The NBA playoff betting series prices are posted at BetUS Sportsbook, and here at Cappers Info, we're making our picks for the eight teams that will survive to reach the Conference Semifinals in the quest to be called NBA Champions.
Los Angeles Lakers (-800) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder - The Thunder aren't your average #8 seed, as they won 50 games this year and proved that their youthful exuberance can give anyone trouble. Even though they can be expected to play the Lakers tight in each game in this series, there isn't a man on this team that has any real experience at this level. In close games, we're banking on G Kobe Bryant, who has been there and done that, to shine brightly and bring the purple and gold to the second round.
Dallas Mavericks (-175) vs. San Antonio Spurs – Dallas has taken on a completely new persona since the Caron Butler deal, and now, F Dirk Nowitzki has the best supporting cast around him that he has had in years. The Spurs have been banged up all season long, but they appear to be as healthy as they're going to be for the remainder of the postseason. San Antonio has all of the playoff experience in the world, but this is the year that the Mavs really could make a run at the whole enchilada. We like the boys from Big D to get through in a lengthy six-game series.
Phoenix Suns (-600) vs. Portland Trail Blazers – What a terrible break the Blazers suffered when they lost G Brandon Roy for the remainder of the playoffs! Without Roy, Portland's already anemic offense really just loses all of its punch. Phoenix runs up and down the court and will probably score in the vicinity of its 110.2 points per game. Anything near that should be enough to dismiss a bunch of Blazers that just have to be devastated by their loss.
Denver Nuggets (-170) vs. Utah Jazz – Here's another case where injuries are probably going to turn the tide in a series. Fs Andrei Kirilenko and Carlos Boozer are both up in the air for the start of Utah's series against Denver. Not having both in the lineup really hurt this team, as there would've been a huge difference between being the #3 seed had it beaten the Suns on Wednesday and the #5 seed where it sits now. The Nuggs went 34-7 at home this year, and even though Utah also went 34-7 on its home court, that pivotal seventh game being at Pepsi Arena may make all the difference. Don't be shocked if the home team win all seven games in this series.
Cleveland Cavaliers (-4000) vs. Chicago Bulls – Now, we're not suggesting that you actually lay -4000 on the Cavs at this point, but it's hard to see how Chicago, which just went .500 at 41-41 this year, can win four games against the best team in the NBA. Cleveland just has too much oomph, and barring a catastrophic injury to F LeBron James, it won't even break a sweat getting through the first round of the playoffs.
Orlando Magic (-1000) vs. Charlotte Bobcats – The Magic posted the best record in the NBA in the second half of the season, and they won their final six games both SU and ATS to help make a statement to the rest of the league. Orlando was the representative for the Eastern Conference last year, and it will take the first step towards going back to the NBA Finals in what should be a relatively quick series against an overmatched Charlotte franchise that has never tasted the postseason.
Atlanta Hawks vs. Milwaukee Bucks (+525) – If there's an upset brewing in the first round of the playoffs, this could be it. This is a nice price on a Milwaukee team that just has heart, grit, and tenacity and plays its heart out every single night. Even though C Andrew Bogut isn't in the lineup, the Bucks still have a deeper team than the Hawks do. Atlanta is clearly the more talented team, but this is a winnable series for Milwaukee.
Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat (+150) – This is another nice price on an underdog that is capable of pulling off an upset or two in the playoffs. G Dwyane Wade is going to be the most talented player on the court at all times in this series, which is going to keep the Heat in every game. The Celtics were only a .500 team over their L/54 games of the season, and they're overrated going into this best-of-seven set. If Miami can find anyone else aside from Wade to help take the pressure off, they can finish this series off in six games.