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Updated 2021 NBA Playoff Odds After Season’s First Half – Best Bets to Make Postseason

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in NBA Basketball

Updated Mar 5, 2021 · 6:00 AM PST

Golden State Warriors
Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors are looking to make a return trip to the NBA Playoffs after a down season in 2019-20. Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire.
  • The NBA has reached its halfway point and you can bet on which teams will make the playoffs
  • Golden State is a screaming value given its price, efficiency stats, and favorable schedule down the stretch
  • See below for odds, analysis and our favorite bets to make the 2021 NBA Playoffs

With All-Star weekend upon us, we’ve reached the halfway point of this shortened NBA season. With roughly 36 games under most team’s belts, we’ve now got a sense of who is a contender, and who is a pretender. It’s time to put that knowledge to good use, and identify the best value bets to make the NBA Playoffs.

Postseason odds have been released for most of the league’s 30 teams, excluding the locks to make the playoffs like the Jazz, Sixers, Nets and Lakers to name a few, as well as the locks to miss like the Cavaliers for example.

2021 NBA Playoff Odds

Team  Yes Odds No Odds
Boston Celtics -1800 +880
Miami Heat -800 +520
Toronto Raptors -750 +490
Indiana Pacers -215 +172
Atlanta Hawks -110 -110
New York Knicks +158 -196
Charlotte Hornets +158 -196
Washington Wizards +270 -355
Chicago Bulls +360 -500
Orlando Magic +1260 -4000
Team  Yes Odds No Odds
Phoenix Suns -3000 +1100
Denver Nuggets -1300 +730
Dallas Mavericks -355 +270
Portland Trail Blazers -225 +180
Golden State Warriors -130 +106
San Antonio Spurs -106 -114
Memphis Grizzlies +205 -260
New Orleans Pelicans +220 -280
Sacramento Kings +610 -1000

Odds as of March 4th at FanDuel.

The first team that jumps off the page in the NBA Playoff Odds Tracker has to be the Golden State Warriors, even though they’re technically in ninth place in the West. Steph Curry and company have rebounded nicely after a lost season in 2019-20, posting a 19-17 record through 36 games, with impressive wins over the LA Lakers and Clippers already on their resume.

Warriors Worth a Wager

Golden State currently has the seventh highest projected chance among Western Conference teams to make the playoffs, according to ESPN’s advanced analytics, yet their odds don’t reflect that. For context, the Warriors have a 77.2% chance to make the playoffs and are priced at -130, while the Mavericks playoff projection in only 3 points higher (80.4%), yet they’re priced at -355.

Even more curious is the price tag of the Portland Trail Blazers. Portland has just a 59.9% playoff projection, yet checks in with odds of -225 to be playing postseason basketball.  Of course, we need to take these numbers with a grain of salt, but the fact of the matter is the Warriors are a big time value for plenty of reasons.

Offensively, Curry is scoring at the second highest rate of his career (29.7 ppg), and the team ranks 10th in three-point makes, 12th in true shooting percentage, and second in assists. They have the sixth best point differential in the West, but believe it or not, its the defense that deserves most of the credit.

Golden State ranks fifth in the entire league in defensive efficiency, and allows the fourth fewest points per 100 possessions. Only the Knicks yield a lower field-goal percentage to enemy shooters, and the offseason additions of guys like Andrew Wiggins, Kelly Oubre Jr, and Kent Bazemore to name a few, have made this team extremely difficult to play against.

Another reason to be bullish on Warriors’ playoff chances, is a favorable schedule down the stretch. Eight of their last 10 games are against teams currently outside the postseason picture, with seven of those games coming against four of the five worst teams in the West.

Pick: Golden State to Make Playoffs (-130)

Don’t Sleep on Charlotte

Switching to the Eastern Conference now, where the best value appears to be the Charlotte Hornets. James Borrego’s bunch heads into the break occupying seventh place, but are a bargain compared to a team like the Pacers, who are currently outside of the top-eight.

The Hornets have a +158 price tag to make the playoffs, despite having a 65.9% projected chance to be a postseason team according to ESPN. That’s fractionally better than Indiana, but the Pacers are priced significantly shorter (-215). Those odds make even less sense given the fact that Indiana has dropped five of its past six, while last season’s leading scorer T.J. Warren still isn’t close to returning from a foot injury.

Charlotte made major moves in the offseason, brining in Gordon Hayward and drafting LaMelo Ball. The younger brother of Lonzo, LaMelo is a star in the making, and is one of three first round draft picks from the past two years that is having a major impact.

P.J. Washington is just two games removed from a 42-point outburst, while Malik Monk is averaging 22 points over his past five outings. The Hornets are one of the strongest three-point shooting teams in the league, and their blend of exciting young talent and veteran leadership has made them a difficult out every night.

They’ve already racked up victories over the Suns, Bucks and Nets, and offer the most value of any Eastern Conference team with a strong shot to make the postseason.

Pick: Charlotte Hornets to Make Playoffs (+158)

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