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Thread: NBA odds, need-to-know notes and best bets for the Eastern and Western Conference playoffs

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    Default NBA odds, need-to-know notes and best bets for the Eastern and Western Conference playoffs

    NBA odds, need-to-know notes and best bets for the Western Conference playoffs
    Jason Logan

    Bucks and Nuggets are the biggest worry to Vegas bookies when it comes to NBA futures

    The NBA Playoffs are here, with games tipping off this Saturday. If you’re betting on the NBA odds this postseason, we’ve got eight need-to-know notes for the eight Western Conference teams vying for the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

    WESTERN CONFERENCE

    NO. 1 GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS


    Season Record: 57-25
    ATS Record: 35-46-1
    Over/Under Record: 38-44
    Odds to win NBA title: -251 at PointsBet
    Odds to win West: -371 at PointsBet

    At this point in their dynasty, the Warriors care about the regular season as much as Boogie Cousins does for NBA referees. Need evidence?

    How about a 110-132-5 record against the spread over the past three regular season campaigns, including a 35-46-1 ATS count this season which tied as the second-worst bet in the league. Granted, the public appeal and talent-rich roster help puff up those nightly spreads.

    However, come the playoffs, the Dubs flip the switch. Golden State is 37-25 ATS in the playoffs the past three postseasons, covering almost 60 percent of the time. A little motivation goes a long way with the Warriors, so don’t be afraid to lay the lumber with the defending champs.

    NO. 2 DENVER NUGGETS

    Season Record: 54-28
    ATS Record: 42-40-0
    Over/Under Record: 34-47-1
    Odds to win NBA title: +3,500 at PointsBet
    Odds to win West: +900 at PointsBet

    The Nuggets have an edge as the No. 2 seed, earning home-court advantage in the opening two rounds of the NBA Playoffs. That means that opponents not only must battle the rigors of postseason play, but also climb the mountain and play in the thin air and altitude of the Pepsi Center more often than they’d like.

    Denver compounds that energy-sapping edge with the best second-half defense in the NBA, allowing only 26.3 points per third quarter and an average of just 24.8 points in the fourth.

    Bettors should look to jump on their second-half lines or in-game odds, especially when playing at home deep into a series.

    NO. 3 PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS

    Season Record: 53-29
    ATS Record: 45-36-1
    Over/Under Record: 43-37-2
    Odds to win NBA title: +8,000 at PointsBet
    Odds to win West: +2,500 at PointsBet

    The Blazers battled their way to the No. 3 spot in the West, thanks in part to a soft schedule at the end of the season. Portland finished with a 14-3 SU run in its last 17 games but went just 8-8-1 ATS in that span.

    Granted, the Trail Blazers were missing C.J. McCollum (who returned before the end of the season) and Jusuf Nurkic (out with a broken leg) for a chunk of that sked (those missing players are factored into the spreads), but faced only six playoff-bound teams during that streak and three of them were from the East (Detroit twice, Brooklyn, and Indiana).

    Portland lost and failed to cover the spread in all four meeting with Oklahoma City – its first-round opponent – and is actually a +105 underdog in the series price, with the Thunder coming back as -130 favorites.

    NO. 4 HOUSTON ROCKETS

    Season Record: 53-29
    ATS Record: 40-39-3
    Over/Under Record: 39-41-2
    Odds to win NBA title: +1,050 at PointsBet
    Odds to win West: +600 at PointsBet

    The Rockets do plenty right. Houston is 11th in scoring with the most dangerous player in the NBA on its roster – James Harden – capable to taking over any game. On defense, the Rockets allow just over 109 points per game (10th lowest) and rank as the second-best 3-point defense, a huge feather in their cap given today’s bomb-first NBA.

    There is one big gap in Houston’s game plan and that’s getting down and dirty in the paint. Unfortunately, the Rockets’ first-round opponents, the Utah Jazz, thrive around the rim. Houston gives up 51.8 points in the paint per game – third most in the NBA – and allow 11 offensive rebounds per contests. Utah is among the best rebounding teams and picks up 47.7 points in the paint per outing – almost 43 percent of its total offense.

    Houston is in for a first-round war. It’s a war the Rockets can win, but one that could take its toll and leave them gassed for a deep postseason run.

    NO. 5 UTAH JAZZ

    Season Record: 50-32
    ATS Record: 44-36-2
    Over/Under Record: 39-42-1
    Odds to win NBA title: +5,000 at PointsBet
    Odds to win West: +2,500 at PointsBet

    As mentioned above, the Jazz are no strangers to getting their hands dirty. The big question this postseason is will they have enough healthy hands to finish the job. Utah enters the playoffs with a number of players either nursing or recently returning from injury, which is nothing new for a squad that’s rolled out 10 different starting lineups this season.

    It’s the backcourt that should be the main concern for Jazz backers. They’ve been without versatile guard Dante Exum for most of 2019, sharp-shooting Kyle Korver is dealing with a bum knee, veteran PG Ricky Rubio has a quadricep issue, backup Raul Neto has a sore ankle, and superstar Donovan Mitchell has recently been treated for back spasms.

    Cue the Rockets and their three-head backcourt beast of Harden, Chris Paul and Eric Gordon.

    NO. 6 OKLAHOMA CIY THUNDER

    Season Record: 49-33
    ATS Record: 42-40-0
    Over/Under Record: 40-41-1
    Odds to win NBA title: +4,000 at PointsBet
    Odds to win West: +1,600 at PointsBet

    Oklahoma City is the hot “upset” pick in the first round, if you can call being the series price chalk an underdog. Sure, the Thunder are stuck with the sixth seed, but we’re dealing with two of arguably the Top 6 players in the NBA in Paul George and Russell Westbrook – both of which play with massive (and spicy) chips on their shoulder.

    The thing you have to know about OKC – or perhaps watch out for – has been the team’s slow starts in recent months. Since the All-Star break, the Thunder have been outscored by an average of 3.6 points per first quarter.

    However, OKC knows how to finish, outscoring opponents 28.6 to 25.7 in the fourth quarter during that same span. Bettors should look for value fading the Thunder in the first quarter and first half lines, then keep watch on the live odds for a chance to cash in on those late-game surges.

    NO. 7 SAN ANTONIO SPURS

    Season Record: 48-34
    ATS Record: 43-37-2
    Over/Under Record: 43-38-1
    Odds to win NBA title: +10,000 at PointsBet
    Odds to win West: +3,000 at PointsBet

    The old guard of the Western Conference is back in the playoffs for the 22nd straight year. And while bettors may not fear the San Antonio Spurs like they once did, they better as hell respect them. The Spurs were a competitive 7-8 SU and 7-7-1 ATS against the Top 4 seeds in the West this season and are a tough out at home, going 32-9 SU (24-17 ATS) inside the AT&T Center.

    This will be the Spurs’ first Kawhi-less playoff run since 2012 and the question on the minds of San Antonio backers is “who will take the shot?” The wild card is the play of DeMar DeRozan, who did well in his first season south of the border. During his time with the Toronto Raptors, DeRozan was counted on to carry the team during the postseason but had plenty of playoff flops and never really looked like the guy who wanted to take the big shot.

    DeRozan slowed down in the second half of the schedule and sputtered toward the end of the season. He averaged 20 points on 54.5 percent shooting in four matchups with Denver – the Spurs’ first-round opponent – this season.

    NO. 8 LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS

    Season Record: 48-34
    ATS Record: 45-36-1
    Over/Under Record: 45-36-1
    Odds to win NBA title: +15,000 at PointsBet
    Odds to win West: +8,000 at PointsBet

    Someone forgot to explain the finer details of “tanking” because the L.A. Clippers did it wrong. Sure, they traded away their best player midway through the season and fielded a lineup lacking star power, with their best player coming off the bench. Wasn’t it the other Los Angeles team that was supposed to be here?

    The Clippers run one of the fastest paces in the NBA and knock down 38.8 percent of their looks from distance, yet don’t depend on the 3-ball like some of their Western Conference competition. Los Angeles picks up just over 26 percent of its points from beyond the arc – second fewest in the NBA.

    The team’s surprise 2018-19 campaign naturally had them ranked among the best bets in the league, covering the spread almost 56 percent of the time, including a 23-17-1 ATS mark on the road. Funny enough, the Clips went just 16-21-1 against the spread as underdogs and will be getting the points in every game against the Warriors to open the playoffs. Golden State blasted L.A. in their two most recent meetings.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 04-12-2019 at 12:23 PM.

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    Playoff Trends to Watch
    Marc Lawrence

    With a helping hand from our trusted well-oiled database, let’s examine four key time-tested proven theories that have lined our pockets during the opening round of playoffs since 1991. Here’s what the machine has to say as we head into the 2019 postseason.

    No. 8 Seeds Are Often Behind The 8-Ball

    For the most part, No. 8 seeds in the NBA playoffs are teams that likely scratched and clawed their way into the post-season. Simply put, they are not good enough to be seriously considered threats against top-seeded opponents, as they were just barely better than the dregs of the league.

    Rest assured, their life expectancy is not long at all, as they’ve lost over 72% of the time (61-162 SU) in games against No. 1 seeds since 1996. In fact, only the 1996 New York Knicks, the 2007 Golden State Warriors, and the 2012 Philadelphia 76ers were good enough to pull the rug on top-seeded foes and advance to Round Two of the playoff.

    And you can virtually write them off in games against No. 1 seeds that are off consecutive SU and ATS wins. These guys scratch out of the match with alarming regularity, going 5-30 SU and 11-24 ATS, including 0-18 SU and 3-15 ATS when the 8-ballers are coming off a spread loss of more than 4 or more points in their last game. Be aware.

    Upset Losers Are Winners

    Yes, you read that right... it’s not an oxymoron. Instead, it’s a powerful handicapping edge. It occurs whenever a team was upset as a favorite in an opening round game and is at home in the game immediately thereafter.

    That’s confirmed by the fact that they are 76-17 SU and 55-34-4 ATS, a rock solid number 61.7% winning spread angle. And if these upset victims happen to be a No. 1, 2, or 3 seed they are a jaw-dropping 42-4 SU and 29-16-1 ATS in these follow-up affairs, including 25-3 SU and 20-7-1 ATS when coming off a spread loss of 11 or more points.

    Don’t be afraid of these chalkbusters. That’s because they don’t lose their composure. Instead, they almost always dig down deep and respond with aplomb in games after being embarrassed.

    Double-Digit Dogma

    Surprisingly, in the right role, double-digit underdogs do well in opening round contests, especially when playing off a playoff loss. These overweight puppies are 35-25-2 ATS in this role.

    And if these same guys lost as a double-digit dog in their last game they zoom to 26-14-1 ATS, including 18-7 ATS against non-division foes.

    Granted, these dogs are not exactly pedigree puppies but the fact of the matter is they tend to come up big against disinterested favorites not capable of chopping heavy lumber.

    And Down Goes Frazier

    The psyche of teams that are not playing well comes immediately to the surface during the opening round of the NBA playoffs. That’s evidenced by the fact that teams riding a 0-3 loss-skein in this round are wobbly and oftentimes one punch away from being counted out.

    With glass-like jaws, these swirling 0-3 teams are just 87-110 SU and 87-102-1 ATS in opening round contests, including 16-52 SU and 26-42 ATS away from home.

    Worst of all, road 'dogs of more than four points down 0-3 in the series are 3-32 SU and 10-25 ATS on their way to the canvas.

    Trending

    Defending champions, once again the Golden State Warriors in this case, are 86-35 SU and 66-50-5 ATS overall in opening round games the next season, including 19-8 SU and 17-9-1 ATS in Game One of Round One the following season.

    Better yet, these champs are 17-8-1 ATS when coming off a loss of 6 or more points during the first round, including a spotless 6-0 ATS away since 2005.

    Enjoy the opening round of the 2019 NBA playoffs.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 04-12-2019 at 12:24 PM.

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    NBA odds, need-to-know notes and best bets for the Eastern Conference playoffs
    Jason Logan

    The NBA Playoffs are here, with games tipping off this Saturday. If you’re betting on the NBA odds this postseason, we’ve got eight need-to-know notes for the eight Eastern Conference teams vying for the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

    NO.1 MILWAUKEE BUCKS

    Season Record: 60-22
    ATS Record: 47-31-4
    Over/Under Record: 42-40-0
    Odds to win NBA title: +750 at PointsBet
    Odds to win East: +150 at PointsBet

    The best team in the East is also the best bet in the NBA and features the league’s best player. Yep, Milwaukee has a lot going for itself heading into the postseason. The Bucks boasted an average scoring margin of plus-8.9 points per game – first in the NBA – and while that metric does the job for pointspread bettors, only three of the previous nine NBA champs have finished tops in the league in average margin of victory.

    Giannis Antetokounmpo stepped up as the top dog in the East upon LeBron’s departure. He’s been the model of consistency in recent years, but the “Greek Freak” found another gear after the All-Star break and rode that to the top of the NBA MVP odds. He’s priced at +800 to win NBA Finals MVP at PointsBet. Milwaukee rolled over its toughest competition in the conference, with an 11-3 SU and 10-4 ATS record versus Toronto, Philadelphia, Boston and Indiana.

    The biggest knock against the Bucks – literally and figuratively – is the lack of beef in the middle. Veteran center Pau Gasol could be an X-factor IF he can come back healthy and fellow big man Nikola Mirotic is dealing with a fractured thumb entering the postseason. Brook Lopez is the anchor in the middle but should he get hurt or get into foul trouble, the Bucks get small quick.

    NO. 2 TORONTO RAPTORS

    Season Record: 58-24
    ATS Record: 38-44-0
    Over/Under Record: 44-35-3
    Odds to win NBA title: +1,000 at PointsBet
    Odds to win East: +200 at PointsBet

    OK, Kawhi. Do your thing! The postseason is the exact reason why the Raptors made the move to land the former Finals MVP after years of disappointing postseason performances. On top of Leonard’s playoff pedigree, Toronto has a couple more things going for it in the tournament: 1. LeBron James isn’t playing against the Raptors. 2. The Washington Wizards aren’t their first-round opponent. 3. Grizzled vet Marc Gasol gives Toronto some much-needed marbles in the middle at this time of year.

    However, Toronto does have a rather large franchise-long trend working against it, specifically heading into Saturday’s series opener versus the Orlando Magic. The Raptors are just 2-13 SU and 3-12 ATS in Game 1 of a playoff series all-time.

    Now, the Raps did snap an 11-game SU and ATS losing streak in series openers with a Game 1 win over the Wizards in the first round last year, but then fell off the wagon in Round 2, losing Game 1 to LeBron and the Cavs.

    NO. 3 PHILADELPHIA 76ERS

    Season Record: 51-31
    ATS Record: 38-44-0
    Over/Under Record: 43-39-0
    Odds to win NBA title: +1,800 at PointsBet
    Odds to win East: +400 at PointsBet

    Sixers bettors have been trusting “The Process” for years now. It’s time for Philly to start making some progress. The 76ers, on paper, are perhaps the only team in the East that can match the Golden State Warriors in terms of star power, especially since adding Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris to the mix midway through the schedule. On paper.

    Philadelphia has numerous injury concerns, none bigger than center Joel Embiid, who could miss the start of the postseason with knee issues. If Embiid can’t hold up to the wear and tear of the playoffs, the Sixers could be in deep when facing the top seeds of the conference down the road – especially Antetokounmpo and the Bucks. The Sixers struggled without their All-Star in the middle, with a 6-11 SU and 5-12 ATS mark in games without Embiid, going 9-8 Over/Under in those contests.

    NO. 4 BOSTON CELTICS

    Season Record: 49-33
    ATS Record: 39-42-1
    Over/Under Record: 47-35-0
    Odds to win NBA title: +1,800 at PointsBet
    Odds to win East: +400 at PointsBet

    Much like the 76ers, the Celtics have plenty of studs and on their best day could give Golden State a run for its money, in terms of talent top to bottom. But Boston’s best days have been few and far between. The Celtics are a bit of a hot mess entering the playoffs, with chemistry issues on and off the court and the loss of guard Marcus Smart gutting the roster of one of its proven postseason X-factors.

    Boston was actually in worse shape this time last year, without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward on the floor, and received incredible performances from Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown in the playoffs. Given that experience, healthy (ish) stars and bench depth, Boston is presenting great value at 4/1 to win the East.

    First-half Unders may be the best way to wager on this Celtics squad. Boston allowed only 25.9 first-quarter points and 27.0 second-quarter points per game, while averaging just 55.3 first-half points on the season. The Celtics and Indiana Pacers – Boston’s first-round foes – ranked first and second in first-half defense in the East.

    NO. 5 INDIANA PACERS

    Season Record: 48-34
    ATS Record: 41-41-0 ATS
    Over/Under Record: 36-46-0
    Odds to win NBA title: +15,000 at PointsBet
    Odds to win East: +3,300 at PointsBet

    The fact that the Pacers were able to earn the No. 5 seed in the conference after losing star Victor Oladipo for the final two months of the season is either a testament to the fortitude of this Indiana squad or a perfect example of just how crappy the bottom two thirds of the East really is.

    The Pacers are all about the defense, allowing opponents to shoot just 45 percent from the field and limiting foes to a league-low 104.7 points per game. They’re second in the East in turnovers forced and give up just 44.8 points in the paint per outing. Offensively, Indiana lacks that go-to star – which will hurt deeper in the postseason – but has a balanced attack with eight guys putting up double figures in points.

    The knee-jerk reaction is to think Under with the Pacers, especially at home where they went 15-26 Over/Under on the season (63.4% Unders). Indiana doesn’t want to get into a track meet and was just 8-18 SU and 6-20 ATS when allowing 110 points or more this season (NBA league average PPGA is 111.2). The Pacers went 1-3 SU and 2-2 ATS versus Boston, allowing 114, 117, and 135 points in those three defeats.

    NO. 6 BROOKLYN NETS

    Season Record: 42-40
    ATS Record: 45-37-0
    Over/Under Record: 41-41-0
    Odds to win NBA title: +20,000 at PointsBet
    Odds to win East: +5,000 at PointsBet

    The Nets are a surprise entry into the NBA Playoffs, especially coming in as the No. 6 seed. Brooklyn held its own in divisional games, going 8-8 SU and 10-6 ATS, which is important to note because Atlantic rival Philadelphia is its first-round foe and Toronto and Boston likely await if the Nets can stun the Sixers. Can they?

    Well, Brooklyn was the only team in the NBA that finished the regular season with a winning record but recorded a negative tally in terms of points differential. So, there’s that. However, the Nets have some things going for them entering the playoffs – and not just Embiid’s wonky knee.

    First, Brooklyn is deep and gets 43 percent of its offensive production off the pine – the second-best bench in the NBA. And second, De’Angelo Russell is a bad, bad man. The Nets shooting guard has watched his numbers climb since the All-Star break and enters the postseason with a hot hand after averaging 24.2 points in April. And third, Brooklyn was among the best bets on the road, going 25-16 ATS as a visitor, covering in almost 61 percent of road games.

    NO. 7 ORLANDO MAGIC

    Season Record: 42-40
    ATS Record: 45-36-1
    Over/Under Record: 38-44-0
    Odds to win NBA title: +20,000 at PointsBet
    Odds to win East: +4,000 at PointsBet

    Oh boy, the Southeast Division is one step ahead of the G League but someone’s got to win this mess. And that someone was Orlando. The Magic aren’t going to win any shootouts, entering the postseason as the lowest-ranked offense in the tournament, picking up 107.3 points per contest.

    Defense is where Orlando butters its bread, giving up just under 107 points on average, thanks in part to its methodical pace with the basketball (fifth slowest) and a big lineup that contends shots, clears the glass, and allows the fewest second-chance buckets in the NBA (10.9 second-chance points per game).

    The value betting the Magic lies early on into games. They're the best first-quarter defense, giving up 101.8 points per 100 possession in the opening frame. The Raptors, Orlando’s first-round opponents, score just 28.1 points in the first 12 minutes and also do well defensively to start games, budging for 26.4 points on average in the first quarter. Keep an eye on those first-quarter totals in this opening series.

    NO. 8 DETROIT PISTONS

    Season Record: 41-41
    ATS Record: 41-38-3
    Over/Under Record: 39-43
    Odds to win NBA title: +20,000 at PointsBet
    Odds to win East: +5,500 at PointsBet

    Detroit wobbled to the finish line, losing seven of its last 11 games, yet still earned a spot in the Eastern Conference playoff picture, thanks in part to a closing schedule that featured two of the worst teams in the league (Memphis and New York).

    The Pistons made the cut with star forward Blake Griffin either on the sideline or playing on one good knee. Griffin’s health is a huge concern heading into the opening round, most importantly if Detroit has any chance of slowing down Milwaukee’s Antetokounmpo. It went 0-4 SU and 0-3-1 ATS versus the Bucks this season, with Giannis averaging only 20.8 points in those games.

    Griffin (if mobile) and Andre Drummond will be a handful for the Bucks inside and, as we mention above, Milwaukee could be missing some muscle in the middle of the key. Detroit scores almost 42 percent of its points inside the paint but also relies on shots from distance, scoring 33.9 percent of points from beyond the arc. The 3-ball could be difference for the Pistons, who ranked first in total 3-pointers allowed and ninth in total 3-pointers made.

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