NBA Futures: Is this the Clippers year?

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Larry O’Brien NBA trophy

This is NBA All-Star weekend, with the game scheduled for Sunday, 8 p.m. EST, a time for most players to step back, get away, heal some injuries, and take a hard look at where things are in the standings.

The playoffs start April 20. The top six teams in both the Eastern Conference and Western Conference directly advance. Remember – the actual seventh and eighth seeds are determined via the NBA’s Play-In Tournament (teams ranked seven through 10, scheduled for April 16-19).

If the regular season ended today, in the Eastern Conference, the Boston Celtics (1) would play (8) Winner of play-in, Cleveland Cavaliers (2) would play (7) Winner of play-in, Milwaukee Bucks (3) would play (6) the Indiana Pacers, and New York Knicks (4) would play the (5) Philadelphia 76ers. 

Clippers, Bucks, and Celtics Most Bet Teams

In the Western Conference, the Minnesota Timberwolves (1) would play (8) Winner of play-in, Denver Nuggets (2) would play (7) Winner of play-in, Oklahoma City Thunder (3) would play the New Orleans Pelicans (6), LA Clippers (4) would play the Phoenix Suns (5).

On the sports betting front, there’s no question the teams that are capturing the most interest among Ontario sports bettors. 

According to a spokesperson from Proline+, the most-bet teams for the NBA Championship are the Clippers, Bucks and Celtics, in that order. For the Eastern Conference outright winner, it’s Celtics, Bucks and Knicks. In the Western Conference, it’s the Suns, Nuggets and Timberwolves.

🏀 Bet on NBA Futures at FanDuel 🏀

A spokesperson there said on a nightly basis the most popular teams in terms of wagering have varied as the season has gone on. The Toronto Raptors, despite their 19-36 record (12th in the Eastern Conference) are tops, followed by the L.A. Lakers, Bucks and Clippers.

The Clippers are interesting – former Raptors Kawhi Leonard is finally healthy (despite a left adductor strain which Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said isn’t “too serious” according to ESPN reporting) and playing at an all-star clip. They’re 7-3 in their last ten and are an eye-popping 28-7 since Dec. 2. 

Leonard Finally Healthy 

Leonard told ESPN they are starting to jell as a team now. 

However, they were beat up by the Timberwolves, losing by 21 points, on Monday. Minnesota has beaten the Clippers twice since Jan. 7. That balances out the enthusiasm. 

Everyone in Canada understands full well the impact that a healthy Leonard can have on a team, and that optimism is reflected in this week’s biggest NBA betting odds movement at BetMGM – Celtics from 3.75 to 3.60, then the Clippers from 7.00 to 6.25.

According to FanDuel, the most-bet team to win the NBA Championship is the Clippers (11 per cent), followed by the Lakers (nine per cent) and Timberwolves (eight per cent). 

🏀 Bet on NBA Futures at FanDuel 🏀

The Nuggets and Clippers are betting favourites to win the Western Conference at 3.00 (the Nuggets are generating the highest ticket percentage at 16.5 through this week; the Thunder the highest handle, at 20.3 per cent, with the Thunder the biggest liability).

Nikola Jokic (2.00), Joel Embiid (out for the long-term with after surgery on the meniscus in his knee on Feb. 6, at 2.20), Giannis Antetokounmpo (5.50) and Jayson Tatum (126.00) are the betting favourites there, according to BetMGM this week. Jokic is generating the highest ticket (16.3 per cent) and highest handle (28.3 per cent) in betting for MVP.

NBA All-Star Game Betting Lines

TonyBetEastern Conference 2.18 Western Conference 1.69Eastern Conference +2.5 (1.93), Western Conference -2.5 (1.83)365.5, 1.91 on the Over, 1.85 on the Under
BetMGMEastern Conference 2.25, Western Conference 1.67Eastern Conference +2.5 (1.95), Western Conference -2.5 (1.87)363.5, 1.91 on the Over, 1.91 on the Under
FanDuelEastern Conference 2.26, Western Conference 1.68Eastern Conference +3 (1.94), Western Conference -3 (1.88)362.5, 1.91 on the Over, 1.91 on the Under

Odds as 10:30 a.m. EST