Being a die-hard fan of an NBA team this season is providing some odd blend of anxiety, stress, joy and frustration.
Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors fans, ignore this; it’s been an easy ride for you all so far.  And to a much lesser extent, it’s been generally smooth-sailing for the consistently good Utah Jazz and the talented Brooklyn Nets who are holding down first place out east.
Essentially every other team continues losing players to injuries, health and safety protocols and other, team-specific reasons. That’s led to inconsistent play and the aforementioned mixed bag of emotions many fan bases are experiencing.
The conference standings are a reflection of the chaos that is this NBA season. Out west, the 4-11 seeds are separated by just 3.5 games. In the east, the 12th-seed Toronto Raptors are just 2.5 games behind the No. 4 seed Miami Heat. So don’t get too high or low on your favorite team given the sudden unpredictability of this season. A few clubs could feasibly go from homecourt advantage to play-in game (or vice versa) within a one- to two-week stretch.

Eastern Conference standings #DailyGlimpseAtTheStandingsFlow
— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) December 8, 2021

I’m all for the drama! And though the parity and constant fluctuation in the standings are testing the sanity of fans, it is also making for unique gambling opportunities.
Wagering on team futures is an area that presents a lot of uncertainty. The Cleveland Cavaliers had +2000 odds at Tipico Sportsbook to make the playoffs before the season started but are one game out of fourth place and now own +320 odds. Do you invest in the on-court product? Or risk losing money on a team that is half a game away from falling out of the playoff picture and has been bad over recent seasons?
The Portland Trail Blazers were the fifth seed two weeks ago but are now just clinging to the No. 10 spot. Do you accept the dip and buy low on their current playoff odds?
The congestion in the standings is also opening the door for division winner bets. Look at the Southeast Division. The first-place Miami Heat (-220 to win the division) and fourth-place Charlotte Hornets (+1000) are separated by one game, while the tied-for-first Washington Wizards have +1500 odds to win the Southeast. Seems like an opportunity to take a swing on some of those less-favorable odds that could net a decent payout.
My point is this; NBA gambling is more often than not an educated guess based on knowledge of the situation, but it currently feels more like a stab in the dark that could go either way. Don’t expect that feeling to change as long as the standings remain so jumbled. Embrace it and find your bets!
Gannett may earn revenue from Tipico for audience referrals to betting services. Tipico has no influence over nor are any such revenues in any way dependent on or linked to the newsrooms or news coverage. See 

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