NBA Playoffs Betting: Second-Round Series Odds and Predictions
by George Monroy - 5/5/2014
The NBA ended the first round of the 2014 Playoffs with five Game 7s over the weekend and a spectacular Game 6 buzzer-beating 3-point shot that may have turned Portland's Damian Lillard into a star. The playoffs, so far, have been one of the most entertaining, competitive and downright fun set of games in recent postseason memory, and the beauty of it all is that the second round is still yet to come.
On the betting front, the lower-seeded teams managed to cover 29 of the 49 first-round games, many as the underdog, and set the trend, for that round at least, for bettors to take the points. Let's take a closer look at a couple of second-round matchups and go over the series odds and make a few predictions with analysis.
San Antonio Spurs vs. Portland Trail Blazers
Series Odds : Spurs -360; Trail Blazers +280; Sportsbook.ag
Game 1 Lines : Spurs +6; Total: 206.5
Let's get straight to the point here: This matchup has upset written all over it. Not many people may be giving Portland a chance because they are the young and inexperienced squad that must face San Antonio, of all teams, in the second round. On paper the Trail Blazers might not stand much of a chance. However, for those bettors that closely watched the first round, it is readily apparent that Portland will be a nightmare matchup for the Spurs.
San Antonio was just taken to seven games by a savvy, yet mediocre Dallas team and did not look particularly impressive until its Game 7 blowout. Yes, the Spurs are well-coached and make few mistakes, but the team's biggest weakness over the last few years has been against young and athletic squads-which is exactly what the Trail Blazers are.
San Antonio's big men will have trouble dealing with LaMarcus Aldridge, while the key matchup will be at the guard position when Tony Parker faces off against Lillard. It may sound like an exaggeration, but Portland has a legitimate chance at making an NBA Finals appearance.
First-Round ATS Records : Spurs: 1-6; Trail Blazers 2-4
Prediction : Trail Blazers in six
Miami Heat vs. Brooklyn Nets
Series Price : Heat -525; Nets +400
Game 1 Lines : Heat- 7.5; Total: 192
Heading into the postseason, Brooklyn was supposed to be the one team with a shot at dethroning the Heat. Indiana struggled after the all-star break, while the Nets finally rounded into form. However, after the team's first-round matchup against the young and energetic Toronto Raptors, the one thing that is the most apparent is that Brooklyn doesn't have the offensive firepower to keep up with a very good team.
The Nets will play the Heat tough simply because they have adopted the gritty personalities of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. The squad can also play shut-down defense for extended periods of time. However, contrary to what most people are starting to believe, this season's Nets are not the Boston Celtics from a few years back. Brooklyn will be competitive every matchup, but ultimately they will fall in five or six games.
The key players for Brooklyn will be Deron Williams and Joe Johnson. If both players can stand up to Miami's swarming defense and not crumble under pressure, Brooklyn will have a better shot at extending this series. Both players need to remain active because Pierce and Garnett alone simply cannot carry the team to a Game 6 or 7 by themselves.
First-Round ATS Records : Heat 3-1; Nets 4-2-1
Prediction : Heat in five
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