NBA Playoffs - Atlantic Division

  • With most teams having two or less games remaining in the season, props for what conference or division will win it all are now available
  • The teams that will sneak into the play-in featured odds, but recent Dallas Mavericks news has made the market get shut down by sportsbooks
  • Division to win the championship is an intriguing prop market but most feature much shorter odds than the division’s most favored team to win outright

MIAMI, Fl. – With mere days before the end of the NBA season, a few of the play-in and playoff spots may still be up for grabs for a select few teams. While the top as well as the bottom teams rest their starters for much of the end of the season, those still in contention for a spot should be playing their hardest.

However, after the Mavericks questionably gave up on their season by resting most starters, legal betting sites will be shifting their focus to the divisions that could win the championship. While some divisions are devoid of value, the top two favorites are loaded with high quality playoff teams that could allow bettors a strong shot at making profit.

Top Divisions Feature Strong Value

With most divisions being made up of just one championship contending team, most are not worth looking at. However, for the Pacific and Atlantic, there are good reasons to take either to be the next NBA champion. The Pacific is the favorite at +195 while the Atlantic is right behind at +200. The Pacific here appears to be the best value due to the number of teams they have in the playoffs.

But the Atlantic is also a strong value because they feature both the Philadelphia 76ers (+1000) as well as the Boston Celtics (+325). With the Celtics being the second overall favorited team and the Sixers having a real chance at a title run behind MVP favorite Joel Embiid, there is some value to be had if not betting on the Celtics outright.

The Pacific features the same number of top teams with the Phoenix Suns (+450) and Golden State Warriors (+1000). Importantly, they also make up five out of the top seven seeds in the West. With that kind of coverage, there is certainly a chance that if a Western Conference team wins the championship (+105) it could be a team from the Pacific.

Mavericks Throw in the Towel

While we came into today with the expectation that the Mavericks and Thunder would be participating in an extremely tight play-in race, it seems the Mavericks have given up on their chances. Despite needing to win their two final games and the Thunder to lose to the Memphis Grizzlies Sunday, the Mavericks are now resting Kyrie Irving, Christian Wood, Tim Hardaway Jr., Maxi Kleber, and Josh Green.

While they featured +225 odds to make the play-in, which was quite a nice value, it seems that unless Luka Doncic can carry the team past the Chicago Bulls, they are all but done with their season.

Because of the Maverick’s decision, now nearly all sportsbooks have taken off the play-in odds and bettors can no longer take advantage of the Thunder’s likely path into the play-in.

Playoff/Play-In Props to Fade

Among the three markets for props, a good number of divisions and states are not very valuable.

Chiefly, bettors can safely stay away from the Winning State category as the only plausible win would be California at +400 (the others being Texas, Florida, and New York). Yet even this is short odds considering that the teams to cash it would be the Golden State Warriors (+1000), the Los Angeles Lakers (+1400), the LA Clippers (+1600) or the Sacramento Kings (+5000).

With all of the teams being longshots, the +400 odds simply don’t hold a ton of value since the payout would be much greater by just picking the most favored California teams. For those that believe in multiple of these teams, it is worth considering but does not feature a ton of value.

Divisions similarly have the Southeast (+6000), Southwest (+1100), and Northwest (+700) which are longshots but generally are less valuable than just betting on the top team from each division. The Southeast has two longshots, the Southwest only really has the Grizzlies, who sport better value on their own at +1400, and the Northwest is mainly the Denver Nuggets, who are +750.

Thus, while legal sportsbooks may appear to be giving value by including multiple teams, most bets would be better off just picking the favorite from the division or state, as they generally feature better odds and the longshot teams only work to shorten the overall odds and payout.

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