With the NBA Playoff picture now starting to take shape, Franchise Sports take a look at the leaders in the Eastern and Western Conference betting market…
There’s a new favorite in the NBA Eastern Conference betting odds after a fantastic opening round performance from the Boston Celtics.
Boston Celtics +180
The Celtics have sent out a warning shot to the rest of the NBA with their 4-0 sweeping of the Brooklyn Nets. Defeating a team that stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving with such ease has caught the public’s attention. With such a comfortable road ahead to the Conference semi-final, they’re now the betting favorites in the East.
Since the all-star break, Ime Udoka’s side have seen a huge upturn in their results. The Celtics will now face the tantalizing prospect of a showdown with the defending champions, the Milwaukee Bucks. They were the only side in either conference to wrap up their series in the minimum four games, meaning they can get some rest ahead of their opening match at the TD Garden on Sunday.
Shining on this stellar Celtics line-up is player Jayson Tatum, who Boston have been watching rise to superstardom in front of their very eyes. His performance against the Nets were nothing short of spectacular, averaging just under 30 points per game and allowing just 10 when guarding Kevin Durant defensively.
Miami Heat +250
Next in line are the Miami Heat, who clinched their spot in the NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals after beating the Atlanta Hawks – despite missing Kyle Lowry and Jimmy Butler in Game 5.
They made light work of the talented Hawks side in the opening round, making the series seem one-sided. They closed things out 4-1 with a win in front of their home fans, with three of their four wins boasting double digit margins. Their sole defeat was just by a single point in Atlanta.
If the Heat can nurse Jimmy Butler back to health, they’ll have a player who was made to perform on the big Playoff stage. The small forward was instrumental in the Heat downing the Hawks. He averaged 30.5 points in his four matches as well as 7.8 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.8 steals.
Miami will play the winner of the Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors, going into that series as overwhelming favorites no matter who they face. Show your support for Miami Heat via a risk free bet of up to $1000 with BetMGM.
Milwaukee Bucks +300
The defending champions, the Milwaukee Bucks, dominated the Chicago Bulls to close their first round series and set up a showdown with the Boston Celtics. This was Milwaukee’s first postseason series win over the Bulls since 1985 and sealed a 4-1 progression.
What made their victory even more impressive is the fact they’ve had injury issues at various points, including missing the influential Khris Middleton in the Playoffs.
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 33 points as the Milwaukee Bucks finished off the Chicago Bulls in Game 5, remaining fantastic throughout the series. The meteoric rise of Antetokounmpo shows no sign of slowing and the Greek sensation has been outstanding all season long after leading his team to an NBA title a year ago.
This is a veteran Bucks team that cannot be underestimated; they’ve proven time and time again they’re not scared of the big moment. The ship sailed on getting this team as a value bet, but that doesn’t necessarily make the Bucks a bad bet as they set off to repeat their heroics of 12 months ago.
Heading into the Playoffs there was one clear favorite for the Western Conference crown – but since then the Suns have drifted, and the Warriors have taken over at the top of the betting.
The Golden State Warriors officially claimed their ticket to the Western Conference Semi-finals with a hard fought 102-98 Game 5 victory over the Denver Nuggets.
Steph Curry finally moved back into the Warriors starting line-up after coming off the bench in all four of the opening games of the series. As he’s so often done during Golden State’s deep postseason runs, he dominated, scoring 30 points and bringing his team back from the brink of defeat late on.
The Warriors are a tough prospect for anyone and are thriving with the support from their raucous home Chase Center crowd. The Dubs now await the winner of the first-round matchup between the Memphis Grizzlies and Minnesota Timberwolves in the Western Conference semis.
Phoenix Suns +200
The Suns entered the Playoffs as overwhelming favorites to claim the Western title, having wrapped up the top seed and recorded a hugely impressive 64-18 record, an indication of their depth and strength. It’s been a different story in the postseason though, losing star player Devin Booker to injury and struggling in their opening round series against the bottom seeded Pelicans.
Phoenix are still in there fighting however, and are one win away from a berth in the Western Conference. They made things look easy on Tuesday night with a 112-97 win over NOLA in Game 5 to take the lead 3-2, and they now have two shots to progress.
Chris Paul submitted one of the worst Playoff performances of his career in the Suns’ Game 4 loss, finishing with just four points and three turnovers. He bounced back in style with a classic Playoff performance in Game 5, recording his 31st career Playoff game with at least 20 points and 10 assists, the third most of all time behind only LeBron James and Magic Johnson.
If Paul can maintain that level and the supporting cast of Cameron Payne and Mikal Bridges do their part, then they might rediscover their sensational early season magic. Check out BetRivers for an exciting range of Playoff betting opportunities.
For more Playoff betting tips and previews, visit our NBA section that covers everything from Eastern Conference standings and Western Conference standings, to NBA Finals winners and NBA award winners.