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NBA | Team Futures

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Our basketball tipster returns to evaluate the season bets and add one more to the fold.

Pre-season, our NBA expert put up a best bet, contender and longshot before adding a bet on the Jazz mid-season.

With the regular season coming to a close on Sunday, now is a great time to evaluate the futures bets status and top up with one more of value.

PRE-SEASON PICKS

NBA Champion: Nuggets at +550 (now +300).
NBA Champion: Cavaliers at +2400 (now +4500).
NBA Champion: Thunder at +7000 (now +1600).

Both the Nuggets and Thunder have significantly shortened, and for good reason. Whilst the recently inconsistent Cavaliers have significantly lengthened.

As Meatloaf put it, ‘Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad’ and it’s a very strong two as we head into the playoffs. Exactly where each will be seeded still remains to be decided, however the most likely outcome is that Denver will meet Oklahoma City in the Conference title game. The Clippers perhaps being the biggest threat to this situation.

Cleveland faces a tough task to get through the playoffs. They could yet still end up in the Play-In Tournament, although that seems quite unlikely. Firming up a top four seed could prove important to any chance of going on to NBA success, but after the season the Celtics have had, whoever meets them along the way has their work cut out. Holding off on that matchup till the Conference Final would be most favorable.

Recommendation: avoid further investment into these until the playoff picture is clear.

Mid-season picks included the Jazz to make the playoffs. Unfortunately not to be after a very damaging run of results through March. Keep an eye on their summer moves as an outsider that could spring a surprise next season having proved their ability to hit a good run of form.

PRE-PLAYOFFS PICK

With the West covered by two in our pre-season picks, our attentions are on the East for our pick ahead of the playoffs.

The Celtics look dominant and only a brave bettor is playing against them, but coming up against a little star power early in the playoffs could unsettle them.

Giannis’ injury could thwart the chances of the Bucks, while the Knicks don’t look strong enough to go deep. The next five spots are still up for grabs and anything could happen in the next few days.

Take the team with the returning 2023 MVP. It is no coincidence that the 76ers have won six on the bounce, four with Embiid on the court. The confidence it has brought to the team may end up being enough for them to avoid the play-in tournament, and with another week under his belt Embiid could be ready for an assault at the Eastern title.

There’s no doubt Philadelphia have underperformed this season but draw a line through it and take the playoffs as a fresh start. This team showed a great deal of potential in the first half of the season and, under a coach who’s led an underdog to an NBA title previously, expect a resurgence in the coming weeks.

TIP: 76ers to win the East (+1000, DraftKings)

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