To borrow a term from golf, this Sunday will be ‘Moving Day’ in the NBA. We will have 13 games on the schedule, so 26 teams are going to be in action. There are no games on Monday so that the league doesn’t take away from the college basketball national championship game, and that means when this Sunday’s games are done, we will have a good idea of what each team needs over the last week. The NBA regular season comes to an end next Sunday, April 9, and currently, only seven playoff spots are locked up. We have a good idea how things will shake out in the Eastern Conference, but there’s still a lot up for grabs in the Western Conference.
NBA Betting Odds at BetRivers Sportsbook
Toronto Raptors at Charlotte Hornets
At this point, there is nothing left to do for the Charlotte Hornets but to just play out the string. Charlotte is in a unique spot as the Hornets are guaranteed to finish with the fourth-worst record in the NBA. They are 26-51 and are 6.5 games better than San Antonio and 6.5 games worse than Portland and Orlando, so there is truly nothing to play for either way for this team. We have seen Charlotte respond well to the lack of pressure with three straight wins over teams trying to get in the playoffs, but it’s likely that we see the Hornets pack it in over the last week of the regular season.
The Toronto Raptors are looking for every win they can get between now and next Sunday. Their spot in the Play-In Tournament is pretty much secured as they are 38-38, but there is a major difference between finishing 8th and 9th. If you finish 8th, you have to win just one of two games in order to make the postseason, but you have to win both games if you are going to make the playoffs as the No. 9 seed. Additionally, that second game will be on the road as you would have to face the loser of the game between the No. 7 seed and the No. 8 seed.
Toronto is 2-0 against Charlotte this season and will play the Hornets on Sunday and Tuesday. The Raptors’ other four remaining games are against Philadelphia, Boston (twice), and Milwaukee, so they need to make the most of their two games against the Hornets. That makes them a strong pick against the NBA betting odds.
San Antonio Spurs at Sacramento Kings
A hearty congratulations is in order for the Sacramento Kings. Sacramento broke the longest playoff drought in North American professional sports earlier this week, and the Kings look set to be the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference. They have two players that should be All-NBA selections in De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis, so there is serious buzz about this team entering the postseason.
Sacramento is two games behind Memphis for the No. 2 seed, and the Kings would like to catch the Grizzlies, but Memphis is one of the hottest teams in the league. They have a manageable schedule the rest of the way, while the Kings have a slightly more difficult end to their season, so the No. 3 seed looks extremely likely for this team.
That could lead to Mike Brown taking it easy with his team over the last week of the regular season. Sacramento has not been in this spot in 17 years, and the Kings will want everyone ready for the first round, especially since they will have home court advantage.
San Antonio might be tanking, but the Spurs are in an interesting spot here. They have already ensured themselves of a place in the bottom three, and the NBA changed the rules so that the three worst teams would all have the same odds of selecting in the top four and earning the No. 1 overall pick. That means they don’t really have an incentive to lose anymore, so don’t be surprised if the Spurs are more feisty than we have seen in recent games. The NBA betting line should be in the double digits since San Antonio’s closest loss has been by 11 points during their losing streak.