NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Grizzlies Worth a Postseason Bet?

With the 2020-21 NBA All-Star game just days away, it's time to take a look at numberFire's power rankings and see which teams saw the most movement since last week.

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

RankingTeamRecordnERDLast RankingPlus/Minus
30Minnesota Timberwolves7-2827.229-1
29Cleveland Cavaliers14-2127.530+1
28Orlando Magic13-2231.226-2
27Detroit Pistons9-2532.528+1
26Oklahoma City Thunder14-2033.427+1
25Sacramento Kings13-2135.8250
24Houston Rockets11-2236.222-2
23Washington Wizards13-2038.924+1
22Charlotte Hornets16-1841.321-1
21Miami Heat17-1843.323+1


- After putting together a five-game win streak in mid-February, the Washington Wizards have lost three of their last five. At 13-20, Washington is somehow only -340 to miss the playoffs over at FanDuel Sportsbook. That implies 77.3% odds -- our model has the likelihood at 86.5%.

- The Miami Heat went 3-1 for the second consecutive week, but like last week, our model still sees some value in betting on them missing the playoffs, which is priced at +540. Those odds imply that there's just a 15.6% chance that Miami doesn't make it to the postseason, while our model has it at 35.2%. It's not a bet for the faint of heart, but it could pay off.

The Middle of the Pack

RankingTeamRecordnERDLast RankingPlus/Minus
20Chicago Bulls15-1846.019-1
19Portland Trail Blazers19-1446.418-1
18Dallas Mavericks17-1649.217-1
17New York Knicks18-1849.616-1
16Memphis Grizzlies16-1550.020+4
T14San Antonio Spurs18-1350.215+1
T14Boston Celtics18-1750.213-1
13Atlanta Hawks15-2050.314+1
12Indiana Pacers15-1851.011-1
T10Golden State Warriors19-1652.3100


- Despite a 1-2 week, numberFire's algorithm sees plenty of value in betting on the Chicago Bulls to be one of the top-eight seeds in the East when the season is over and done with. Our model currently gives Chicago a 31.5% chance of clinching a playoff birth, while their FanDuel odds of +440 imply just 18.5% likelihood.

- A 19-14 record doesn't deter our model from ranking the Portland Trail Blazers as a bottom-12 team in the league, and that could mean some value on the betting side. The Blazers have dropped four of their last five, and numberFire gives them a 48.0% probability of missing the playoffs. The betting odds of Portland missing the dance is +142, which carries 41.3% implied odds -- if our model is correct, this could be a decent value bet.

- For the third week in a row, I'm going to cite the New York Knicks as a good postseason bet, given how high our model is on them. numberFire's algorithm gives the Knickerbockers a 53.8% chance of earning their way into the playoffs, and yet that bet is priced at +164, which implies just a 37.9% probability of occurrence. New York is also 13th in the league in net rating per NBA.com, which certainly doesn't hurt their outlook as far as this bet is concerned.

- No team saw a bigger jump in our rankings than the Memphis Grizzlies, who are starting to look like a value bet to make the playoffs in the West. FanDuel's price for the Grizzlies reaching the postseason is a juicy +198 -- or 33.6% implied odds. Our algo has the likelihood at 43.5%.

The Best of the Best

RankingTeamRecordnERDLast RankingPlus/Minus
T10New Orleans Pelicans15-1952.312+2
9Toronto Raptors17-1754.990
8Denver Nuggets20-1559.870
7Philadelphia 76ers23-1261.160
6Phoenix Suns23-1162.880
5Brooklyn Nets23-1364.650
4Los Angeles Lakers24-1265.440
3Los Angeles Clippers24-1366.220
2Milwaukee Bucks21-1469.030
1Utah Jazz27-874.910


- Only three teams have a large positive discrepancy between their FanDuel odds and numberFire probability, and I covered all three extensively in Monday's odds update.

- Our algorithm gives the Phoenix Suns a 4.5% chance of winning it all, and yet their betting price at FanDuel is +4200 (2.3% implied odds).

- At 20.9%, the Milwaukee Bucks have the second-best title probability, per our models. However, Milwaukee's sportsbook odds of +750 imply that they just have an 11.8% chance of hoisting the Larry O'Brien Trophy.

- Finally, the Utah Jazz have our model's best likelihood coming away as NBA Champions this season, coming in at 22.5%. Nevertheless, placing a championship wager on them is priced at a salivating +850 -- that's 10.5% implied odds. Sign me up.