|Team||NBA Title Odds||Power Ranking|
|Golden State Warriors||-225||1|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||+2500||7|
|San Antonio Spurs||+6000||T9|
|Los Angeles Lakers||+10000||12|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+25000||T22|
|New York Knicks||N/A|
Yes, they play in the Eastern Conference and yes, they’ve had a rather easy schedule of late, but the Milwaukee Bucks haven’t slowed down in the least. Incredibly, they lead the NBA in both record and record against the spread.
They took a rare loss in San Antonio on Sunday but responded with a blowout win over the Pelicans on Tuesday. While they’re just 6-5 against the spread in their last 11 games, oddsmakers seem to be all on board with this Milwaukee team.
Their NBA Finals betting odds continue to move up by the week and hit a peak by going to +950, third best behind Golden State and Toronto. It’s no surprise given how Giannis Antetokounmpo has played, averaging 28.8 points, 12.6 rebounds and 6.0 assists since Feb. 1.
He’s overtaken James Harden as the MVP frontrunner and trading for Nikola Mirotic at the deadline only made the Bucks more lethal offensively. If any team can match up with Golden State, it’s Milwaukee, and oddsmakers are beginning to agree.
There was a reason we picked the Miami Heat to win the Southeast Division. It was all there for the Orlando Magic, leading the division with a rather easy remaining schedule to get the job done and earn a rare playoff berth.
Instead, Orlando has responded by losing four of their last five, including games to the lowly Cavaliers, Grizzlies and Wizards. They’ve lost five straight against the spread and have fallen two full games behind the Heat in the Southeast.
The good news is the schedule remains easy moving forward, as they’ll play four straight games against Lottery-bound teams at home.
Despite their recent struggles they make for a solid bet, as we expect them to play with some urgency against these bottom feeders as they make one last ditch effort to catch the Heat and earn a postseason bid.
It’s probably too late for Trae Young to make up enough ground to come back and win the Rookie of the Year, but what a push he’s making. While Luka Doncic and the Mavericks limp to the finish line – they’ve lost 11 of their last 12 – the Hawks have remained competitive and are playing their best basketball of the season.
They’ve covered in six of their last eight games and are also 6-2 hitting the over in that stretch. That’s thanks to Young’s magical work on offense. He’s averaged 25.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 8.9 assists over his last nine games and is shooting better than 43 percent from beyond the arc in that span.
Combine that with budding star John Collins, who is averaging 25.8 points and 11.8 rebounds over his last nine and you’ve got a ridiculously good young duo that will remain competitive as the season comes to a close. They’re a good bet to cover (and go over) each time they take the floor the rest of the way.
Good luck figuring out the Wizards. Left for dead after injuries to Dwight Howard the John Wall, and then sellers at the deadline by shipping Otto Porter Jr. to the Bulls, they’ve somehow managed to make themselves relevant in the Eastern Conference Playoff race.
They’ve won five of their last eight and covered in seven of those games and now find themselves just 3.5 games out of the final spot in the East.
They’ve got work to do, of course, but the way Bradley Beal and Bobby Portis are playing nothing is out of the question. Beal has quietly put together an All-Pro season and over his last 13 games is averaging 29.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 7.4 assists.
Portis, acquired from Chicago in the Porter deal, has been a bright spot as well. Since joining the Wizards he’s averaging 15.5 points, including 44 percent from deep, and 9.1 rebounds. Those two have the firepower to keep Washington in any game, and lately that’s resulted in wins and covers. They’re a good bet to keep it going.
Kevin Love’s early-season injury as well as a host of other problems sent the Cleveland Cavaliers into a tailspin. They’ve been at the bottom of the NBA standings for most of the season, and the playoffs have been out of the question for months.
But here they are, a bunch of castoffs not playing for anything but their individual NBA futures, and they’ve been surprisingly competitive.
Just this past week they hung tough with the Nets in Brooklyn, smacked the Raptors by 25 and nearly pulled off an incredible comeback in Philadelphia against the Sixers. The results have been covers against the spread in four of their last five games – including two outright wins.
Rookie Collin Sexton has turned a corner, Cedi Osman looks like a keeper and Love has returned to the lineup to give this young squad a boost. Don’t look now but the Cavaliers – seriously – look like a good play. They’re playing inspired basketball as they look to gain some momentum for next season.
|Portland Trail Blazers||38-29||T4|
|San Antonio Spurs||37-31||7|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||36-32||9|
|New Orleans Pelicans||34-35-1||16|
|New York Knicks||28-37-3||27|
|Golden State Warriors||25-38-1||30|
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