Last Updated Nov 30, 2022, 1:31 AM

2022 NBA Playoffs Best Bets to Consider

The NBA Playoffs are finally here, and with both conference Play-In Tournaments officially set, it’s time to start thinking about how to score big on short-term futures with a wide-open playing field and so much action left to unfold.

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2022 NBA Playoffs Best Bets

  • Brooklyn Nets – To Win the Finals (+600)
  • Phoenix Suns – To Win the West (+110)
  • Miami Heat – To Win the East (+425)
  • Kevin Durant – NBA Finals MVP (+900)
  • Joel Embiid – NBA Finals MVP (+1500)

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Brooklyn Nets – To Win the Finals (+600)

The Nets opened the season as the odds-on favorite to win this year’s NBA title (+225), and rightfully so, considering Brooklyn previously went toe-to-toe with the reigning NBA champs in a thrilling seven-game conference semi-final set – which might have carried a different result if Kyrie Irving participated in Games 5, 6, and 7.

However, Brooklyn’s campaign was cursed from the jump this year, considering Kevin Durant was forced to miss 27 regular-season contests with a knee injury, while Irving missed 53 matchups primarily due to health and safety protocols – resulting in a disgruntled James Harden and a massive exchange with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Ben Simmons clearly isn’t the same caliber scorer as Harden, but fortunately, Brooklyn is already loaded with perimeter scoring threats capable of compensating for Simmons’ lackluster shooting ability – and the addition of Seth Curry only supports that notion. The Nets were incredibly dysfunctional during the Durant-Irving-Harden era, but despite their dysfunctionality, Brooklyn still stood as the most formidable challenge for Milwaukee last postseason – and played increasingly well in matchups with at least two superstars available this season.

With Kyrie and KD at the helm, Brooklyn still arguably wields the most explosive offense in the East, and while Simmons doesn’t add much to that equation, he’s still an excellent ball-handler and one of the league’s top perimeter defenders – and Simmons’ overwhelming defensive presence should soon prove more valuable to his new squad than Harden’s dynamic offensive ability did.

Phoenix Suns – To Win the West (+110)

The Suns were the best team in the league this season, and there’s no getting around it, as Phoenix cruised to the top spot in the Western Conference with a record of 64-18 SU – which paced the second-seeded Grizzlies (56-26) by an eight-game margin.

Phoenix wields all the cornerstones of a championship franchise; excellent veteran leadership in Chris Paul, an elite perimeter scorer in Devin Booker, a solid anchor down low in Deandre Ayton – accompanied by their deep supporting cast. The Suns currently stand head-and-shoulders above the rest of the West, and we’ll probably see their conference price tag dip into minus odds after cruising through the opening rounds, so I’d take it now before it becomes too chalky.

Miami Heat – To Win the East (+425)

The Eastern Conference Playoffs are shaping up to be incredibly competitive this year, considering there’s very little separation between the top five teams on the odds list – with the Bucks (+250) coming in as the current favorite, who’s closely followed by the Nets (+350), Heat (+425), Celtics (+425), and Sixers (+450).

The Bucks and Heat are the only teams in the East proven capable of making a championship run under their current construction, as Milwaukee knocked off Phoenix in last year’s NBA Finals – and Miami fell to L. A. in a competitive Finals matchup in the bubble the year prior. The Heat have grown since their previous trip to the NBA Finals though, considering Tyler Herro has since blossomed into an elite scoring threat, and they also wield sturdy veteran leadership at point guard in Kyle Lowry.

Ultimately, my vote of confidence still belongs to Brooklyn or Milwaukee to win the East, but if you are looking to hit big with a middle-tier value play like Miami, Philly, or Boston – Miami’s probably your best option in that case.

Kevin Durant – NBA Finals MVP (+900)

Durant’s Finals MVP odds are slightly tarnished due to his partner in crime also boasting decent odds to take home the award, as KD ranks third on the odds list at +900, which only trails Booker (+550) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (+600). However, Irving follows closely behind at seventh on the list at +1500 alongside other clear eastern contenders such as Joel Embiid and Jayson Tatum.

Kyrie gets most of the media attention for obvious reasons, and Brooklyn certainly isn’t a championship-caliber squad without him – but don’t get it twisted, the only way Brooklyn can win a title is with KD leading the charge.

Joel Embiid – NBA Finals MVP (+1500)

Despite acquiring Harden at the trade deadline, Embiid is still the undeniable heartbeat of this Sixers team, and their entire operation revolves around his dominance. Historically, Embiid led Sixers squads don’t perform well in the postseason, however, their current construction is far different than those in the past.

Philadelphia finally has an elite perimeter scoring threat to distract from Embiid in the post, along with a few other viable options such as Tobias Harris and Tyrese Maxey. Personally, I’m not quite sold on this new-look Sixers squad yet, but for those buying Philly right now, Embiid +1500 is an intriguing price tag for an almost guaranteed Finals MVP in the case of a Sixers’ title run.

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