NBA Playoffs: Is the NBA Championship wide-open?

The NBA Playoffs tip off on April 14. Stay tuned to ZCode System for great betting picks and the best sports wagering information on the Internet.

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Philadelphia 76ers

The NBA Playoffs start this weekend and the feeling around the NBA is this year’s postseason is wide-open. Compared to years past when the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors dominated the NBA, this season has seen both teams regress. The Cavs have gone backwards from the start after a poorly assembled team of former high-profile stars couldn’t get the team back to last year’s heights. In the case of the Warriors, Golden State has been overshadowed by the upstart Houston Rockets. Add in Steph Curry’s grade 2 MCL sprain in March, and the Warriors heart and soul has been missing.

As of this writing, only one playoff place remains open and that is in the Western Conference. The Minnesota Timberwolves and Denver Nuggets will go down to the wire to get that last place. This season’s NBA has shown that spending big on stars doesn’t guarantee a playoff place. The Detroit Pistons’ mid-season trade for Blake Griffin failed to get the Motor City team into the postseason. Meanwhile, Minnesota, who turned over its team with three big offseason signings could also miss out on the NBA Playoffs.

The Eastern Conference has been won by the Toronto Raptors. Toronto has finished top of the conference thanks to its consistency. DeMar DeRozan has averaged 23.1 ppg and a career high 5.2 apg.

The Raptors have benefited from the Boston Celtics’ injuries. Although Boston has claimed the second seed in the East, it will be without star player Kyrie Irving for the entire NBA Playoffs. Irving just had two screws removed from his left foot. Boston was already without big money signing Gordon Hayward. NBA insiders now declare the Celtics to be at least a year away from the NBA title.

This should give the Cavs hope of representing the Eastern Conference in the finals. However, the Cavs will go into the postseason as the fourth seed. Could third seed Philadelphia 76ers be the big winners in this year’s playoffs? Currently +4000 to win the NBA Finals, the 76ers at 50-30 are better than many may believe. Joel Embiid is injured for the 76ers, but could return by the second round of the playoffs.

In the Western Conference, Houston has been the best team from start to finish. Currently +130 to win the finals, the Rockets could benefit from the injuries their rivals have suffered. Golden State is waiting for Curry to return and the point guard is expected to miss the first round of the playoffs. Meanwhile, the San Antonio Spurs, who are considered the West’s third best team despite being a fifth or sixth seed, will be without Kawhi Leonard. The best defender in the NBA and one of the league’s top five, Leonard’s absence should see the Spurs knocked out of the playoffs early.

Golden State should be worried without Curry. The team has posted a 17-13 record without the guard, which spread over a full NBA season would have seen the Warriors win just 46 games. That number of wins would have seen the Warriors fail to make the postseason.

With the NBA Playoffs tipping off this weekend, let’s look at ZCode System’s Playoff Simulator.

Screenshot 2018-04-10 at 9.26.58 AM

The Playoff Simulator loves the soaring 76ers, but surprisingly, it also loves the New Orleans Pelicans.


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