After kicking off their playoff schedule with a pair of dominating victories, the Golden State Warriors have rocketed to the top of the odds to win the 2022 NBA championship, perched as short 4.10 favourites on the NBA futures at Bet99. The Phoenix Suns emerged as the best team in the NBA during the regular season. But now faced with serious injury concerns, the Suns have now dipped to 4.40 second favourites. The Toronto Raptors are also on the decline after falling to defeat in the first three games of their opening round series with the Philadelphia 76ers. Now facing the spectre of being swept in four games for the first time in four years, the Raptors have tumbled to distant 300.00 longshots to claim their second NBA title since 2019.
CanadianBettingSites takes a look at all the best bets ahead as the 2022 NBA playoffs get into full swing. Sports bettors looking to get in on NBA action for the first time can check out our guide to the best online sportsbook reviews to learn all they need to know about NBA betting in Canada.
|NBA Championship Odds|
|Golden State Warriors||4.10||4.15|
|New Orleans Pelicans||100.00||105.00|
Warriors Peaking at Right Time
After enduring a woeful second half to their regular season schedule, the Golden State Warriors have rediscovered their winning touch. The Dubs snapped a woeful 1-7 slide with five straight victories to close out the regular season, and have maintained their winning ways in the first round of playoff action with a pair of lopsided victories over the Denver Nuggets.
ESPN story on Steph’s minutes being increased for Game 3 and the ripple effect that will happen when he eventually returns to the starting lineup: https://t.co/Tpk8e26JpK
— Kendra Andrews (@kendra__andrews) April 21, 2022
Of course, postseason success is nothing new for Golden State, which made five straight appearances in the NBA Finals between 2015 and 2019, and claiming three championship titles over that stretch. One of the key players during that dynastic run, Stephen Curry has not lost a step. The 34-year-old point guard is still leading the attack for the Dubs, racking up 34 points in the team’s 126-106 rout of the Nuggets in Game 2. This time around, Curry has received an assist from Jordan Poole, who has averaged 29.5 points through the first two games of the series.
Suns Devastated by Booker Injury
While the Warriors have returned to their familiar position as the team to beat, the Phoenix Suns find themselves in a battle for their lives in their first round clash with New Orleans. Stunned by a 110-99 loss to the pelicans in their series opener, the Suns battled back to even the series at a game apiece with a 125-114 win in Game 2. However, the win came at great cost, with leading scoring Devin Booker suffering a hamstring injury that will sideline him indefinitely.
Devin Booker could reportedly miss up to 3 weeks of action due to a grade 1 hamstring pull https://t.co/h8OsDkiLIs
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) April 21, 2022
The Suns look to Game 3 still pegged as short 1.35 favourites on the NBA series prices at Sports Interaction to finally knock off the Pelicans, the road to the NBA Finals will be considerably tougher should Booker be sidelined for an extended period. That should raise the hopes of Western Conference rivals like the Memphis Grizzlies and Utah Jazz, who remain well off the pace on the NBA championship futures at 14.00 and 27.00, respectively.
Sixers Poised to Take Next Step
The Toronto Raptors surpassed the expectations of both fans and sports bettors while winning 48 games and claiming sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings. However, after relying heavily on their starters throughout the season, and now facing injury woes, the Raptors have struggled to keep pace with Philadelphia in their first round series, and find themselves facing elimination when they host the Sixers in Game 4 on Saturday afternoon.
New ESPN story: An already difficult challenge of getting back into this series was made more difficult for Toronto Sunday when Nick Nurse said Gary Trent Jr., Scottie Barnes and Thaddeus Young were all doubtful to play in Game 2 Monday night. https://t.co/cFkzN9Qt0W
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) April 17, 2022
For the Sixers, Toronto’s struggles are sweet revenge after being knocked off by the Raptors in crushing fashion when these two teams met in the playoffs three years ago. Indeed, the tables have turned, with Philadelphia rolling to a pair of dominating home victories over the raptors to open the series, and Joel Embiid sealing the victory in Game 3 with an overtime buzzer beater reminiscent of “The Shot” from Kawhi Leonard that clinched the series win for Toronto in Game 7 of their 2019 second round clash.
I have tweeted a few times this season that it feels like Joel Embiid is a 90 percent shooter on desperation 3s.
Looked up any shot past 25 feet he has taken with under four on the shot clock. It’s not 90%, but he’s now 22-52 on such shots this season: https://t.co/6MLzXU0tls
— Rich Hofmann (@rich_hofmann) April 21, 2022
Winners in eight of their past nine, and enjoying good health, the 76ers are positioned to be the first team to punch their ticket to the next round. However, they have yet to receive a boost on the NBA championship odds, where they still lag at 11.00. Of course, the Sixers still face long road ahead in their bid to raise the trophy for the first time since 1983. However, Embiid is flashing MVP form, and the team sporting the best road record of any Eastern Conference contender. While it may be hard to swallow for Raptors fans, the 76ers offer plenty of value for sports bettors looking to hedge their NBA title bets.
Best Bet: Philadelphia 76ers (11.00) at Bet99