The NBA season starts in 10 days. Every season there are surprises in teams that nobody expects to make the playoffs. For that to happen, playoff teams need to fall out of the race. Which NBA team should you bet on to miss the NBA playoffs?
The NBA odds to make or miss the playoffs are out. While it’s fun to choose a dark horse team and hope they ascend, fading the team on the downslide can also be profitable. Today we will look at three teams whose odds provide value for them to miss the playoffs.
Chicago Bulls (+115)
The Chicago Bulls had a flashy offseason, signing Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso during free agency. They then traded for DeMar DeRozan to make themselves a spectacular, diverse offense. While I think the Bulls will pile up points and put on a show for their fans, I think they will have problems winning close games against tough teams with the defensive lineup they are rolling out.
DeMar DeRozan is a fantastic shooter but even in his prime he was a net negative defender and as he’s gotten older he has been a target for opposing teams. Zach LaVine has always had issues moving laterally and therefore has been targeted quite often by opposing teams as well. The crux of their defensive failings will come down to center Nikola Vucevic.
Vucevic is a fantastic offensive force, yet he often struggles in rim protection and is not able to switch onto smaller players, therefore, making him a liability on the perimeter and in the paint.
With three net negative defenders in their closing five lineups, I do not think the Bulls will be able to get the defensive stops needed to beat other playoff-caliber teams. The Bulls will put up a lot of points and put on an exciting show, but once again could be watching the playoffs from the outside.
NBA Pick: (visit our Sportsbook Review)
Golden State Warriors (+400)
The Golden State Warriors are definitely boom or bust in the terms of the wide range of variance to their possible results this season. If Klay Thompson returns to form and the young lottery talent the Warriors have drafted in the last two seasons develop, they could be a Western Conference Finalist.
If Thompson struggles to return to the all-star level of play he was at before his injury, or if the Warriors have an injury to either Klay, Draymond Green, or Steph Curry, they will probably miss the playoffs again this season. They will then most likely opt for player development rather than make a push for a lower seed in the first round of the playoffs.
Steph Curry is getting older and has had injury problems at certain points in his career. Steph’s usage has increased with the loss of his talented running mates, and of course, he is going to be vulnerable to the wear and tear that the last two compacted seasons have brought upon the veteran players.
If the Warriors stay healthy then this bet will fail, but with three players past 30 with injury histories as their core, at +400 the value is too good to pass up.
Portland Trail Blazers (+185)
The Trail Blazers are another team that could implode by midseason if they do not get off to a hot start. As fans of the Blazers know, starting the season strong has never been a specialty for this team. The Blazers quite often meander their way into the All-Star break and then become the hot team, the proverbial team that nobody wants to play, going into the playoffs.
With the pressure on Dame Lillard to finally find a winning situation before his career is over, how many more years of floundering around in Portland will he accept?
The Blazers did not do too much in the offseason to inspire confidence. Adding Ben McLemore, Larry Nance Jr, Tony Snell, and Cody Zeller are not moves that push a fringe team into contention. Once again the Blazers seem to be a couple of weapons short of being a true contender. Lillard is so good, they can flash streaks of brilliance to dissuade fans from giving up.
The reality remains, however, that this team isn’t good enough to compete for a championship.
A slow start could pave the way for Dame to finally, officially, ask out of Portland, as it has been rumored he has been considering. If Lillard leaves, a full teardown is likely, with CJ McCollum, Jusuf Nurkic, and other quality veteran players being moved for assets to rebuild. With Portland’s penchant for slow starts, at +185 we have found value here as well four our last NBA pick.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.