The 2021-22 NBA season is right around the corner. One month
from now, training camps will get underway. This season,
BasketballNews.com will be covering the NBA from every possible
angle, including ramped-up sports-betting content.
After providing some interesting future bets on the NBA
award races, let's take a look at the 2021-22 playoff odds.
Many teams went all-in this offseason, determined to make the
playoffs and go on a run.
After examining the 2021-22 playoff odds, seven teams stand out
as worthy fliers. Let’s dive into which organizations have
intriguing odds that you can capitalize on before it’s too
MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES: +575 odds to
Realistically, the team that could make you a lot of money by
the end of the regular season resides in Minnesota. Although the
Western Conference is still loaded – with as many as 12 teams
having realistic playoff aspirations – don’t sleep on the
Timberwolves finally making a push.
Karl-Anthony Towns is one of the most gifted scorers in the
Association and a consistent 40% three-point shooter. Last year's
No. 1 overall pick Anthony Edwards made a leap in the second half
of his rookie season, averaging 23.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.4
assists, 2.9 threes and 1.4 steals in 36 games after the All-Star
break. He should build off of that during his sophomore campaign,
and he could crack 25.0 points per game. D’Angelo Russell has
struggled with injuries during his year-plus stint in Minnesota,
but he’s another offensive weapon that Minnesota can utilize. The
Timberwolves’ roster features a lot of youth and a lot of subpar
defenders, but a whole lot of points will be scored. Minnesota is
hoping to out-race teams in "track-meet" style matchups where
reaching 130-plus points each night is the primary objective.
Here's another underrated reason why you should take a flier on
Minnesota at +575 playoff odds: the Ben Simmons rumors. Minnesota
is reportedly the one team who has continually kept a dialogue
going with Philadelphia. Now, after acquiring big expiring
contracts in Taurean Prince and Patrick Beverley this offseason,
the Wolves can make a deal work cap-wise while also throwing in a
sweetener like up-and-coming prospect Jaden McDaniels.
Philadelphia’s asking price is absurd, but Minnesota can offer
picks plus Prince, Beverley, McDaniels and Josh Okogie to make the
salaries work. The Sixers will likely want a third team to get
involved to create a more appealing package, but don’t rule out
Minnesota as Simmons’ eventual destination. If that happens, you’ll
be lucky to have chased these +575 odds before they might break
even within a few months time.
WASHINGTON WIZARDS: +500 odds to make
The 2021-22 season may be the Wizards’ last chance to impress
Bradley Beal. Entering the final year of his contract, Beal could
become an unrestricted free agent next offseason. The Wizards will
reportedly offer him to a max
extension this summer, but it remains to be seen if he's interested
in signing it.
Regardless, give Wizards GM Tommy Sheppard some credit. Once
Russell Westbrook asked out, he retooled Washington’s roster on the
fly and built a competent rotation best
suited to fit Beal’s special skillset. Spencer Dinwiddie is the
perfect backcourt partner alongside Beal. Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious
Caldwell-Pope add more scoring punch. Rui Hachimura, Deni Avdija
and Corey Kispert are talented prospects who provide versatility.
Davis Bertans should have a bounce-back season beyond the arc and
provide elite shooting. Daniel Gafford, Montrezl Harrell and Thomas
Bryant is an intriguing trio of big men. Overall, Washington now
has a deeper rotation that should fit together better than last
If everything clicks for the Wizards, they should push for a
playoff spot (perhaps with a second-straight appearance in the
play-in tournament). Although Westbrook is gone, Beal should be
able to lead a more well-rounded roster to a record above .500. If
that’s the case, betting on Washington right now at +500 odds seems
like a smart investment.
PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS: +200 odds to miss
Damian Lillard seems to have one foot out the door in Portland.
Fed up with the Blazers’ lack of urgency to build a contender
around him, nothing has really changed since he vented about
how additional changes were needed. GM Neil Olshey re-signed Norman
Powell (who fits well alongside Lillard) on a five-year deal and
added Cody Zeller, Tony Snell and Ben McLemore to improve
Portland's second unit. The Blazers also traded Derrick Jones Jr.
and a future lottery-protected first-round pick to bring in Larry
Nance Jr., who is a perfect complementary piece that
should help on both ends of the floor.
Aside from Nance, the additions are pretty underwhelming, and
the team lost Carmelo Anthony, Enes Kanter and Zach Collins.
Considering what's at stake, it's surprising that the Blazers
didn't make more moves to show Lillard that the organization is
committed to winning. Olshey and Co. are playing a very dangerous
game here, especially if the Blazers stagnate in the standings next
If teams like Minnesota, New Orleans and Memphis see a big leap
from their young cores, Portland could find themselves outside of
the playoff picture. And if that’s the case, Lillard will be gone
At +200 odds to miss the playoffs, it’s a worthy gamble when you
realize the Lillard situation hangs over the organization. If the
Blazers get off to a slow start, could Lillard ask out mid-season?
At the moment, it's hard to feel comfortable about Portland’s
CHARLOTTE HORNETS: +175 odds to make
Charlotte quietly had one of the best
offseasons in the Association. Not only did they re-sign Terry
Rozier on a four-year deal, they also brought in Kelly Oubre Jr. to
add some more scoring potency off their bench. Mason Plumlee, who
has been a steady starting center over the years, was acquired
pretty much for free. Add in the draft picks of James Bouknight and
Kai Jones, and Charlotte will be one of the most fun teams to
monitor throughout the 2021-22 season.
LaMelo Ball is poised to take another leap in his sophomore
campaign, which should help bolster Charlotte’s playoff
probabilities even further. The Hornets’ rotation is now 10-11
players deep, which hasn’t been the case in years. With a nice
blend of win-now veterans alongside promising high-upside
prospects, Charlotte could be one of the best bets to make off this
Gordon Hayward’s health will also play a factor here. The
Hornets were above .500 before Hayward went down with a
season-ending injury. Despite Hayward's injury and Ball being
sidelined for a significant stretch, the Hornets still earned a
spot in the East's play-in tournament last year. If Hayward can
stay healthy throughout the regular season and their offseason
additions fit in, Charlotte could comfortably finish in the East's
top-eight for the first time since 2015-16.
NEW ORLEANS PELICANS: +170 odds to make
It's always fun to bet on Zion Williamson, who has already
reached superstardom. After averaging 27.0 points during his
sophomore season, Williamson could realistically average 30.0 or
more now that the new-look Pelicans will have better floor-spacing.
A smart head-coaching hire (Willie Green) and roster upgrades
around the margins should lead to a boost in performance from New
Brandon Ingram is flying under the radar as well. If Ingram
continues to be one of the most promising two-way wings in the
Association, New Orleans is cooking with gas in 2021-22.
It will be tough to break through in a loaded Western
Conference, but Williamson is a generational talent. If the
Pelicans find success early in the regular season, they could ride
that wave of momentum toward a play-in appearance. With Williiamson
in a win-or-go-home situation for a playoff spot, I’m betting on
INDIANA PACERS: +145 odds to miss the
Everything went wrong for the Pacers last season. Nate Bjorkgren
was an awful head coach who failed to relate to players and whose
scheme didn’t match the roster. Rick Carlisle’s return to Indiana
is a huge deal for an organization that needs to succeed in a make-or-break
2021-22 season. If the Pacers fail to make significant headway,
big changes are in store for this roster.
Again, the Eastern Conference looks to be very much improved.
Chicago may have leapfrogged Indiana in their division. Charlotte
and Washington might be doing the same thing with solid rosters
that could immediately fit together well. Meanwhile, Indiana has
questions. Will Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner find success with their jumbo-sized
frontcourt? Will T.J. Warren stay healthy in a contract year?
What can we expect from the backcourt of Malcolm Brogdon and Caris
LeVert, which barely played together last season due to separate
On paper, the Pacers have a solid squad. However, if they get
off to a slow start, they could be one of the teams ready to
sell-high around the trade deadline. They have a number of
attractive pieces and rival executives have been circling like
vultures for a while (just look at how often Turner has surfaced in
trade rumors). At +145 odds, this seems like a flier worth
NEW YORK KNICKS: +125 odds to miss the
After a really solid offseason, it's clear that the Knicks are
banking on continuity. Also, bringing aboard Evan Fournier and
Kemba Walker should help bolster a rotation that was already
impressively deep. However, could the Knicks be the team that
regresses the most in 2021-22? It’s a realistic possibility,
especially with how many young squads in the Eastern Conference are
on the rise.
What if Julius Randle stagnates and doesn’t improve? They'll
need him to continue playing at a high level, while R.J. Barrett,
Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley and their 2021 rookie class must hit
the ground running early in the regular season too.
New York finished as the No. 4 seed last season, but for the
first time in years, there will be real drama surrounding the
East's playoff picture.
Tom Thibodeau helped the Knicks overachieve last season. The
question is, can this team do it again? It's possible they take a
step forward and once again earn homecourt advantage in the
playoffs. But it truly could go either way for the Knicks, making
this a worthy bet at +125.