Upcoming Match-ups

Nets Heavily Favored to Be Eastern Conference 8 Seed; Will the Magic Pass Them at Disney World?

Ryan Sura

by Ryan Sura in NBA Basketball

Updated Mar 18, 2021 · 1:26 PM PDT

James Harden
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 21: Brooklyn Nets Guard James Harden (13) and Guard Kyrie Irving (11) give high fives in the final minute of a NBA game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Clippers on February 21, 2021 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA. The game was played without fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire
  • The NBA is set to return with a new playoff format before the end of July to complete the 2019-20 NBA season
  • The Brooklyn Nets are heavy favorites at -250 to be the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference
  • Read below to find out your best bets for the 8-seed in the Eastern Conference

The NBA is looking to return before the end of July to complete the rest of the basketball season. The format is quite different considering the abrupt end to the NBA regular season, but that does not mean the fringe teams aren’t going to get their chance to compete in the playoffs.

In the current Eastern Conference odds, the Brooklyn Nets are -250 favorites to finish in the eighth seed. This comes to a surprise to most bettors as the Nets are currently seventh in the East and narrowly ahead of the Orlando Magic.

Let’s take a look at a few of the best bets to wager on regarding the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference and for the ninth seed’s odds to win a game in a potential play-in series.

Which Team Will Be The 8th Seed in the East?

Team Odds
Brooklyn Nets -250
Orlando Magic +300
Washington Wizards +950

Odds taken June 7, 2020.

Can Nets Hold The 7-Seed?

Before the NBA postponed the regular season due to COVID-19, the Nets had won three games in a row. That was almost three months ago and now the Nets will have to return to play without their two superstars in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

The Nets have been without Durant and Irving for almost the entirety of the regular season, so not having them play in Orlando won’t change the game plan. However, their eight-game schedule before the playoffs won’t be a cakewalk. The Nets will have to play the Los Angeles Clippers twice, Orlando Magic twice, Sacramento Kings, Washington Wizards, Boston Celtics, and Portland Trail Blazers.

Without Durant and Irving, the offensive load will be on the shoulders of Caris LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie. LeVert got into a scoring groove averaging 23.0 points a game from the beginning of February to the postponement of the regular season in March.

As much as the scoring from LeVert and Dinwiddie will be important, the defensive and rebounding output from DeAndre Jordan and Jarrett Allen will be huge in this eight-game stretch. In games against the Clippers, Celtics, and Magic these two big men will be key in minimizing their opponents’ scoring efforts.

Home City Magic

The Orlando Magic currently hold a 30-35 record, just half a game behind the Nets in the East. The oddsmakers believe the Nets will slide down to the 8-seed, which more than likely means the Magic will finish in the seventh spot.

The Magic will technically have home court advantage when play resumes, but that doesn’t mean much with little to no fans in the stadium. However, the strength of their schedule will give them an advantage to sneak past the Nets into the seventh spot.

Orlando will play Brooklyn twice, Boston twice, Sacramento, New Orleans, Indiana, and Philadelphia. The Magic have done well playing with their depth all season and will probably have the return of Jonathan Isaac in the postseason.

Nikola Vucevic and Evan Fournier have been the two-headed monster leading the offensive attack for the Magic. Moreover, Markelle Fultz, Aaron Gordon, and Terrence Ross have done a great job adding to Orlando’s versatility by complimenting their top two scorers all season.

At this point, the Magic have the depth and firepower to jump the Nets in the standings. Although the value is not very good for the Nets, they have the best chances of finishing eighth in the East. The likelihood of the Wizards getting into the top eight is very low at this point.

Best Bet: Brooklyn Nets (-250)

Will the 9th Seed Win a Play-In Tournament Game?

Prop Odds
Yes -105
No -125

Odds taken June 7, 2020.

Will The Wizards Make a Push?

The Washington Wizards are currently ninth in the East and are five and a half games behind the eighth seed. The Wizards have a very tough eight-game schedule, playing Milwaukee twice, Boston twice, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Phoenix, and the Lakers.

Although Bradley Beal has pledged his allegiance to Washington at this point, I do not believe this will be the year they will make the playoffs. They would need to shrink the margin to four games between them and the eighth-placed team to get into the play-in series and with their upcoming schedule that does not look very doable.

Even with the potential return of John Wall, competing with the Lakers and Bucks will be very difficult for this young Washington squad. Take the safer bet and wager on there being no play-in series with the ninth seed not even getting a chance to win a game.

Best Bet: No (-125)

Author Image