The NBA Playoffs are right around the corner, starting on April 16 after the Play-In Tournament. The Play-Ins, which were introduced last season, offer a way for lower-ranked teams to still make the playoffs, helping to make the competition more exciting. 

Every year, the NBA playoffs are one of the most anticipated events on any basketball fan’s calendar. This year promises to be better than ever, with little to separate the best teams.

As well as offering some of the most exciting basketball games of the season, the playoffs also offer plenty of great betting opportunities. 

Millions of dollars are wagered on every game of the playoffs as fans, and professional bettors hope to use their knowledge of the game to win cash.

With that said, here are three possible bold predictions for the upcoming NBA postseason tournament. 

The Mavericks & Grizzlies Will Struggle

The Dallas Mavericks appeared to have taken a step toward contention a year early. They've made the playoffs the past two seasons, but each time they've been eliminated by the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round. 

They will eventually get away from the Clippers this year, but it won't be an easy route to the second round. 

They’re currently the fourth seed and are preparing for a battle with the Utah Jazz, where they’ll be up against the likes of Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.

The Memphis Grizzlies are in a similar position, although ranked as the number two seed in the Western Conference. They’ve particularly benefitted from stellar performances from young stars this season, including Ja Morant. 

However, in the first round, the squad will most likely face either the Clippers or the Minnesota Timberwolves. If it's the former, the Grizzlies could be in trouble. It's difficult to bet against Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, given their depth. 

Devin Booker Cements His Place as a Top 5 NBA Star

The Phoenix Suns have become the overwhelming favorites to win the championship this season.  Surprising everyone, they’re currently top of the Western Conference and getting better with each game. 

Every team in the league is eight-and-a-half games behind the Suns. They are now on a nine-game winning streak.

This run has been largely aided by Booker, who has had a significant impact on the Suns' success. Despite this, most media attention has focused on the likes of Luka Doncic and Morant. 

However, should the Suns continue to push on and perform well in the playoffs, few will be able to deny that Devin Booker is a top 5 star.

The Bucks & 76ers Could be the Surprise Teams of this Season

Every season there’s a team that surprises everyone by going much further than expected. Last season saw Miami Heat upset the odds. This season, many are tipping the Milwaukee Bucks and the Philadelphia 76ers to do the same. 

The Bucks have looked great in the opening two games of their series against the Miami Heat. Jrue Holiday is a huge upgrade in the backcourt, and the Bucks spent the regular season experimenting with defensive coverages that should help them prepare for a longer postseason run.

The 76ers are looking strong. The Sixers finished second in the NBA in defense and had an MVP finalist in Joel Embiid in the center. 

Embiid is far too large and skilled to be stopped by a single defender, and he appears to be a matchup nightmare for the Brooklyn Nets. 

As the fourth seed, the Sixers have the advantage of avoiding the Bucks and Nets until the Eastern Conference Finals.


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