The eight playoff teams that didn't open their first-round series on Saturday will Sunday. It's fitting that Cleveland opens against Boston as LeBron James' last game with the Cavaliers before leaving for Miami was a Game 6 defeat to the Celtics in the 2010 Eastern Conference semifinals. Had the Cavs won that series, perhaps LeBron stays put. But he recognized that he couldn't win a title with the cast of characters he had at that time. He surely can now as the Cavs are co-+225 favorites to win it all with West No. 1 Golden State. I don't think any East team can beat the Cavs -- maybe the Bulls if they were 100 percent healthy, but they aren't.
Celtics at Cavaliers (-10.5. 205)
It's a 3 p.m. tip on ABC. Boston is the No. 7 seed, and really that ruins GM Danny Ainge's plans. Oh, I'm sure he's happy about shockingly making the playoffs, but really Ainge expected to be back in the lottery this season. He has a ton of first-round picks upcoming. Perhaps a good showing against the Cavs -- no way Celtics win the series -- would allow Boston to lure a free agent like Cleveland's Kevin Love this offseason. Or use some of those picks to trade for a star who might be more open to coming to Boston if it appears the team has turned the corner. The Cavs are well-rested as they sat guys plenty over the final week. Thus when you see that Boston beat the Cavs by nine on April 10 and then by a whopping 39 two days later, take nothing from that whatsoever. The Cavs won the other two when they cared, including a 110-79 wipeout March 3. Since adding J.R. Smith and Timofey Mozgov, the Cavs' starting five have posted the best scoring margin (+19.3) of any NBA lineup.
Series price: Cavaliers -3500, Celtics +1500.
Key trends: Boston is 20-8 against the spread in its past 28 against teams with a winning record. The C's are 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings. The "over/under" has gone under in five of the past six in Cleveland.
Early lean: Cavaliers and over.
Nets at Hawks (-8.5, 204.5)
A 5:30 start on TNT. At least Brooklyn now doesn't have to hand over a lottery pick to Atlanta as the Hawks can swap first-round picks in this summer's draft with the Nets and will. The Nets had to beat visiting Orlando on Wednesday and have Indiana lose in Memphis for the Nets to grab the No. 8 seed. The Nets did, 101-88, and a couple of hours later the Pacers complied. Hard to see how the Nets can win this series as they were 12-31 against teams at .500 or better this season. Atlanta won a franchise-record 60 games but seemed to shut things down a bit early, going just 7-8 in its final 15 games and dropping its final three. All-Star power forward Paul Millsap returned for Wednesday's season finale after missing the previous five games with a shoulder injury but clearly isn't 100 percent. The Hawks took the season series between the teams 4-0, averaging 114 points per game and winning by an average margin of 17.3.
Series price: Hawks -1500, Nets +800.
Key trends: The Nets are 1-4 ATS in the past five meetings. The over is 4-1 in the past five in Atlanta.
Early lean: Hawks and over.
Trail Blazers at Grizzlies (-4, 191.5)
An 8 p.m. tip on TNT. If you look at the NBA standings, the Blazers are listed as the No. 4 seed because they won a division title but Memphis at No. 5 despite winning four more games than Portland. But it's Memphis that gets home-court advantage. So why even list like that? The Grizzlies caught a big break Wednesday when the Spurs lost in New Orleans as that allowed Memphis to get first-round home-court advantage with a win over the Pacers, which happened. A loss would have meant the No. 6 seed and a trip to the Clippers, a much tougher opponent. Four big injury questions for this series. For Portland, starting guard Arron Afflalo and forward Nic Batum are both in question for the opener. Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley has missed four straight with an ankle injury, but I think he's in there. Guard Tony Allen has missed nine straight with a hamstring injury. These teams are totally different, with the Blazers an up-tempo team and the Grizzlies perhaps slower-paced than anyone. Memphis swept the season series 4-0 and the Blazers never reached 100 points.
Series price: Grizzlies -165, Blazers +140.
Key trends: Portland is 0-4 ATS in the past four meetings. The under is 5-2 in the past seven in Memphis.
Early lean: Grizzlies and under.
Spurs at Clippers (-1, 205.5)
This starts at 10:30 on TNT and is easily the marquee first-round matchup. San Antonio's 11-game winning streak ended in New Orleans on Wednesday, which as it turned out dropped the Spurs all the way from No. 2 to No. 6 in the West. Thus this will be just the second time in the Tim Duncan Era that the Spurs will open the playoffs on the road. Still, this is such a battle-tested group I don't think it matters. Obviously opening against Dallas would have been much preferred, however. No team enters the playoffs hotter than the Clippers now as they have won seven straight and are 14-2 since Blake Griffin returned from injury. They led the NBA in offensive efficiency this season, averaging 109.8 points per 100 possessions. The Clippers have the better starting five in my opinion, but the Spurs have a better bench, especially with L.A.'s Jamal Crawford still not 100 percent. Will Spurs coach resort to hacking putrid Clippers free-throw shooter DeAndre Jordan late in games? When the Spurs and Clippers played in February, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich sent Jordan to the line 28 times (he made 10). The teams split four meetings but haven't played in two months.
Series price: Spurs -185, Clippers +160.
Key trends: The underdog is 10-2 ATS in the past 12 meetings. The over is 7-2 in the past nine.
Early lean: Spurs -- the only series favorite without home-court advantage -- and over.
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