NBA Playoffs predictions: Will LeBron’s Lakers Miss Them?

The NBA is approaching the post season with around fifteen games left in most teams’ regular season. Much is happening in the NBA that should make this season unlike most. However, with the diversity and depth of players that Golden State Warriors has, they are favourites for NBA title winner.

The Battle for the Playoffs

The Western Conference has the reigning champions, the Warriors leading the conference with the third best record in the league. The other top seven teams in the Western Conference are the Nuggets, Rockets, Thunder, Trail Blazers, Jazz, Spurs and Clippers respectively. The Eastern Conference is led by the Bucks followed by the Raptors; the teams with the two best records in the league. They are followed by the 76ers, Pacers, Celtics, Pistons, Nets and Heat respectively.

Eastern Conference Playoff Teams

The Milwaukee Bucks and the Toronto Raptors definitely have their Eastern Conference playoff spots locked. The Philadelphia 76ers and the Indiana Pacers have the same record with the Boston Celtics in fifth place only a loss behind them. The three teams could change positions depending on how they finish off the regular season. The Detroit Pistons, Brooklyn Nets and Miami Heat are all in playoff contention but could have their playoff spot taken if the Orlando Magic or Charlotte Hornets pull off an amazing regular season finish.

Western Conference Playoff Teams

The Golden State Warriors have sealed top seed in the Western Conference but the Denver Nuggets are hot on their heels and a slip by the former could lead to a dramatic shift in the playoffs. The Houston Rockets should cement their position in the NBA playoffs with Harden in spectacular form. However, the Portland Trailblazers and the Oklahoma City Thunder have the same record and should set up a mouthwatering first-round playoff clash. Utah Jazz should get into the first round playoffs barring any unseen mishaps. The San Antonio Spurs and the LA Clippers barely get into the first round.

What are the Odds and Predictions for Different NBA Teams?

The format for odds used is money lines meaning that if positive, you will have to wager $100 to win that amount and if negative, you have to bet that amount to win $100. i.e. 300 means $100 will yield $300 and -300 means a $300 bet will yield $100.

The current NBA odds for Golden State winning the title are -230 which an implied probability of 69.7%. The second best team is the Raptors with +750 odds which is a 12% chance. The Bucks have +175 odds to clinch the East while the Warriors have -370 odds to clinch the West.

Will Lebron James’s Streak of 14 Consecutive Visits to the Playoffs Be Snapped This Year?

LeBron’s 14-year playoff appearance streak is about to come to an end. LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers currently have a dismal 30-36 record which means that they would have to win all their remaining games. The Lakers chances of reaching an 8th seed would take a Herculean effort from James and his teammates. James has played in each of the last 8 NBA finals, is the current all-time leading playoff point scorer and recently passed Michael Jordan to become the NBA’s 4th all-time points scorer. It will be the most substantial exclusion in NBA history.

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Written by:   Nathaniel Bush


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