Prepare to witness the absolute apex of online NBA betting, because the 2022 NBA playoffs are about to tip off. The play-in tournament will conclude on Friday, April 15, and that will be immediately followed by the start of the first round of the postseason on Saturday, April 16. This, of course, means it's time to dive into some piping hot NBA picks.
At this time, our preferred 2022 NBA playoff futures include focusing on the Eastern and Western Conference Finals, and whether the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks should actually be the favorites to emerge from their respective brackets.
To start things off, let's laser in on the latest NBA betting odds to win the Eastern Conference Finals:
|Pick to Win|
You should note that our betting odds on the NBA are accurate entering Thursday, April 14. If you are making your NBA conference champion predictions at any point thereafter, you should confirm these playoff basketball betting lines for accuracy before settling on any decisions.
Browsing through our reviews of the top online sportsbooks is also incredibly essential this time of year. With all the in-depth information we've dredged up, you'll be able to find the best 2022 NBA playoff betting sites in an instant.
Should the Bucks be Favored to Win the East?
The Bucks (+230) don't necessarily have the vitals to support their favorite status. They finished a lackluster 14th points allowed per 100 possessions during the regular season, and their bench play has been spotty.
Combine the surges from the Boston Celtics (+350) and Miami Heat (+380), as well as the top-end talent on the Philadelphia 76ers (+600) and Brooklyn Nets (+460), and the East appears to be littered with potential pitfalls for the defending champs.
Still, the Bucks have Giannis Antetokounmpo. That sounds reductive or overly simplistic, but he's the best player in the league, and they've earned the benefit of the doubt after last year's title.
Best Dark Horse Bet to Win Eastern Conference in 2022
This will shock some people, but we're going with the Toronto Raptors (+2400).
On the surface, they don't have the half-court offense to hang with the heavier weights. But they've improved a great deal over the past couple of months, thanks mostly to Pascal Siakam, and there's no team with a more versatile defense.
Toronto is a real threat to come out of the East.
Official Eastern Conference Winner Prediction
We just can't quit the Bucks here.
Yes, Milwaukee is shallow. But the Bucks have slaughtered opponents whenever Giannis shares the floor with Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton. Brook Lopez's return from a back injury only buoys their chances even further.
To be frank, you should jump on the Bucks' odds before the potential payout starts to worsen.
OSB Prediction: Milwaukee Bucks (+230)
Should the Suns be Favored to Win the West?
Here are the latest betting odds on who will win the NBA Western Conference:
|Pick to Win|
There is only one appropriate answer to the question of whether the Suns (+120) should be favored to win the West: Yes.
Phoenix just won 60-plus games despite seeing Deandre Ayton, Chris Paul, Cam Johnson and Devin Booker all miss extensive time. They are also the only team in the league to rank inside the top five of both points allowed and points scored per possession.
Everything about the Suns screams juggernaut. Take that to heart.
Best Dark Horse Bet to Win Western Conference in 2022
Oddsmakers are currently down on the Dallas Mavericks (+1300) because superstar Luka Doncic is dealing with a calf strain and doesn't have a timeline for return. But multiple reports have alleged he's already riding a bike, which means he shouldn't miss much, if any, time against the Utah Jazz (+950) in the first round.
Assuming Doncic is ready to go, the Mavs are a great dark horse. Spencer Dinwiddie has given them a viable No. 2 option, and their defense has hovered around the top seven in points allowed per possession all year.
Official Western Conference Winner Prediction
Don't try talking us out of the Suns. It won't work.
Indeed, the Golden State Warriors (+390) pose an interesting option. It looks like Stephen Curry will be returning for their first-round matchup with the Denver Nuggets (+1100), and their defense has regained its dominant form now that Draymond Green is healthy.
That invariably isn't enough to move us off the Suns. Their depth matters in these discussions. They're better built than anyone to beat opponents at both ends of the floor, on any given night, even if one of their two superstars (Chris Paul and Devin Booker) is struggling.
OSB Prediction: Phoenix Suns (+120)
Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all of your 2022 NBA playoff betting: