NBA playoff odds: Can Wizards bump Nets? Is it Grizzlies or Pelicans out West?

June 30, 2020 12:14 AM

The Brooklyn Nets can't catch a break. Already down Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, Brooklyn found out on Monday that center DeAndre Jordan and guard Spencer Dinwiddie both tested positive for the Coronavirus. Jordan announced that he will be opting out of the remainder of the NBA season.

Dinwiddie hasn't announced his intentions yet, but may end up opting out as well. This comes on the heels of another Nets player, forward Wilson Chandler, opting out of Orlando due to concerns for his family. 

Jordan was averaging 8.3 points and 10 rebounds this season while Dinwiddie was the team's second-leading scorer at 20.6 points per game. 

The Nets (30-34) occupy the 7th spot in the playoffs. The Magic (30-25) sit in the 8th spot and only trail Brooklyn by a half-game. The other Eastern Conference team traveling to Orlando is the Wizards. Washington (24-40) is on the outside looking in, currently 5.5 games back of the 8th and final spot. 

With Nets' players dropping out, it begs the question: Can the Wizards leapfrog Brooklyn and sneak into the playoffs? With only 8 regular-season games in Orlando, Washington would need to go nearly undefeated while the Nets would have to go virtually winless.

So what do the oddsmakers think?

Here are the latest odds to make the playoffs at BetMGM

Nets

Yes -10000, No + 1200

Magic

Yes -10000, No + 1200

Wizards

Yes + 1400, No -5000

Here are the Nets opponents in Orlando: Magic, Wizards, Bucks, Celtics, Kings, Clippers, Magic, Blazers

Here are the Wizards opponents: Suns, Nets, Pacers, 76ers, Pelicans, Thunder, Bucks, Celtics

Washington will also be missing a key player in Davis Bertans (15.4 PPG). The 27-year-old sharpshooter will be sitting out Orlando to avoid injury as he enters free agency. 

According to the oddsmakers, there's virtually no shot at the Wizards sneaking into the playoffs despite the Nets losing so many players. The Nets and Magic are both -10000 favorites to make the postseason, which translates to a 99% implied probability. 

The Western Conference is more wide open. While only nine Eastern Conference teams are traveling to Orlando, the West is sending 13 teams. Seven of them have already clinched a playoff spot: Lakers, Clippers, Nuggets, Jazz, Thunder, Rockets and Mavericks. This leaves six teams fighting for one remaining playoff spot.

The Grizzlies (32-33) occupy the 8th seed, followed by the Blazers (29-37), Pelicans (28-36), Kings (28-36), Spurs (27-36) and Suns (26-39).

Here are the latest odds to make the postseason 

Grizzlies

Yes -150, No + 115

Pelicans 

Yes + 325, No -455

Blazers

Yes + 350, No -556

Kings

Yes + 1000, No -3334

Spurs

Yes + 1400, No -5000

Suns

Yes + 5000, No N/A

Right off the bat, you can all but cross off the Suns, Spurs and Kings based on their improbable odds. This leaves the Grizzlies, Pelicans and Blazers fighting for one spot.

Here is each team's schedule in Orlando

Grizzlies will play: Blazers, Spurs, Pelicans, Jazz, Thunder, Raptors, Celtics, Bucks

Pelicans will play: Jazz, Clippers, Grizzlies, Kings, Wizards, Spurs, Kings, Magic

Blazers will play: Grizzlies, Celtics, Rockets, Nuggets, Clippers, 76ers, Mavericks, Nets

The Blazers have the toughest schedule by far, facing six teams above .500. Portland will also be without Trevor Ariza, who is sitting out due to family reasons.

Reading between the lines, it looks like a two-team race for the 8th and final spot: Either the Grizzlies or Pelicans. New Orleans has a much easier schedule, facing only two teams above .500. Memphis faces five teams above .500, but leads the 8th spot by 3.5 games with only 8 games to play. 

Time and the standings are on Memphis' side, which makes laying the short -150 price on the Grizzlies seem worth it. If you're looking for a dog bet, the Pelicans + 325 looks to be the best option. 

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