NBA Playoffs Round 1 Action: NBA Betting Odds and Game 1 RoundupPublished April 16, 2018 by Sol FH
The NBA Playoffs kicked off this week, and we will dive deeper into all of this week's action and betting options.
It's finally upon us, the NBA Playoffs have begun, and for the next couple of months we will be treated to some of the best professional basketball has to offer. The playoffs started on Saturday (14.4.2018) with the reigning NBA Champion Golden State Warriors taking on the San Antonio Spurs. The Warriors kicked things off with a big Steph Curry-less win 113-92 proving that the team can win without one of its biggest stars, and hope to continue this trend if/when Curry makes his return after suffering a knee injury.
There were winners, and, naturally some losers from the Game 1 action across the US. There were two "upsets," if you can call them that, as the Pacers beat the Cavaliers in Cleveland 98-80, holding LeBron James to 24-points, and, the Pelicans beating the Trailblazers 97-95, even with a fourth-quarter comeback by Portland. The Eastern Conference-leading Toronto Raptors got their first ever opening game win against the Washington Wizards, led by a 23-point performance by Serge Ibaka.
One of the most prominent hopefuls for the NBA title is the Philadephia 76ers, who had been on a surge lately and destroyed the Miami Heat in Game 1, 130-103. Three 76ers scored over 20-points, and it looks like they are back as serious contenders since the days of Allan Iverson. The Celtics beat the Bucks, the Celtics beat the Jazz, and the Rockets beat the Timberwolves in the rest of the opening games.
Beginning tomorrow (1:00 GMT), Round 1 - Game 2 action will start with the 76ers vs. Heat at Wells Fargo Center, and the way things are looking, Philly may not lose again this season. They are destroying teams just like they did at the end of the regular season. They have gone 17-wins in a row and are not merely beating teams; they are embarrassing their opposition. 888 Sport has posted its Game 2 odds for the outright winner between these teams, and, the 76ers are big favorites at 1.36 to 3.30 for the Heat.
Warriors vs. Spurs
Watching the Warriors winning games without their star players is even more exciting, as it gives them a chance to showcase their depth and Steve Kerr's excellent coaching abilities. The Warriors have overcome injuries and hardships throughout the regular season and finished behind the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference. After a decisive win in Game 1, Betfair Sports still has Golden State as the favorites for Game 2 at 1.20, while the Spurs are at 5.00. An upset here would make for a significant payday for punters.
Raptors vs. Wizards
As mentioned, the Toronto Raptors overcame a negative statistic that haunted the franchise for every playoff debut until yesterday. They had never won an opening game, but that is now behind them. The Raptors and the Wizards were once peers in development, but today, it's not even close to the same story with Toronto taking over the Eastern Conference this season. Toronto will be the favorites in this series indefinitely, and, 888 Sport has them up at 1.33, while the Wizards are at 3.45.
Celtics vs. Bucks
The Boston Celtics finished 4-games back of the Raptors in the East. The Bucks finished 15-games back, and we see Milwaukee struggle to compete. Even though they took Game 1 into overtime, once OT began the Bucks were at a loss. The Celtics won due to a 14-8 performance in extra-time, and if the Bucks don't sort things out in the clutch, their chances at the next round will be over sooner rather than later. Expect the Celtics to take Game 2 as well. Betfair has them (Celtics) as favorites at 1.66, while the Bucks are at 2.25.
Trailblazers vs. Pelicans
The Pelicans had a great showing from their frontcourt talent, which was ultimately the difference in Game 1. These teams are more evenly matched than what it looks like on paper, and this series will undoubtedly be one of the most exciting to follow. Game 2 is scheduled for Wednesday Night at 3:30 GMT, so if you are up late night be sure to check it out. 888 Sport has an opportunity for punters to capitalize on the underdogs, as they posted in favor of Portland at 1.38 and for New Orleans at 3.
Cavaliers vs. Pacers
In any other playoffs over the last few years, the Cavs games would have been mentioned first, but that is not the case this year. Cleveland is down, but not yet out, though it does look that way. They are losing games and not getting the performances out of their key players. The Game 1 loss was just a reminder that James is out of his prime and the organization needs to make changes in the right direction. Game 2 is on Thursday Night at 00:00 GMT. Betfair Sports has favored the Cavs by a considerable difference at 1.25 and 4.20 for the Pacers. This is the upset waiting to happen.
Thunder vs. Jazz and Rockets vs. Timberwolves
The final two games will also be exhilarating and punters have some excellent odds to choose from. The Thunder are favorites to win Game 2 with 888 Sport posting at 1.53 to 2.55. The Western Conference-leading Rockets will breeze past the Timberwolves, and Betfair Sports agrees at 1.18 to 5.50.