The 2019 NBA Playoffs tip on Saturday as 16 teams begin their chase for an NBA title. Oddsmakers, however, only see eight of them having any realistic shot. The Warriors are the heavy favorites at 1-2 in the latest 2019 NBA Playoffs odds for who wins it all, with seven other teams -- the Milwaukee Bucks (6-1), Houston Rockets (8-1), Toronto Raptors (12-1), Philadelphia 76ers (18-1), Boston Celtics (18-1), Oklahoma City Thunder (30-1) and Denver Nuggets (35-1) -- going off at 35-1 or shorter. There are several extreme long shots after that, with the San Antonio Spurs and Utah Jazz getting 60-1, and then six squads going off at 100-1 longer in the current NBA Playoff odds 2019. Before locking in any 2019 NBA Playoffs picks or NBA Finals predictions, you'll want to see what SportsLine's projection model has to say.
This model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, is crushing its NBA picks. It entered Week 26 of the 2018-19 NBA season with a sterling 292-234 record on all top-rated picks, returning over $4,000 in profit to anybody following them. And it has been particularly red-hot on its A-rated NBA picks against the spread, entering Week 26 on a strong 76-59 run. Anybody who has followed it is way up.
Now, it has analyzed the current 2019 NBA Finals odds and locked in its top targets and teams to avoid like the plague. You can only see them over at SportsLine.
We can tell you the model is fading the Rockets, who were just one win away from the NBA Finals a year ago. The Rockets, a 4-seed in the 2019 NBA Playoff bracket, are led by James Harden, the first player in NBA history to average at least 35 points and seven assists in a single season. And Houston enters the NBA Playoffs 2019 as one of the league's hottest teams, having won six of their last seven, but they'll face a Jazz team that boasts a top-five scoring defense.
Houston struggled to score in its regular season series against the Jazz. In fact, the Rockets scored just 99.0 points per 100 possessions, the fewest Houston scored against any Western Conference opponent this season. The model gives Houston just a 52 percent chance of advancing to the second round and only a six percent chance of advancing to the Western Conference Finals. There are far better values than the 8-1 premium the Rockets are commanding.
Another shocker: The model is high on the Brooklyn Nets, saying the No. 6 seed has a 37 percent chance of advancing past the 3-seed Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the NBA Playoffs 2019.
The Sixers have the fifth-best 2019 NBA title odds at 18-1, while Brooklyn is a massive long shot at 500-1, making this even more of a surprise from the NBA projection model. But the simulations see a more competitive series than oddsmakers are anticipating.
The Nets were one of the strongest rebounding teams in the NBA this season with 46.6 per game, good for seventh in the NBA. And they're taking on a Sixers squad that could be without big man Joel Embiid (knee) for at least Game 1. Embiid also missed the final two regular season games and has no clear time line to return. Brooklyn also won three straight to end the regular season, while Philadelphia dropped four of its final six.
The model also loves a massive long shot to make a deep playoff run. Anyone who backs this underdog could hit it big.
Who wins the NBA Finals? And which massive long shot can go all the way? Check out the latest NBA playoff odds to win below and then visit SportsLine to see who you should back to win the NBA Finals, all from the proven model that is up more than $4,000 on its NBA picks this season.
Golden State Warriors 1-2
Milwaukee Bucks 6-1
Houston Rockets 8-1
Toronto Raptors 12-1
Philadelphia 76ers 18-1
Boston Celtics 18-1
Oklahoma City Thunder 30-1
Denver Nuggets 35-1
San Antonio Spurs 60-1
Utah Jazz 60-1
Portland Trail Blazers 100-1
Indiana Pacers 300-1
Los Angeles Clippers 500-1
Detroit Pistons 500-1
Brooklyn Nets 500-1
Orlando Magic 500-1