The 2022 NBA playoff picture is almost set, with the final play-in games occurring on Friday evening. The first game will feature the Atlanta Hawks and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The second game of the night will showcase the New Orleans Pelicans and the Los Angeles Clippers.
After these winners are crowned, the final playoff picture will be established, and we will be ready for postseason basketball. If you have not placed any bets yet, you have come to the right place. It’s time to win some money, which means we should place some future bets.
Let’s get into the playoff picture and some of the sports betting picks to make in the future markets.
FanDuel Sportsbook is one of the best places to make some NBA playoff bets. The first market you should look at prior to the initial series is the NBA Finals champion. The NBA Finals market prices are the best they will be at this point in the playoffs.
As we work through the month of games, the juice will get worse. It’s best to take a shot at a few teams early and then adjust your bets down the stretch of the playoffs if needed. If you pick the correct team now that makes it to the Finals, you can also hedge with the other side to guarantee a profit.
The favorite to win the NBA Finals is the Phoenix Suns, and for good reason. This is by far the most talented team in the playoffs, and they are priced at +270 to win the Finals. They are followed by the Milwaukee Bucks, who are seeded third in the Eastern Conference.
Suns vs. Bucks is also the most likely matchup if you want to pick the correct outcome for the Finals on FanDuel. The Celtics are third at +700, which could be the most dangerous team in the tournament.
The Celtics started the year looking like they would not come close to the playoffs. However, they are in striking distance and seeded second in the Eastern Conference. The one issue with their seed is that they will face the Nets, who are picked fourth in the future markets on FanDuel at +850.
This is a tremendous price for the Nets, but they are inconsistent. This is an issue when betting on the Nets because they have been known to break hearts. If Brooklyn plays defense, they are one of the best teams in the league behind Kevin Durant. Yet, defense has not been frequent this season, and they are known for blowing leads.
In the first Play-In game, the Nets had a huge lead over the Cavaliers but allowed Cleveland to crawl back in the game. This made Cavaliers bettors happy at +8.5 because they were able to cover the spread. The other betting favorites I would look at early are the Golden State Warriors at +900 and the Miami Heat at +950.
Underdogs may not win frequently, but if they make a run, it will be very lucrative for your wallet. The Memphis Grizzlies are the first underdog to look at in the NBA Finals. I would take the Grizzlies at +1400 because of their explosiveness.
Ja Morant leads this club, and they have been money as of late for bettors. Another team to keep an eye on is the Philadelphia 76ers at +1400.
The Sixers spiked in the NBA playoffs once they traded for James Harden. He has been a terrific complement to Joel Embiid. He makes this team a legitimate threat in the playoffs. Anything can happen in the NBA playoffs, so make sure you do your research when it comes to betting.
Atlanta Hawks at Cleveland Cavaliers Betting Preview
The Atlanta Hawks (43-39, 16-25 away) face off against the Cleveland Cavaliers (44-38, 25-16 home) in the NBA playoff play-in tournament for the Eastern Conference eight-seed. The winner of the contest will take on the top-seeded Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs. Atlanta took three of four from Cleveland during the regular season.
Friday’s contest tips off at 7:30 p.m. EST inside Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland, OH. The Hawks open as a 1.5-point road favorite, and the over-under total is 225.5 points.
What to Know – Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta came into the play-in tournament as the ninth seed in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks are 7-3 over their last ten games, including a 132-103 victory over the Charlotte Hornets in the first play-in contest.
The Hawks were third in the division averaging 113.9 points per game behind 47.0% shooting from the field and 37.4% shooting from the 3-point line. On defense, the Hawks allow 112.3 points per game, 46.9% shooting from the floor and 36% from deep.
In Wednesday’s victory over the Hornets, six Hawks scored in double-figures, led by star guard Trae Young with 24 points. De’Andre Hunter added 22, and Clint Capela added 15 points and 17 rebounds. In the victory, Atlanta shot 52.1% from the field and hit 16-of-32 shots from the arc.
As favorites, Atlanta is 6-0 against the spread in their last six games and 5-1 ATS over its previous six, playing with one day of rest.
What to Know – Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavaliers enter the final play-in game after losing to the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday. Cleveland entered the postseason after an eighth-place finish in the Eastern Conference. The Cavaliers are 3-7 over their last ten games.
Cleveland is 12th in the conference scoring 107.8 points per game thanks to 46.9% shooting from the field and 35.5% shooting beyond the arc. The Cavaliers’ defense limits opponents to 105.8 points per game, 45.3% shooting from the floor and 35.2% from three.
Darius Garland paced the Cavaliers in their 115-108 defeat to the Net on Tuesday. Evan Mobley poured in 19 points, and Kevin Love came off the bench to chip in 14. The Cavaliers hit 44.6% of their shots from the floor and 34.6% from the 3-point line.
Cleveland is 0-4 ATS over their last four games playing on multiple days of rest and 0-4 ATS in games at home against teams with a winning record.
The Pick is In
The Hawks and Cavaliers meet up with a trip to the first round of the playoffs on the line. Fortunately for the Hawks, Atlanta had the Cavs’ number during the regular season, winning three in a row, including a 131-107 triumph at the end of March. Atlanta’s Trae Young is the equalizer in this one, willing the Hawks to a road win over the Cleveland and punching their ticket to the next round.
The Pick: Atlanta Hawks -2.5