After seeing a pair of exciting first round upsets take place in the Eastern Conference portion of the NBA playoffs, there’s really only one main question surrounding both quickly-approaching conference semifinals.
Are we about to see another upset – or even two – take place once the second round gets underway on Monday and Tuesday nights respectively?
From the looks of it, I say there’s at least a realistic chance of that happening in both series. Now…whether that actually happens or not is a different story all together.
However, you’re going to have a great chance to cash in on our NBA playoff Eastern Conference semifinal betting options, thanks to this informative preview and betting odds breakdown, followed by my expert NBA betting odds picks on both series matchups.
Washington Wizards Vs. Indiana Pacers Betting Tips
Game 1 in Indianapolis: Monday, May 5, 7 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 2 in Indianapolis: Wednesday, May 7, 7 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 3 in Washington: Friday, May 9, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Game 4 in Washington: Sunday, May 11, 8 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 5* in Indianapolis: Tuesday, May 13, TNT
Game 6* in Washington: Thursday, May 15, ESPN
Game 7* in Indianapolis: Sunday, May 18
Regular Season Series: Pacers win 2-1
How the Pacers got here: Beat No. 8 seed Atlanta Hawks 4-3 in first round.
How the Wizards got here: Beat No. 4 seed Chicago Bulls 4-1 in first round.
Points per game: Pacers 96.7, Wizards 100.7
Points allowed per game: Pacers 92.3, Wizards 99.4
Pacers SF Paul George (21.7 ppg)
Wizards PG John Wall (19.3 ppg)
Matchups worth watching:
Pacers C Roy Hibbert vs. Wizards C Marcin Gortat,
Pacers SG Lance Stephenson vs. Wizards SG Bradley Beal
Can the Indiana Pacers Beat The Washtington Wizards?
Let’s just be honest for a moment…the Indiana Pacers may have eliminated the Atlanta Hawks in their first round series, but it took seven grueling games to do so against a Hawks team that doesn’t appear to be very talented beyond Jeff Teague and Paul Millsap.
The Pacers struggle to score the ball immensely – when they’re not turning it over – and only topped the 100-point plateau once in its series against Atlanta while allowing the Hawks to reach the century mark twice in a pair of losses.
The good news for the Pacers however, is that they play elite defense on most nights just as they did in limiting the Hawks to a modest 88 points or less in all four of their series wins. Not only that, but Indiana also has a pair of gifted do-it-all performers in all-star Paul George and blossoming shooting guard Lance Stephenson.
NBA Playoff Betting Trends For the Pacers
- The Pacers are 8-20-1 ATS in their last 29 vs. Eastern Conference.
- Indiana is 4-11 ATS in their last 15 home games.
- Pacers are 6-21 ATS in their last 27 games following an SU win.
- Pacers are 3-13 ATS in their last 16 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record.
- Pacers are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games following an ATS win.
- Pacers are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Pacers are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games following a SU win of more than 10 points.
Can the Washington Wizards Beat the Indiana Pacers?
The Washington Wizards – and their blossoming backcourt – looked absolutely phenomenal in ousting the Chicago Bulls in five games and clearly have the look of a team with momentum heading into this series.
While they don’t get much notice for their defense, the Wizards held the offensively-challenged Bulls to less than 100 points in all but one game and look like they could do likewise against the often offensively inept Pacers.
In addition, Washington’s backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal repeatedly torched the Bulls and again, it looks like they could very well do the same against Indiana, although I will admit that George Hill and Lance Stephenson will pose more of a problem than Chicago’s backcourt did.
Wall averaged a fantastic 18.4 points and 8.8 assists per game against Chicago while Beal averaged an eye-opening 19.8 points per contest while draining a blistering 45.5 percent of his three-point attempts and 88.5 percent from the free throw line.
Did You Know that when John Wall and Evan Turner square off, it will be the first time since 2001 that the Nos. 1 and 2 picks in the NBA draft face off in a playoff series? Now, can you name the former pair that also pulled off this feat 13 years ago? Answer below.
NBA Playoff Betting Trends For the Washington Wizards.
- Wizards are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 road games.
- Wizards are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games overall.
- Wizards are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following an SU or ATS win.
- Wizards are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record.
- Wizards are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 vs. NBA Central.
- Wizards are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
Washington Wizards’ Kwame Brown and Chicago Bulls’ Tyson Chandler (2001 draftees) squared off in the first round in 2005.
Key Head-to-Head Betting Trends
- Under is 5-0 in the last 5 meetings in Indiana.
- Home team is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings.
- Under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.
- Wizards are 3-9 ATS in the last 12 meetings in Indiana
Series Analysis: The Washington Wizards have the upper hand in scoring, field goal percentage and turnovers while the Pacers have the advantage in free throw percentage, defense, rebounds and bench production.
I really like the way the Washington Wizards are playing right now and genuinely believe that they can beat the Indiana Pacers in this series, thanks to their underrated roster of veterans and nice mix of explosive youthfulness.
The Wizards had all five starters average double figures in scoring and are coming off a decisive series win against a defensive juggernaut that is very similar to Indiana. The Pacers did manhandle Washington in winning two of three in the regular season, but that was then and this is now – and clearly, both teams are playing a lot different from the way the looked when they last met on March 28.
In the end, I am going to go with the Wizards to pull off the series upset as their fine frontcourt plays Indiana’s trio of George, David West and Roy Hibbert at least evenly. If this series comes down to each team’s backcourt play, then I’ve got to take Wall and Beal over the versatile Stephenson – and offensively limited – George Hill.
The NBA Playoff Series Betting Pick: Washington in 6 Games
Brooklyn Nets Vs. Miami Heat Betting Tips
Game 1 in Miami: Tuesday, May 6, 7 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 2 in Miami: Thursday, May 8, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2
Game 3 in New York: Saturday, May 10, 8 p.m. ET, ABC
Game 4 in New York: Monday, May 12, 8 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 5* in Miami: Wednesday, May 14, TNT
Game 6* in New York: Friday, May 16, ESPN
Game 7* in Miami: Sunday, May 18, ABC
Regular Season Series: Nets swept 4-0.
How the Heat got here: Beat No. 7 Charlotte Bobcats 4-0.
How the Nets got here: Beat No. 3 Toronto Raptors 4-3.
Points per game: Heat 102.2, Nets 98.5
Points allowed per game: Heat 97.4, Nets 99.5
Matchups worth watching: Heat SF LeBron James vs. Nets SF Paul Pierce, Heat PG Mario Chalmers vs. Brooklyn PG Deron Williams.
LeBron James (27.1 ppg)
Joe Johnson (15.8 ppg)
Can the Miami Heat Beat the Brooklyn Nets?
The Miami Heat didn’t look overly impressive in sweeping the Charlotte Bobcats in the first round, but they didn’t have to, even though they did look more impressive as each game took place. Still, I expect Miami to have its hands more than full with the experienced Brooklyn Nets in this series.
As usual, Miami will depend on its Big Three combination of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in order to win this series and beat a Nets team they lost all four regular season meetings against.
The good news for the Heat is that James averaged a whopping 30.0 points per game against Charlotte while Wade and Bosh added 17.7 and 14.5 points per game respectively. The bad news is that, while this trio averaged a fantastic 62.0 points per game against the Bobcats, no other Miami player averaged more than the 9.0 points per contest that Mario Chalmers chipped in, meaning this team may be more limited than most people even realize.
Miami Heat NBA Playoff Betting Trends
- Heat are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Heat are 21-8-1 ATS in their last 30 Conference Semifinals games.
- Heat are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following an ATS win.
- Heat are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a SU win of more than 10 points.
Can the Brooklyn Nets Beat The Miami Heat?
The Nets swept the Heat in the regular season – and they’ll have plenty of motivation to take down a Heat team that they pretty much hate with a passion. New Jersey didn’t look particularly powerful in narrowly beating Toronto in seven games in its first round series, but I fully expect their often lackluster performances against the raptors to cease and desist immediately as they prepare to face a Miami team they were specifically built to beat.
Brooklyn Nets Key NBA Playoff Betting Trends Trends
- Nets are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 road games.
- Nets are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Nets are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Nets are 16-5-1 ATS in their last 22 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record.
- Nets are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games following an SU win.
Did You Know that Paul Pierce holds a 32-28 career edge over LeBron James in 60 career regular season meetings?
Series Analysis: I know the Miami Heat are the league’s two-time defending champions and that they certainly won’t go away quietly into the night. Having said that, I am also going to go out on a nit of a limb here and predict a series win for a Brooklyn Nets team that won’t have many opportunities to win a championship as they’re currently built.
Brooklyn is very solid in the frontcourt, but it is the backcourt play of these two teams that I believe will be the deciding factor in this series.
If Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Marcus Thornton and Shaun Livingston all play like they’re capable of, then I think it’s going to be tough for D-Wade, Chalmers and Norris Cole to match them as a group, particularly with Wade putting up less than 18 points per game.
I also really like the Nets’ frontcourt – outside of the obvious Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. Blossoming forward Mirza Teletovic has been an absolute revelation recently and fellow big men, Andray Blatche, Mason Plumlee and Andrei 9AK 47’ Kirilenko will also likely give Miami’s undersized front court rotation big problems.
Key Head-to-Head NBA Betting Trends
- Nets are 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings.
- Under is 5-0 in the last 5 meetings in Miami.
- Under is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings.
- Nets are 9-4 ATS in the last 13 meetings in Miami.
- Road team is 21-10 ATS in the last 31 meetings.
- Underdog is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings.
The Pick: I’m not going to waste a lot of time with my series pick here as I firmly believe that Miami is going down and going down in shocking fashion against a Brooklyn Nets team that was put together and has played all season long, solely for the reason of knocking Miami out of the postseason.
Each and every time Pierce and Garnett square off against LeBron James, the intensity is raised to an entirely new level, even if James doesn’t want to acknowledge that fact. Surprisingly, it is the Brooklyn Nets that are the deeper – and likely hungrier – team in this Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Don’t forget…you heard it here first. The Brooklyn Nets knock Miami out in six games,
The NBA Playoff Series Betting Pick: Brooklyn Nets in 6 Games