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Best Bets to Make/Miss Playoffs for 2020-21 NBA Season

Hayley Graham

by Hayley Graham in NBA Basketball

Dec 22, 2020 · 6:49 AM PST

Devin Booker
Is this the year Booker and the Suns make the postseason? (Photo by Torrey Purvey/Icon Sportswire)
  • The NBA 72-game regular season starts on Tuesday, Dec. 22nd
  • Due to the shortened regular season, the league has implemented a play-in tournament
  • Which teams present the best odds to make or miss the playoffs? See some of our best bets below

For what was the shortest offseason in league history, there was still quite a bit of restructuring, signings, injuries and recoveries.

The regular season will be a shortened 72-game season, and will be released in two parts. The first half was announced recently, and the second half of the schedule is expected to be released some time in the new year.

Due to the shortened season, there will be a play-in tournament that determines the teams that will fill the seventh and eighth playoff seed in each conference. The tournament will take place after the regular season and before the first round of playoffs. It will include the seventh-highest to tenth-highest winning percentages in the East and West.

Some teams pose NBA playoff odds that are expected, while others are surprising. Here are four teams which we think look to have good value to either make or miss the postseason.

Phoenix Suns 2020-21 Playoff Odds

To Make the 2020-21 Playoffs Odds
Yes -132
No +108

All odds taken on Dec 21 from FanDuel

When the Orlando bubble came to fruition earlier this year, Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns became the talk of the town. They entered the restart 26-39, and went on to go 8-0 once in the bubble.

Now, the team might not actually care about the fact that they went undefeated during their time in Orlando, since they missed the playoffs, but it does make their chances to make the playoffs this year interesting.

Their success in the bubble was a huge positive sign that the struggling franchise’s future looked bright. And in the offseason, the team acquired ten-time All Star Chris Paul in a blockbuster trade.

If Booker and Paul mesh and play well together, this team could be really fun to watch. We’ve seen what can happen when you have two great players in your backcourt. It’ll be interesting to see how teams adjust to having another great mid range shooter to defend.

Pick: Yes (-132)

Golden State Warriors 2020-21 Playoff Odds

To Make the 2020-21 Playoffs Odds
Yes -158
No +128

The Warriors will start the season with a healthy Steph Curry back in action, along with the additions of Kelly Oubre Jr. and James Wiseman. But with Klay Thompson out, it’s a worry that the Warriors don’t have much shooting aside from Curry. But do you really need more shooting when you’re number one guy is Curry? I guess that’s one of the big questions.

It’s become very evident how much of a clutch player Thompson is. This is a team that has five straight finals appearances and three championships since 2015. But the Western Conference is looking a lot different than it did before. Many elite players have found their way to the west, and it’s different conference than what it was just a few short years ago.

Andrew Wiggins is a player that could add either more confidence to Warrior fans about making the playoffs, or could possibly do the exact opposite. Having Wiggins play his best basketball will be key for the Warriors this season.

If he continues to be focused and engaged as he’s been in the preseason, it makes it feel like playoff basketball is definitely possible.

Many NBA analysts believe that, yes, the Warriors will make the playoffs. But they’ll be one of the teams that will have to compete in the new play-in tournament that’s happening. Will they have a first round exit after making the playoffs? Well, possibly. But we’re just worried about whether or not they’ll make it right now.

Pick: Yes (-158)

Atlanta Hawks 2020-21 Playoff Odds

To Make the 2020-21 Playoffs Odds
Yes -122
No +100

Since their last playoff appearance in 2017, the Atlanta Hawks have been rebuilding, and building up their young core. In three short years, it seems that they’ve been able to do just that. The franchise finally looks to be in a good position.

Trae Young is the face of the team. He’s one of the best young players in the league right now, and in just his second year he averaged 29.6 PPG and 9.3 APG – and he’s just going to get better. But the Hawks realized that Young couldn’t win on his own, and they needed to add a little bit more around him. They drafted Onyeka Okongwu of USC at No. 6 overall, and he is looking to be a very explosive and versatile big man.

This offseason, the Hawks were aggressive. They brought in Rajon Rondo, Danilo Gallinari, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Kris Dunn, and Solomon Hill. All five of these players have put up great numbers in their careers, and have been integral parts of their previous teams. Rondo is coming off a championship win with the Lakers, where he was a key contributor in their win.

Pick: Yes (-122)

Houston Rockets 2020-21 Playoff Odds

To Make the 2020-21 Playoffs Odds
Yes +112
No -138

I think it’s fair to say that the Rockets had a pretty eventful offseason. With the departure of Russell Westbrook, came the acquisition of John Wall. Now, Wall hasn’t appeared in a regular season game since 2018, and questions remain around whether Harden will even suit up for Houston this year.

If he stays a Rocket, I’d say their chances of making the playoffs is there. Obviously he rejected the extension opportunity, which many thought was the start of the end.

The Rockets also have a new coach, which could really shake everything up. First-time head coach Stephen Silas has 20 years of assistant coaching experience. Most notably, he has been credited with building the Mavericks’ strong offense.

It does feel like the talent is there to make the playoffs. The West is strong. But if this team clicks they have a shot.

Pick: Yes (+112)

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