Updated 2022 NBA conference winners odds, picks and predictions

The NBA season has reached the All-Star break and teams are preparing for the stretch run with 20-plus games remaining per team in the regular season. Below, we look at the updated 2022 NBA conference championship odds and lines, and make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.

The Phoenix Suns lead the Western Conference by 6.5 games and are the defending Western Conference champs, but the Golden State Warriors are back to being contenders and PG Ja Morant has the Memphis Grizzlies right on their heels. Will they keep pace or will someone emerge once the playoffs begin?

The top of the Eastern Conference is much tighter, as only 4.5 game separate the top six seeds. There was a big trade between the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets that could change the balance of the conference – Philly added SG James Harden with PG Ben Simmons sent to Brooklyn. The defending champion Milwaukee Bucks are still very much in the mix as well.

Let’s look at the best bets to make on who will make it through the regular season and the postseason as conference champions.

Also see: 2022 NBA championship odds and predictions

2022 NBA Eastern Conference winner odds and lines

Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated Saturday, Feb. 19, at 7:53 p.m. ET.

These are six teams with the shortest odds to win the Eastern Conference Finals.

Milwaukee Bucks (36-24 record) +270
Brooklyn Nets (31-28) +280
Philadelphia 76ers (35-23) +320
Miami Heat (38-21) +550
Chicago Bulls (38-21) +1200
Boston Celtics (34-26) +1300

The pretenders

Cleveland Cavaliers (35-23) +2000
Toronto Raptors (32-25) +3000
Atlanta Hawks (28-30) +4000
Charlotte Hornets (29-31) +6000
New York Knicks (25-34) +9000
Washington Wizards (27-31) +20000
Indiana Pacers (20-40) +30000
Detroit Pistons (13-45) +50000
Orlando Magic (13-47) +50000

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2022 NBA Eastern Conference winner picks and predictions

Philadelphia 76ers (+320)

Bet $100 to win $320

The addition of Harden gives the 76ers one of the best scorers and playmakers in the league. Combined with C Joel Embiid, who is playing like the best big man in the NBA, Philadelphia is a real threat. A motivated Harden can carry a team and he will make things even easier for Embiid. This one-two punch is the best in the conference.

Milwaukee Bucks (+270)

Bet $100 to win $270

The Bucks, currently fifth in the East standings, are not dominating the way they did the last two regular seasons. They are only 2.5 games out of first. As the defending champions, they know what to do once the postseason comes and PF Giannis Antetokounmpo has proven he can take his team the distance.

2022 NBA Western Conference winner odds and lines

These are six teams with the shortest odds to win the Western Conference Finals.

Phoenix Suns (48-10) +200
Golden State Warriors (42-17) +230
Utah Jazz (36-22) +500
Los Angeles Lakers (27-31) +1000
Memphis Grizzlies (41-19) +1200
Denver Nuggets (33-25) +1300

The pretenders

Dallas Mavericks (35-24) +1500
Los Angeles Clippers (30-31) +3000
Minnesota Timberwolves (31-28) +4000
New Orleans Pelicans (23-36) +10000
Portland Trail Blazers (25-34) +20000
Sacramento Kings (22-38) +20000
San Antonio Spurs (23-36) +20000
Oklahoma City Thunder (18-40) +30000
Houston Rockets (15-43) +50000

2022 NBA Western Conference winner picks and predictions

Phoenix Suns (+200)

Bet $100 to win $200

The Suns own a 6.5-game lead in the West. It will be a surprise if they end up anything other than the No. 1 seed. After their run to the NBA Finals last season, they are even more prepared for a deep run in the playoffs this year as they have improved their depth. They are three deep at center, giving them the size to be a problem for the Warriors, while their backcourt of SG Devin Booker and PG Chris Paul will rival any other duo in the league.

Golden State Warriors (+230)

Bet $100 to win $230

The West is basically a two-team race. The Suns will be the top team in the regular season, but the championship experience of the Warriors makes them dangerous. Golden State and Phoenix have been the class of the NBA all season. If Warriors PF Draymond Green gets healthy and if C James Wiseman returns from a knee injury for the stretch run, Golden State will have a championship-caliber roster. It feels like everyone is waiting for a Suns-Warriors Western Conference Finals to see which team comes out on top.

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Author: Naomi Berry