- BetOnline has updated odds on what Western Conference teams will miss and make the playoffs
- Ja Morant and the Grizzlies will have to fend off four clubs to earn a postseason berth (+155)
- The Blazers are still alive for a playoff spot (+250) thanks to the play of All-Star guard Damian Lillard
While the Eastern Conference bracket is almost set in stone, the race in the West could get wild with five franchises battling it out for the last remaining playoff spot.
With Denver, Utah, Dallas, Houston and the two LA clubs considered locks to participate in the end-of-year tournament, let’s look at BetOnline and determine what bubble teams will make and miss the postseason.
NBA WESTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFF ODDS
|Team||Make Playoffs||Miss Playoffs|
|Golden State Warriors||+4000||-15000|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+250||-300|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||-550||+425|
|San Antonio Spurs||+250||-300|
THUNDER AND GRIZZLIES IN PLAYOFF POSITION
Despite having 29 wins (the same as both Dallas and Houston) and being only 4.5-games back of the Nuggets for the Northwest-division lead, the Thunder are included on the above list of bubble teams; albeit as a heavy favorite (-550) to make the playoffs.
Oklahoma City looks primed to trade Danilo Gallinari before the deadline, but with a seven-game pad they should be able to hold on to their playoff spot even without the Italian’s 19 points per game.
How did Ja Morant make this?pic.twitter.com/SrPOoXG5BN
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) January 29, 2020
With four clubs within five games of the eighth-place Grizzlies, oddsmakers believe Memphis has a better chance at missing the playoffs (-175) than making them (+155). Our advice would be to jump on the +155 while you still can.
Riding a four-game winning streak, the Grizz are now 2.5 games up on a Spurs team that has lost to the Bulls, Suns and Hawks in recent weeks. Meanwhile, Memphis’ loaded young core of Rookie of the Year favorite Ja Morant, Brandon Clarke and Jaren Jackson Jr. will be on full display at the NBA Rising Stars Game.
CHASING MEMPHIS FOR EIGHTH PLACE
Prior to the season, we recommended betting San Antonio to miss the playoffs (+170) for the first time in 23 years. And with rumors circulating that they could jump-start their rebuild by dealing LaMarcus Aldridge and/or DeMar DeRozan, we don’t feel comfortable investing in the Spurs’ postseason chances at +250.
Zion Williamson has been remarkable in his return from injury, averaging 18 points and 8.3 rebounds in just 24 minutes per game. The Pelicans are certainly capable of going on a late-season run, but would have to make up five games and leapfrog four teams to make the playoffs (+250).
? Need ALL the angles of @Zionwilliamson's MASSIVE DENIAL! #NBARooks pic.twitter.com/LYEbkQ6DT5
— NBA (@NBA) January 25, 2020
With impressive wins over Houston and Indiana in the past week, Portland (+250) is the more enticing bet to get back into the tournament.
Damian Lillard, the reigning NBA Western Conference Player of the Week, showed he’s plenty capable of putting the Blazers on his back last week with averages of 52.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 9.3 assists.
CJ McCollum also returned to his high-scoring ways this week after missing three games with injury, and both Carmelo Anthony and new acquisition Trevor Ariza should provide veteran savvy down the stretch.
If anyone is going to catch Memphis, it’s going to be the Blazers.