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NBA Week 22: Odds Update, Betting Trends and Futures Picks

Jayson Tatum

Jayson Tatum

Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

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After 22 weeks of the NBA season, each team has around 10 games remaining before the postseason arrives. Now is a good time to look at what each team’s schedule looks like during that stretch and which teams still have something to play for.

Schedule Stats and Seeding Races:

No team has an easier road than the Portland Trail Blazers, with a league-low strength of schedule over the final 12 games according to the Positive Residual schedule dashboard. With so many injuries, bettors might be inclined to blindly fade the Blazers but with six remaining home games, the Blazers could pull off a few surprising covers against the spread.

On the other hand, the Lakers have a .600 remaining strength of schedule that ranks as the hardest in the league. LA is still fighting to clinch a spot in the play-in tournament, with New Orleans (.478 remaining SOS) and San Antonio (.502) also in the mix.

PointsBet Sportsbook no longer offers a market to bet on the play-in tournament, but there are still some actionable futures with reasonable prices. In the race for the #1 seed, the Miami Heat are listed at -500 and have a three game lead over Milwaukee. While I don’t think the Heat will lose that lead, I do see value on a division future.

The Boston Celtics have the best defensive rating in the league and have been on a hot streak since the start of 2022. Jayson Tatum is putting up more than 32 points per game through 12 post-break games and the team is currently tied in the standings with the Philadelphia 76ers.

The 76ers are one of just eight teams with no remaining games with rest advantages and could rest Joel Embiid or James Harden down the stretch to prepare for the playoffs. There also could be some positioning going on for Philly to try and avoid a top-two seed and a potential first-round matchup with the Brooklyn Nets.

The line at PointsBet Sportsbook is currently listed at -160 in favor of the Celtics, which is a better price than the -180 available on Boston at FanDuel Sportsbook. I’m willing to lay the -160 odds with the favorite and take the Celtics to finish the regular season with the Atlantic Division title.

Atlantic Division

Atlantic Division

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Trends:

Overall, favorites are covering at a similar rate (51%) as they have all season, but double-digit favorites have played significantly better since the All Star Break. This season was on pace to be the worst performance from double-digit favorites in years but teams in that spot went 21-16 ATS since the break, including an impressive 4-0 record by the Timberwolves as double-digit favorites.

Double-Digit Favorites since the All Star Break

Double-Digit Favorites since the All Star Break

Teams playing without rest have continued to struggle this season, covering just over 40% of games without a rest day since the All-Star Break. I’ll be tracking these trends closely as the season comes to a close, and I’m looking forward to an exciting end to the regular season.