NBA 2024: Best Outsiders To Make The Playoffs – Odds, Tips & Predictions

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Sam Hayes
NBA News, Predictions & Tips
2024 NBA playoff race set to go to the wire

Breaking into the playoffs is seen as a given for many NBA sides with both punters and betting sites but for others, reaching the post-season playoffs is the culmination of a season’s work. 

In both the East and the West, the usual swathe of big hitters are looking to establish their position within the top 8, as they jostle for position yet for sides on the periphery, breaking into the playoff mix would give them freedom to challenge for the coveted NBA Championship title. 

Odds Table – Top 10 Favorites to make the Playoffs

Cracking the playoffs and going deep into the post-season is the dream for every NBA franchise and there are some enticing markets with all punters and NBA online betting sites

Boston Celtics $1.01$1.01$1.01
Milwaukee Bucks $1.01$1.01$1.01
Philadelphia 76ers  $1.01$1.01$1.01
New York Knicks $1.10$1.10$1.10
Cleveland Cavaliers $1.01$1.01$1.01
Denver Nuggets $1.01$1.01$1.01
Minnesota Timberwolves $1.03$1.05$1.03
Oklahoma City Thunder  $1.05$1.05$1.05
Los Angeles Clippers $1.01$1.01$1.01
Sacramento Kings $1.10$1.10$1.10


The Boston Celtics have once again been the dominant force in the NBA Eastern Conference this season and they are firmly in the hunt to finally break their 15-year NBA Championship duck. The likes of the New York Knicks, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Philadelphia 76ers have been firmly in the hunt in behind them all season and they too look to have secured their playoff spot. 

However, the door is still open for a few sides to force their way into contention and there are plenty of games to play in the NBA this season:     

Orlando Magic 

A superb recent run of form has enhanced Orlando Magic’s standing in the East, with 8 wins coming from their last 10 games played. Magic have plenty of attacking options and they have used them wisely this term, enabling them to climb as high as 6th place in the Eastern Conference table. 

They have their fate in their own hands, and they are a side full of confidence currently.  

What brings them here? 

Consistency. Whilst the Orlando Magic have been in excellent form this season, their ability to win games at crunch times has surprised plenty of NBA punters and betting sites, and their bandwagon is showing absolutely no sign of slowing down. 

Holding off the challengers below them will be their principal aim but the Magic have the resources to keep plodding on and they look well placed in the Eastern Conference. 

What could hold them off? 

Hitting a bump. Winning 8 of their last 10 games is a huge tick in the box for Magic but they will need to negotiate any potential bumps in the road that may come their way as the rest of the season pans out. 

Injury Report 

Markelle Fultz is the only man unavailable to Orlando Magic currently.
Bet on the Orlando Magic to make the Eastern Conference playoffs @ $1.60 with GetSetBet.  

Indiana Pacers 

Another team in a similar situation over in the East is the Indiana Pacers, who have been by far one of the most entertaining sides to watch in the NBA this season for many punters and betting apps. Sat in 7th, the Pacers are currently going well in the Eastern Conference this season and they will want to hold off the challengers and book their playoff spot.   

What brings them here? 

Churning out the results. With points flying in at both ends in every game the Pacers have played this season, they are generally a must back for all punters with NBA multi betting sites. They enjoy putting on a show and they will feel that can beat anybody on their day in the NBA. 

What could hold them off? 

Inconsistent streak. Results have started to become a little patchy for the Indiana Pacers of late, with 5 wins and 5 losses from their last 10 played and that is something they will need to address.   

Injury Report 

Jalen Smith and Aaron Naismith are the only two men missing for the Indiana Pacers currently.
Bet on the Indiana Pacers to make the Eastern Conference playoffs @ 1.65 with BlueBet.  

Chicago Bulls 

With Miami Heat faltering a touch in 8th place and the Toronto Raptors off the pace back in 11th, there is only currently the Chicago Bulls who look capable of forcing their way into playoff contention from outside the top 8. A franchise lauded over by both domestic and international betting sites alike due to their Michael Jordan connection, the Bulls are starting to tick this term and can’t be written off yet.  

What brings them here? 

Finding their feet. Transitional was very much the phrase to describe where the Chicago Bulls were expected to be during the 2024 NBA season, but they have managed to surpass expectations. They are far from all-conquering, but they look best placed to break their way into the playoff monopoly in the East.  

What could hold them off? 

Too little, too late. For the Chicago Bulls, reaching the playoffs following their abysmal start to the campaign would represent a real turnaround in fortunes and they will also be relying on the sides above them to slip up quite heavily. 

Injury Report 

Patrick Williams, Zach LaVine, Torrey Craig & Lonzo Ball make up the injury list for the Chicago Bulls currently. 
Bet on the Chicago Bulls to make the Eastern Conference playoffs @ 3.50 with Playup.


Over in the West, the landscape is a little tighter, with a smaller gap between those in the top 8 and those on the fringes. With the likes of the LA Lakers and Golden State Warriors amongst the chasing pack in the playoff race, the fascination with the betting market is going to increase even more and every game will be hugely important to each and every team in terms of their seasonal aspirations. 

Phoenix Suns 

It has been a roller coaster of a campaign for the Phoenix Suns and the twists and turns are showing no sign of slowing. Having been sat as low as 13th in the early part of the campaign and having climbed to as high as 4th, it would seem anything could happen for the Phoenix Suns this year and who knows where they will end up 

What brings them here? 

Raw potential. The Phoenix Suns possess one of the most decorated rosters in the NBA and whilst they haven’t hit anywhere near their best form this season, they still sit in 8th place and are ready to fight for their playoff spot. 

What could hold them off? 

Inconsistency. The Suns just cannot seem to string any sets of results together and consequently they can’t stretch away from anybody in the playoff battle.    

Injury Report 

Bradley Beal and Damion Lee are long term injury doubts, with Eric Gordon and Jusuf Nurkic also managing knocks.
Bet on the Phoenix Suns to make the Western Conference playoffs @ 1.65 with GetSetBet

Los Angeles Lakers 

Another curious campaign looks to be afflicting the LA Lakers, who have already bagged the NBA in-season tournament this term and who are always capable of turning on the style at any point. 

A franchise that are always tracked by all levels of punter and NBA betting apps, the Lakers will be desperate to let their basketball do the talking and crack the top 8.

What brings them here? 

Experience. A quick glance down the Lakers roster shows any NBA fan just how dangerous they are, and they have the potential the knowhow to save their basketball for this stage of the season and come good when it matters.    

What could hold them off? 

Too much to do. A poor start to the season has left the Lakers behind the proverbial 8-ball and for all their superstars, they could have left it too late to crack the top 8.

Injury Report 

Cam Reddish, Christian Wood, Gabe Vincent, and Jarred Vanderbilt are out of action for the Lakers currently, with some fitness concerns about LeBron James and Anthony Davis too.
Bet on the Los Angeles Lakers to make the Western Conference playoffs @ 2.05 with BlueBet.  

Golden State Warriors 

In a very similar vein, it has been a regular season to forget for state rivals Golden State Warriors too, who have been missing plenty of key men and have been written off by a fair few punters and domestic and international betting sites.  However, 8 wins from their last 10 have suggested that the Warriors are not done yet and who would ever properly write them off.  

What brings them here? 

Experience. Golden State Warriors have won countless NBA titles in recent times and that ability to turn up when the chips are down is a truly priceless skill. They are enjoying playing with the pressure off and they look ready to challenge all the way in the race for a playoff place in the West. 

What could hold them off? 

Having too much to do. In order to climb into the top 8, the Warriors would need to keep winning games, in the hope other sides drop points and that is always a risky strategy to adopt. 

Injury Report 

Chris Paul is a huge miss for Golden State, but he is their only absentee currently.
Bet on the Golden State Warriors to make the Western Conference playoffs @ 2.05 with Playup.  

Our Prediction

In both the East and the West, the race to crack the playoffs is set to go to the wire and there also looks set to be some end of season disappointment for plenty of sides. 

However, the LA Lakers have an insatiable habit of turning up when it matters most and they could be the side that comes from relative nowhere to force their way into the playoff shakeup and with their history and playing roster, who knows how far they could go in the post-season.   

Bet on the LA Lakers to make the Eastern Conference playoffs @ 2.05 with BlueBet.  

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Sport has always been an integral part of Sam’s life, with his youth spent pursuing a playing career in both cricket and tennis, where he was fortunate enough to represent his native Wales at junior levels. Upon graduating from the University of Worcester, UK in 2011, Sam combined his two greatest passions – sport and travel, forging a freelance career as a tennis coach and a freelance journalist, visiting all 7 continents in the process. Having lived in Australia for over 2 years, Sam has a burning passion for AFL and follows every game he possibly can.