The Phoenix Suns have a good outlook in the NBA playoff picture

NBA Playoff Picture: A Crowded Race In The West

The 2022-23 NBA playoff picture is taking shape. As always, the race on the fringes is very tight, and there will be plenty of jockeying for a postseason spot or a berth into the play-in tournament.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at each NBA team’s playoff chances the rest of the way.

NBA Playoff Picture: Eastern Conference

Team Record Playoff Chances
Milwaukee Bucks 43-17 >99%
Boston Celtics 44-18 >99%
Philadelphia 76ers 39-21 >99%
Cleveland Cavaliers 39-25 >99%
New York Knicks 36-27 95%
Brooklyn Nets 34-26 82%
Miami Heat 33-29 80%
Atlanta Hawks 31-30 63%
Toronto Raptors 30-32 41%
Washington Wizards 28-32 21%
Chicago Bulls 28-33 15%
Indiana Pacers 27-35 2%

The bolded teams are in playoff position. As such, those teams have higher playoff chances. If you’re looking for a more precise outlook on the NBA playoff picture, check out our NBA playoff odds or championship odds

Brooklyn Nets Playoff Chances

34-26, 6th in the East, 82% chance to make playoffs

I want to narrow in on the Nets because their championship odds fell off a cliff after the Kevin Durant trade. After KD went to the Suns, the Nets fell from +2500 to +8000 and have gone 1-4 SU. The wheels are falling off, yet the Nets have an 82 percent chance to make the playoffs. What’s giving them hope?

Mikal Bridges has looked smooth since donning a Nets uniform, but Brooklyn might not stand a chance down the stretch. The Nets have the fifth-most difficult remaining schedule, including two games each against the Celtics and Nuggets, which makes things extra challenging. The playoff percentages favor the Nets, but if I was betting on this futures market, I’d fade Brooklyn.

Toronto Raptors Playoff Chances

30-32, 9th in the East, 41% chance to make playoffs

Raptors fans have been put through the bloody ringer this year. From a potential rebuild on the horizon to a half-baked buy-in at the trade deadline, Toronto hasn’t maintained a clear direction in 2022-23. Now the Raps might make the playoffs? Man.

The 41 percent likelihood seems very accurate. The Raptors have the second-hardest remaining schedule in the NBA, but Toronto has gone 4-2 since the deadline and looks, finally, to be headed in the right direction. It might be too little too late, though, as time is running out. I believe the Raptors can still make the postseason (or win out via the play-ins) but I’d need good value to bet on it.

 NBA Playoff Picture: Western Conference

Team Record Playoff Chances
Denver Nuggets 43-19 >99%
Memphis Grizzlies 36-23 >99%
Sacramento Kings 35-25 88%
Phoenix Suns 33-29 90%
Los Angeles Clippers 33-30 78%
Dallas Mavericks 32-30 89%
Golden State Warriors 31-30 76%
Utah Jazz 31-31 25%
Minnesota Timberwolves 31-32 46%
New Orleans Pelicans 30-32 37%
Portland Trail Blazers 29-31 15%
Los Angeles Lakers 29-32 50%
Oklahoma City Thunder 28-32 5%

There’s way more parity in the Western Conference compared to the East, and as a result, the playoff chances are all skewed.

Utah Jazz Playoff Chances

31-31, 8th in the West, 41% chance to make playoffs

Am I missing something?

The Jazz’s roster has outperformed expectations this season — Lauri Markkanen is a dynamite player — and Utah can easily ride the hot hand into a pre-playoff tournament. On top of all that, the Jazz have the 11th-easiest remaining schedule in the NBA.

Utah is hanging in there at the No. 8 spot with a big chunk of games to go. There are a lot of fringe playoff candidates but the Jazz are among the most capable squads. I’d recommend a futures bet on Utah to make the postseason.

Los Angeles Lakers Playoff Chances

29-32, 12th in the West, 50% chance to make playoffs

The Lakers are gonna Laker, and the market will always be pretty bullish on them. Yet, with a LeBron James injury that’s expected to keep their star out for multiple weeks, I’m willing to source the largest megaphone I can find and scream FADE! at the top of my lungs.

Los Angeles’ playoff chances are grossly overinflated. I like the Jazz or even the Thunder to make the playoffs before the Lakers.