Best Betting Picks For 2022 NBA Western Conference First Round

Best Betting Picks For 2022 NBA Western Conference First Round

Utah vs. Dallas Total Games Played Pick

The best online sportsbooks have pegged the Jazz as sizable -300 favorites to take the whole series (while the Mavericks are +250). We’re not in love with either betting line, therefore, we’re jumping on the Utah vs. Dallas games played prop instead. Here’s how those odds shake out:

Games PlayedBetUSBovada
4 games+500+500
5 games+275+275
6 games+200+200
7 games+200+200

The lingering question over this entire series is the health of Luka Doncic. In the season finale, he strained his left calf. Thankfully, he has almost a week to recover from then to Game 1, but it’s still an unneeded hurdle to overcome for a Mavs team that, admittedly, is over-reliant on Doncic, who averaged 28.4 points per game this season (third-best in the league). Matter of fact, Luka was the only player NBA-wide to average at least 28 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists per game.

In the past, Doncic has had his share of success versus the Jazz. More times than not, Doncic and company have purposely created switches to draw a one-on-one matchup with Rudy Gobert. On the surface, that seems asinine given Gobert is a leading Defensive Player of the Year contender at top NBA betting sites. Yet, it’s worked as Doncic’s agility has been too much for Gobert to handle despite the big man’s obvious size and reach advantage. Obviously, a gimpy Doncic on one good leg makes that matchup more difficult on his side.

We believe this ends up being a hard-fought series and honestly, we’re not entirely sure which team wins. A healthy Doncic could carry Dallas to outright victory, but if the calf injury flares up, there are few other Mavericks players that can make the Jazz’s shoddy defense pay. So we say bet the series going to seven games, get the popcorn, and enjoy the back-and-forth showdown this will inevitably end up being.

7 games plated in Dallas vs. Utah series

Golden State vs. Denver Correct Series Score

Like the previous betting pick, this next one also hinges on the health of one team’s star player — that being Steph Curry of the Warriors. He’s missed 11 straight games with a left foot injury and Golden State head coach Steve Kerr hasn’t said whether he’ll suit up for Game 1. That’s partly why the betting odds for the Golden State vs. Denver correct score is all over the place, as seen below:

Golden State Warriors 4-0+800+800
Golden State Warriors 4-1+400+400
Golden State Warriors 4-2+400+400
Golden State Warriors 4-3+275+275
Denver Nuggets 4-0+2000+2000
Denver Nuggets 4-1+1100+1100
Denver Nuggets 4-2+500+500
Denver Nuggets 4-3+650+650

We’re honestly not pessimistic about the Nuggets’ chances whatsoever. Yes, Nikola Jokic is a monster and perhaps worthy of winning MVP for the second straight year. His advanced metrics are off the charts, including this one: with him on the floor, Denver outscored opponents by 8.4 points per 100 possessions. But with Jokic on the bench, they went minus-7.9 (the biggest differential of any player across the league). After Jokic there’s a huge drop-off in consistent production for the Nuggets — an issue exacerbated by injuries to Jamaal Murray and Michael Porter Jr.

While Jokic can will the Nuggets to victory in one-off games during the regular season, we have our doubts about doing the same over a seven-game series. Simply put, the Warriors will find ways to minimize the Joker's impact — especially with an elite defender like Draymond Green, who’s finally healthy for the first time in a long time.

We’re picking the Dubs to win in six. More than anything else, they simply have more talent and depth up and down the roster. If Curry didn’t need a few games to knock off some rust, we would say this series ends sooner. But alas, it’ll take time before Curry plays like the usual Curry so Golden State winning 4-2 feels on-point.

Golden State to win series 4-2 against Denver

Minnesota vs. Memphis Series Spread

Here’s a different take on the classic spread bet, but applied to the Minnesota vs. Memphis series as a whole. The top-used sports betting sites have set it at one-and-a-half games each way, with the Grizzlies as favorites and Timberwolves as underdogs:

Minnesota spread (+1.5 games)+125+125
Memphis spread (-1.5 games)-165-165

Did anyone see the way Minnesota was celebrating winning the play-in game over the LA Clippers? It felt like a damn championship parade. Maybe we’re reading too much into this, but the T-Wolves are just happy to be in this playoff series. In other words, they lack the mindset of a contender ready to take care of business. We don’t feel the same about the two-seeded Grizzlies.

That’s why we predict Memphis wins this series by at least two games — a 4-2 victory to be specific. The key to beating Minnesota is slowing down Karl-Anthony Towns, and we actually foresee the Grizzlies having success at doing so. They’ll throw Jarren Jackson Jr. at him, an elite defender who led the league in blocks at 2.3. That’s a winnable matchup for Memphis, which makes covering the -1.5 spread incredibly doable.

Memphis to cover series spread against Minnesota

How To Bet On 2022 NBA Playoffs?

The three postseason bets we mentioned above are just a sliver of what’s available right now at bookmakers. If you want a one-stop shop to betting on the 2022 NBA playoffs — with a complete menu of wagers — then head to one of the sites featured underneath. They have you covered for the next two months of postseason basketball, which promises to be a doozy.