It has been such a crazy NBA season with plenty of twists and turns. We are finally at the end of the regular season with April 10 being the final day of the 2021-22 regular season. The Phoenix Suns have been far and away the best team in the league, and they host the Sacramento Kings on the final day of the season. Since we do not have the spreads at this time, let us take a look at the teams that will be playing for something on Sunday, and if you should be betting on them, at least from the money line perspective.
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The Suns and Memphis Grizzlies — even without Most Improved Player award favorite Ja Morant — have been the league’s best teams, and they have their playoff positions all set. No matter what, the 2022 NBA playoff homecourt will go through Phoenix, and if the Suns bow out early, Memphis will take over. The Heat, Warriors, Bucks, Celtics, Mavericks, and 76ers are in a bunch, and as Miami, Milwaukee, Boston, and Philadelphia battle for homecourt in the Eastern Conference.
In terms of the final day of the season, who should you take a look at? The best way to focus your bets is to find those Eastern Conference teams fighting for play-in position. Here they are:
Brooklyn Nets – April 10 matchup: vs. Indiana Pacers
- FiveThirtyEight projection: Brooklyn Nets (-10.5), 85 percent chance of winning
- Previous meetings: October 29 and January 5; Nets are 2-0
Ben Simmons may not be ready to play, but Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are in need of wins at all costs. With their record just above .500 on the season, the Nets could benefit from not having to play too many play-in games. If they can move up to the eighth spot in the conference, then it would allow the team to just win one game to reach the first round of the postseason. It should not be difficult against a Pacers team with the third-worst record in the conference.
Atlanta Hawks – April 10 matchup: at Houston Rockets
- FiveThirtyEight projection: Atlanta Hawks (-7), 76 percent chance of winning
- Previous meetings: December 13 – Rockets won, 132-126
John Collins is unfortunately out indefinitely, but the Hawks may be employing the Patrick Ewing theory. Without him, the Hawks put together an impressive winning streak to solidify their position with a record above .500 in the play-in. Just like the Nets — whom the Hawks beat last week — Atlanta is looking for a strong play-in spot. Trae Young seems to be ready to make another postseason splash in 2022.
Charlotte Hornets – April 10 matchup: vs. Washington Wizards
- FiveThirtyEight projection: Charlotte Hornets (-7), 76 percent chance of winning
- Previous meetings: November 17, November 22, and January 3; Hornets are 2-1
In the hopes of not jinxing anything, there are no injuries in the Queen City. Head coach James Borrego is bringing the Hornets back to the play-in. Charlotte lost, 144-117, against the Pacers last year. The hope is that the Hornets do not enter the play-in on a losing streak this time around, and that is why Charlotte is a good team to back on Sunday.