The NBA regular season is nearing its conclusion, with teams still fighting for the wins that they need to secure their playoff spots. Among the teams that are looking for a last burst towards the end of the season are the 2019 champions, the Toronto Raptors. However, some of the leading contenders in the betting already look excellent value for a strong run in the post-season. But, which sides can be found towards the top of the NBA betting here?
When the Brooklyn Nets brought in James Harden from the Houston Rockets, it was widely believed that they would be the leading chance in the Eastern Conference. After a couple of weeks of getting used to his new teammates, the Nets have finally been able to reach their peak performance. The Nets will still face a fight in the Eastern Conference to reach the finals, with the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers looking the most likely rivals. However, it’s hard to dispute the Nets, given the quality that they have.
There is no shortage of stars on their roster with playoff experience, which could prove pivotal as they search for a first championship since 1976. The Nets haven’t won the Eastern Conference since 2006, but they look good value to break that duck this term. They have won 36 of their games this season, and have lost the joint-fewest number of games in the conference.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers remain among the favorites to win the NBA this season but are finding their title defense a struggle, to say the least. They have dropped to fifth in the Western Conference after defeat to the Miami Heat, which means that they have dropped six defeats in their previous ten.
There is a real concern around the Lakers that they could drop into the play-in tournament given then the form that has been shown by the Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks since the all-star break. However, it would be difficult to rule out the Lakers at this stage, as they have the quality on the roster to turn their form around and go on a long winning run.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers were believed to be serious players after bringing in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George last season, but their season ultimately ended in an embarrassing fashion. The Clippers surrendered a 3-1 playoff advantage against the Denver Nuggets to crash out at the semi-final stage, but they are showing signs that those shortcomings are now a thing of the past.
There is a good feeling at the Staples Centre, with George signing a new contract extension, and Leonard’s performing to a high standard. The two-time NBA winner has averaged 25.8 points per game so far this season. The Lakers have also added championship quality to the roster, and Serge Ibaka could be a vital component of the team when the playoffs get underway later in the year.