You want my NBA playoff first round free picks? Well then you’ve come to the right place! These are my predictions for each series in every playoff matchup. Action starts this Saturday. Get excited!
Eastern Conference 2014 NBA Playoff First Round Free Picks
This is no longer just Indiana and Miami’s conference to win…
#1 Indiana Pacers vs. #8 Atlanta Hawks Betting Picks
The sports blogosphere (which includes me) can’t stop talking about how awful the Pacers have been in the second half, especially since they traded Danny Granger. The Hawks got downright chippy with a 7-3 SU run to end the season, which included spanking the Pacers in their own field house 107-88. But if you think that’s going to carry on throughout the series then you’re dreaming. The Hawks are not built to last and two dominant runs by Indiana to end the year should re-invigorate them. If not, then beating up on the hapless Hawks will do the trick.
NBA Playoff First Round Free Picks – Indiana in 5
#2 Miami Heat vs. #7 Charlotte Bobcats Betting Picks
Part of me really wants to tout the crap out of Charlotte because I like so many different parts of their team. Al Jefferson has been a beast this season, Kemba Walker has taken a huge step forward along with MKG and Bismack Biyambo’s name is still fun to scream out loud. But the Bobcats also went 0-4 SU and 1-3 ATS in their four game set against Miami this season. Rest is paramount to the Miami Heat. There’s no way they let Charlotte extend this series any further than it needs to go. That being said, I like the uppity Bobcats to steal a game in this series (probably Game 3) with Al Jefferson going ballistic against Miami at least once.
NBA Playoff First Round Free Picks – Miami in 5
#3 Toronto Raptors vs. #6 Brooklyn NetsBetting Picks
Ever since Kevin Garnett came back, Jason Kidd has had no idea who to play and what lineups to set. I think Brooklyn’s talent and experience gets them three wins in this series, but Toronto’s overall gutsy play, their home court advantage and their more definitive identity get them the win in a series that will put them on the map as a legitimate playoff team (not contender). There are very few instances I would back Dwayne Casey as a head coach, but I’d bet against Jason Kidd as a coach in any high pressure situation. Nobody fears Toronto. Nobody should. By mid-series, Brooklyn will.
NBA Playoff First Round Free Picks – Toronto in 7
#4 Chicago Bulls vs. #5 Washington Wizards Betting Picks
Let it be known that Marcin Gortat is one of the players I hate the most in the NBA (I’m sure he’s a great guy but he talks to much about toughness and is a truly lousy player). So I’m just excited to see Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah envelop him in a fiery tornado of doom and send the Wizards home quickly.
NBA Playoff First Round Free Picks – Chicago in 4
Western Conference 2014 NBA Playoff First Round Free Picks
This is a lot easier than the east…
#1 San Antonio Spurs vs. #8 Dallas Mavericks Betting Picks
The battle of Texas! Teams with combined average ages of 87 years! The two greatest coaches in the game today! Two of the most iconic big men of all time! A sweep?!?! Yup – crack out the brooms, the Spurs need to take a nap so they can get ready for whomever.
NBA Playoff First Round Free Picks – San Antonio in 4
#2 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. #7 Memphis Grizzlies Betting Picks
If Popovich vs. Carlisle is the clash of the coaching titans then Brooks vs. Joerger is the battle of the boneheads. It’s two terrible coaches trying to prove which one’s worse. It’s a shame because the Memphis product from the 2013 playoffs was thoroughly enjoyable. What Joerger has turned them in to is a complete abomination. Brooks isn’t much better at his job coaching the Thunder, but at least he just plays Durant and Westbrook a reckless amount of minutes. That in itself is probably the best coaching decision he could ever make even if I meant that as a backhanded compliment.
NBA Playoff First Round Free Picks – Oklahoma City in 5
#3 Los Angeles Clippers vs. #6 Golden State WarriorsBetting Picks
This would’ve been a REALLY fun series had Andrew Bogut and David Lee been healthy. Hell it might have helped if Harrison Barnes got any better this season instead of regressing back to his awful days at UNC. The Warriors seem completely jinxed this season; they’re literally catching all the wrong breaks (like the ones that effect the bones of their own players). Doc Rivers has the well-oiled machine of the Clippers zooming while playing lockdown defense. This series would be a wash if I didn’t see Stephen Curry rising up to the challenge of Chris Paul.
NBA Playoff First Round Free Picks – LAC in 5
#4 Houston Rockets vs. #5 Portland Trail BlazersBetting Picks
This is probably the NBA’s dream come true. They have the Rockets fans gathering in hordes behind Harden and Howard, while the nutjobs in Portland are more than ready to tear through these playoffs. You know that Portland decimated their home stretch with a 9-1 SU run right? Houston figured out how to do a lot of things well this season, but playing defense wasn’t one of them. With Batum and Aldridge relentlessly assaulting the mentally feeble Howard underneath the rim all series long, Houston’s chances of winning a first round series are about to get torn up by Rip City.
NBA Playoff First Round Free Picks – Portland in 5