The Final Countdown: 2024 NBA Playoff Race Heats Up

The Final Countdown: 2024 NBA Playoff Race Heats Up

As the regular season winds down, the NBA playoff picture sharpens, bringing with it significant sports betting opportunities for Canadian basketball fans. There’s still plenty of play ahead of Sunday’s last slate of games and the ensuing play-in tournament – which runs from April 16 to 19.

Let’s reflect on an action-packed week of games, get up to speed with the current playoff standings, and speculate as to where teams making the most noise might end up in June, once all is said and done.

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Spotlight on Friday’s crucial NBA matchups with playoff implications

The first round of the NBA playoffs begins on April 20, 2024. Depending on how quickly first-round matchups are determined, the semifinals will get underway sometime between May 4-7. With playoff action all weekend long, we narrow our focus on the five games that matter most in terms of teams that look likely to progress all the way to the NBA championship game.

Clash for control in Orlando’s playoff push

With a win over Philadelphia, Orlando guarantees a postseason berth and keeps hopes alive for a top-3 finish thanks to tiebreak advantages over Indiana, Cleveland, and New York. A loss, though, may see them drop as low as eighth on Sunday, depending on Philly and Indiana’s results. For the Sixers, wins in their final games are a must to avoid the play-in, with a loss potentially putting them into seventh place.

Cavs vs. Pacers: battle for the top four

Wins for the Pacers over Orlando and Cleveland could move them up to fourth place. However, two straight losses could land them as low as ninth. Although fourth is probably their best-case scenario, a Cavs win here keeps their limited prospects of a top-4 finish alive and a chance to move up to second.

Thunder strikes in OKC’s seeding scramble

Oklahoma City might lock up the third seed, but a Denver defeat could upset the top spots, especially with Minnesota playing in their last game. Despite their recent difficulties, The Bucks still have a chance to top the rankings with a couple of victories and favourable outcomes elsewhere in the league.

Warriors vs. Pelicans: A strategic standoff

If New Orleans wins and Phoenix loses, the Pelicans will be guaranteed the sixth spot. In contrast, a defeat may see them tumble to sixth. Golden State might go up to the seventh or eighth spot based on other outcomes, but losing any of their previous games would probably drop them to the tenth seed.

Kings’ Court: Sacramento’s seeding saga

Sacramento can fight to avoid the tenth spot by either winning their last two games for the eighth seed, or relying on losses from the Lakers or Warriors for ninth. They hold the tiebreaker advantage, allowing them a shot at seventh if they win out and Phoenix falters in their final games.

Find Me a Winner: Breaking Down the Latest NBA Championship Odds

Entering into the 2024 NBA playoffs, here are current odds for teams that have shown potential this season. Before placing your bets, we suggest keeping updated with team news and player injuries, as these can drastically alter betting landscapes overnight.

NBA Championship favourites lead by a trio of talent

The Boston Celtics is closing the season as one of the most dominant teams in recent memory and the NBA championship favourites with odds of +170. The trio of Tatum, Brown, and Porzingis have spearheaded the Celtics’ performance, with more than two points per 100 possessions better than any other team offensively.

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The Jokic factor: evaluating the Nugget’s championship aspirations

The title-defining Denver Nuggets are favoured second and available at odds of +350. Their success largely hinges on the stellar play of Nikola Jokić. He has solidified his status as the league’s most dominant centre, averaging 26.6 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 9.0 assists per game so far this season.

Best of the rest: dark horse contenders in the NBA Playoffs

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After a woeful 22-game stretch in February and March, the Los Angeles Clippers (+900) have slowly begun to rediscover the play that saw them lead the West back in nearly February.

Teams that provide interesting options for underdog backers are the Oklahoma City Thunder (+1600) and the Milwaukee Bucks (+1700). However, these franchises will need to reinvent themselves fast if they are to have any say in who lifts the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy come June.

Head over to DRIP Casino and make your predictions about the outcome of the 2024 NBA playoffs. There are plenty of betting markets and player props to choose from.

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