2022 NBA Playoffs: Betting Tips for Favorites and Long Shots to Win the Finals

The 2022 NBA playoffs begin Saturday. There are many intriguing matchups in both conferences. The East Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving?, and Jayson TatumHighlight a star-studded series that aired between the Brooklyn Nets Boston CelticsWhile James HardenMakes his playoff debut with The Philadelphia 76ersAgainst Pascal SiakamThe Toronto Raptors.

The West has the Phoenix SunsThe top seed won, but there were many other teams that could be in the way of the winners in an open race for the NBA Finals. The second-seeded Memphis GrizzliesIt was led by Ja Morant, and the sixth-seeded Denver NuggetsThe reigning MVP Nikola JokicThey are also included in the mix.

Which teams are the most valuable to win the title? What long shot is worth taking? And which series in the first round should you take part in?

This roundtable features Joe Fortenbaugh (betting analyst), Doug Kezirian (snellings analyst), Eric Moody (snellings analyst), and Eric Moody (spellings analyst).

Caesars Sportsbook provides odds


Are the odds of your favorite winning the NBA title worth the risk?

Fortenbaugh: Memphis Grizzlies (14-1)

Memphis isn’t getting the respect that it deserves because many people don’t know about the Grizzlies. We haven't seen the Grizzlies do it before, so why should they believe in us now? This is the same sentiment people used to say about the Phoenix Suns in 2015 and the Golden State Warriors this spring. Memphis is ranked sixth in the NBA for both offensive efficiency and defensive efficiency, and third in road wins. Think of it like this: Would you rather have 14-1 with the résumé I just laid out, complete with the 2-seed, or would you rather take 14-1 with a dysfunctional Philadelphia squad seeded fourth in the East?

Snellings: Miami Heat (10-1), Philadelphia 76ers (14-1)

This season was unique in that five teams have a chance of winning the NBA championship. The odds of them succeeding are 9-1. At +1000, Heat are attractive. They are a veteran team that has main rotation players who have been through championships and are ready for playoff basketball. They are a great defense. Bam AdebayoP.J. Tucker, who are frontline defensemen capable of making it difficult for several MVP-caliber East players. Their offense is diverse and efficient, too. Kyle Lowry, Tyler Herro?, and Jimmy ButlerIn the half court, they are capable of producing both team and isolated offense. Their veteran players can rest on the day off in between games, which allows them to keep their best performances in the postseason. Miami performed well enough in regular season to be awarded the top seed. The Bucks and Heat have the best matchups in the first round, giving them an advantage over other teams facing tougher challenges to make it to the Finals.

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Erin Dolan shares her favourite bet in the first round series between the Raptors & 76ers.

I also like the 76ers at 14-1. What time? James HardenWhen they joined the team, there was widespread consensus that they should be the favourites to win it all. Philadelphia has not lived up to expectations so far. Harden has been a little less than his usual level, but he's still dangerous. With Joel EmbiidHarden is arguably the best player on court in every game. A slight uptick in Harden would give them that unguardable 1-2 punch that will make them extremely competitive in the postseason. Although they have a long road ahead of them, the Sixers are likely to be among the best teams if they can play to their full potential.

Moody: Miami Heat (10-1)

The Heat are a great value at +1000. It is hard to miss them. Erik Spoelstra, the coach of the Heat, is an excellent choice. He's got a lot to offer and has a winning attitude. Adebayo, Butler, and Herro are the elite. Herro is the frontrunner for Sixth Man Of The Year. The Heat are 11th among teams in scoring points per 100 possessions. They also excel at defense. Miami is an underrated pick with a straightforward path to the Eastern Conference finals.

Kezirian: Golden State Warriors (9-1)

The Warriors are tied for fourth-shortest odds. I would bet on them at +900. This team will be the best version possible of itself after the playoffs. Klay ThompsonFinally, he is showing signs of peak form. He has scored 33-plus points in his three previous games, with at least six 3-pointers in each. Stephen CurryExpected to return for the playoff opening, but will be under a minute restriction. They'll be tough if they can avoid serious injury. Curry, Thompson and others are the problem. Draymond GreenThe entire season we played together for only 11 minutes. Aside from that, the Western Conference has fewer credible contenders than East. That's why I love choosing a top West team.

Is it worth spending money on a long shot at winning the NBA title?

Fortenbaugh: None

1995 was the last year that a team seeded below the top three won the NBA championship. Houston RocketsThe sweep of the Orlando Magic. A team that is seeded second or first has won the NBA title 12 times in the past 14 seasons. Given the past history, I am not in hurry to back a long shot such as Denver (25-1) and Toronto (60-1). Dallas at 40-1 is interesting if Luka DoncicIt is possible to quickly get back, but there are many unknowns.

Moody: Utah Jazz (22-1)

With Doncic unavailable for at least the first two series games, the Jazz could have an edge over the Mavericks. The Western Conference is very competitive. The Jazz are a solid team in both defense and offense. They are the Association's top scorer in points per 100 possessions. They also have the highest effective field goal percentage and offensive rebounds. They are ninth in points allowed for 100 possessions. Their opponents are limited by their offensive rebounding and field goals percentage. Bet on the Jazz @ +2200

Kezirian: LA Clippers (70-1)

It's impossible, but I am paying attention to the Clippers at 7-1. They need to win Friday night to make it to the playoffs. But they're at home, and I think they will be able to handle their business. Clips are not an 8-seed due to injuries. Paul GeorgeJust returned from injury, and looks amazing. George is their defensive coach. Nicolas Batum, Norman Powell Robert CovingtonTo go along with lots of shooting. Ty Lue, head coach, did a fantastic job this season and can push all the right buttons against Phoenix in round one. Plus, there is a chance Kawhi LeonardAlthough everyone knows what to expect, injury victims will eventually return from their injuries. It's 70-1 which is 1.6% probability. This team also has tons of talent.

Which series in the first round has the highest betting value?

Fortenbaugh: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

Minnesota was a great story in the regular season. I will always have a special place for this team, as they made it so easy to cash my 34 regular-season wins ticket. But that is it. The Grizzlies are one the most balanced teams in the league, and they have enjoyed a lot of success away from their home. They are third in NBA in road wins, and they rank in the top 10 in offensive efficiency and defense efficiency when playing away to FedEx Forum. However, the Timberwolves rank 25th for defensive efficiency on the roads and gave up an average of 116.2 points per game (last place in the NBA). The Wolves were 20-21 away at Target Center, which is a surprise. This series will be a nightmare for them.

Moody: Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets

It's the Nets and Celtics, in my opinion. Boston is No. The East is the 2nd seed. The Celtics are ranked first in defensive rating and 10th in points scored for 100 possessions. The Nets aren't your average No. 7 seed. This series is sure to be exciting.

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Tyler Fulgham shares his best betting strategy for the playoff matchup between Celtics and Nets.

Snellings: Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets

I think the Celtics will win the game easily. They are still worth my consideration, even though they are a slight favorite (-145) Boston has been the East's top team for the second-half of the season. The Celtics enter postseason with the largest BPI in all of NBA. The Celtics wouldn't be at their full potential without the Time Lord. But even with him, they are still strong. Robert Williams IIIThey still have too much power at both ends of court for the Nets. All eyes will be on the big matchup between the superstar duos. Kevin Durant Kyrie Irving vs. Jayson Tatum Jaylen BrownBut it's also the other Celtics, like Marcus Smart, Al Horford Derrick White, as well as their role players in Coach Ime Udoka’s system that should propel them to the next round.

Kezirian: Milwaukee Bucks vs. Chicago Bulls

Bucks -2.5 Games (-190), is my top pick. The Bulls seem to be incredibly outmatched and Milwaukee seems like it is peaking at the right times. Brook LopezThe injury didn't heal until recent weeks, but this team is back and looking great. Chicago has not defeated a Milwaukee team. Giannis AntetokounmpoIn the lineup since 2017, which includes all four regular-season meetings this season.

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