Adam Thompson for Bookies.com

By Adam Thompson | | 5 mins

Bet On These Teams To Be The 8th Seeds In NBA East, West

Bet On These Teams To Be The 8th Seeds In NBA East, West

The majority of the 22 teams taking part in the reboot of the 2019-20 NBA season already know they’ll be in the playoffs.

But not all of them know that. The No. 8 seed, especially, is up for grabs in both the Western Conference and Eastern Conference.

Each team gets eight regular-season games to qualify for the playoffs or, in many cases, tune up for the playoffs. The NBA is using win percentage as opposed to games back to determine playoff positioning, as every team won’t have the same amount of games played coming in.

Which teams have the edge in the race for No. 8? Bookies.com breaks it down and offers NBA betting picks for the East and West.


CHECK OUT: Our Ultimate Guide to 2020 NBA Playoffs Betting


Eastern Conference — 8th Seed
(Bet It At William Hill)

TeamOdds
Orlando Magic -120
Brooklyn Nets +100
Washington Wizards +2500

All odds are current as of publication and subject to change.


The Breakdown

Bet On These Teams To Be The 8th Seeds In NBA East, West 1

The Nets hold a half-game advantage over the Magic for the No. 7 spot in the East. The Wizards have some work to do, 5.5 games back of the Magic for the No. 8 spot. Both Brooklyn and Orlando were riding three-game win streaks when the season was halted.

The streaky Magic have been tough to pinpoint. They’ve had four win streaks of at least three games, but also seven losing streaks of at least three. But they get frontcourt help upon their return.

Jonathan Isaac and Al-Farouq Aminu each suffered knee injuries that had them missing up to three months. But that was more than three months ago. If each is able to return, that’s a big boost to a team in dire need of inside help.

The long layoff didn’t help the injury front for the Nets or Wizards. Brooklyn will still be without Kevin Durant (Achilles) and Kyrie Irving (shoulder), while Washington will finish out the year without John Wall (Achilles).

The Nets have shown that team play can work, with seven active players averaging in double figures. The Wizards may be a ways back, but they only need to get within four games to force a play-in scenario. From there, Bradley Beal can take over games, more so than anyone the Magic or Nets will have on the court.


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The Pick

The Magic should be a better team than when the regular season was stopped. The Nets and Wizards can’t say that. Orlando also had added motivation for getting out of the No. 8 spot, after getting shellacked four times by the Bucks in the regular season.

Look for Orlando to climb past Brooklyn for the No. 7 spot, with the Nets slipping to No. 8. If Brooklyn has to face Washington in a play-in tournament, the Nets have an edge. Take Brooklyn at even money to finish eighth in the East at William Hill.

Western Conference — 8th Seed
(Bet It At William Hill)

TeamOdds
Memphis Grizzlies -140
New Orleans Pelicans +350
Portland Trail Blazers +400
Sacramento Kings +1000
San Antonio Spurs+1600
Phoenix Suns+10000
Dallas Mavericks+25000

All odds are current as of publication and subject to change.


The Breakdown

Bet On These Teams To Be The 8th Seeds In NBA East, West 2

The Grizzlies hold a decided 3.5-game edge on the Trail Blazers, Pelicans and Kings. There is reason to like any of them.

The Blazers get a huge boost with the NBA using win percentage instead of record. Portland is one-thousandths of a point ahead of New Orleans and Sacramento. They also get back Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins, giving a major lift to the front court. Few teams benefited more to the extended mid-season break as the Blazers.

Then again, backing the Blazers means going against the Grizzlies and Ja Morant, and the Pelicans and Zion Williamson. The Kings have actually been the best of these teams against Western competition.

When it comes to the expected eight-game schedule, only the Pelicans have an above-.500 record vs. their upcoming competition. They’re 9-6, but that’s including a 4-0 boost by playing a Grizzlies team twice that they defeated twice during the year, and a 2-0 mark with two Kings games on the slate.

The Blazers are 6-9 vs. their expected competition, the Grizzlies just 5-10 and the Kings 3-9.

The Spurs are tied for the most consecutive playoff appearances in NBA history with 22. A 23rd seems like a longshot, especially with LaMarcus Aldridge out after having shoulder surgery in April.

The Suns would probably have to go undefeated for a chance at No. 8, while the Mavericks would have to go winless to fall to that spot. Don’t expect either scenario to happen.



The Pick

Bet On These Teams To Be The 8th Seeds In NBA East, West 3

The Grizzlies have the lead, the Pelicans have the favorable schedule. So I’ll take … the Blazers.

Portland should be a better team now than back in March. The Blazers not only will be healthier, they’ll be rested — few teams rely on two players as Portland does on Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.

The Blazers face Memphis in the first game, and that will dictate how the next seven go. The veteran-laden team came out of the gates strong to start the 2019-20 season, so Portland should know how to be ready for this.

There is an “opponent motivation” boost for the Blazers as well. Of Portland’s eight games, five come against teams playing only for seeding, not for their playoff lives. Memphis plays only four such games, Sacramento three and New Orleans just two.

When it comes to an underdog jumping into the fray, securing a play-in game and stealing the No. 8 spot, the Blazers offer several reasons to jump in their corner. Take Portland to finish eighth in the West at William Hill.

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