NBA Playoff Picture Odds
NBA Playoff Picture Odds vs. Current Standings: Updated 2/19/21
The above two images reveal the inconsistency between what the NBA Playoff betting odds suggest, and what the NBA 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 NBA Playoff 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.
How Is The NBA Playoff Picture Calculated?
The staff at Sports Betting Legal uses a combination of individual NBA game lines, division futures, conference futures, odds to win the NBA Finals, and current standings to calculate the NBA Playoff picture bracket.
Favored teams in individual game lines available at online NBA 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 NBA 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 2021 NBA Playoff Picture Odds Matter
Quite often, NBA 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-field advantage, the full impact of that wager cannot be realized.
Because the NBA Playoff 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 NBA 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 side of the coin, these NBA 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?
The NBA Playoffs is a 16-team tournament that determines the eventual NBA Champions for a given season. Each half of the bracket is separated between the NBA’s Eastern and Western Conference, with 8 teams advancing to the postseason from both conferences.
Each Conference features three Divisions. The team that finishes atop each Division is awarded one of the top four seeds in their respective half of the NBA Playoff bracket. The team that finishes second overall in each Conference will earn the second seed, even if they did not win their division.
This caveat allows for the top two seeds to avoid playing each other until the Conference Championship Game. If no team provides for this seed-jumping scenario, then the three conference winners are awarded the top three seeds with the remaining five teams qualifying for seeds 4 through 8.
The NBA Playoff Tournament is bracketed, meaning that there is no in-tournament re-seeding. Once teams earn a seed, their path to the NBA title is set in stone.
Playoff Picture vs. NBA Betting Odds
Any NBA 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 NBA 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 money line odds to win the NBA 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 NBA 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 Teams that Have Clinched Playoff Berths In 2021
- No NBA Teams have clinched a postseason berth at this time
Teams That Have Been Eliminated From 2021 NBA Playoffs Eligibility
- All NBA Teams remain in contention for the postseason at this time