NBA Season Restart Betting Guide: 8 Seeds, Conference Winners, and Exact Finals Matchups

Which NBA betting value is uncovered when simulating the season thousands of times?

We've got an NBA schedule, everyone.

And along with that, we can really figure out how to bet the NBA season's restart with all of FanDuel Sportsbook's offerings.

Thanks to our chief analyst, Keith Goldner, I was able to simulate out the rest of the season 5,000 times assuming no homecourt advantage for any team, given the neutral-site matchups we'll see the rest of the way.

These are the bets that stood out most.

Team to Finish as 8 Seed in the East

There isn't a ton of value on this one, but it's at least interesting.

Team to Finish as 8 Seed FanDuel Sportsbook Odds
Orlando Magic -125
Brooklyn Nets +105
Washington Wizards +1700

Our simulations give the Orlando Magic a 53.6% chance to finish as the 8 seed, a number right in line with the -125 odds posted at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Team to Finish as 8 Seed in the West

There are way more teams in the mix for the 8 seed in the Western Conference.

Team to Finish as 8 Seed FanDuel Sportsbook Odds
Memphis Grizzlies -160
New Orleans Pelicans +380
Portland Trail Blazers +460
Sacramento Kings +850
San Antonio Spurs +1700
Phoenix Suns +5500

The interesting thing here is that the Memphis Grizzlies finished as the 8 seed in 64.1% of the sims, higher than their posted odds of -160 (which imply around a 61.5% chance). That's a pretty good margin.

The San Antonio Spurs are in play for a long shot, as they slightly outperformed those posted odds in the simulations, but they'll need a lot of help to get to the 8 seed and reached it only 6.2% of the time in the simulated seasons.

To Win the Eastern Conference

There are two good bets in terms of Eastern Conference champs that pop.

Team to Win the Eastern Conference FanDuel Sportsbook
Milwaukee Bucks -175
Boston Celtics +700
Toronto Raptors +800
Miami Heat +900
Philadelphia 76ers +900
Indiana Pacers +2900
Brooklyn Nets +8000
Orlando Magic +10000
Washington Wizards +16000

The Milwaukee Bucks are heavy favorites at -175 to win the Eastern Conference (about a 63.6% likelihood), and our projections see them winning the conference even more frequently (69.8%). That's a positive expected value spot, but they aren't the only ones in the East to look promising.

The Toronto Raptors are listed at +800 but won the East in 14.8% of the simulated seasons, above their expected rate of 11.1%. Toronto was really good before the break.

To Win the Western Conference

The Western Conference isn't exactly wide open, but it's more open than the East, and our algorithm prefers one team significantly more than the book does.

Team to Win the Western ConferenceFanDuel Sportsbook
Los Angeles Lakers+165
Los Angeles Clippers+175
Houston Rockets+700
Denver Nuggets+1000
Utah Jazz+1300
Dallas Mavericks+1600
Oklahoma City Thunder+3500
New Orleans Pelicans+6500
Portland Trail Blazers+8500
Memphis Grizzlies+11000
Sacramento Kings+16000
San Antonio Spurs+18000
Phoenix Suns+25000

Because our data loves the Los Angeles Lakers way more than the Los Angeles Clippers, there's a big leverage spot here -- once again on the favorite. The price on FanDuel Sportsbook for the Clippers and Lakers are nearly identical, but our algorithm gave the Clippers a 20.1% shot to win the West with the Lakers coming in at 46.6%. It's not particularly close, and it makes the Lakers a good bet.

Other standout plays include the Dallas Mavericks and even the Oklahoma City Thunder (to a much lesser degree). The Mavs are a surprisingly strong bet to win the Finals at their posted odds (+3800).

Exact Finals Matchup

I won't list out all 39 posted combinations on FanDuel Sportsbook for the exact Finals matchup, but I don't need to. One pick stands out by a lot, and it's once again the favorite.

The Milwaukee Bucks to face the Los Angeles Lakers in the Finals is listed at +300, or 25.0% probability. Combining the Bucks' and Lakers' odds to reach the Finals, they should meet more than 30% of the time.

Other matchups that look like bets with positive expected value include the Bucks vs. Dallas Mavericks at +2600 and the Toronto Raptors vs. Lakers at +2200.