NBA Playoffs Who’s Hot and Who’s Not – May 1
By Dave Schwab
An extended round of betting action in the eight opening best-of-seven series in the NBA playoffs finally came to an end this past Sunday with the Utah Jazz eliminating the Los Angeles Clipper in seven games with a 104-91 victory as 3.5-point road underdogs on BetAnySports’ closing line.
The Jazz were the only first round series price underdogs to advance and they will now have to face the No. 1 Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Semifinals starting this Tuesday night with Game 1. They have been opened +1500 underdogs in this series and 13-point road underdogs for Tuesday night with the total set at 208.
Going back over all 44 games played in that opening round, the Oddsmakers might have to go to the top of the hot list this week with some seriously sharp betting lines. The underdogs squeezed out a slight 22-21-1 edge against the spread on BetAnySports’ closing lines for the sides and the OVER had the slight 23-20-1 advantage with the closing lines for the total.
Boston got the conference semifinals’ round started with Sunday’s 123-111 victory in Game 1 of its Eastern Conference matchup against Washington as a four-point home favorite with BetAnySports. After losing the first two games at home in their opening round series against Chicago, the Celtics bring a five-game winning streak into Tuesday’s Game 2 both straight-up and against the spread. They have been opened as 5.5-point favorites at home with the total set at 218.5.
One of the most interesting matchups in the next round pits Houston against San Antonio in a battle between two bitter Southwest Division rivals. The Spurs got past Memphis in six games to advance while the Rockets jettisoned Oklahoma City from the playoffs in five games to keep their title homes alive. The series price odds favor San Antonio (-275) and it has been opened as a 5.5-point home favorite for Monday night’s series opener. The total line for that game has been set at 213 points.
Monday’s playoff action gets underway with Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals series between Toronto and Cleveland with the Cavaliers favored by 6.5 points at home. Cleveland was the only other team to sweep the opening round with four wins against Indiana. The Raptors needed six games to get past Milwaukee and they come into this series as +400 underdogs as the No. 3 seed in the East.