- The NBA Playoff field is set after final Play-In games Friday
- Phoenix has the best title odds, while defending champion Milwaukee owns the second-best odds
- See the latest updated NBA Championship odds and our favorite picks below
At long last, the field is set in the quest for the Larry O’Brien trophy.
The New Orleans Pelicans topped the LA Clippers and punched the final ticket, claiming the eighth seed in the West in the nightcap of the play-in double-header Friday night. Earlier in the evening, Trae Young gashed Cleveland hopes as Atlanta locked into eight in the East.
It all officially gets underway Saturday, April 16, with a 4-pack of games. You can get set and keep tabs with our NBA Playoffs printable bracket.
For now, let’s run down the latest NBA Championship odds, and some of the teams that you might be interested in laying a wager on.
2022 NBA Championship Odds
|Golden State Warriors||+850|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+12500|
Odds as of April 15th at Caesars Sportsbook
Suns, Bucks Top Odds Charts
What Finals loss hangover? The Phoenix Suns have been the cream of the NBA all season, compiling a brilliant 64-18 mark to claim the top seed in the playoffs.
Consistency has been their calling card, as the Suns were the only team in the league to win 30+ both at home and on the road (a sparkling 32-9 on both fronts). They’re also the only team to rank top-5 in both offensive and defensive rating this season.
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) April 15, 2022
Perhaps the only question mark is health. Chris Paul and Devin Booker form the most lethal backcourt duo in the playoffs, but can the 36-year-old CP3 stay on the court? He missed 15 games with a thumb injury, but Phoenix still went 11-4 in those games.
If the oddsmakers are bang-on, we could be in for a Finals rematch.
Milwaukee certainly did not shine as bright as the Suns, but they’re sitting pretty in the 3-hole in the East and piled up 51 wins in an injury-riddled regular season.
.@KendrickPerkins with HIGH praise on the Greek Freak 👀
“We should of all been warned by this in game 6 of the Finals. … His impact on both ends off the floor, and he never disappoints us with his performance. Put Giannis as the best big game player in the NBA today!” pic.twitter.com/AX5ucEEiE2
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) April 1, 2022
They also have one of the best three players in the planet right now, and reigning Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo should be plenty ready to make another run, even if his knees needed rest down the home stretch.
Injuries and inconsistency kept Milwaukee 14th in defensive rating, but they’re third in offensive rating. Don’t be surprised for the D to catch up quickly in the playoffs.
Picking Phoenix or Milwaukee to win the title isn’t sext or risky per se, but it’s logical, and a sturdy wager.
The 5 Best NBA Playoff Promos
Nets’ Seeding Traditionally an Out
If you needed a reason to believe this season is unlike any other, consider the plight of the Brooklyn Nets.
They own the fifth-best odds to win the title (+900), yet they’re playing out of the 7-hole in the East, thanks to a Kevin Durant knee injury, a Kyrie Irving one-of-a-kind COVID holdout, James Harden getting traded, and prized return Ben Simmons yet to suit up in his new digs.
— NetsKingdom 👑🗽 (@NetsKingdomAJ) April 14, 2022
You’re going to hear a lot this week about how the 6th-seeded Houston Rockets are the lowest seed to ever win a ‘chip. In fact, since the playoffs expanded to a 16-team field in 1984, only one 7-seed and one 8-seed have ever won more than a single series.
It’s tough though: Durant is one of those three best players in the world, and Kyrie is a super-charged co-option that can go for 40+ at any moment.
Kevin Durant when asked what the key is to slowing down Jayson Tatum: “I don’t – shit, that’s a tough question. He’s one of those players, you just gotta play hard, see what happens. He’s just so talented and skilled and efficient at what he does.” pic.twitter.com/03BXZIp40m
— Taylor Snow (@taylorcsnow) April 14, 2022
Their saving grace is taking on a Boston team that is short-handed. If Robert Williams III isn’t down with a meniscus injury, Boston at +800 is as good a bet as any to win the title. Alas, one of these top-5 teams will be golfing after Round 1.
Sixers Have Value, Fade Warriors
If there’s a team with some top-tier value, look no further than the Philadelphia 76ers (+1500). Part of it is personnel — Joel Embiid is the league’s leading scorer and James Harden should be motivated to shake his major playoff demons — but their bracket sets up nicely.
▪️ First center since Shaq
▪️ First Sixer since Iverson@JoelEmbiid‘s scoring champion sizzle! 🔥
— NBA (@NBA) April 15, 2022
If they can squeeze past Toronto, they play the winner of Miami-Atlanta. Perhaps Miami loves the underdog role, but a top seed shouldn’t have the 6th-best title odds (+1000). Part of their struggle has been the roster flux, as almost every starter and reserve has missed time this season.
All this to say, Philly’s path is significantly easier than the bloodbath of Milwaukee, BK and Boston on the other side. Get to the Final 4, and they’re as good a bet as anyone left standing.
Perhaps the team with the most title experience are the Golden State Warriors (+850), but their path is loaded. They’ll need to get by 2022 NBA MVP odds favorite Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets, and potentially meet the Memphis Grizzlies in Round 2.
Stephen Curry plays basketball tomorrow‼️‼️‼️ pic.twitter.com/RJh73JIsIr
— StephMuse (@StephMuse_) April 15, 2022
This with Steph Curry just returning from a foot injury, Draymond Green hobbled with leg and back ailments almost the entire second half of the year and Klay Thompson just kind of rounding into form.
Perhaps we see the heart of a champion, but there’s more doubt than definite there.
Value Wagers for Remaining Playoff Teams
I wish the Bulls weren’t playing the Bucks, because they have the makeup of a team that can cause a ruckus in the playoffs. Instead, if you’re looking for a real shaker, try the Toronto Raptors at +6000.
Joel Embiid hasn’t played against Fred VanVleet or OG Anunoby this season.
Here’s a few plays Fred made on doubles and digs on Joel last season pic.twitter.com/RmZSuWsTo8
— Amit Mann (@Amit_Mann) April 13, 2022
Since Kawhi left after his lone title year in TO, the Raps have assembled an insert-superstar-here roster. They’re long, they can defend, and they feature five players that averaged 15 points or more this year.
They also boast an all-star in Fred VanVleet and a likely all-NBA forward in Pascal Siakam. If they can hit threes — they ranked only 20th shooting at a 34.9% clip — they could have enough scoring to make winning plays in the clutch.
Nikola Jokic on potentially winning back-to-back MVP’s: “If it happens, great.” pic.twitter.com/Z51iQQq6NA
— Harrison Wind (@HarrisonWind) April 13, 2022
We already talked about the Nuggets (+3500), but there’s a chance the Jamal Murray could return at some point in the playoffs. That would be the most significant addition of talent to any roster. It’s entirely possible to see them oust GState and using that playoff guile to bounce the upstart Grizz.
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