Despite LeBron James departing for LA in 2018, the NBA has continued to thrive. We predict that 2022 will see a serious shake-up of the top 10 teams in terms of total wins and how they fare against each other.
The “nba playoffs 2022 predictions” is a topic that has recently been trending. Many people are looking to see how the NBA Playoffs will go in 2022.
The first round of the NBA playoffs in 2022 begins on Saturday, and both conferences have a number of fascinating matches. In the East, a star-studded series between the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics features Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Jayson Tatum, while James Harden makes his playoff debut with the Philadelphia 76ers against Pascal Siakam and the Toronto Raptors.
The Phoenix Suns took home the top seed in the Western Conference, but there are plenty of other teams who might ruin the party in a wide-open race to the NBA Finals. The Memphis Grizzlies, led by Ja Morant, and the Denver Nuggets, powered by reigning MVP Nikola Jokic, are also in contention.
But which teams are the strongest bets to win the championship, whose long shots should you take, and which first-round games should you watch?
In this roundtable, betting experts Joe Fortenbaugh, Doug Kezirian, Andre Snellings, and Eric Moody address all of those questions.
Caesars Sportsbook provides the odds.
Which favorite to win the NBA championship has the best odds?
Memphis Grizzlies’ Fortenbaugh (14-1)
Memphis isn’t receiving the recognition it deserves since many people don’t know who the Grizzlies are. To put it another way, we haven’t seen them do it before, so why should we trust them now? Last season, many said the same thing about the Phoenix Suns, and in the spring of 2015, they said the same thing about the Golden State Warriors. Memphis is among the NBA’s top six in offensive and defensive efficiency, as well as third in road victories. Consider this: Would you rather have 14-1 with the resume I just presented, replete with the 2-seed, or 14-1 with a dysfunctional Philadelphia team ranked fourth in the East?
Snellings picks the Miami Heat (10-1) over the Philadelphia 76ers (14-1)
This has been a one-of-a-kind season, with as many as five teams with a real shot to win the NBA title entering the playoffs with odds of 9-1 or worse. At +1000, the Heat are appealing. They’re a seasoned squad with key rotation players who have all competed in championships and are equipped for postseason competition. They have two frontline defenders, Bam Adebayo and P.J. Tucker, who are capable of making life tough for the East’s multiple MVP-caliber players. Kyle Lowry, Tyler Herro, and Jimmy Butler can generate both team and isolated offense in the half court, therefore their offense is diversified and successful. The day off between games allows their older players to remain fresher in the playoffs, and Miami finished the regular season strong enough to claim the top seed. Finally, the Heat and Bucks have the greatest first-round matchups, giving them an advantage over other contenders who will face tougher hurdles in each round in order to reach the Finals.
Utah Jazz’s Moody (22-1)
The Jazz may have an advantage over the Mavericks with Doncic sidelined for the first two games of the series. The Western Conference is a tough nut to crack. Despite this, the Jazz are a strong offensive and defensive team. Utah has the greatest points per 100 possessions in the league, as well as the most offensive rebounds and the second-best effective field goal %. They are ranked ninth in terms of points allowed per 100 possessions and excel at suppressing offensive rebounds and field goal percentage for their opponents. At +2200, the Jazz are a good bet.
LA Clippers, according to Kezirian (70-1)
It’s a long shot, but I’m interested in the Clippers at 70-1. They need to win on Friday night to qualify for the playoffs, but they’re at home and I believe they’ll be OK. The Clippers are not a usual 8-seed due to injury. Paul George has looked fantastic after returning from injury. They can defend owing to George, Nicolas Batum, Norman Powell, and Robert Covington, as well as shoot effectively. Ty Lue, the team’s head coach, has done an excellent job this season and knows how to play the correct cards against Phoenix in the first round. In addition, there’s a potential Kawhi Leonard may return from injury at some time, but no one knows for sure. Again, the odds are 70-1, which amounts to a 1.6 percent chance, yet this club is loaded with skill.
Which first-round series has the greatest odds?
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, according to Fortenbaugh
During the regular season, Minnesota was a fantastic tale, and I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for them after they made it so simple for me to cash my over 34 regular-season victories ticket. But this is the point at which the streak comes to an end. The Grizzlies are one of the league’s most well-balanced teams, with a lot of success away from home. When they play away from FedEx Forum, they are third in the NBA in road victories and top ten in both offensive and defensive efficiency. When playing on the road, the Timberwolves rank 25th in defensive efficiency, allowing an average of 118.2 points per game (last in the NBA). The Wolves’ 20-21 record away from Target Center is unsurprising, and it’s something that will cost them in this series.
Boston Celtics against. Brooklyn Nets, according to Moody.
The Celtics and Nets, in my view. Boston is the Eastern Conference’s No. 2 seed. The Celtics have the best defensive rating in the league despite scoring 10th most points per 100 possessions. The Nets aren’t your normal seventh-seed team. This is going to be a thrilling series to watch.
Tyler Fulgham gives his best pick for the Nets vs. Celtics playoff showdown.
Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets, according to Snellings
I anticipate the Celtics to easily overcome the Nets, so even as minor favorites (-145) they are still a good bet for me. For the second part of the season, Boston has been the best team in the East. By a wide margin, the Celtics have the highest BPI in the NBA heading into the playoffs. Even without the Time Lord, the Celtics have too much firepower on both sides of the floor to defeat the Nets. All eyes will be on the headline showdown between Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving vs. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, but other Celtics like Marcus Smart, Al Horford, and Derrick White, as well as their supporting players under Coach Ime Udoka’s system, could help them advance to the next round.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Chicago Bulls, according to Kezirian
My top pick is the Bucks -2.5 games (-190). Milwaukee seems to be rising at the perfect moment, while the Bulls are severely outmatched. Brook Lopez has just recently returned from injury, but this starting lineup is looking great. Since 2017, Chicago has not defeated a Milwaukee team led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, including all four regular-season matchups this season.
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