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Which Outsiders Represent Value to Win the 2024 NBA Title?

Which Outsiders Represent Value to Win the 2024 NBA Title?

Six of the eight first round NBA Playoff series are set. Friday’s two remaining Play-In games will determine the eight seed in each conference with the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans playing to keep their seasons alive.

We have already waved goodbye to Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors, while Joel Embiid’s 76ers dodged the Boston Celtics by beating the Miami Heat in Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Denver and Boston are the overwhelming favourites in their respective conferences. No other team is shorter than 10/1 to win the title. Upsets can happen in the Playoffs, though, so we’ve compiled a few outsiders which could have value.

Oklahoma City Thunder at 14/1 with Coral

Oklahoma City is the one seed in the Western Conference. It’s not often the top seed can be called an outsider, but this young Thunder group falls into that category at 14/1.

They will avoid the Nuggets until the Conference Finals. Their first-round matchup will be either by the Pelicans without Zion Williamson or the Kings who played .500 ball over their last 34 games and do not have Malik Monk or Kevin Huerter at their disposal.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander can be the best player on the court against any team in the league (with the exception of Denver). OKC was top four in offence and defence, all while going 33-20 against teams above .500.

It’s very, very rare a young team goes all the way on their first attempt, but the Thunder have a real chance. The Clippers or Mavericks in the second round will be a huge test, but injuries and fatigue could be a factor for LA or Dallas in what should be a gruelling first round series.

Having gone 33-8 at home in the regular season, homecourt throughout the West Playoffs is a factor to bear in mind here, too.

Philadelphia 76ers at 16/1 with Unibet

Joel Embiid’s return didn’t come soon enough for the Sixers to dodge the Play-In. That could be a blessing in disguise after Philly beat Miami. Nick Nurse’s team now takes on the New York Knicks without Julius Randle. Like the Thunder, they have avoided the conference’s juggernaut until the Conference Finals.

Philadelphia has played at a 65-win pace with Embiid. His condition in the Play-In was a bit of a concern, and he was far from his best. The role players stepped up for the Sixers, though, with Nic Batum draining three after three and others playing impactful minutes. Embiid has been surrounded by more talented teams in the past, but this is the most depth and best-fitting supporting cast he’s had.

The Sixers still have a tricky path, particularly if Giannis Antetokounmpo is healthy by the second round. They have been the second-best team in the East when Embiid and Tyrese Maxey are available, however, and delaying facing Boston gives more time for the Celtics to slip up or suffer injuries.

Minnesota Timberwolves at 20/1 with Unibet

Getting the Suns in the first round and likely facing the Nuggets in the conference semi-finals contribute to the Timberwolves being listed at 20/1 with the biggest betting companies to lift the Larry O’Brien trophy. Minnesota’s +4.6 net rating since the All-Star break doesn’t make them seem like an intimidating opponent.

Karl-Anthony Towns’ return from injury is crucial. He raises their ceiling offensively, and his shooting should make life easier for Anthony Edwards. The defence has been phenomenal all year (they were 2.2 points per 100 possessions better than anyone else).

Things need to break for the Timberwolves. But they are a better team than we have witnessed with BetZillion’s colleagues over the last few months. Their size is going to cause teams problems, and Edwards has the game to really excel in the postseason.

Sam
Author
Sports Writer

Sam is an experienced sports betting writer, with a particular focus on American sports. He is equally comfortable analysing futures markets or weighing up the latest game lines.

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