NBA Power Rankings: Are the Bulls a Value Bet to Make the Playoffs?
Teams will be ranked in terms of nERD, which is our efficiency metric based on in-game data. These ratings allow us to understand which teams and players are performing best. nERD is indicative of a team's expected winning percentage, so an average team will have a nERD score of 50.0.
Here's a look at how each team stacks up.
The Bottom 10
|27||Oklahoma City Thunder||12-19||34.0||25||-2|
- In the first week of February, the Sacramento Kings were riding high, having won seven of their previous eight games. That success is barely a dot in the rearview mirror, seeing as though Sacramento has now dropped eight in a row. Over at FanDuel Sportsbook, you can get -750 odds that the Kings will miss the playoffs, which implies 88.2% odds -- our model has the probability of that occurring at 93.9%. There's a smidge of value here.
- The Miami Heat went 3-1 this week, but our model still sees some value in a wager on them missing the playoffs, which is priced at +330. While those odds imply only a 23.3% chance of it happening, numberFire's algorithm has the likelihood at 45.3%.
The Middle of the Pack
|18||Portland Trail Blazers||18-13||47.3||T14||-4|
|16||New York Knicks||15-17||48.2||17||+1|
|15||San Antonio Spurs||16-11||49.4||16||+1|
|12||New Orleans Pelicans||13-17||51.3||13||+1|
- This tier is where some real value betting starts to show itself -- and that begins with the Chicago Bulls. Chicago has won four of their last five, and at 14-16, they currently sit in the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. According to NBA.com, the Bulls have the seventh-best net rating in the month of February. Betting on the Bulls to make it to the dance is priced at +390, which implies 20.4% odds. Our algorithm gives the Bulls a 31.6% probability of making the playoffs.
- As was the case last week, the New York Knicks are also a good bet to make it to the postseason, per our model. FanDuel has divvied out +220 odds that the Knicks clinch their first playoff berth since 2013 -- that implies a 31.3% chance of it transpiring. However, numberFire's has New York's likelihood at 42.9%. Is that value I smell?
The Best of the Best
|10||Golden State Warriors||17-15||54.5||9||-1|
|4||Los Angeles Lakers||22-10||66.2||4||0|
|3||Los Angeles Clippers||23-10||69.1||2||-1|
- We'll focus on championship bets for most of this tier, but first let's talk about the Golden State Warriors. Golden State went 2-1 in games Stephen Curry appeared in this week, and our model now has their playoff probability at a nice 69.7%. However, FanDuel prices that event at -124, which only carry 55.4% implied odds.
- Here are the teams with implied championship odds that's at least 1.0% lower than our model's probability for them to win the title: The Phoenix Suns at +5500, the Milwaukee Bucks at +700, and, finally, the Utah Jazz at +950.
- Utah seems like the best bet of the bunch. The Jazz are currently first in the league in net rating, as well as top-four in both defensive and offensive efficiency. Their nERD score is 5.9 points better than any other team in the league, and their title probability of 19.0% is also tops in the Association. Despite all of that, you can place a championship wager on the Jazz for +950, which implies just a 9.5% chance of your bet materializing.