Betting Angles for the NBA Playoffs
The NBA Playoffs begin on Saturday with 4 games on tap. I'm going to be discussing the betting odds on winning the Western Conference title for all 8 teams. All NBA odds displayed in this article are courtesy of Bookmaker.
Golden State Warriors (-110)
You certainly can’t ignore a team that's played in 3 straight NBA Finals, and won a world championship on 2 of those occasions. Nevertheless, I just can’t pull the trigger on them at this price and in their current state. Although their present odds to win the Western Conference is surely more attractive than their opening number of -278.
Golden State finished the regular season by going an uninspiring 7-10 over their last 17 games. Granted their uncharacteristic bad run can coincides with Stephen Curry being out due to injury. However, even with Curry in the lineup, they didn’t appear to be the overwhelmingly dominant team that we witnessed during the prior 4 seasons.
Houston Rockets (+110)
It’s hard not to like Houston’s chances of not only advancing out of the Western Conference. As a matter of fact, I strongly believe they stand an excellent chance of being crowned world champions when it’s all said and done. Since 1/18, Houston has gone a terrific 35-5. The Rockets are also 20-1 during their last 21 home games. Furthermore, when Chris Paul, James Harden, and Clint Capela have all been in the lineup, Houston is an incredible 42-3 this season.
On a concerning note, Houston relies heavily on their ability to knock down 3-point shots. Furthermore, the Rockets have seen 50% of their field goal attempts this season come from 3-point territory, and their averaging a robust 15 makes per game. Like the old basketball adage goes, “you can live by the 3-point shot and just as easily die by it as well”.
Oklahoma City Thunder (+1800)
If you listen to Russell Westbrook, anything short of a NBA Championship for his Thunder team would be considered a disappointment. You would expect nothing less from one of the best players in the NBA. However, the reality of the situation is this, Oklahoma City will have their hands full in their 1st round series against Utah. Even if their fortunate to get by the Jazz, knocking off Houston and Golden State in ensuing series will be a monumental task and highly unlikely.
Portland Trailblazers (+2200)
Portland is the Western Conference’s #3 seed after posting a stellar 49-33 regular season record. This will be the Trailblazers highest playoff seed since 2000. Unfortunately, their reward for such a banner year is a 1st round date with a New Orleans Pelicans team that’s played terrific basketball over the final 2 months of regular season action. Portland will only go as far as their dynamic backcourt tandem of Damian Lillard (26.9 PPG) and C.J. McCollum (17.0 PPG) takes them.
Utah Jazz (+2500)
The Jazz were one of the surprise stories in the NBA and should be applauded in that regard. They had a terrific second half of regular season action that catapulted them from being a borderline playoff team all the way to a #5 seed. Utah has vastly overachieved this season and expecting them to make a deep run in a loaded Western Conference playoff field is just plain unrealistic.
San Antonio Spurs (+3500)
It’s hard to undervalue a Spurs franchise that’s been highly successful over the past 2 decades. Nevertheless, this is clearly one of legendary head coach Greg Popovich’s weaker teams during that time span. San Antonio finished the regular season by going an uninspiring 7-10 over its last 17 games. If you’re contemplating taking a flier on the Spurs, I would highly advise saving your money and investing it elsewhere.
Minnesota Timberwolves (+4500)
Minnesota made the playoffs for the first time in 14 years and needed an overtime win at home against Denver in their regular season finale to do so. They now have the unenviable task of facing top seeded Houston in their opening round series. The Timberwolves were 0-4 SU&ATS against Houston this season and lost by an average of 15.7 points per game. The best they can hope for is avoiding being swept by Houston.
New Orleans Pelicans (+6600)
The Pelicans finished their regular season slate by going a stellar 20-8 during its last 28 outings, and that includes an outstanding 10-3 in away games. Since DeMarcus Cousins went down with a season ending injury, Anthony Davis has been a monster while leading the NBA in scoring during that time by averaging 30.2 points per game. For the most part, New Orleans held their own against Portland, Golden State, and Houston this season in going a combined 4-8. If your looking to make a small wager on a longshot to win the NBA Western Conference championship, there’s an iota of betting value with New Orleans.