The NBA Playoffs is heating up with how the conference semifinals look at the moment. Reigning champions, Golden State Warriors, are currently trailing Los Angeles Lakers after losing their first three of four semifinal games.
Meanwhile, in the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics are locked in a head-to-head, 2-2 battle, while the Miami Heat looks set to trounce New York Knicks. And the Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns are duking it out for a spot in the Western Conference finals.
Trying to make a smart bet can be challenging with such exciting matches, so let’s look at the teams most likely make it to the finals while giving you the most value for your money.
The NBA’s Eastern Conference is currently watching the 76ers, Celtics, Heat, and Knicks battle each other to see who will proceed to the conference finals. Only one of them will ultimately make it to the NBA finals.
Number 3 seed Philadelphia 76ers have one of the steadiest odds at the moment at +260, and their recent stats back it up. They swept the number 6 seed Brooklyn Nets with a 4-0 record during their first-round games, unlike the Celtics (-320), who had to go to game 6 to secure a semi-finals spot.
Will the 76ers make it all the way? If they maintain their consistency, it’s likely, but expect a few nail-biter games.
Eighth-seed Miami Heat don’t have the best odds right now at -950, but don’t forget they were responsible for toppling down first-seed favorites Milwaukee Bucks. It’s not as if the Heat struggled – they won against the Bucks 4-1.
Heat currently have the advantage against the Knicks at 3-1, despite the latter sitting at +625 odds. Don’t be fooled, however, because the Knicks also won their first-round game 4-1 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Currently, the Heat are poised to secure their conference finals spot and possibly even the finals.
The Western Conference is the conference to watch. Lebron’s Lakers are ready to create an upset with their 3-1 lead over Curry’s Warriors, while Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns are tied at 2-2. If you’re looking for NBA excitement, this conference has it in spades.
The Western Conference’s fourth seed, Phoenix Suns (+162), looks more likely to win their semifinals game over first-seed Denver Nuggets (-195). Both teams performed admirably in their first-round matches, winning 4-1 against their opponents. But in terms of consistency, the Suns performed better with their four straight wins after a Game 1 loss.
The momentum is currently with the Suns, although Game 5 is at Denver. Regardless, the Suns are no stranger to sweeping everything from the bottom if their first-round performance is any indication.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers might be in -520 odds right now, but they’ve been performing better than the Warriors throughout the season. They won their first-round games 4-2, unlike the Warriors, who had to force a seventh game just to make it to the semifinals.
Although the Warriors could dig deep and win their next three games in a row, their record this season simply does not support such a feat. Lebron’s Lakers have a better chance of winning the conference and the finals. Our pick is the Lakers to win it all this year.