BETTING ODDS: NBA Playoffs Feature Nuggets-Lakers First Round Matchup

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BETTING ODDS: NBA Playoffs Feature Nuggets-Lakers First Round Matchup
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With the play-ins wrapping up this week, the NBA playoffs tip off over the weekend, featuring a Denver Nuggets-Los Angeles Lakers matchup.

The playoffs will include 16 teams, with the top seeds in each conference hoping to hold off challenges from a competitive field.

During the regular season, the Boston Celtics ran away with the Eastern Conference crown, compiling a dominant 64-18 record, 14 games ahead of the second-place New York Knicks.

The Western Conference had a tighter bunching at the top, with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Denver tied at identical 57-25 regular-season records and the Minnesota Timberwolves only one game behind.

LeBron, Jokic Go At It Saturday

On Tuesday, the Lakers punched their ticket to the playoffs with a play-in road win over the New Orleans Pelicans. The Lakers now face the No. 2-seed Denver Nuggets, the defending NBA champions, in a matchup featuring Denver’s Nikola Jokic and the Lakers’ LeBron James.

The Pels take on the Sacramento Kings in a deciding game to see who advances to the playoffs against Oklahoma City.

The Eastern Conference play-ins are undecided with the Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers, Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls vying for a playoff spot.

Once the play-in mix is sorted out, the full playoff bracket will be set.

The playoffs begin Saturday. The NBA Finals tip off June 6, with game seven, if necessary, set for June 23.

Weekend Playoff Odds

Looking past the still undecided play-in scramble, here are the odds for this weekend’s opening playoff games. Each pairing is a best-of-seven series. Most games this weekend are expected to be close, giving those interested in NBA betting plenty of options.


Orlando Magic at Cleveland Cavaliers (-4.5)

Phoenix Suns at Minnesota Timberwolves (-1.5)

Los Angeles Lakers at Denver Nuggets (-7)

New York Knicks vs. Philadelphia 76ers or Miami Heat


Dallas Mavericks (-1.5) at Los Angeles Clippers

Indiana Pacers (-1) at Milwaukee Bucks

Boston Celtics vs. play-in opponent

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. New Orleans Pelicans or Sacramento Kings

Odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook.

The No. 1 seeds in each conference, Oklahoma City and Boston, in addition to the No. 2-seed New York Knicks in the East, are waiting for the play-ins to be resolved before learning who they’ll face in the first round of the playoffs.

Can The Sixers Do Damage?

One team to keep an eye on if they make it out of the play-in mix is the Philadelphia 76ers, according to VSiN senior editor Zach Cohen.

With Sixers star Joel Embiid back in action, the team could do some damage going forward, Cohen said. 

"The 76ers were a Top 10 team in both adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency when Joel Embiid was healthy earlier in the season,” Cohen wrote. “And the big man was the clear-cut favorite to win the MVP award before going down. Well, Embiid is now back for Philadelphia and the rest of the rotation is healthy. This Sixers team now looks like it can make a deep postseason run.”

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Larry Henry

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