The NBA playoffs get started on Saturday with a four-pack of great games. Check out our NBA free picks for the playoffs and check out our NBA handicappers’ expert picks!
NBA Playoffs Matchup: Philadelphia 76ers @ Chicago Bulls Game 1
Date: Saturday, April 28th, 1:00 ET
NBA Playoffs Lines: Chicago -8.5 (175.5)
The Bulls and the Sixers are two teams that try to play ball a heck of a lot like each other. They both try to play lockdown defense, and they both try to slow it down offensively. Just one problem for the Sixers, though… They don’t have Derrick Rose, nor do they have any of the other big time scorers like Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah, and the likes that the Bulls do. On the road, this is just going to be an ugly series in all likelihood, and we think that it is going to get started with a romp at the United Center. Now that Rose is back and healthy, there just isn’t a team that is going to be able to hang around with this one for quite some time in the playoffs.
NBA Playoffs Free Pick: Chicago Bulls -8.5
NBA Playoffs Matchup: New York Knicks @ Miami Heat Game 1
Date: Saturday, April 28th, 3:30 ET
NBA Playoffs Lines: Miami -8.5 (186.5)
Many think that the Heat are going to do to the Knicks what we think the Bulls are going to do to the 76ers. That being said, we don’t know if that’s really the case or not. The Heat are great, and they have a heck of a lot of talent with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, but the rest of this support squad just isn’t all that good. Head Coach Erik Spoelstra just hasn’t been able to get his rotation quite right for the postseason, and this is a bad time to try to learn on the go in the first round of the playoffs against a very dangerous team. Carmelo Anthony is as good as any player in the league right now, and if he can get going in this one, he might be able to single handedly win this series. We’ll take the points for sure.
NBA Playoffs Free Pick: New York Knicks +8.5
NBA Playoffs Matchup: Orlando Magic @ Indiana Pacers Game 1
Date: Saturday, April 28th, 7:00 ET
NBA Playoffs Lines: Indiana -9 (191)
The Magic have had a great history of late against the Pacers, winning five of the last six games both from an SU and an ATS perspective. That being said, Dwight Howard played in all of those games, and he obviously isn’t going to be around for this series. It’s tough to handicap when the Magic are really going to be on their shooting game, but we just aren’t ready to back them in this one. Indiana is the better team in this series, and though we do think that Orlando is going to win a game in this series with its sharp shooting (and maybe more than that), this probably won’t be the game that it happens in.
NBA Playoffs Free Pick: Indiana Pacers -9
NBA Playoffs Matchup: Dallas Mavericks @ Oklahoma City Thunder Game 1
Date: Saturday, April 28th, 9:30 ET
NBA Playoffs Lines: Oklahoma City -7.5 (194)
Of all eight series in the first round of the playoffs, this is the most intriguing one to say the least. The Thunder really didn’t match up well with the Mavericks last year when these two teams met in the Western Conference Finals. However, one of the men that really gave a problem to OKC last year, Tyson Chandler isn’t back with the champs. Dirk Nowitzki is still going to be a star in this series for Dallas, and we still think that he is going to at least be able to stick around with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in this first game of this series. We still think that Oklahoma City is the right side, though, and it should take Game 1 in a very tight one.
NBA Playoffs Free Pick: Dallas Mavericks +7.5