every one of their games, so keeping those two on the floor is a recipe for success.
One negative has been the continued health issues for Ben Simmons. He had a productive stretch in mid-November but sat for knee soreness and a calf strain. If the Nets can manage his workload to peak for the playoffs, the Nets could surprise some people.
Get Bonus T&CS Apply
WynnBET is the online version of Wynn Resorts’ casino and sportsbook. The website and application are both new, only just launching in 2020. Because it’s so new, there’s a lot of room for WynnBET to grow, but they still have a solid amount of betting offerings. They lack robust betting features from other vendors, but their odds and promotions are good enough to start testing now. Despite WynnBET’s newness, it comes from a brand with a lot of history. With a little more time, WynnBET can become a top-of-the-line online sportsbook with many betting options.
NBA Futures Odds: +700 Preseason / +1000 Current (BetMGM)
The Clippers were expected to return to form in the West this year with a healthy Kawhi Leonard, but the team has been inconsistent at best. After an overtime loss at lowly Orlando on Wednesday, LA is just above .500 after dropping three of their last four games.
The issue is the same that it has been for the last three seasons in LA: getting Leonard and Paul George together on the court. Of the 28 games, the duo has played together in just six of those. It’s easy to say if they stay healthy, the Clippers will be tough to deal with, but their health has been an issue for years now, so we can’t magically think it will get better in April.
NBA Futures Odds: +600 Preseason / +800 Current (BetMGM)
The Warriors dropped back to the .500 mark in a loss at Utah on Wednesday where they were leading by four points with 13 seconds left. But it could just be a momentary stumble for a team that won five of six before dropping back-to-backers against Indiana and then the Jazz. Steph Curry is playing well, as is Klay Thompson, and the team is getting great production from Jordan Poole.
For a team that won the NBA title last year as a 3-seed and is led by veterans on and off the court, we’re confident that the Warriors will turn it on when the lights are shining the brightest. The oddsmakers tend to agree since their price hasn’t dropped too much, but there’s still value there.
NBA Futures Odds: +1800 Preseason / +6000 Current (FanDuel)
After winning an NBA title in the “bubble” in 2020, it’s been a constant struggle for LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the Lakers. James, who is in his 20th NBA season at the age of 38, has missed seven of 17 games due to injury. Alarmingly, this isn’t anything new. In his three 82-game seasons in LA, James has played in 55, 45, and 56 games. This year, he’s on pace for 59. Davis, who missed more than half of the past two seasons, has remained healthy this year and is averaging 27 points per game, but depth beyond the big two continues to be an issue for LA, and there are far better overall teams in the west.