The NBA season is almost underway with preseason games beginning this week on Friday, Dec. 11. The season begins on Dec. 22 and we have the first half of the schedule already released. The season will only be 72 games long with the playoffs starting in late May. The play-in tournament is also returning and will run May 18-21. With the season on the horizon, DraftKings Sportsbook released odds for each team to make the playoffs. We’re going to take a look at every team and give some initial takes.
I’m going to start out in the Southeast division with two teams that present some value. The Atlanta Hawks were the team who — on paper — improved the most out of anyone in the NBA this offseason. The additions of Bogdan Bogdanovic, Danilo Gallinari, Rajon Rondo, Kris Dunn and rookie Onyeka Okongwu to a core of Trae Young, John Collins and Clint Capela, should help the Hawks compete for a postseason spot. At -122 to make the playoffs, we get a very decent number — similar to the Hawks’ win percentage line.
The Wizards are another team to consider betting on to make the playoffs. The Wizards are +100 to reach the postseason on DKSB and just traded John Wall for Russell Westbrook. Russ reunites with former coach Scott Brooks. The pair made the postseason in five of eight seasons while the two were in Oklahoma City. You’ve got Westbrook, Bradley Beal, Rui Hachimura, Thomas Bryant, rookie Deni Avdija, sharp-shooter Davis Bertans. The Wizards should be much more competitive this season and could sneak in at the 7th or 8th seed.
Out West, there are a few up-and-coming teams who stand out. The Phoenix Suns acquired Chris Paul to run the offense with Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton. Monty Williams is a fantastic coach and the Suns have plenty of young talent to go around solid defensive wings. Mikal Bridges and Jae Crowder should hold things down on D while CP3, Booker and Ayton are all All-Star hopefuls. Phoenix comes in at -129 to make the playoffs.
The other team to keep an eye on is the New Orleans Pelicans. The West will be very competitive but that doesn’t mean the usual teams will be there come May. The Pelicans have arguably the brightest future of any NBA franchise with Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson. Stan Van Gundy is an upgrade at coach over Alvin Gentry, plus the Pelicans should solve some defensive woes with PG Eric Bledsoe and C Steven Adams. The Pels are +140 to make the playoffs and that number will likely get worse before the season starts.
NBA Odds to Reach Playoffs 2020-21
|Golden State Warriors||-200||+160|
|Portland Trail Blazers||-167||+135|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+140||-175|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||+1600||-10000|
|Los Angeles Lakers||-10000||+1600|
|Los Angeles Clippers||-10000||+1600|
|San Antonio Spurs||+350||-480|
|New York Knicks||+1400||-5000|
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