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NBA Playoff Picture Odds

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The above two images reveal the inconsistency between what the NBA Playoff betting odds suggest, and what the postseason bracket would look like if the season ended today.

Because there are still regular-season games to be completed, both the standings and the eventual NBA Playoff bracket will continue to shift. However, if NBA sportsbook sites are correct with their championship futures and divisional odds, the playoff picture has the potential to remain in place.

Our purpose is to track these developments and reveal the ultimate outcome of those basketball betting odds in visual form. Oftentimes, these postseason brackets reveal seemingly impossible paths to the title, and having that information in your tool bag can make the difference between placing an educated bet or not.

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    How Is The NBA Playoff Picture Calculated?

    The staff at Sports Betting Legal uses a combination of individual game lines, division futures, conference futures, odds to win the NBA Finals, and current standings to calculate the 2024 post-season playoff picture bracket.

    Favored teams in individual game lines available at online sportsbooks are granted the win, and a mixture of futures odds and current standings dictates the seeding and how far they travel into the NBA Playoffs.

    These playoff picture odds are recalculated each week during the final stretch of the regular season to give bettors a glimpse into what the postseason odds are actually suggesting will occur.

    Why The NBA Playoff Picture 2024 Odds Matter

    Quite often, bettors gloss over a list of teams in the championship futures and place a wager on the team they think has the best chance of winning the Finals.

    While that may seem like a sound NBA Playoff betting strategy, without researching what opponents that team may have to face during the postseason, and who will possess home-court advantage, the full impact of that wager cannot be realized.

    Because the post-season brackets are seeded, paths are locked into place and could force a particular team onto an unlikely avenue for success with most of their games on the road.

    On paper, a #2 seed should have a reasonable shot at reaching the Conference Finals and making it to the championship best-of-seven series for the whole ball of wax.

    The playoff picture odds may tell a very different story for that #2 seed that can only be discovered when walking that difficult path with your own two eyes, and we’ve provided the roadmap for bettors above.

    On the other hand, these bracket odds can also unearth a lower seed that has a cupcake series or two in their future, unlocking the potential for big cash earnings by betting on their chances.

    How Does NBA Playoff Seeding Work?

    nba-pngThe playoffs is a 16-team tournament that determines the eventual Champions for a given season. The bracket is divided into the Eastern and Western Conferences, with 10 teams advancing to the postseason from each side.

    Each Conference features three Divisions, however, these divisions are mostly meaningless in regard to seeding. The top 6 teams in the Western and Eastern Conferences secure the top 6 seeds, respectively.

    Teams ranked 7 through 10 on each half of the bracket will participate in a play-in tournament where the final two seeds are up for grabs. It's 7 vs. 10 and 8 vs. 9, where the higher seed only needs to win one game to advance while the lower needs to win twice in a row.

    Once the playoff teams are set, the brackets are seeded and do not alter.

    Playoff Picture vs. NBA Betting Odds

    Any basketball odds that provide a list of teams and place a money line next to each one for their chances of finishing at the top can be considered a future bet. These futures odds list these teams in the order of most to least likely to win and are available for divisions, conferences, and the entire league.

    Championship futures are available at most online sportsbook sites by the time the odds for the NBA’s Christmas Day games have cashed in, but even at that early stage, they can tell a lengthy story months in advance.

    While these odds provide a decent guideline for how the final season standings will end up, the line is only considering each team’s potential to win the title and has less impact on the final standings than one would think.

    For instance, two teams from the same conference are often featured as the top two teams in the moneyline odds to win the league's championship. Logic would suggest that the top two teams in the future odds should be from opposite conferences because two teams from the same conference cannot compete for a championship.

    The 2024 playoff picture odds that we calculate factors in current divisional standings and seeding assignments and that small dose of reality provides the proper lens for which to evaluate your next postseason basketball bet.

    NBA Playoffs logo

    Teams That Have Clinched Playoff Berths In 2023-24

    • Boston Celtics
    • Milwaukee Bucks
    • Denver Nuggets
    • Orlando Magic
    • New York Knicks
    • Cleveland Cavaliers
    • Indiana Pacers
    • Philadelphia 76ers
    • Miami Heat
    • Chicago Bulls (play-in)
    • Atlanta Hawks (play-in)
    • Minnesota Timberwolves
    • Oklahoma City Thunder
    • LA Clippers
    • Dallas Mavericks
    • Phoenix Suns
    • New Orleans Pelicans
    • Sacramento Kings
    • Los Angeles Lakers
    • Golden State Warriors

    Teams That Have Been Eliminated From 2023-24 Playoff Eligibility

    • Washington Wizards
    • San Antonio Spurs
    • Detroit Pistons
    • Portland Trail Blazers
    • Charlotte Hornets
    • Memphis Grizzlies
    • Toronto Raptors
    • Utah Jazz
    • Brooklyn Nets
    • Houston Rockets

    Archived NBA Playoff Brackets

    Additional NBA Playoff Betting Resources

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