Introduction to NBA Standings
The NBA season is 82 games long, so whoever finishes in the top eight in the Eastern and Western Conference standings gets to qualify for the NBA Playoffs.
The NBA recently added a play-in tournament, as the 7-10th place teams battle it out for the final two playoff spots.
Those who fail to qualify for the playoffs will have an opportunity to qualify for the first pick in the NBA Draft, as the three worst teams have equal odds at landing the top pick.
There are six different divisions in the entire league, as three are in the East and three are in the West. If you finish first in your division, you still aren’t guaranteed a top playoff spot. The NBA rewards teams with the best record regardless of where you finished in your division the top seeds in each conference.
Importance of Standings for Bettors
It’s important for bettors to keep their eyes on the standings, as that’ll help them determine which team is better than the other.
However, it isn’t always about the standings when it comes to certain matchups. Factors such as the Boston Celtics’ record against teams above .500 or how certain players matchup against certain opponents also plays a role in determining the ultimate outcome of the game.
The Celtics could have the better record than the Miami Heat when the two teams are facing off against one another. However, the Heat could be 8-2 in their last 10 games, whereas the Celtics are 4-6 in their last 10. Little details like that make a huge difference when it comes down to placing your bets.
If you’re betting point spreads, standings will also come into play, because there are certain instances where the underdog team could end up covering the spread even if they still end up as the losing team.
So if the Oklahoma City Thunder, one of the worst teams in the league, match up against the Golden State Warriors, one of the better teams in the league, and the Warriors have like a -13.5 line, the Thunder would end up covering the spread if they lose by just 13, which is possible given the tendency of better teams to take their foot off the gas against lesser competition.
These are all tips to keep in mind on how to bet on basketball and how to make your NBA picks.
How NBA season works
The NBA season is a grind, as all the best teams in the league need to rely upon at least one all-around superstar to get them far. By all-around player, they need someone who can score the ball at a high level, be a capable playmaker and defend the other team’s best player whenever they need to.
True contenders also need to rely on at least one other secondary scorer and a plethora of players out on the wings who can hit the 3-pointer and defender the perimeter.
A rim protector is also necessary to avoid easy baskets from being scored at the hoop.
If one team can get a near perfect mix of all of these traits, they are generally the last team standing, which means they end up winning a championship.
In order for that to happen, they need to go through three rounds of conference opponents before getting to the Finals, where they’ll face the winner of that conference.
NBA Standings Frequently Asked Questions
Golden State Warriors (2015-16 season).
Washington Bullets (1978).
Boston Celtics (2007-08 season).