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Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets handles the ball against LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers as we offer our 2024 NBA playoffs Round 1 odds and predictions.
Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets handles the ball against LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the fourth quarter in game three of the Western Conference Finals at Crypto.com Arena on May 20, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images via AFP.

We're breaking down the 2024 NBA playoffs odds and schedule, including the best NBA odds and predictions for every Round 1 matchup from our best sports betting sites.

Six months after the start of the 2023-24 NBA season, the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers meet again Saturday in one of eight first-round matchups with the NBA playoffs tipping off this weekend.

While the Nuggets enter the postseason as the defending champions, the Boston Celtics remain status in the NBA championship odds race after dominating the regular season. Those two teams lead a crowded field of contenders in one of the deepest fields in recent memory.

Withall eight matchups now final after the 2024 NBA Play-In Tournament odds results, we've compiled the best odds and our predictions for each first-round series. Here's everything you should know before betting the 2024 NBA playoffs, including our top NBA picks for each series with odds via our NBA betting sites.

2024 NBA Western Conference standings, playoff schedule

Western Conference standings

SeedTeamRecord
1Oklahoma City Thunder57-25
2Denver Nuggets57-25
3Minnesota Timberwolves56-56
4Los Angeles Clippers51-31
5Dallas Mavericks50-32
6Phoenix Suns49-33
7Los Angeles Lakers47-35
8New Orleans Pelicans49-33
9Sacramento Kings46-36
10Golden State Warriors46-36

Western Conference Round 1 schedule

Thunder (1) vs. Pelicans (8)

StatisticThunderPelicans
Record57-2549-33
ATS46-3643-37-2
Head-to-head2-11-2
Off rating (rank)118.3 (3rd)116.5 (11th)
Def rating (rank)111.0 (4th)111.9 (6th)
Net rating (rank)+7.3 (2nd)+4.6 (6th)
Top scorer (PPG)Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (30.1)Zion Williamson (22.9)
Top rebounder (RPG)Chet Holmgren (7.9)Jonas Valanciunas (8.8)
Top passer (APG)Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (6.2)Brandon Ingram (5.7)

This is the only first-round series featuring two teams ranked in the top six in net rating in the regular season. The Pelicans won the first meeting between these two teams, but the Thunder returned the favor with wins in January and March - including a 107-83 win when New Orleans didn't have Zion Williamson, who could miss this entire series after leaving the play-in tournament due to a hamstring injury.

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Thunder vs. Pelicans odds

MarketThunderPelicans
Series winner-650 via bet365+500 via Caesars
Series spread-2.5 games (-110 via Caesars)+2.5 games (+105 via DraftKings)
Series total gamesOver 5.5 (+110 via DraftKings)Under 5.5 (-125 via bet365)
Game 1 winner-340 via FanDuel+280 via bet365
Game 1 spread-8 (-110 via Caesars)+8.5 (-110 via bet365)
Game 1 totalOver 214.5 (-110 via DraftKings)Under 215 (-110 via bet365)
Western Conference odds+650 via bet365+6500 via Caesars
NBA Finals odds+1600 via Caesars+13000 via FanDuel
Finals MVP favoriteShai Gilgeous-Alexander (+1700 via Caesars)Zion Williamson (+20000 via DraftKings)

While the Thunder own the No. 1 seed in the West, they still have just +1600 odds to win the NBA Finals, which imply a 5.88% chance of them winning it all. A $10 bet at those odds would pay out $170 in total, including your original wager.

The Pelicans' +13000 title odds would pay out a net return of $1,300 with an implied probability of 0.76%. Those odds took a major hit after the news that Williamson would likely miss at least the next two weeks due to a hamstring injury.

Thunder vs. Pelicans series player props

Series leaderThunderPelicans
Total pointsOFFOFF
Total reboundsOFFOFF
Total assistsOFFOFF
Total threesOFFOFF

Entering Saturday, there were no series player props available for this first-round matchup between the Thunder and Pelicans. That may be due to the uncertain status of Williamson, though it could also be the limited turnaround between Friday's play-in and Sunday's Game 1.

Thunder vs. Pelicans prediction

As I wrote about in my NBA Play-In Tournament power rankings, the Pelicans entered the postseason as one of the NBA's most underrated teams, having boasted a top-six net rating in the regular season with impact players across the roster.

One of those is Williamson, who would have been a potential matchup nightmare for the Thunder's undersized frontcourt. If he can't go in this series, though, I have serious misgivings about Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum doing enough offensively to carry this team in a seven-game series.

If Williamson comes back late in Round 1, that could spell a potential upset win for New Orleans. I'm just not sure the supporting cast can do enough to extend the series long enough to preserve that possibility.

Best bet: Thunder -2.5 games (-110 via Caesars)

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Thunder vs. Pelicans series schedule

GameDate (TV)Location
Game 1Sunday, April 21 @ 9:30 p.m. ET (TNT)Paycom Center (Oklahoma City, Okla.)
Game 2Wednesday, April 24 @ 9:30 p.m. ET (TNT)Paycom Center (Oklahoma City, Okla.)
Game 3Saturday, April 27 @ 3:30 p.m. ET (TNT)Smoothie King Center (New Orleans, La.)
Game 4Monday, April 29 @ TBD (TBD)Smoothie King Center (New Orleans, La.)
Game 5*Wednesday, May 1 @ TBD (TBD)Paycom Center (Oklahoma City, Okla.)
Game 6*Friday, May 3 @ TBD (TBD)Smoothie King Center (New Orleans, La.)
Game 7*Sunday, May 5 @ TBD (TNT)Paycom Center (Oklahoma City, Okla.)

Nuggets (2) vs. Lakers (7)

StatisticNuggetsLakers
Record57-2547-35
ATS38-43-138-44
Head-to-head3-00-3
Off rating (rank)117.8 (5th)115.4 (15th)
Def rating (rank)112.3 (8th)114.8 (17th)
Net rating (rank)+5.5 (4th)+0.6 (19th)
Top scorer (PPG)Nikola Jokic (26.4)LeBron James (25.7)
Top rebounder (RPG)Nikola Jokic (12.4)Anthony Davis (12.6)
Top passer (APG)Nikola Jokic (9.0)LeBron James (8.3)

A year after meeting in the Western Conference Finals, the Nuggets and Lakers faced off three times in the 2023-24 NBA regular season. Denver won all three encounters by an average of 10 points, including a 124-114 win on March 2 behind 35 points from Nikola Jokic - the runaway favorite by the NBA MVP odds to win his third MVP trophy in four seasons.

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Nuggets vs. Lakers odds

MarketNuggetsLakers
Series winner-310 via DraftKings+310 via FanDuel
Series spread-1.5 games (-140 via DraftKings)+1.5 games (+140 via BetMGM)
Series total gamesOver 5.5 (-135 via bet365)Under 5.5 (+120 via BetMGM)
Game 1 winner-278 via DraftKings+250 via FanDuel
Game 1 spread-7 (-110 via bet365)+7.5 (-114 via FanDuel)
Game 1 totalOver 223 (-108 via FanDuel)Under 223.5 (-110 via BetMGM)
Western Conference odds+145 via BetMGM+1400 via FanDuel
NBA Finals odds+300 via BetMGM+2900 via FanDuel
Finals MVP favoriteNikola Jokic (+325 via BetMGM)LeBron James (+3500 via Caesars)

The Nuggets enter Round 1 with the shortest title odds of any team in the Western Conference, as their +300 odds imply a 25% probability of winning a second straight championship. A $10 bet on the Nuggets to win it all would net a payout of $30 at those odds.

Meanwhile, the Lakers are long shots to win their second title with LeBron James and Anthony Davis after claiming the 2020 "bubble" crown. At +2900, they have a 3.33% chance of hoisting the Larry O'Brien Trophy this year with a $10 bet returning a profit of $290 if they do.

Nuggets vs. Lakers series player props

Series leaderNuggetsLakers
Total pointsNikola Jokic (+195 via FanDuel)LeBron James (+330 via DraftKings)
Total reboundsNikola Jokic (+120 via BetMGM)Anthony Davis (+100 via BetMGM)
Total assistsNikola Jokic (+165 via BetMGM)LeBron James (+200 via BetMGM)
Total threesJamal Murray (+175 via bet365)D'Angelo Russell (+220 via FanDuel)

To nobody's surprise, Jokic is the favorite to lead this series in points and assists, and he's the second choice behind Davis to pace the field in rebounds. It's hard to bet against the presumptive MVP in any of those markets - especially those outlier assist odds at BetMGM - after he averaged a nearly 28-point triple double in last year's four-game series.

D'Angelo Russell has the shortest odds for Los Angeles to hit the most 3-pointers, though he could be hard-pressed to stay on the court long enough to do so if he doesn't show some improvement on the defensive end. As a result, Denver's Jamal Murray or Michael Porter Jr. might be a better bet with both dealing around +200 across our best sportsbooks.

Nuggets vs. Lakers prediction

When the Nuggets and Lakers matched up in the 2023 Western Conference Finals, it was billed as a tough test for the West's No. 1 seed against a team that, on paper, was one of the hottest in the NBA. That was before Jokic and Murray took over that series offensively in a clean sweep for the eventual champions.

Yes, those four games were decided by a combined 24 points, but Los Angeles couldn't find a way to slow Jokic - or to hide Russell, who remains a likely target for Murray to pick on in this series. If (or when) he's chased off the floor, the Lakers' depth will be tested against one of the best rosters in the NBA.

Darvin Ham's group enters this series having won 22 of 32 games after moving Rui Hachimura into the starting lineup, but Jokic feasted on the young forward (and others) in last year's series. The two-time MVP has led Denver to eight straight wins over Los Angeles, and I'd be surprised if LeBron James and Co. can steal more than one game in this year's rematch.

Best bet: Under 5.5 total games (+120 via BetMGM)

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Nuggets vs. Lakers series schedule

GameDate (TV)Location
Game 1Saturday, April 20 @ 8:30 p.m. ET (ABC)Ball Arena (Denver, Colo.)
Game 2Monday, April 22 @ 10 p.m. ET (TNT)Ball Arena (Denver, Colo.)
Game 3Thursday, April 25 @ 10 p.m. ET (TNT)Crypto.com Arena (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Game 4Saturday, April 27 @ 8:30 p.m. ET (ABC)Crypto.com Arena (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Game 5*Monday, April 29 @ TBD (TBD)Ball Arena (Denver, Colo.)
Game 6*Thursday, May 2 @ TBD (TBD)Crypto.com Arena (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Game 7*Saturday, May 4 @ TBD (TNT)Ball Arena (Denver, Colo.)

Timberwolves (3) vs. Suns (6)

StatisticTimberwolvesSuns
Record56-2649-33
ATS41-4135-45-2
Head-to-head0-33-0
Off rating (rank)114.6 (17th)116.8 (10th)
Def rating (rank)108.4 (1st)113.7 (13th)
Net rating (rank)+6.4 (3rd)+3.1 (8th)
Top scorer (PPG)Anthony Edwards (25.9)Kevin Durant (27.1)
Top rebounder (RPG)Rudy Gobert (12.9)Jusuf Nurkic (11.0)
Top passer (APG)Mike Conley (5.9)Devin Booker (6.9)

The Timberwolves won at least 50 games for just the second time in franchise history, finishing one game back of the top record in the West. But they lost all three games to the Suns by double digits, including a 125-106 home loss to Phoenix on the final day of the regular season to set up this postseason matchup.

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Timberwolves vs. Suns odds

MarketTimberwolvesSuns
Series winner+115 via Caesars-130 via BetMGM
Series spread+1.5 games (-144 via FanDuel)-1.5 games (+135 via BetMGM)
Series total gamesOver 5.5 (-200 via bet365)Under 5.5 (+175 via BetMGM)
Game 1 winner-118 via DraftKings+106 via FanDuel
Game 1 spread-1.5 (-108 via DraftKings)+2 (-112 via FanDuel)
Game 1 totalOver 214 (-110 via Caesars)Under 214.5 (-110 via BetMGM)
Western Conference odds+1000 via DraftKings+900 via bet365
NBA Finals odds+2500 via DraftKings+2000 via FanDuel
Finals MVP favoriteAnthony Edwards (+2500 via BetMGM)Kevin Durant (+3000 via BetMGM)

These two teams rank fifth and sixth (in some order) across all of our best live betting sites ahead of their first-round series, as they each seek their first championship in franchise history.

The Suns still remain the clear favorite of the two at +2000 odds, implying a 4.76% chance of winning it all with a $10 bet paying out $200 in profit. Similarly, a bet on the third-seeded Timberwolves would pay out $250 on a $10 bet, as their +2500 title odds imply a 3.85% chance of a title run.

Timberwolves vs. Suns series player props

Series leaderTimberwolvesSuns
Total pointsAnthony Edwards (+200 via BetMGM)Devin Booker (+210 via FanDuel)
Total reboundsRudy Gobert (-200 via bet365)Jusuf Nurkic (+330 via DraftKings)
Total assistsMike Conley (+475 via BetMGM)Devin Booker (+110 via BetMGM)
Total threesAnthony Edwards (+500 via FanDuel)Grayson Allen (+325 via BetMGM)

If the Timberwolves want to pull off the minor upset over the sixth-seeded Suns, they'll need a big series from leading scorer Anthony Edwards. That could be a tall task for the fourth-year guard, who averaged just 14.3 points on 31% shooting - including 27.3% from deep - in three losses to Phoenix this season.

As a result, you might be better off taking longer odds on Devin Booker or Kevin Durant, who combined to average 60.3 points in their last postseason series against the Nuggets in 2023. Also keep an eye on Minnesota point guard Mike Conley, whose outlier assist odds at BetMGM look like the best bet on the board.

Timberwolves vs. Suns prediction

Minnesota deserves credit for engineering its second-best season ever and coming oh-so-close to securing the top seed in the West. Its reward? A nightmare matchup against a Suns team that swept this season series by a combined 47 points, with the third and final win capping off a 10-4 run for Phoenix to close the regular season.

On paper, the Timberwolves feature the best defense in the NBA behind Rudy Gobert, who closed as the favorite by the NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds to win for a fourth time. Their elite numbers defensively are predicated on Gobert dropping into the paint and denying shots at the rim, but the Suns employ two of the best mid-range shooters we've ever seen - both of whom have a history of brilliant scoring displays in the postseason.

Edwards has the potential to explode in this series, too, but he's struggled all season against Phoenix's disruptive length on the perimeter. If he doesn't figure out a better way to handle double teams in this series, his team will be staring down an early exit.

Best bet: Suns -1.5 series wins (+135 via BetMGM)

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Timberwolves vs. Suns series schedule

GameDate (TV)Location
Game 1Saturday, April 20 @ 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)Target Center (Minneapolis, Minn.)
Game 2Tuesday, April 23 @ 7:30 p.m. ET (TNT)Target Center (Minneapolis, Minn.)
Game 3Friday, April 26 @ 10:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)Footprint Center (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Game 4Sunday, April 28 @ 9:30 p.m. ET (TNT)Footprint Center (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Game 5*Tuesday, April 30 @ TBD (TBD)Target Center (Minneapolis, Minn.)
Game 6*Thursday, May 2 @ TBD (TBD)Footprint Center (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Game 7*Saturday, May 4 @ TBD (TNT)Target Center (Minneapolis, Minn.)

Clippers (4) vs. Mavericks (5)

StatisticClippersMavericks
Record51-3150-32
ATS38-4448-34
Head-to-head2-11-2
Off rating (rank)117.9 (4th)117.0 (8th)
Def rating (rank)114.6 (16th)114.9 (18th)
Net rating (rank)+3.4 (7th)+2.1 (15th)
Top scorer (PPG)Kawhi Leonard (23.7)Luka Doncic (33.9)
Top rebounder (RPG)Ivica Zubac (9.2)Luka Doncic (9.2)
Top passer (APG)James Harden (8.5)Luka Doncic (9.8)

For the third time in five years, the Clippers and Mavericks will face off in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Los Angeles won the previous two series and two of three matchups this season, though these teams haven't faced off since Dec. 20 - nearly two months before Dallas revamped its starting lineup at the trade deadline.

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Clippers vs. Mavericks odds

MarketClippersMavericks
Series winner+120 via Caesars-125 via DraftKIngs
Series spread+1.5 games (-134 via FanDuel)-1.5 games (+130 via bet365)
Series total gamesOver 5.5 (-195 via DraftKings)Under 5.5 (+160 via BetMGM)
Game 1 winner+102 via FanDuel-115 via bet365
Game 1 spread+1.5 (-110 via FanDuel)-1 (-110 via bet365)
Game 1 totalOver 223.5 (-110 via BetMGM)Under 223.5 (-110 via BetMGM)
Western Conference odds+650 via bet365+700 via BetMGM
NBA Finals odds+1500 via Caesars+1600 via BetMGM
Finals MVP favoriteKawhi Leonard (+2000 via Caesars)Luka Doncic (+1800 via BetMGM)

Outside of the Nuggets, no teams have shorter title odds in the West than these two clubs. The Clippers' best odds of +1500 imply a 6.25% chance of winning it all with a $150 payout on a $10 wage. The Mavericks have a 5.88% chance based on those +1600 odds while returning $160 on a $10 bet.

Interestingly, Dallas is the favorite to win Game 1 and the series even while featuring slightly longer odds in the futures market. That could be a reflection of oddsmakers' uncertainty regarding Kawhi Leonard's health - and their fear of a deep Clippers run if he can stay on the court.

Clippers vs. Mavericks series player props

Series leaderClippersMavericks
Total pointsKawhi Leonard (+750 via FanDuel)Luka Doncic (-450 via bet365)
Total reboundsIvica Zubac (+150 via BetMGM)Luka Doncic (-120 via BetMGM)
Total assistsJames Harden (+210 via BetMGM)Luka Doncic (-225 via bet365)
Total threesPaul George (+350 via FanDuel)Luka Doncic (-155 via BetMGM)

Luka Doncic is the only player in any first-round series to be favored in all four series player prop markets - let alone at minus-odds. That speaks to his singular brilliance this year for the Mavericks in what will likely earn him a runner-up finish in the NBA MVP race.

Leonard has the best chance among the Clippers' stars to pace this series in scoring, according to our best sports betting apps, though he hasn't played since March and remains a shaky bet to last this entire series even if he returns for Game 1. He's still a compelling long shot if he can get back on the court and conjure up some of that old playoff magic.

Clippers vs. Mavericks prediction

Los Angeles looked like the best team in the West for the first half of the year after adding embattled star James Harden in the opening weeks of the season. Then the Clippers tailed off after the All-Star break as Leonard's play declined before he eventually missed the final eight games of the regular season.

Conversely, the Mavericks retooled their frontcourt at the trade deadline and transformed from a run-and-gun shooting team to the defensive stalwart, closing the year on a 16-4 run while allowing the NBA's fewest points per 100 possessions (107.2). That's quite the luxury when you also have two of the premier scorers on the planet in Doncic and Kyrie Irving.

It's a shame that arguably the two best teams this side of Denver have to face off in the first round, especially with Leonard clearly not at 100%. Even if he was at full strength, though, Dallas is a sleeping giant in the West and should be able to wrap this up in fewer than seven games.

Best bet: Mavericks -1.5 series wins (+130 via bet365)

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Clippers vs. Mavericks series schedule

GameDate (TV)Location
Game 1Sunday, April 21 @ 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC)Crypto.com Arena (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Game 2Tuesday, April 23 @ 10 p.m. ET (TNT)Crypto.com Arena (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Game 3Friday, April 26 @ 8 p.m. ET (ESPN)American Airlines Center (Dallas, Texas)
Game 4Sunday, April 28 @ 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC)American Airlines Center (Dallas, Texas)
Game 5*Wednesday, May 1 @ TBD (TBD)Crypto.com Arena (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Game 6*Friday, May 3 @ TBD (TBD)American Airlines Center (Dallas, Texas)
Game 7*Sunday, May 5 @ TBD (TBD)Crypto.com Arena (Los Angeles, Calif.)

2024 NBA Eastern Conference standings, playoff schedule

Eastern Conference standings

SeedTeamRecord
1Boston Celtics64-18
2New York Knicks50-32
3Milwaukee Bucks49-33
4Cleveland Cavaliers48-34
5Orlando Magic47-35
6Indiana Pacers47-35
7Philadelphia 76ers47-35
8Miami Heat46-36
9Chicago Bulls39-43
10Atlanta Hawks36-46

Eastern Conference Round 1 schedule

Celtics (1) vs. Heat (8)

StatisticKnicks76ers
Record64-1846-36
ATS41-36-540-40-2
Head-to-head3-00-3
Off rating (rank)122.2 (1st)113.3 (21st)
Def rating (rank)110.6 (2nd)111.5 (5th)
Net rating (rank)+11.7 (1st)+1.8 (17th)
Top scorer (PPG)Jayson Tatum (26.9)Jimmy Butler (20.8)
Top rebounder (RPG)Jayson Tatum (8.1)Bam Adebayo (10.4)
Top passer (APG)Derrick White (5.2)Jimmy Butler (5.0)

After meeting in three of the last four Eastern Conference Finals - including each of the last two - the Celtics and Heat meet in the first round of this year's postseason. While Miami won last year's ECF, Boston swept the season series and has been the best team in the NBA throughout the regular season.

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Celtics vs. Heat odds

MarketCelticsHeat
Series winner-2800 via Caesars+1800 via bet365
Series spread-3.5 games (+105 via DraftKings)+3.5 games (-122 via FanDuel)
Series total gamesOver 4.5 (-120 via bet365)Under 4.5 (-120 via bet365)
Game 1 winner-1000 via FanDuel+750 via DraftKings
Game 1 spread-13.5 (-110 via BetMGM)+14 (-110 via Caesars)
Game 1 totalOver 208.5 (-110 via DraftKings)Under 209 (-110 via FanDuel)
Eastern Conference odds-200 via DraftKings+8000 via FanDuel
NBA Finals odds+160 via bet365+24000 via FanDuel
Finals MVP favoriteJayson Tatum (+240 via DraftKings)Jimmy Butler (+10000 via DraftKings)

The Celtics enter Round 1 as the title favorites, and their +160 odds imply a 38.46% chance that they'll win their first championship since 2008. A $10 bet at those odds would pay out $26 in total, while that same bet on the Heat would net $2,400 with just a 0.41% implied probability.

Celtics vs. Heat series player props

Series leaderCelticsHeat
Total pointsJayson Tatum (-165 via FanDuel)Tyler Herro (+650 via FanDuel)
Total reboundsKristaps Porzingis (+480 via FanDuel)Bam Adebayo (-165 via FanDuel)
Total assistsJayson Tatum (+180 via FanDuel)Tyler Herro (+260 via FanDuel)
Total threesJayson Tatum (+210 via FanDuel)Tyler Herro (+160 via FanDuel)

After years of playing at a near-MVP level, Jayson Tatum is the heavy favorite to lead this series in scoring and is the top choice for the Celtics to pace the field in assists and threes. You'd have to think Tatum is salivating at the chance to send a message to the team that ended his season in embarrassing fashion in 2023.

With Jimmy Butler likely out for this series, Heat guard Tyler Herro is the top scoring option for the East's No. 8 seed after scoring at least 24 points in each of the two play-in games. He's a good bet to pace Miami, but he'd need an otherworldly showing to lead the entire series in points scored.

Celtics vs. Heat prediction

I've been as high on the Heat in recent years as anyone, and that's been a profitable position to take come playoff time. So much of that was due to Butler's knack for elevating his play in the postseason - especially against the Celtics.

With the star forward likely to miss all of Round 1, at least, I'm struggling to muster that same confidence for what he leaves behind. Bam Adebayo has been wildly inconsistent in the postseason throughout his career, and for all of Herro's contributions offensively, he tends to give it right back on the defensive end.

It might be different if the Heat weren't facing a true juggernaut in Boston, which ripped through the regular season with ease after a bitter end at the hands of Miami in last year's Eastern Conference Finals. This series has payback written all over it.

Best bet: Celtics -3.5 games (+105 via DraftKings)

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Celtics vs. Heat series schedule

GameDate (TV)Location
Game 1Sunday, April 21 @ 1 p.m. ET (ABC)TD Garden (Boston, Mass.)
Game 2Wednesday, April 24 @ 7 p.m. ET (TNT)TD Garden (Boston, Mass.)
Game 3Saturday, April 27 @ 6 p.m. ET (TNT)Kaseya Center (Miami, Fla.)
Game 4Monday, April 29 @ TBD (TBD)Kaseya Center (Miami, Fla.)
Game 5*Wednesday, May 1 @ TBD (TBD)TD Garden (Boston, Mass.)
Game 6*Friday, May 3 @ TBD (TBD)Kaseya Center (Miami, Fla.)
Game 7*Sunday, May 5 @ TBD (TNT)TD Garden (Boston, Mass.)

Knicks (2) vs. 76ers (7)

StatisticKnicks76ers
Record50-3247-35
ATS43-36-348-33-1
Head-to-head3-11-3
Off rating (rank)117.3 (7th)116.2 (14th)
Def rating (rank)112.4 (9th)113.0 (11th)
Net rating (rank)+4.9 (5th)+3.1 (9th)
Top scorer (PPG)Jalen Brunson (28.7)Joel Embiid (34.7)
Top rebounder (RPG)Isaiah Hartenstein (8.3)Joel Embiid (11.0)
Top passer (APG)Jalen Brunson (6.7)Tyrese Maxey (6.2)

While the Knicks won three of four meetings in the regular season, only one of those wins came with Joel Embiid on the court after the reigning MVP missed 31 of the 76ers' final 36 regular-season games. He was on the bench for Philadelphia's regular-season finale after tweaking that surgically repaired left knee but returned Wednesday to help the Sixers beat the Miami Heat in the play-in tournament.

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Knicks vs. 76ers odds

MarketKnicks76ers
Series winner-105 via BetMGM-105 via Caesars
Series spread+1.5 games (-170 via DraftKings)-1.5 games (+155 via bet365)
Series total gamesOver 5.5 (-200 via bet365)Under 5.5 (+165 via BetMGM)
Game 1 winner-140 via BetMGM+124 via FanDuel
Game 1 spread-2.5 (-110 via BetMGM)+3 (-110 via FanDuel)
Game 1 totalOver 206.5 (-110 via DraftKings)Under 207.5 (-110 via BetMGM)
Eastern Conference odds+1200 via bet365+800 via Caesars
NBA Finals odds+4000 via BetMGM+1700 via Caesars
Finals MVP favoriteJalen Brunson (+4000 via BetMGM)Joel Embiid (+2000 via Caesars)

While the Knicks have the second-best record in the East, they rank fourth in the conference with +4000 title odds, which imply a 2.44% chance to win it all while paying out $400 on a $10 bet. The Sixers, on the other hand, have a 5.56% chance based on their +1700 odds, which would pay $170 on a $10 wager.

Interestingly, this series is priced as a dead heat even as the 76ers deal among the favorites to win the East and the NBA Finals. That's a clear endorsement of Philadelphia's upside if Embiid is healthy, which remains an open question heading into Round 1.

Knicks vs. 76ers series player props

Series leaderKnicks76ers
Total pointsJalen Brunson (-110 via bet365)Joel Embiid (+115 via FanDuel)
Total reboundsJosh Hart (+200 via DraftKings)Joel Embiid (-170 via bet365)
Total assistsJalen Brunson (-140 via bet365)Tyrese Maxey (+600 via FanDuel)
Total threesDonte DiVincenzo (-140 via bet365)Tyrese Maxey (+500 via DraftKings)

While odds for this market initially weren't released, oddsmakers have now priced Joel Embiid - who appears healthy enough to suit up for Game 1 and beyond - as the rebounds favorite and the second choice to lead the series in scoring. He's just behind Knicks star Jalen Brunson, who is also the assists favorite.

Given Embiid's uncertain health, I like Maxey's odds to lead this series in scoring, which you can find as high as +1600 via DraftKings. He's a decent bet even if Embiid does play this whole series given how the big man has looked in his return.

Knicks vs. 76ers prediction

We've seen each of these teams flirt with an elite ceiling for extended stretches of the 2023-24 campaign. The million-dollar question is which side you trust to show up in Round 1.

The 76ers were a sizzling 31-8 with Embiid in the lineup in the regular season, which would translate to the best record in the NBA across a full season. They were 16-27 when he was sidelined - including two double-digit losses to New York since the All-Star break - and they squeaked by Miami on Wednesday with Embiid shooting just 6-for-17.

On the other side, the Knicks are a sensational 20-3 when OG Anunoby is in the lineup, including 8-1 since losing Julius Randle (shoulder) to a season-ending injury. As I wrote in my NBA Play-In Tournament power rankings, I simply don't trust Embiid to stay healthy in the postseason after a decade of trying, which has me leaning toward New York in what should be a fascinating series.

Best bet: Knicks to win series (-105 via BetMGM)

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Knicks vs. 76ers series schedule

GameDate (TV)Location
Game 1Saturday, April 20 @ 6 p.m. ET (ESPN)Madison Square Garden (New York, N.Y.)
Game 2Monday, April 22 @ 7:30 p.m. ET (TNT)Madison Square Garden (New York, N.Y.)
Game 3Thursday, April 25 @ 7:30 p.m. ET (TNT)Wells Fargo Center (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Game 4Sunday, April 28 @ 1 p.m. ET (ABC)Wells Fargo Center (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Game 5*Tuesday, April 30 @ TBD (TBD)Madison Square Garden (New York, N.Y.)
Game 6*Thursday, May 2 @ TBD (TBD)Wells Fargo Center (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Game 7*Saturday, May 4 @ TBD (TNT)Madison Square Garden (New York, N.Y.)

Bucks (3) vs. Pacers (6)

StatisticBucksPacers
Record49-3347-35
ATS35-46-144-35-3
Head-to-head1-44-1
Off rating (rank)117.6 (6th)120.5 (2nd)
Def rating (rank)115.0 (19th)117.6 (24th)
Net rating (rank)+2.6 (11th)+2.9 (10th)
Top scorer (PPG)Giannis Antetokounmpo (30.4)Tyrese Haliburton (20.1)
Top rebounder (RPG)Giannis Antetokounmpo (11.5)Myles Turner (6.9)
Top passer (APG)Damian Lillard (7.0)Tyrese Haliburton (10.9)

These two Central Division rivals faced off five times this season, and the Pacers won four of those contests by a combined 32 points. The only loss came in a contentious affair on Dec. 13, when Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 64 points in the Bucks' 140-126 win before chasing Indiana personnel into the tunnel in pursuit of what appeared to be the game ball.

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Bucks vs. Pacers odds

MarketBucksPacers
Series winner-110 via Caesars+100 via BetMGM
Series spread+1.5 games (-165 via BetMGM)-1.5 games (+150 via bet365)
Series total gamesOver 5.5 (-200 via bet365)Under 5.5 (+165 via BetMGM)
Game 1 winner+100 via BetMGM-115 via bet365
Game 1 spread-1 (-110 via bet365)+1.5 (-115 via BetMGM)
Game 1 totalOver 232.5 (-110 via bet365)Under 233 (-110 via Caesars)
Eastern Conference odds+800 via Caesars+2500 via BetMGM
NBA Finals odds+2000 via Caesars+10000 via BetMGM
Finals MVP favoriteGiannis Antetokounmpo (+2000 via Caesars)Tyrese Haliburton (+20000 via BetMGM)

The Bucks remain among the title favorites with +800 odds, which imply an 11.1% chance of winning it all while netting $80 on a $10 bet. The Pacers are clear long shots with +10000 odds that would pay $1,000 on a $10 bet, though those odds imply a mere 0.99% chance that Indiana wins its first-ever title.

Even so, oddsmakers have this series as nearly even with Antetokounmpo's staus unknown for the first round. The Bucks have already signaled that he won't play in Game 1, and there's a chance he won't be available for the entire series.

Bucks vs. Pacers series player props

Series leaderBucksPacers
Total pointsDamian Lillard (-175 via bet365)Pascal Siakam (+375 via bet365)
Total reboundsBobby Portis (+110 via bet365)Pascal Siakam (+275 via bet365)
Total assistsDamian Lillard (+400 via bet365)Tyrese Haliburton (-400 via bet365)
Total threesDamian Lillard (+140 via bet365)Tyrese Haliburton (+175 via bet365)

These props are only available at bet365, with other sportsbooks likely deterred by the uncertain status of Antetokounmpo. That leaves Lillard as the favorite to pace this series in scoring even with his own injury concerns and shaky play as of late.

That has me eyeing Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton as a flier to lead this series in scoring (+600 via bet365), as he'll likely need a big series to carry Indiana to a win as a Round 1 underdog. Keep an eye on the star guard in the 3-point market, too, where Lillard is also dealing as the favorite.

Bucks vs. Pacers prediction

It's only fitting that the Bucks' lone win against the Pacers this season came when Antetokounmpo scored the most points in franchise history, as his absence looms large over this series and Milwaukee's still-short title odds.

The Bucks are preparing as if they'll be without Antetokounmpo (calf) for this series, and he's already been ruled out of Game 1. They were outscored by 39 points in 53 minutes against Indiana without the two-time MVP on the floor this season, and Milwaukee's other stars - including Damian Lillard and Khris Middleton - have struggled to find a rhythm since the midseason hiring of Doc Rivers as head coach.

Even if Antetokounmpo returns, I'm not confident that his post-injury form would be enough to carry a group that appears to be limping to the finish line. The Pacers were the better team by net rating this year even before Antetokounmpo's injury, and I love their odds to win this series outright.

Best bet: Pacers to win series (+100 via BetMGM)

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Bucks vs. Pacers series schedule

GameDate (TV)Location
Game 1Sunday, April 21 @ 7 p.m. ET (TNT)Fiserv Forum (Milwaukee, Wis.)
Game 2Tuesday, April 23 @ 8:30 p.m. ET (NBA TV)Fiserv Forum (Milwaukee, Wis.)
Game 3Friday, April 26 @ 5:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)Gainbridge Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Game 4Sunday, April 28 @ 7 p.m. ET (TNT)Gainbridge Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Game 5*Tuesday, April 30 @ TBD (TBD)Fiserv Forum (Milwaukee, Wis.)
Game 6*Thursday, May 2 @ TBD (TBD)Gainbridge Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Game 7*Saturday, May 4 @ TBD (TNT)Fiserv Forum (Milwaukee, Wis.)

Cavaliers (4) vs. Magic (5)

StatisticCavaliersMagic
Record48-3447-35
ATS38-4451-31
Head-to-head2-22-2
Off rating (rank)114.7 (16th)112.9 (22nd)
Def rating (rank)112.1 (7th)110.8 (3rd)
Net rating (rank)+2.5 (12th)+2.2 (14th)
Top scorer (PPG)Donovan Mitchell (26.6)Paolo Banchero (22.5)
Top rebounder (RPG)Jarrett Allen (10.5)Wendell Carter Jr. (6.9)
Top passer (APG)Darius Garland (6.5)Paolo Banchero (5.4)

These two teams split their season series in 2023-24 with three of those four matchups decided by double digits. Cleveland scored the biggest margin of victory with a 126-99 win in Orlando on Jan. 22, but the Magic got the last laugh with a 116-109 triumph on Feb. 22 as Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (knee) watched from the sidelines.

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Cavaliers vs. Magic odds

MarketCavaliersMagic
Series winner-190 via BetMGM+165 via bet365
Series spread-1.5 games (+125 via DraftKings)+1.5 games (-128 via FanDuel)
Series total gamesOver 5.5 (-180 via bet365)Under 5.5 (+160 via BetMGM)
Game 1 winner-180 via Caesars+166 via FanDuel
Game 1 spread-4.5 (-110 via BetMGM)+4.5 (-108 via DraftKings)
Game 1 totalOver 206.5 (-105 via Caesars)Under 206.5 (-108 via FanDuel)
Eastern Conference odds+1800 via Caesars+6600 via BetMGM
NBA Finals odds+6000 via Caesars+20000 via BetMGM
Finals MVP favoriteDonovan Mitchell (+6500 via Caesars)Paolo Banchero (+20000 via BetMGM)

If you like long shots, you'll love this series between two of the more overlooked teams in the betting market. The Cavaliers' +6000 title odds suggest a 1.64% chance of winning it all while paying out $600 on a $10 wager, while the Magic own just a 0.50% implied probability at +20000 odds. That would turn a $10 bet into a $2,000 profit if they win their first title.

Cavaliers vs. Magic series player props

Series leaderCavaliersMagic
Total pointsDonovan Mitchell (-155 via BetMGM)Paolo Banchero (+310 via DraftKings)
Total reboundsJarrett Allen (-175 via BetMGM)Paolo Banchero (+1500 via DraftKings)
Total assistsDarius Garland (+120 via BetMGM)Paolo Banchero (+400 via bet365)
Total threesDonovan Mitchell (+120 via BetMGM)Jalen Suggs (+900 via DraftKings)

Mitchell sat out 16 of Cleveland's final 24 games and missed 27 games in total due to an assortment of injuries, but he remains the clear favorite to lead this series in scoring and 3-pointers made. He combined for 62 points over his final two starts of the season, which came after he scored fewer than 20 points in seven of his previous nine contests.

This feels like a potential coming-out party for Magic forward Paolo Banchero, who is the front-runner among Magic players to lead all players in points, rebounds, and assists. He dropped 42 points on the Cavaliers in these teams' first meeting on Dec. 6 but was held to 20 or fewer points over their final three matchups.

Cavaliers vs. Magic prediction

Cleveland pulled off an all-time tanking effort in its season finale, resting two starters and emptying its bench in the fourth quarter to blow a double-digit lead and orchestrate this matchup with Orlando. I'm not so sure that will work out well for J.B. Bickerstaff and Co. against the most physical team in this playoff field.

The Cavaliers have struggled to field a healthy starting five all season, and while that should change ahead of Game 1, they still lost 12 of their final 19 games and posted the worst net rating (minus-3.6) of any playoff team since the All-Star break. They've also been an average team overall - and below average offensively - even when all five starters take the court.

That's a major concern against a Magic team with a top-three defense built on size and physicality, not unlike the Knicks team that nearly swept Cleveland in last year's postseason. Neither of these teams can score with any consistency, but I trust Jamahl Mosley and this spirited Orlando squad to deliver some karmic payback to the floundering Cavaliers.

Best bet: Magic to win series (+165 via bet365)

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Cavaliers vs. Magic series schedule

GameDate (TV)Location
Game 1Saturday, April 20 @ 1 p.m. ET (ESPN)Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse (Cleveland, Ohio)
Game 2Monday, April 22 @ 7 p.m. ET (NBA TV)Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse (Cleveland, Ohio)
Game 3Thursday, April 25 @ 7 p.m. ET (NBA TV)Kia Center (Orlando, Fla.)
Game 4Saturday, April 27 @ 1 p.m. ET (TNT)Kia Center (Orlando, Fla.)
Game 5*Tuesday, April 30 @ TBD (TBD)Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse (Cleveland, Ohio)
Game 6*Friday, May 3 @ TBD (TBD)Kia Center (Orlando, Fla.)
Game 7*Sunday, May 5 @ TBD (TBD)Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse (Cleveland, Ohio)

How to bet on the NBA playoffs

While it can be exciting to bet on basketball at any time of year, it's especially rewarding to place a wager during the NBA playoffs, when rotations are shortened and star players shine the brightest even with the opponent's game plan focused on stopping them.

Unlike in the regular season, when effort can wane from game-to-game, the intensity tends to pick up in the postseason. That typically means lower-scoring games, more halfcourt offense and physical defense, and a reliance on hitting tough shots to generate offense as opposed to easy buckets in transition. That can be a tough adjustment for young, athletic teams that haven't experienced the postseason before, while teams with established playoff veterans tend to outperform their season stats if healthy.

Speaking of which, always keep an eye on the injury report. While stars rarely "rest" during the postseason, carrying their team for six months through the regular season tends to add up for top players heading into the postseason - with some missing key games that could swing an entire playoff series.

NBA championship odds

(Odds updated as of April 18)

TeamDraftKingsFanDuelBetMGMCaesarsbet365
Celtics+150 +165+180 🔥+150+160
Nuggets+300 +300 +300 +265 ❄️+300
Clippers+1200+1500 +1300+1500 +1200 
Bucks+1600+1400 +1400+2000 🔥+1400 
Thunder+1600+1600 +1600+1600   +1200 ❄️
Mavericks+1600+1500+1600 +1200   +1100 ❄️
76ers+1700+1600  +1400+1700+1400  
Suns+1900 +2000 +1800 +1800 +1800 
Lakers+2200+2800 🔥  +2500+2200   +2500
Timberwolves+2500 🔥+2000 +2000 +1900 +1800 ❄️
Knicks+4000 +3000+4000 +3000 +3300 
Cavaliers+6500 🔥+4500 ❄️+5000 +6000 +5000 
Heat+7500 🔥+6500 +6600+4500 ❄️+5000
Pacers+10000 +8000 +10000 +8000 +6000 ❄️
Kings+12000 🔥+10000+10000+9000   +7000 ❄️
Magic+20000 +16000+20000 +12500 ❄️+15000 
Pelicans+25000+12000+15000+25000 +8000 ❄️  
Bulls+50000+20000+50000 +15000 +15000 

For more on this year's title race, check out our breakdown of the latest NBA championship odds.

Here are our best NBA betting sites

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