Sexton, KCP

  • The Washington Wizards are number one in the Eastern Conference but have ( +115) long odds to make the playoffs.
  • The Cleveland Cavaliers have ( +850) odds to make the playoffs but are fifth in the East.
  • The OKC Thunder have +4000 odds to make the playoffs but have beaten the Los Angeles Lakers twice this season.

WASHINGTON – In the early weeks of the NBA season, many teams are beginning to shape up the playoff picture and sportsbooks are hosting odds for who will make the playoffs.

The Washington Wizards and Cleveland Cavaliers have been early success stories, yet are seeing long odds to go on a post-season run. Meanwhile, the Charlotte Hornets have big wins on the season yet are still underdogs to make the playoffs.

NBA betting sites will change these odds if these teams continue to perform so getting in early is the best way to capitalize.

Underdogs To Make 2022 NBA Playoffs

  • Washington Wizards +115
  • Indiana Pacers (IND) +150
  • Charlotte Hornets +200
  • Toronto Raptors +250
  • Sacramento Kings +325
  • Minnesota Timberwolves +450
  • Cleveland Cavaliers +850
  • San Antonio Spurs +1000
  • New Orleans Pelicans +2000
  • Detroit Pistons +4000
  • Houston Rockets +4000
  • Oklahoma City Thunder +4000
  • Orlando Magic +4000

Washington Wizards Early Dominance

The Wizards are sitting at 10-3 on the season and are first in the Eastern Conference. Washington has a 6-1 home record, average 108.4 PPG (12th in the league) while holding opponents to just 103.5 PPG (8th in the league) with a defensive rating of 103.7.

Washington also has a +4.9 margin of victory on the season which is top seven. This increases to +6.6 at home.

Sportsbooks are likely expecting Washington to revert to the mean. The Wizards have had the fifth easiest strength of schedule thus far, and are expected to see tougher opponents going forward.

It would be a big drop from the top of the conference to out of the playoffs entirely, so taking the Wizards (+115) odds to make the playoffs is likely to net positive returns at the end of the regular season.

Hornets And Cavaliers Playoff Hopes

Both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Charlotte Hornets have been surprises this season. Neither team made the playoffs during the 2020-2021 NBA season yet both would make the postseason if the playoffs started today.

Cleveland is 9-6 on the season and is fifth in the Eastern Conference. The Cavaliers average 102.7 PPG and only allow opponents 101.1 PPG which is the second-best in the league.

Cleveland has seen a welcome boost in productivity thanks to rookie big man Evan Mobley who is now the favorite to win Rookie of the Year (+180).

The Cavs have beaten playoff contenders like the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, and Portland Trail Blazers and have seen an average strength of schedule, 16th in the league.

Their schedule difficulty is projected to increase, becoming the fifth hardest schedule in the league. This explains why despite being a top-six team, they have (+850) long odds to make the playoffs.

The Hornets started out the season strong, going 5-2 before accumulating consecutive losses. Charlotte has bounced back, however, and is now sitting 8-7 on the season. The Hornets are currently on a three-game winning streak, beating the red hot Golden State Warriors in the process.

The Hornets have had the fifth toughest schedule in the league so far, yet still remain in playoff contention. The remainder of the season is expected to see a much easier path for Charlotte.

If the Hornets can maintain their position as the seventh seed in the East, or even go on a run and claim a higher position, the Hornets (+200) odds will be easy money at legal sports betting sites.

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