In the final weekend betting preview of the NBA regular season, keep an eye on the top teams in each conference with the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets fighting for the #1 seed in the East. Meanwhile out in the wild Western Conference, the 50-win Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns will battle for the top seed and the NBA’s best record.
Several teams are trying to avoid getting sucked into the play-in tournament, while other bubble teams are jockeying for the #8 seed to avoid having to win two games in the play-in tournament to qualify for the postseason.
- Orlando Magic (21-49) at Philadelphia 76ers (47-23)
- Utah Jazz (50-20) at OKC Thunder (21-49)
- Sacramento Kings (31-39) at Memphis Grizzlies (37-33)
- New Orleans Pelicans (31-39) at Golden State Warriors (37-33)
- Charlotte Hornets (33-37) at New York Knicks (39-31)
- Chicago Bulls (30-40) at Brooklyn Nets (46-24)
- LA Lakers (40-30) at Indiana Pacers (33-37)
- Phoenix Suns (49-21) at San Antonio Spurs (33-37)
- Boston Celtics at New York Knicks
- Charlotte Hornets at Washington Wizards
- Memphis Grizzlies at Golden State Warriors
- Denver Nuggets at Portland Trail Blazers
Meanwhile, the upstart New York Knicks coughed up the #4 seed and currently hold down the #6 seed behind the #4 Atlanta Hawks and #5 Miami Heat.
The final weekend of the NBA season is difficult to handicap. You don’t know which teams will rest their stars for the playoffs. So pay close attention to the daily injury report. Find out who’s playing and who’s not before you fire away on any wagers this weekend.
Friday: 76ers and Nets Final Showdown
Orlando Magic (21-49) at Philadelphia 76ers (47-23)… After winning eight in a row, the 76ers dropped two straight and hold just a one-game lead over the Brooklyn Nets. Meanwhile, the Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic are slugging it out to avoid being labeled the worst team in the East.
Utah Jazz (50-20) at OKC Thunder (21-49)… The Utah Jazz are the only team in the NBA to reach 50 wins, which is a huge surprise. The Jazz hold a slim one-game lead over the Suns, so every game counts in a thrilling fight for the #1 seed. The Jazz will be playing their final weekend without Spida; they’re resting Donovan Mitchell for a playoff run while he nurses a sprained ankle. At least the Jazz have an easy opponent, tipping off against a crappy OKC Thunder squad that lost eight games in a row.
Sacramento Kings (31-39) at Memphis Grizzlies (37-33)… The Grizzlies are battling with the Golden State Warriors in a fight for the #8 seed and to avoid the dreaded #9 seed in the West. The Griz are the second-best betting team in the NBA with a 42-28 ATS record.
New Orleans Pelicans (31-39) at Golden State Warriors (37-33)… The Pelicans were dunzo as soon as they lost Zion Williamson for the season. The Warriors are headed for the play-in tournament, and would love to face the Lakers in the Seven-Eight Game for a shot at the #7 seed.
Saturday: Sun-Seekers, Buzz City vs Gotham
Charlotte Hornets (33-37) at New York Knicks (39-31)… The Knicks still have a shot at the #4 seed in the East, but they’ll need to win both games this weekend and hope both the Atlanta Hawks and Miami Heat falter. LaMelo Ball and the Hornets currently occupy the #8 seed, but need to be careful not to slip to the #10 and allow the Pacers or Wizards to sneak in the back door.
LA Lakers (40-30) at Indiana Pacers (33-37)… The banged-up Lakers are hobbling into the postseason. LeBron James said he doesn’t care about playoff seeding, but if they win both their games this weekend, the Lakers could avoid the play-in tournament.
Phoenix Suns (49-21) at San Antonio Spurs (33-37)… Devin Booker and the Suns trail the Jazz by just one game. The Suns square off against the Spurs in back-to-back games this weekend with a chance to seize the #1 seed in the West and pass the Jazz.
Sunday Funday: Grizzlies/Warriors Throwdown
Boston Celtics (35-35) at New York Knicks (39-31)… Who would have predicted that the Knicks would be on the cusp of 40 wins while the Celtics would be a break-even team? The Celtics lost Jaylen Brown to a season-ending injury, so it’s up to Jayson Tatum to provide the extra scoring punch. Maybe we can get a Tacko Fall sighting this weekend?
Charlotte Hornets (33-37) at Washington Wizards (32-38)… The Wizards have been the most exciting team in the Eastern Conference over the last few weeks. Russell Westbrook recently broke Oscar Robertson’s 47-year triple-double record, but Bradley Beal is nursing a sore hamstring.
Memphis Grizzlies (37-33) at Golden State Warriors (37-33)… Steph Curry (31.8 ppg) will win the NBA scoring title after Beal went down with an injury. The Grizzlies and the Warriors are fighting for the #8 seed. They have identical records, but the Warriors own the tiebreaker. The #9 seed must win two games in the play-in tournament to advance to the Western Conference playoffs. The #8 seed needs just one game to lock up a spot.
Denver Nuggets (46-24) at Portland Trail Blazers (41-30)… Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets are within striking distance of the LA Clippers and the #3 seed. The Portland Trail Blazers currently occupy the #6 seed and are trying to fend off the Lakers. Damian Lillard and the Blazers want to avoid the play-in tournament, which they can do with a couple of clutch wins this weekend.