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Odds posted on possible NHL, NBA playoff series

Had the NHL not suspended its season because of coronavirus concerns, the Golden Knights would have been gearing up for the playoffs, as their final regular-season game was scheduled for Saturday.

It’s unclear if the NHL and NBA will return to action this year. But if they return and go directly to their regular playoff format, Westgate sportsbook vice president of risk Jeff Sherman posted on Twitter what the sportsbook would have for first-round series prices.

“We figured people would want to talk about that more than Belarusian soccer,” he said.

Based on current NHL point totals and playoff scenarios at ESPN.com, the Knights would face the Jets in the first round. The Westgate made Vegas a -220 series favorite over Winnipeg (+180).

“We made these numbers based on teams having home court (or ice) and having fans,” Sherman said. “They’re probably going to come back to some type of abbreviated playoff schedule with no fans on a neutral court. But nobody knows.

“The NBA hasn’t ruled out the possibility of canceling the season altogether.”

The Knights (39-24-8) beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 in overtime March 9 in their last game before the sports world stopped. Pacific Division-leading Vegas is 11-2-0 in its last 13 games and would be the heaviest series favorite in the Western Conference.

On a positive note, the stoppage would give injured players time to heal.

“For the Knights, Mark Stone was injured and Max Pacioretty and Alex Tuch had been out,” Sherman said. “But everyone would have the ability to come back at full strength.”

The other playoff matchups in the West would be Flames-Oilers (-120), Stars-Avalanche (-155) and Predators-Blues (-180).

The East would feature Blue Jackets-Bruins (-400), Maple Leafs-Lightning (-250), Hurricanes-Capitals (-190) and Penguins-Flyers (-110).

NBA

If the NBA resumes its season, the Philadelphia 76ers would arguably benefit the most from the return to full strength of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. The Sixers and Boston Celtics would meet in a first-round series projected as a pick’em.

The Bucks would be overwhelming -20,000 favorites over the Magic (+4,000), meaning a bettor would have to wager $20,000 to win $100 on Milwaukee.

The other East matchups would be the Nets-Raptors (-700) and Pacers-Heat (-220).

The Lakers would be -15,000 favorites over the Grizzlies (+2,500). The rest of the West would match Mavericks-Clippers (-800), Rockets-Nuggets (-125) and Thunder-Jazz (-160).

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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