NBA Playoff Series Matchups Betting Analysis, Odds and Predictions
With the play-in tournament behind us this past weekend, all eight first-round matchups of the NBA Playoffs tipped off. Already we can tell we’re going to be in for a wild ride.
No. 1 Philadelphia 76ers vs. No. 8 Washington Wizards
On Sunday night, the Sixers were Game 1 winners over the Wizards, 125-118. Most experts see this series going to Philadelphia in four or five games. Washington did play quite well in Game 1 and actually led at halftime. But with 30 points from Joel Embiid and 37 from Tobias Harris, the Sixers were too strong.
Game 2 is Wednesday night and the Sixers enjoy whopping -1600 odds now to take the series.
No. 2 Brooklyn Nets vs. No. 7 Boston Celtics
We haven’t seen the Nets big-three on the floor at the same time very often, but on Saturday, we saw why Brooklyn is one of the favorites to win the NBA title. Kevin Durant had 32 points and 12 rebounds, Kyrie Irving had 29 points, and James Harden added 21. Boston may take a game or two, but the Nets will roll on if the Nets stay healthy.
Game 2 is Tuesday in Brooklyn.
No. 3 Milwaukee Bucks vs. No. 6 Miami Heat
It took overtime for the Bucks to win in Game 1, and it sets us up for one of the best series of the first round. Milwaukee has the reigning MVP in Giannis Antetokounmpo, but Miami has a great defense. And both teams know each other well, with the Heat knocking the Bucks out of the playoffs just nine months ago.
Game 2 is Monday night in Milwaukee with the Bucks posted as 4½-point chalk in the contest.
No. 4 New York Knicks vs. No 5 Atlanta Hawks
The Knicks are back in the playoffs, but the Hawks have a phenom in 22-year-old Trae Young, who scored 32 points and dished out 10 assists in his first-ever postseason game. He scored the game-winner with less than a second left on the clock, and Atlanta has the 1-0 lead over New York and now -260 odds to win the series.
No. 1 Utah Jazz vs. No. 8 Memphis Grizzlies
The Jazz is one of the best shooting teams in the league, and the Grizzlies had to win the play-in just to get in. But in Game 1, Utah hit just 12 of 47 three-pointers (25.5%), and the Grizzlies stole the victory. Dillon Brooks and his 31 points paced Memphis. The Jazz should still win the series, but one more loss and the nerves will set it.
No. 2 Phoenix Suns vs. No. 7 Los Angeles Lakers
Is LeBron James getting special treatment by not going to quarantine following a protocol violation? Was it really an “aggressive” foul by CP3 on LBJ as the Lakers contend? Will the Suns, the 2nd seed, take it personally that the 7th seed is the favorite? Yes. Not really. A resounding yes, as the Suns took the first game, 99-90, on 34 points from Devin Booker.
James and Paul were both injured in the game but vowed to be ready for Tuesday’s Game 2.
No. 3 Denver Nuggets vs. No. 6 Portland Trail Blazers
It’s been a great year for the Nuggets and MVP front-runner Nikola Jokic, but too many injuries at guard may be enough to sink Denver. Especially against a team of great guards like the Blazers, who got 34 points and 13 assists from Damian Lilliard in a Game 1 victory.
Portland hit on 19 of 40 three-pointers on the night, and the Nuggets simply don’t have the bodies on the outside to answer. Game 2 is Monday night in Denver.
No. 4. Los Angeles Clippers vs. No. 5 Dallas Mavericks
It was the Luka Doncic show in Game 1 between the Clippers and Mavericks. Doncic dropped a triple-double —31 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists — and led the Mavs to a 113-110 victory in L.A. Dallas also got five three-pointers from Tim Hardaway, Jr. in the 21 points he scored.
For the Clippers, it was an embarrassing final six minutes for the Clippers in which they were outscored 18-5 and can’t help but bring back memories of last season’s playoff meltdown.
Game 2 is Tuesday with the Clippers posted as a decent-sized six-point favorite at the book.