NBA Betting Predictions to Become 2017 Eastern and Western Champions

Posted by Henry Watkins on Tuesday,April 4, 2017 4:50, EDT in

The 2016-17 NBA regular season is down to its last two weeks. There’s still a lot of intrigue, as 11 teams are still in contention for the eight playoff spots in the East, and 10 teams are still alive in the West. Let’s take a look at each of these NBA betting picks and why they either do (or don’t) have a shot to make it to the NBA Finals.

NBA Betting Predictions to Become 2017 Eastern and Western Champions

The East Today (1-11)

Cleveland (½ GB)
Toronto (3 GB)
Washington (4 GB)
Milwaukee (10 GB)
Atlanta (11 GB)
Chicago (12 GB)
Miami (13 GB)
Indiana (13 GB)
Charlotte (14 GB)
Detroit (15 GB)

The fact that LeBron James has been to six straight NBA Finals — and that the Cavaliers still have a ton of talent — means that you have to take Cleveland seriously. However, no team played worse defense in March, and no contender has more sniping going in the huddle. No team has more whining going on from their top star, either.

Boston has an edge right now that Cleveland lacks. In their signature win in Golden State last month, they just locked down one of the best offenses in the league and took a victory. Toronto still has a stingy defense as well — but what about Washington? They have taken some punches to the mouth on their West Coast swing, but it will be interesting to see how they respond coming home.

Any sleepers in the East? You have to look hard at Milwaukee, with Giannis Antetokounmpo having the best season by any Buck in years. Jason Kidd has coached this team to play swarming defense and opportunistic offense — a great combo for playoff basketball. My prediction? Boston knocks off Cleveland in six in the conference finals.

The West Today

Golden State
San Antonio (3 ½ GB)
Houston (11 GB)
Utah (16 GB)
L.A. Clippers (16 ½ GB)
Oklahoma City (19 ½ GB)
Memphis (21 GB)
Portland (25 GB)
Denver (26 ½ GB)
New Orleans (30 GB)

In the West, it is shaking out to be Golden State and San Antonio…and everyone else. Yes, Houston has a lot of scary offense thanks to James Harden, but their defense tends to fold at just the wrong time. Utah is tough, especially at home, and especially inside, thanks to Rudy Gobert, but can they win on the road? Golden State has won 62 games without Kevin Durant for a lot of the way — and he comes back Saturday. I like the Warriors to come out of the West and face Boston.