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LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers are near the top of the latest NBA playoff odds.

The race for the NBA title starts with a playoff berth. Last season, the NBA held a play-in tournament between the 7-10 seeded teams from the regular season to determine who would be the 7 and 8 seeds in the playoffs.

The league will again hold the tournament to determine seeding, and oddsmakers at Bovada have updated the odds accordingly to reflect who they think is most likely to make the playoffs, and who could miss.

Bovada lists the Nets way up at the top of the list at -20000, with the Bucks, Jazz, Suns and Lakers rounding out the top five teams most likely to advance to the postseason.

Each team’s odds to make or miss the playoffs are listed below and are courtesy of Bovada. Read on to see a couple of teams we think are worth betting on to make or miss the NBA playoffs. 

Brooklyn Nets Lead Odds To Make NBA Playoffs In 2021-22

2021-22 NBA Playoff Odds
Team Make Playoffs 2020-21 Season Finish
Brooklyn Nets -20000 2nd in East
Milwaukee Bucks -8000 3rd in East
Utah Jazz -5000 1st in West
Phoenix Suns -3000 2nd in West
Los Angeles Lakers -3000 7th in West
Philadelphia 76ers -2000 1st in East
Miami Heat -1000 6th in East
Dallas Mavericks -650 5th in West
Denver Nuggets -650 3rd in West
Golden State Warriors -600 9th in West
Atlanta Hawks -500 5th in East
Boston Celtics -500 7th in East
Los Angeles Clippers -300 4th in West
Portland Trail Blazers -250 6th in West
Chicago Bulls -170 11th in East
Indiana Pacers -160 9th in East
New York Knicks -140 4th in East
Memphis Grizzlies +110 8th in West
Charlotte Hornets +180 10th in East
New Orleans Pelicans +220 11th in West
Toronto Raptors +250 12th in East
Sacramento Kings +350 12th in West
Washington Wizards +550 8th in East
Minnesota Timberwolves +600 13th in West
San Antonio Spurs +1000 10th in West
Houston Rockets +1800 15th in West
Cleveland Cavaliers +2000 13th in East
Detroit Pistons +2000 15th in East
Oklahoma City Thunder +2500 14th in West
Orlando Magic +2500 14th in East

Odds as of October 19 at Bovada

NBA Playoff Odds: Value Picks To Wager On

New Orleans Pelicans (+220)

Losing Lonzo Ball was a pretty big blow to the Pels this offseason and it’s easy to see why oddsmakers have given them just a 31.25 percent chance of making the playoffs. 

This is a bet on young talent improving – and the Pelicans have plenty of it. Brandon Ingram took a step forward in his development last season and played the most minutes of his career. If he can maintain that level of play while the team gets improved play from the likes of Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Jaxson Hayes, they should be right on the cusp of a spot.

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But the biggest bet you’re making when taking the Pelicans in NBA playoff odds is on the development of Zion Williamson. Zion led the team in points per game last season and has shown in his brief time in the NBA that he’s a matchup nightmare.

If Zion takes another step toward, becoming the dominant force he’s capable of being, the Pelicans should easily find their way into the playoffs.

They have attractive odds at +220.

Charlotte Hornets (+180)

Some more good value here in NBA playoff odds as the Hornets added a ton of new young talent to a roster with some very interesting pieces in place already.

Charlotte added guard James Bouknight (11th overall) and forward Kai Jones (19th overall) in the draft in addition to Ish Smith, Mason Plumlee and Kelly Oubre Jr. through free agency. 

Those additions plus a likely step forward from second-year star-in-the-making LaMelo Ball should put the Hornets right in the 8-11 range in the East. A play-in tournament berth is likely, but they’re worth betting on at +180.

Best Bet: Toronto Raptors (+250)

Full disclosure that this writer is a Raptors fan. But hear me out.

The Raps had a disastrous season last year playing all of their home games in Tampa on top of dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak that ravaged the team.

There’s no doubt that losing the greatest Raptor ever in Kyle Lowry is a big blow to the team’s playoff chances, but they won’t have to deal with playing every game essentially on the road again and fingers are crossed that they can avoid another bout of COVID. 

Getting Precious Achiuwa and Goran Dragic back in the Lowry deal should help offset the loss of Lowry while anything they get from No. 4 pick Scottie Barnes is a bonus. 

This is no longer a championship roster, but if the Raps can hover around .500 this season, they should be in the mix for a play-in tournament spot. It is well worth betting on that they can advance through that at +250 odds. 

Understanding NBA Odds To Make The Playoffs

When you visit any basketball betting site, you’ll see a team’s playoff odds laid out like this:

Charlotte Hornets

Yes +385

No -625

In this case, the Hornets have a 20.6 percent chance of making the playoffs and an 86.2 percent chance of not making an appearance. Keep in mind that the sportsbook takes a cut of every bet. This is called the vig or the juice and you can’t avoid it, unfortunately. However, you could still get value on your bets if you win – more on that below.

Making a bet on No at -625, you’d need to bet $625 just to win $100 in profit.  On the other hand, if you think they will go on a tear and qualify for the playoffs, that same $100 on Yes at +385 would give you a payout of $485 – your $100 comes back along with your winnings of $385.

To find out what you’d win based on the odds and amount you bet, check out our Odds Calculator.

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What Is A Prop Bet On NBA Playoff Odds?

A prop is a bet on the occurrence or non-occurrence of specific team or player milestones that don’t always correlate to the result of a particular game. Here, the prop bet is on a team to make or not make the playoffs.

When oddsmakers create the lines, they are subject to change. As the season goes on, the odds will shift to reflect how a team is doing. We suggest taking odds you like as soon as you see them. As we mentioned above, in order to get great betting value should your bet win, you want to get a team at plus (+) money if you can before they move into minus (-) territory.