The NBA Playoffs start this Saturday and with that come the series odds. There are some big favorites out in the West with the Golden State Warriors rightly being the biggest first round favorite of all. This is their season and it would be surprising to see them stumble early. Let’s take a quick look at each series and see if we can find any potential value.
Sweep. I love Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum and the addition of Jusuf Nurkic has done some really nice things to the Blazers, but they have absolutely no chance in this series. Stephen Curry is too good, Kevin Durant is too good, Klay Thompson is too good and Draymond Green is too bad for this team to even phase them in the first round. Get it done in four and rest for round two.
Spurs -850 vs. Grizzlies +575
If you are looking for a great lottery ticket, bet the Grizzlies in this series. They just match up with the Spurs in a way that no other team in the Western Conference does. Kawhi Leonard is probably the best player in this series, but I would go with Marc Gasol and Mike Conley as the second and third. These two teams split the season series 2-2 and at the very least I expect the Grizz to give them some trouble.
The age of the Spurs core is always a question. Pau Gasol, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker are not young and LaMarcus Aldridge seems old. The Warriors may be able to exploit that in a potential series, but that is not really the Grizzlies style. This will be a rough series with a lot of animosity. I think that the Spurs will win, but Memphis will put up a fight and may be worth taking a flier on at this number.
Rockets -365 vs. Thunder +305
Russell Westbrook versus James Harden will be the most watched series of the first round. These two have dominated the NBA this season and many are expecting fireworks. There will be a lot of people jumping on this Thunder team to see if Westbrook can work some of his magic, but I just don’t see it.
The difference will be the shooters. Harden is a better shooter than Westbrook and Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon are better shooters than anyone on the Thunder. OKC could grind out rebounds with Steven Adams and Taj Gibson, but I just don’t think they’ll be able to put enough points on the board.
#4 Clippers -210 vs. #5 Jazz +175
This is going to be a great series. Rudy Gobert and DeAndre Jordan is a match-up that should be on pay-per-view and I’m really into seeing what George Hill does against Chris Paul. This is my favorite first round series by far and I’d love to see the Jazz get the upset here.
That is hard to see happening though. This is Utah’s first time in the playoffs and Gordon Hayward may be in for a rude awakening. Paul, Jordan, J.J. Redick and Blake Griffin have been here many times and seen it all. That experience should carry them to victory here. The only thing really stopping them is themselves as chemistry issues are always an issue with this team. I still like the Clips to win it, but I am rooting for Utah all the way.
|#1 Golden State Warriors vs. #8 Portland Trail Blazers|
|04/16/17||Portland Trail Blazers (Series)||+3500|
|Golden State Warriors (Series)||-8500|
|#2 San Antonio Spurs vs. #7 Memphis Grizzlies|
|04/15/17||Memphis Grizzlies (Series)||+575|
|San Antonio Spurs (Series)||-850|
|#3 Houston Rockets vs. #6 Oklahoma City Thunder|
|04/16/17||Oklahoma City Thunder (Series)||+305|
|Houston Rockets (Series)||-365|
|#4 Los Angeles Clippers vs. #5 Utah Jazz|
|04/15/17||Utah Jazz (Series)||+175|
|Los Angeles Clippers (Series)||-210|
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