The NBA playoff race is starting to pick up speed now that the schedule is rolling into March. That means the division standings are tightening – at least in those divisions that are still up for grabs.
There is still a lot of basketball to be played and these divisions could flip-flop by the end of the regular season. Here’s a look at the current NBA sports betting picks to win these divisions and which team has the best chance of topping the table.
Atlantic Division: Toronto -125, Boston +110, Philadelphia +1000, Brooklyn +16000, New York +25000
The Raptors have the inside track right now and as the odds would indicate, it’s really a two-horse race between Toronto and Boston. Philadelphia has been inconsistent all season and just lost star point guard Ben Simmons for an extended period and Brooklyn will be without Kyrie Irving for the remainder of the season.
The Raptors and Celtics were the two hottest teams heading into the All-Star break but both have had their issues with injuries. Boston is currently missing shooting guard Kemba Walker due to a knee problem and Toronto is down center Marc Gasol.
The Celtics play 12 of their final 25 games on the road, including a huge matchup in Toronto on March 20. The Raptors have 13 of their remaining 24 contests away from home, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing for the defending champs, seeing that they’re 19-8 SU on the road this season.
Northwest Division: Denver -190, Utah +170, Oklahoma City +1200, Minnesota +25000, Portland +25000
The Northwest is the most competitive conference in the West, probably in the entire NBA. While the Nuggets and Jazz look like the front runners to win the division, the Thunder are right in the mix with 36 wins – tied with Utah and only four games behind Denver’s 40 wins.
The biggest edge for the Nuggets beyond its current first-place standing is its dominance inside the Northwest. The Nuggets are 10-1 SU against divisional opponents on the season and that should keep the contenders at bay down the stretch. Denver is also a solid road team at 17-11 SU away from home and plays 13 of its final 24 games on the road. The schedule also favors the Nuggets in the final month, with just three of their final 10 games coming outside the Pepsi Center.
Oklahoma City could be a live long shot here. The Thunder are just as good on the road as the Nuggets at 17-11 SU and are 7-4 SU versus Northwest Division foes. This team is 8-2 in its last 10 games, including winning four in a row heading into Thursday. OKC is efficient on offense and a very sound defensive team, giving up only 108 points per game and making it tough on opponents from beyond the 3-point line. The Thunder have a home and away game remaining against the Nuggets and two homestands versus the Jazz before the end of the season.