How Game 1 Changed NBA First Round Series Betting Odds

The story of the first games of the NBA first round was upsets. We saw three higher seeds lose to lower seeds in the first game this weekend and only one of those games was actually close. We also saw, to a much lesser extent, the Blazers drop to the Thunder. They entered that series as a slight underdog. Let’s take a look at how these results have changed the NBA First Round Betting Odds.

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Note: Before and After odds are from 5Dimes Sportsbook. Odds may differ at other sportsbooks.

#2 Toronto Raptors vs. #7 Orlando Magic

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Bovada
5Dimes
BetOnline
One of the biggest upsets of the first round had to be the Magic beating the Raptors with a dagger three from D.J. Augustin. This was just classic round one Raptors. We thought it might have been over with the addition of Kawhi Leonard, who was great, and new coach Nick Nurse, but Kyle Lowry struggled here and the team just couldn’t put the Magic away.

This saw the biggest shift in the odds from game one til now, but there is no way the Raps are losing this series. I could probably see them going 4-0 from here as that was definitely the Magic’s best game.

TeamBefore Game 1After Game 1
Toronto Raptors

-1165

-370
Orlando Magic

+750

+425

#3 Philadelphia 76ers vs. #6 Brooklyn Nets

A more worrisome upset has to be the Nets beating the 76ers. The odds on this were lower than you’d expect and now they are even lower. The injury to Joel Embiid is probably having a bigger effect here than the game one result, but I am not worried. The Sixers had a historically bad shooting performance in game one as they only shot 3-for-25 from three while the Nets hit 11 threes. Considering they lost by only nine, I think they’ll be fine. J.J. Redick and Tobias Harris will start knocking those down.

The real story to me is that the Nets had absolutely no answer to Jimmy Butler. They attempted to run their regular team stuff in that first game, but I see them leaning heavily on Butler going forward. He can get his shot whenever he wants in this series and that should lead them to round two. I can almost justify a bet on the Sixers at this price.

TeamBefore Game 1After Game 1
Philadelphia 76ers

-600

-220
Brooklyn Nets

+450

+180

Bovada Sportsbook

#1 Denver Nuggets vs. #8 San Antonio Spurs

The team that everyone picked to get upset in the first round lost game one at home. Not a good sign for the Nuggets.

I’m actually not all that worried though. Denver played some great defense, but they just could not shoot in this game. Denver just 6-for-28 from three and a bad 16-for-24 from the free throw line. This just seemed like first playoff game jitters for a team that hasn’t been here before.

Nikola Jokic had a big game with 10 points, 14 rebounds, and 14 assists. Zach Lowe pointed out that the team should post him up even more as that led to some open threes. I see them  utilizing that and finding their way to more Jokic-Jamal Murray pick-and-roll. This team will be fine. Bet the Nuggets series.

TeamBefore Game 1After Game 1
Denver Nuggets

-235

-110
San Antonio Spurs

+195

-110

#3 Portland Trail Blazers vs. #6 Oklahoma City Thunder

The result of the Blazers-Thunder doesn’t really surprise me. You had to know that the Blazers would come out strong after last season’s first round disappointment and the 4-0 record the Thunder had against them had to fall at some point in this series. The Thunder played really well especially when you consider the Paul George injury. He was a game time decision and clearly not himself as he shot just 4-for-15 from three.  Terrance Ferguson was also very quiet in this one and I’d expect more from him going forward.

If you liked the Thunder before the series, this shouldn’t change anything. They were never going to go 2-0 in Portland.

TeamBefore Game 1After Game 1
Portland Trail Blazers

+105

-135
Oklahoma City Thunder

-125

+115

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