The NBA playoffs are finally here and we couldn’t be more ready. The regular season was great and the Warriors did some amazing things, but this year is all about the playoffs. 73 wins means nothing if you don’t get the ring. There are really some great stories in these playoffs with the ongoing quest of the Warriors, the possible last stand of these Clippers, the Spurs quest to unthrone Golden State and get one more ring; and Lebron’s drive for Cleveland.
There is plenty of time for all of the bigger picture stories, right now we are focusing on the first round of the playoffs. The Eastern Conference is filled with interesting match-ups while the Western Conference has a grand total of… one interesting match-up. Let’s take a look at the odds courtesy of 5Dimes for all of the first round match-ups. Reminder that you can get bet on any of these at http://www.5Dimes.com
Eastern Conference First Round Playoff Series Prices:
#1 Cleveland Cavaliers -1800
#8 Detroit Pistons +1150
There is no way that the Cavs are losing this series, but I do think there is a good chance that the Pistons make it difficult for them. Detroit’s biggest weakness is their bench and the playoffs always feature shortened benches so I think that’ll actually help them out here. Stan Van Gundy should be able to craft a game plan in this series that helps his team steal a couple of games.
Their still not winning, but our Canadian readers should head to Sports Interaction and throw a couple bucks on Cavs win 4-2 at +325.
#2 Toronto Raptors -390
#7 Indiana Pacers +320
The Raptors are just a much better playoff team than they were last season when they got swept in the first round. Unless Paul George goes crazy on the Raptors like Paul Pierce had the past couple of years then it’s hard to see the Raptors letting this one slip away.
#3 Miami Heat -150
#6 Charlotte Hornets +130
This is probably the first round series that I am looking most forward to. These two teams are just so well coached and have great defense that it should really be a fun series to watch. The odds don’t get much closer than this, nor should they considering these teams finished the regular season with the same record.
This series will be about the modern NBA versus the old. Dwayne Wade and the Heat like to play that slow down basketball and attempt to control the pace while the Hornets thrive on the three pointer. This will be a series of adjustments and I think the Hornets have the personnel to change things up to match the Heat better than the Heat do. If Bosh were playing that’d be one thing. Without him? Hornets are moving on. Bet Hornets +130 at 5Dimes.
#4 Atlanta Hawks -165
#5 Boston Celtics +145
Another great series out East, this conference is going to carry the first round this year. These two teams both boast great coaches and impressive defenses, but in the end the Hawks defense is one of the very best in the league. Rebounding will be an issue for the Hawks, but they have far more scorers than the Celtics which should even things out. The big thing for the Celtics will be how Isiah Thomas fares against the Hawks defense. During the regular season Atlanta won the series 3-1 and held Thomas to a -7 +/-. If they do that here, they are winning easily. Bet Hawks -165 at 5Dimes.
Western Conference First Round Playoff Series Prices:
#1 Golden State Warriors -10000
#8 Houston Astros +4000
The best odds for this one are at Sports Interaction who have the Warriors winning 4-0 at -103.
#2 San Antonio Spurs -15000
#7 Memphis Grizzlies +6000
If the Spurs don’t sweep this I will be shocked. Go to Sports Interaction and bet Spurs win 4-0 at -104.
#3 Oklahoma City Thunder -3800
#6 Dallas Mavericks +1900
I’d love for this to be a good series, but the Mavericks feel even more undermanned than they have in the past few years. I just don’t see them being able to make enough adjustments to overcome the athleticism of OKC.
#4 Los Angeles Clippers -380
#5 Portland Trailblazers +315
The only chance of a good series in the West is this Blazers-Clippers series. The Clippers have more talent, no doubt, and the Blazers would need a huge series from the Dame Lillard-CJ McCollum combo to get this done. I’d love if that happened, but I just don’t think they have enough scoring to get it done. I think they’ll make it difficult for LA and maybe push it to six games, but the Clips should get this done. Bring on the Warriors. Sports Interaction has Clippers winning 4-2 at +406.