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NBA Basketball Preseason Prop Betting: Playoff Sports 2019 Part 2

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Sep/02/2019

While the majority of the sports betting world focused on the start of college football and the NFL this is the perfect time to stake out positions in the preseason basketball and hockey markets.  We began our look at the BetOnline.ag preseason playoff prop odds in a previous article and now we’re going to continue by looking at some of the ‘To Make the Playoffs?’ bets.  These bets are simple enough—they ask if a team will or won’t make the playoffs.  If you guess right, you cash your bet.

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The most effective way to play this type of betting market is to look for teams expected to make the playoffs that won’t and vice versa—teams that aren’t expected to make the playoffs that will.  That way  you’re going against ‘the public’ and getting the best prices.  There’s not much value in betting the obvious.  For example, the Los Angeles Clippers are -1500 to make the playoffs.  They likely will, but at a price that has an implied probability of 93.8% there’s just not any value in backing them to do so.

We’ll go down the betting board team by team and see what value can be found:

NBA BASKETBALL PLAYOFF SPECIALS

ATLANTA HAWKS TO MAKE PLAYOFFS

YES: +220
NO: -260

The Hawks are a very intriguing team that could be one of the league’s most improved.  They have one of the most talented young pointguards in the league in Trae Young, a solid power forward in John Collins and picked up Duke shooting guard Cam Reddish in the draft.  Only 5 players on their current 22 man roster are older than 25 and only 2 are over 30.   Atlanta needs to improve dramatically on the defensive end but are already an offensive powerhouse that can outscore just about any team in the league.  They’ve got a ton of young talent in house and if Young and Collins can assume leadership roles they’re a team that will definitely overachieve this season.

BET ATLANTA HAWKS TO MAKE PLAYOFFS—YES +220

BOSTON CELTICS TO MAKE PLAYOFFS

YES: -600
NO: +450

The biggest problem with the Celtics last year was chemistry and the thinking is that problem has been dealt with by sending Kyrie Irving packing.  Talented team with an excellent coach that should make the playoffs but there’s just no value in betting them to do so.

PASS

BROOKLYN NETS TO MAKE PLAYOFFS

YES: -250
NO: +210

The Brooklyn Nets were one of the last teams in to the playoffs last year and as such the price on them to return to the post season looks high.  This is going to be a strange year for the Nets.  Expectations will be much higher after they signed Kevin Durant in the offseason but Durant could miss the entire season as he recovers from Achilles Tendon surgery.  The Nets were building an exciting young team prior to their free agent moves but now it remains to be seen how the younger players will mesh with veterans like Kyrie Irving who destroyed the chemistry in Boston.  It also remains to be seen if Durant and Irving can co-exist but that’s down the road a bit.  For now, the Nets look like a team that has the potential to be a profound disappointment this season.

BET BROOKLYN NETS TO MAKE PLAYOFFS—NO +210

CHARLOTTE HORNETS TO MAKE PLAYOFFS

YES: +800
NO: -1250

The Charlotte Hornets were the last team out of the Eastern Conference playoff race last season eventually finishing 2 games behind the Detroit Pistons.  Charlotte isn’t going to set the world on fire in 2019-2020 but since several teams that did make the playoffs last year having clearly lost ground they’ve got an excellent chance to sneak into postseason play.  At +800 implied probability is 11.1% and that sure sounds low for a team that was on the doorstep last season.

BET CHARLOTTE HORNETS TO MAKE PLAYOFFS—YES +800

We’re going down the BetOnline.ag ‘NBA playoff prop odds’ board team by team and look for value opportunities.  Make sure to check out the previous entries for more context on this wager and our selections so far!

MORE NBA BASKETBALL PLAYOFF SPECIALS

CHICAGO BULLS TO MAKE PLAYOFFS

YES: +225
NO: -310

Otto Porter, Jr. is one of the more underrated players in the NBA.  That said, this team lost 60 games last year and finished 19 games out of a playoff spot.  No real interest either way

PASS

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS TO MAKE PLAYOFFS

YES: +700
NO: -1000

Cavs picked up Vanderbilt point guard Darius Garland in the draft but he might be a year or two away from making an impact.  Cavs finished 3 games behind the Chicago Bulls in the standings but are a significantly longer shot to make the playoffs.  Tough to see them finding their way in to the postseason but no interest in laying the big price.

PASS

DALLAS MAVERICKS TO MAKE PLAYOFFS

YES: +200
NO: -240

Mavs have a serious talent in Luka Doncic but the problem is that they don’t have much talent around him.  Dallas should improve a bit this year but the Western Conference is brutal.

PASS

DENVER NUGGETS TO MAKE PLAYOFFS

YES: -800
NO: +600

Here’s a speculative play for you.  At -800 the implied probability is 88.9%.  Are the Nuggets a 90% probability to make the playoffs?  I’m not so sure.  Nikola Jokic is probably a lock for another double/double season but otherwise the Nuggets have a lot of players that could ‘regress to the mean’ this year.  Denver went from 33 wins (2015-2016) to 40 wins (2016-2017) to 46 wins (2017-2018) and jumped all the way to 54 wins last year due in large part to a 34-7 record at home.  With at least one team that missed the playoffs last year expected to be in this year (Lakers) the Nuggets could regress a little and miss the postseason in a brutally competitive Western Conference.

BET DENVER NUGGETS TO MAKE PLAYOFFS—NO +600

DETROIT PISTONS TO MAKE PLAYOFFS

Pistons did everything they could to miss the playoffs last year but found a way to back in.  They’ll not be so lucky this year.  Blake Griffin needs to stay healthy and that’s something he hasn’t been able to do in recent years.  The team is going to ‘take a more proactive approach’ to managing his workload.  It might not matter.

BET DETROIT PISTONS TO MAKE PLAYOFFS—NO -155

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