NBA Regular Season in Final Stretch

Spread the Word:

The 2023-24 NBA regular season comes to a close on April 14, when all 30 teams play their final games. In a season that began back in October, that means time is getting tight for those teams still trying to get into the playoffs or better position themselves for the postseason run to come.

Eastern Conference Leaders

At this point in the season, there is very little chance that anyone is going to catch the Boston Celtics for the No. 1 seed. Through March 12, they are nine wins up on their closest competitor, the Milwaukee Bucks. Barring a total collapse, they will begin the playoffs on top of the standings.

Boston is also the heavy favorite to emerge from the Eastern Conference, with Massachusetts online sportsbooks paying -110 on the Celtics advancing to the NBA Finals.

The No. 2 seed in the East is going to be a battle this final month of the season between the Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers, and perhaps the New York Knicks, if they can get hot. The Knicks won nine straight at the end of January, but since that streak ended, they haven’t been able to win as many as two in a row. That’s a stretch of 16 games and a record of 6-10.

Still, New York retail sportsbooks are paying +1100 on the Knicks to win the Eastern Conference.

Fading into Play-In territory are the Philadelphia 76ers, but they do have an X-factor that could save them. One report says that Sixers are hopeful center Joel Embiid could return for the final week of the regular season. Another says he’s nowhere close to returning to play. Whichever report is closest to accurate will have a big impact on what happens in the East.

Western Conference Leaders

Unlike the East, there is no clear-cut best team in the West. At the close of play on Tuesday, three teams were tied with 45 wins – the Denver Nuggets, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Minnesota Timberwolves –  and the Los Angeles Clippers were four games back at 41.

However, the Clippers will have a very hard time catching the other three if Kawhi Leonard continues to struggle with injuries. He missed Sunday’s loss to the Bucks with a sore groin, then left Tuesday’s loss to Minnesota because of back spasms. If he isn’t healthy, this team isn’t going to meet the lofty expectations of NBA online sportsbooks, which has them as the second betting favorite to win the West.

The Nuggets are the favorite at +185, the Clippers are +270, and the Thunder and Phoenix Suns are tied at +900.

Outside of those four 40-plus win teams, the Suns are the best of the next tier of teams. They play tough games at Boston on Thursday and at the Bucks on Sunday. The New Orleans Pelicans are also in the mix in the West, and they host the Cavs on Wednesday night riding a four-game winning streak. On Friday, they will host the Clippers.

The Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers are squarely in bubble territory, with the Warriors at +145 to make the playoffs, and the Lakers paying +100.

Sinking to the Bottom

At the extreme other end of the spectrum, you can bet on which NBA team will finish the regular season with the fewest wins. Washington D.C. online sportsbooks like the hometown Wizards to win that (dis)honor. They are paying -110. The Detroit Pistons, who were historically bad to begin the season, are +100.

Related News

February 27, 2024

Los Angeles Clippers Announce Rebrand for Next Season

Los Angeles seems like it should be a big enough city for all the sports it wants. But in reality, the Dodgers will always be favorites over the Angels, the […]

February 19, 2024

NBA Looks Ahead to Second Half Following All-Star Weekend

It was a weekend for firsts at the NBA All-Star festivities in Indianapolis. Damian Lillard became the first player to win the 3-point contest and All-Star Game MVP in the […]

February 16, 2024

The Baseball Season is Just Around the Corner

Two weeks ago, Punxsutawney Phil told us that spring was just around the corner, and in Florida and Arizona, we have visual evidence that he was right. Pitchers and catchers […]

February 13, 2024

Biggest Off-Season Decisions for NFL Contenders

There is still confetti on the field at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, and already the NFL is turning its attention to the 2024 season. On February 20, teams can […]

Stay Ahead of the Game

Are you ready to take your online gambling experience to the next level? Sign up for the LetsGambleUSA newsletter and get the latest news, exclusive offers, and expert tips delivered straight to your inbox.