The All-Star break really isn’t the halfway point of the NBA betting season, as each team has played between 56 and 59 games already. But that still leaves a couple dozen games remaining that could shape the standings heading into the postseason.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at each division and see which teams provide the best value on bets.
All odds via 888Sport
The best division race in the NBA is happening out West. The Nuggets and Thunder look like championship contenders and are just two games apart in the Northwest Division race.
The Nuggets have been the division’s best team most of the year but the Thunder, led by Paul George’s MVP-type year and Russell Westbrook, have come on strong in winning 11 of 13 games.
Denver is almost back at full-strength as Isaiah Thomas returned to the court for the first time this season and it’s hard to argue with their roster when fully healthy, beginning with Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray.
The Thunder have the most difficult remaining schedule in the NBA, while the Nuggets have the fourth toughest schedule. Still, it’ll be those two fighting down the stretch – Portland is just too far back at this point to jump both teams – and we’ll give the nod to the Nuggets.
We’ve liked them all year and won’t stop now. They’re the favorites at -112 for a reason. Bet them with Betfair.
The tightest division in the NBA has four teams within 3.5 games of each other. The Hornets hold a one-half game lead on the Heat, a one-game lead on the Magic and a 3.5-game lead on the Washington Wizards.
What’s incredible is that none of those teams have a winning record, with Charlotte’s 27-30 mark leading the way. But someone has to win it, and strength of schedule remaining is going to make it a wildly difficult bet.
The two most talented teams, Charlotte and Miami, have the second and seventh most difficult schedule remaining, respectively. Orlando, which wasn’t expected to come close to contending this season, has the third easiest schedule left.
Even Washington has the sixth easiest schedule remaining, giving them an outside shot to win the division without John Wall.
But even though they’ve underachieved all season, we’re going with the Heat to ultimately win the division. They have the best coach in the division in Erik Spoelstra, the most talented roster and will get point guard Goran Dragic back for the stretch run.
Grab their +165 odds to get the job done and overtake the Hornets.
The top-heaviest division in basketball was the most difficult to project this season, but the Kawhi Leonard-led Raptors are pulling away. They lead the division by 5.5 games and just added Marc Gasol at the trade deadline.
Leonard should also have some of his earlier-season minute restrictions lifted, meaning the Raptors will cruise to this division win over the likes of Philadelphia and Boston. The Raptors are the best bet at -500.
A dark horse here is Philly, who added Tobias Harris and have been rolling ever since – they’re +650 to win the Atlantic with Karamba – but it will likely be too little, too late.
Only one game separates the Rockets from the Spurs, but this matchup in the Southwest Division isn’t as close as it appears.
Behind likely MVP James Harden and a now-healthy Chris Paul, the Rockets are clearly the superior team and now get center Clint Capela back after missing five weeks with a thumb injury. Put another way, the Rockets are now all systems go and should gain ground on the Spurs down the stretch.
The days of the underachieving Houston team is a thing of the past. Hopefully you got in on their odds before they shot up to -335 at Karamba, but even there they’re still the correct choice in this division.
Victor Oladipo’s injury couldn’t have come at a worse time for a Pacers team that was rolling and looked like might challenge the Bucks for the Central Division crown.
Those hopes have been dashed now and Giannis Antetokounmpo’s squad has a healthy 5.5-game lead and is trending up, having won eight of their last 10 games.
At this point the Bucks’ focus is on nabbing the top seed in the East, as they’ve essentially wrapped up the division and their -10000 odds with 888Sport agree.
This will be nice and easy. The Warriors hold a 10-game lead over the L.A. Clippers. With 25 games remaining, Golden State has a magic number of 15 and should have the division clinched by early March, if not before.
LeBron James and the Lakers could have made this one the slightest bit interesting but that five-week absence crushed their hopes. The Warriors’ odds aren’t even listed by most oddsmakers, so there aren’t any real plays here.
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