NBA Conference Semifinals Betting and Handicapping Guide
by Dave Schwab - 5/14/2012
The NBA Eastern Conference semifinals got underway this past Saturday and the Western Conference semifinals tip off on Monday night as the eight remaining teams continue their quest to win this season’s NBA title.
The following is a look at a few stats, facts, and figures along with some current betting trends that will help to handicap this week’s slate of games.
Bovada has reshuffled the deck for the remaining eight teams and with No.1 seed Chicago out of the mix, the Miami Heat are now a prohibitive 2/9 favorite to come out of the East. The Boston Celtics are second-favorites at 4/1 followed by a couple of longshots; Indiana at 22/1 and Philadelphia at 25/1.
The competition in the West is much tighter with San Antonio the slight favorite at 6/5 followed by Oklahoma City at 13/10. The first team from Los Angeles, the Lakers have been opened at 5/1 to win the West followed by the Clippers at 18/1.
The Heat are now 11/10 favorites to win the title with the Spurs next at 3/1. The Thunder are third at 15/4 with Boston listed at 8/1. The Lakers still garnered some respect at 9/1 but the final three teams are all hefty longshots starting with the Clippers at 40/1 followed by the Pacers at 60/1 and the Sixers at 65/1.
Eastern Conference Game 1 Recap
The Philadelphia 76ers were in prime position to shock the field with a victory in Game 1 against Boston as 5.5-point road underdogs on NBA odds, but then reality set in with a gut-wrenching 92-91 defeat. Philadelphia led this one most of the way and actually had a 10-point lead early in the fourth quarter but could not hold off Rajon Rondo, who posted a triple-double with 13 points, 12 rebounds, and 17 assists, and Kevin Garnett, who led the scoring with a game-high 29 points. The total went ‘over’ the 171-point line.
Indiana also put up a good fight in its Game 1 series opener against Miami on Sunday as an 8.5-point road underdog. The Pacers had a three-point lead after one and were down by just six points at the half. They battled back to tie the game at the end of three quarters, but LeBron James and Dwyane Wade were just too much to contain down the stretch. The two combined for 64 percent of the Heats total points with James adding 15 rebounds and five assists in the 95-86 win. The total stayed ‘under’ the 186.5-point line.
Western Conference Game 1 Preview
The Los Angeles Lakers and the Oklahoma City Thunder kick off their semifinal showdown this Monday night in Oklahoma City. The Thunder have been opened as 7.5-point favorites for Game 1 with the total line set at 191.5. These two teams met three times this season with Oklahoma City holding a 2-1 edge both straight-up and against the spread. The Lakers won the last meeting, 114-106, in overtime as one-point home underdogs. The total stayed under in two of the three games.
The other team from Los Angeles, the Clippers, kick off their series against the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night at the AT&T Center. The Spurs have been opened as 11-point home favorites in this Game 1 matchup with the total line set at 110. San Antonio holds a 2-1 edge both SU and ATS in their regular season series, but the Clippers posted a 120-108 romp the last time they met as 4.5-point road underdogs (Tony Parker was injured in that game for the Spurs). The total went over in all three games.
Series Betting Trends
The 76ers are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games following a SU loss. The Celtics are 11-5-1 ATS in their last 17 games at home. Philadelphia is 3-5 SU but 6-2 ATS in the last eight meetings with the total going over in the last three games.
Indiana is now just 2-6 ATS in their last eight playoffs games as underdogs of five to 10.5 points. Miami is a perfect 5-0 ATS in their last five games as home favorites. The underdog still has the overall edge between the two at 24-10-1 ATS in the last 35 meetings and the total has now stayed under in five of the last seven meetings in Miami.
The Lakers are 1-6 ATS in their last six playoff games as underdogs, while the Thunder are 1-4 ATS in their last five games as favorites in the playoffs. The favorite is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings and Los Angeles is 2-5 ATS in its last seven trips to Oklahoma City. The total has stayed under in five of the last seven meetings overall.
The Clippers are 1-3-1 ATS in its last five games following a both a SU and ATS win. The Spurs are 22-5-1 ATS in their last 28 home games as a favorite. Los Angeles is just 3-11 ATS in the last 14 meetings overall and 2-5 ATS in its last seven road games against the Spurs. The total has gone over in four of the last five meetings overall.
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