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NBA Future Odds Betting Advice: Western Conference Offers Intriguing Options

Our bettors provide the teams they’re backing in NBA future odds before the play-in tournaments begin.

The NBA playoff season is upon us with the Eastern Conference and Western Conference play-in tournaments beginning Tuesday.

The CavaliersNetsHawks and Hornets will battle for the two remaining Spots in the Eastern Conference, while the TimberwolvesClippersSpurs and Pelicans will fight for the seven- and eight-seeds in the Western Conference. 

Which NBA playoff futures should you lock in before the play-in tournaments begin? I asked SI’s betting staff where they see early value.

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Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) drives on Detroit Pistons’Braxton Key in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Detroit, Friday, April 8, 2022.’s Robin Lundberg:

The NBA is not known for huge upsets in terms of teams with long odds winning the title. So, despite this season being more wide open than ever, I’d still put my money on three teams—the three betting favorites. The Suns have played well enough all year that getting plus-odds is still something and the same goes for the Bucks, who, of course, beat Phoenix to win it all in the last NBA Finals. For a longer shot, the Nets still offer the best value as a team that has the talent to hoist a trophy despite need to play-in to the playoffs.

BETS: Suns (+275), Bucks (+500), Nets (+700)

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SI Recommends’s Kyle Wood:

It’s certainly a bit of a long shot, but give me Los Angeles at +3500 odds. If they beat the Timberwolves on Tuesday—something they’ve done three times in four tries this season—the Clippers will get the Grizzlies in Round 1. Memphis swept L.A., 4-0, in the regular season and Paul George played in two of those games, but I think this battle-tested Clippers team—possibly with Kawhi Leonard in tow—could get the best of the Grizzlies in a series. And if L.A. gets in as the eight-seed, they get the Suns in the first round. These teams split the season series, 2-2, and the Clippers pushed the Suns to six games in the West Finals last year without Leonard. If Los Angeles gets by Phoenix or Memphis, it opens up a much-easier path to a championship. Once the Clippers get in the postseason officially or news comes out about a Leonard return, their odds will drop dramatically. Get them while you still can and read my colleague Michael Pina who wrote in depth on why L.A. is a sleeping giant.

The Pick: Clippers (+3500)

SI Betting’s Matt Ehalt:

I want to take the Suns but there’s no value there. I really like the Bucks’ odds of +500, but let’s go with the Warriors at +900 odds. I don’t need to tell you about Golden State’s championship pedigree. Steph Curry can win games by himself. This is a team that knows it’s the postseason, not the regular season, that matters. Golden State can beat any team in the NBA and has shown it can best the Suns. I’m willing to take a shot at 9-1 value.

BET: Warriors (+900)

SI Fantasy’s Craig Ellenport

While the Suns are favored to win the NBA title, I am basing my pick here on the belief that Chris Paul is destined to end his career as one of the best players never to win a championship. The Eastern Conference is too unpredictable, so I’ll bet on a team in the West to reach the Finals. Steph Curry’s injury status is a concern. The Grizzlies, meanwhile, present good value. The Grizzlies had the second-best record in the NBA this season, yet they are the third option to win the West at SISportsbook. It’s Ja Morant’s time to shine.

BET: Grizzlies to win Western Conference (+550)

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