The NBA Playoffs are ascending into the second round. Both first round series in the Eastern Conference are over, while at the time of this writing, all four first round series in the West are still being played. Let’s take a look at how things are shaping up so you can wager on their NBA odds.
NBA Betting Preview: Rundown on NBA Playoff Games
(2) Toronto Raptors vs. (3) Boston Celtics
This should be a great series. These two teams are very similar in how they are made up, and how they play. The Celtics won the regular season series 3-1, but Toronto was banged up throughout the regular season, so those games don’t really signify how close this series could be. Speaking of banged up, Toronto’s starting point guard, Kyle Lowry sprained his ankle last week, and is listed as probable for Sunday’s Game 1.
In looking at statistics, the Raptors are the better defensive team, and the Celtics are slightly better on the offensive end. Toronto loves to run the floor, as they lead the NBA in fast-break points, and points off of turnovers. To counter that, Boston is very good at taking care of the basketball.
These two teams could very well go to a 7th game. With Toronto being the 2nd-ranked defense, and Boston being the 4th best defensive team in the NBA, both teams are going to have to work to get the ball in the basket. If Toronto can slow down Jayson Tatum, we give them the edge. If Tatum continues on his hot streak, we see Boston advancing.
(1) Milwaukee Bucks vs. (5) Miami Heat
The Heat won the season series, taking 2 out of 3 from the Bucks. The key to their two victories was Bam Adebayo’s defense on Giannis Antetokounmpo. Adebayo has the physical capabilities to match up against the “Greek Freak”. Adebayo possesses much of the same physical attributes as Antetokounmpo, so he isn’t overwhelmed by his physicality. The Heat will also employ the “Wall” technique on fast breaks to keep Antetokounmpo from getting to the rim.
Another interesting facet to this match up will be the 3 point shooting of the Heat against the defensive tactics of the Bucks. Milwaukee is the best team in the NBA at not giving up points inside the paint. They welcome you shooting long distance jumpers. Miami makes a living shooting the basketball from the perimeter. They’ve loaded up with good shooters, so we’ll see how Milwaukee handles this.
This will be a fun series to watch. Jimmy Butler and the Heat will give the Bucks a run for their money. However, the Bucks will be too much for Miami. Bucks in 6.
(1) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (8) Portland Trail Blazers
The Lakers hold a 3-1 have eliminated the Portland Trail Blazers and will now await their second round opponent. Following their win in Game 1, Portland struggled, and eventually lost Damian Lillard. Anthony Davis and LeBron James were both monsters in Game 5.
(4) Houston Rockets vs. (5) Oklahoma City Thunder
Houston jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but then Oklahoma City stormed back to tie the series at 2. On Saturday night, Russell Westbrook made his return to the Houston lineup, and the Rockets dominated the Thunder. James Harden and company will look to close things out in Game 6 on Monday night.
(2) Los Angeles Clippers vs. (7) Dallas Mavericks
Paul George had been struggling, but he came out of his slump in Game 5 to help the Clippers take a 3-2 lead in the series. Luka Doncic has been tremendous for the Mavericks. He has had to carry the load as Kristaps Porzingis will miss the rest of the series with a knee injury. If Paul continues to play well, this series should be over in 6.
(3) Denver Nuggets vs. (6) Utah Jazz
Donovan Mitchell and the Jazz rebounded from a Game 1 loss to win the next 3 to go up 3-1. After an inspiring performance from Jamal Murray, Denver won game 5. Denver has struggled to stop the Jazz from scoring, as they’ve not been able to stop the pick and roll. If Denver can’t fix their woeful defense, they’ll be headed home.