2022 NBA Playoffs: Favorites Prevail in First Round
The 2022 NBA Playoffs have kicked off with a thrilling start, as the favorites emerged victorious in the first game of seven out of eight first-round matchups. Oddsmakers swiftly adjusted their series odds based on the initial results, with the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns, the two teams from the 2021 NBA Finals, emerging as overwhelming favorites to win their opening-round series at -3000 odds each. Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets find themselves engaged in a tightly contested first-round series, with the Celtics gaining a surge in odds after taking a 1-0 lead.
A Clash of Titans: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
One of the most highly anticipated matchups in the first round features the Memphis Grizzlies, who boasted the second-best record in the NBA this season and claimed the #2 seed in the Western Conference, against the #7 Minnesota Timberwolves. Notably, both teams emerged as the highest-scoring teams in the league, promising an electrifying clash on the court. The Timberwolves triumphed over Ja Morant and the Grizzlies in Game 1, creating a thrilling betting race for this series. Currently, the Grizzlies hold slight favoritism at -125 odds, with the Timberwolves closely trailing at +105 to win the first-round series.
Early Championship Favorites: Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks
Despite the playoffs being in their early stages, the Phoenix Suns have emerged as the consensus favorite, with +200 odds to clinch the 2022 NBA Championship. The Suns have displayed remarkable strength and form, garnering significant attention from both fans and bookmakers alike. The Milwaukee Bucks, the defending champions, closely trail behind with +475 odds on the DraftKings’ futures board, highlighting their strong title defense ambitions.
Eastern Conference Playoff Series Odds
All of the favorites emerged victorious in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Playoffs. The Atlanta Hawks, who secured the #8 seed after winning two games in the Play-In Tournament and defeating the Charlotte Hornets and Cleveland Cavaliers, faced a setback when Clint Capela sustained a knee injury in the play-in finale. Without Capela, the Hawks showcased determination but faltered, resulting in a significant 24-point blowout. As a result, the top-seeded Miami Heat’s odds to win the series rose from -370 before Game 1 to -750.
#1 Miami Heat vs #8 Atlanta Hawks
#2 Boston Celtics vs #7 Brooklyn Nets
#3 Milwaukee Bucks vs #6 Chicago Bulls
#4 Philadelphia 76ers vs #5 Toronto Raptors
Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets: A Battle for Supremacy
The thrilling matchup between the #2 Boston Celtics and #7 Brooklyn Nets delivered an intense Game 1, featuring a buzzer-beater from Jayson Tatum. While the Celtics secured a victory, they failed to cover the spread, impacting their odds. Opening as -130 favorites, the Celtics’ odds have now risen to -220 to win the series after their Game 1 triumph. However, for those who believe the Nets can stage a comeback and win four out of seven games before the Celtics do, betting on the underdogs at +180 odds remains a tempting option.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Chicago Bulls: A Low-Scoring Affair
The #3 Milwaukee Bucks narrowly claimed victory in a low-scoring Game 1 against the #6 Chicago Bulls. Despite their win, the Bulls hold the position of long shots in this series, with +1200 odds to secure an upset against the favored Bucks in the opening round.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Toronto Raptors: Battling Injuries
With the #4 Philadelphia 76ers facing the injury-ridden #5 Toronto Raptors in their series, the 76ers have seen a notable improvement in their odds, shifting from -180 to -475. The Raptors’ injury woes have impacted their chances, making them long shots at +340 odds to prevail in the first round.
Western Conference Playoff Series Odds
In the Western Conference, the #1 Phoenix Suns faced off against the #8 New Orleans Pelicans, who clinched the final spot with two victories in the play-in tournament against the San Antonio Spurs and LA Clippers. Although the Pelicans displayed resilience in the second half of Game 1, the Suns managed to hold them off and secure a 1-0 series lead. Despite their spirited performance, the Pelicans are considered significant underdogs, with +1200 odds to achieve a major first-round upset against the Suns.
#1 Phoenix Suns vs #8 New Orleans Pelicans
#2 Memphis Grizzlies vs #7 Minnesota Timberwolves
#3 Golden State Warriors vs #6 Denver Nuggets
#4 Dallas Mavericks vs #5 Utah Jazz
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Minnesota Timberwolves: The Battle of Scorers
The #2 Grizzlies entered the playoffs as favorites with -330 odds to overpower the #7 Minnesota Timberwolves. However, following a Game 1 loss, the odds have now shifted to -125, indicating a highly competitive series. The Timberwolves, who were initially considered underdogs with +260 odds, have increased their chances to +105 to pull off a remarkable first-round upset.
Golden State Warriors vs. Denver Nuggets: Curry’s Return
After missing a few weeks due to a foot injury, the #3 Golden State Warriors welcomed back their star player, Steph Curry, in Game 1 against the #6 Denver Nuggets. Although Curry’s minutes were managed as a precaution, the Warriors cruised to a comfortable 16-point victory. As a result, the Warriors’ odds surged from -250 to -500 to eliminate the Nuggets in the first round.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Utah Jazz: Doncic’s Absence
The absence of Luka Doncic proved daunting for the #4 Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 against the #5 Utah Jazz, resulting in a defeat. Doncic’s availability for Game 2 remains uncertain, and with the series shifting to Utah for the next two games, the Mavericks find themselves with +500 odds to mount a comeback against the Jazz after falling behind 0-1.
The 2022 NBA Playoffs have commenced with great excitement and intense battles. The favorites have held strong in most series, asserting their dominance in the early stages. However, surprises are always on the horizon in the world of basketball, and anything can happen during the playoffs. As the series progress and teams continue to exhibit their strengths and weaknesses, fans can look forward to witnessing electrifying moments and potential upsets.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Will Clint Capela’s absence impact the Atlanta Hawks’ chances in the series against the Miami Heat?
Although the absence of Clint Capela is undoubtedly a setback for the Atlanta Hawks, the team has shown resilience even without their star player in the lineup. Capela’s knee injury in the play-in finale required him to miss Game 1, where the Hawks suffered a 24-point blowout. However, with a talented roster and capable substitutes, the Hawks can still compete against the Miami Heat, although Capela’s contributions will be missed.
2. Can the Brooklyn Nets overcome their Game 1 loss against the Boston Celtics?
Despite their loss in Game 1, the Brooklyn Nets possess a formidable lineup, including star players like Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving. The Nets are highly capable of mounting a comeback and winning the series. With the odds currently favoring the Boston Celtics, bettors who believe in the Nets’ potential can take advantage of the +180 odds to secure a potentially profitable outcome.
3. How has the absence of Luka Doncic affected the Dallas Mavericks’ chances against the Utah Jazz?
Luka Doncic’s absence due to injury has significantly impacted the Dallas Mavericks in their matchup against the Utah Jazz. Without Doncic’s exceptional skills and leadership, the Mavericks face an uphill battle. The odds reflect this, as the Mavericks now stand at +500 to overcome their 0-1 deficit and eliminate the favored Jazz. However, if Doncic returns to the lineup or his absence proves temporary, the Mavericks’ fortunes may change.
4. Which underdog team has the best chance of pulling off an upset in the first round?
Among the underdog teams competing in the first round, the Minnesota Timberwolves have the best chance of pulling off an upset. The Timberwolves delivered an impressive performance in Game 1 against the Memphis Grizzlies, winning as significant underdogs. With their odds now at +105 to win the series, they have displayed the potential to disrupt the favorites and advance to the next round.
5. Who are the top contenders for the 2022 NBA Championship?
Based on current odds, the Phoenix Suns and the Milwaukee Bucks emerge as the top contenders for the 2022 NBA Championship. The Suns hold the status of consensus favorites with +200 odds, reflecting their strong form and performances. Meanwhile, the Bucks, last year’s champions, closely trail behind with +475 odds, showcasing their desire to secure back-to-back titles.