It’s been nearly three months since the NBA postponed its season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, there’s been endless speculation over when pro basketball and sports betting could return.
On June 4, those rumors came to a close when the NBA announced it would resume the season on July 31 at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL.
The plan will bring 13 Western Conference teams and nine Eastern Conference teams to play eight regular-season games before the postseason.
If the No. 9 seed is within four games of the No. 8 seed, there will be a play-in tournament that will require the No. 9 seed to win two games.
That’s extremely relevant to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Memphis is currently 3.5 games up on the Blazers, Pelicans and Kings for the No. 8 seed. The Spurs and Suns will also be competing for the final spot.
With just eight games remaining, the Grizzlies are in a strong spot to stay at No. 8 in the standings. They’d need to make a strong push to prevent teams from finishing within four games and triggering a play-in tournament.
Grizzlies odds to make the playoffs
With the Grizzlies in a tight spot, the odds are expected to be pretty even for them to make it.
DraftKings Sportsbook has Memphis at -150 to make it and +112 to miss.
FanDuel Sportsbook TN has it at -165 to make it and +135 to miss.
Both books have the Pelicans as the most likely team to challenge the Grizzlies.
DraftKings gives them +380 odds to make it, while FanDuel has them at +400. New Orleans had been coming on strong before the pandemic with Zion Williamson getting acclimated to the NBA and finding chemistry with its strong, young core.
Memphis also has a strong, young core.
Ja Morant and Brandon Clarke have had exceptional rookie seasons. A matchup between the two teams for the right to play the Lakers in the playoffs would make for great television.
Wagering on Memphis to make the playoffs seems like the right play. Falling out of the No. 8 seed is very unlikely unless the team has a disastrous eight games. The most likely scenario is a play-in tournament in which the Grizzlies would only need to win one out of two games.
There’s also a chance that Memphis plays well in the final eight games and avoids a play-in tournament altogether. Taking -150 on DraftKings seems like a smart play with how the NBA return is set up.
Grizzlies odds to win the Western Conference
The odds for the Grizzlies to make a miracle run and win the Western Conference are much larger. Having to take down the Lakers in the first round of the playoffs would be the biggest challenge.
DraftKings has Memphis at +12,000 to make the run.
FanDuel has the Grizzlies at +11,000 to make it to the finals.
Interestingly enough, both books have the Pelicans and Blazers as more likely to make a run and win the conference. This is likely due to the superstar factor both teams have with Damian Lillard and Williamson. Both teams are less likely to make the playoffs, but the public must think they have a better chance of going on a crazy run carried by their superstar.
It’s hard to recommend placing a bet on the Grizzlies to win the conference. With such a young team, this postseason will provide more of a test for Memphis to compete and gain invaluable experience for the future.
Grizzlies odds to win the NBA Finals
If you’re looking to go all out on the Grizzlies catching fire in Orlando and going all the way, you’ll get a nice price.
DraftKings has Memphis at +25,000 to win it all.
Only Phoenix, Sacramento, Orlando and Washington have worse odds. You wouldn’t need to put much money down to win any back.
However, you could spend your money more wisely on other wagers instead of making a Hail Mary bet on the Grizzlies.