NBA Playoff First Round Series Betting Picks

NBA Playoff First Round Series Betting Picks

NBA Playoff First Round Series Betting Picks

After six months and 82 games a piece for each of the 30 NBA teams, the first round NBA playoff betting match-ups have been set and with that so have the NBA Championship odds.

But before the finals, each team has to win their first round series and here are my picks of which NBA sqaud will win their first round series.

A Closer Look At My NBA Playoff First Round Series Betting Picks

Eastern Conference

No. 1 Atlanta Hawks vs. No. 8 Brooklyn Nets

  • Game 1: At Atlanta, Sunday April 19, TNT, 5:30 p.m.
  • Game 2: At Atlanta, Wednesday April 22, NBATV, 7 p.m.
  • Game 3: At Brooklyn, Saturday April 25, TNT, 3 p.m.
  • Game 4: At Brooklyn, Monday April 27, TBD
  • Game 5 (if necessary): At Atlanta, Wednesday April 29, TBD
  • Game 6 (if necessary): At Brooklyn, Friday May 1, TBD
  • Game 7 (if necessary): At Atlanta, Sunday May 3, TBD

Atlanta garnered the top spot in the Eastern Conference Playoffs for a reason. It’s because they’re a very good team. Brooklyn isn’t nearly as capable of beating Atlanta, both in the paint and on the perimeter, as the Hawks are at beating the Nets. That spells a short series with the top seed moving on.

No. 2 Cleveland Cavaliers vs. No. 7 Boston Celtics

  • Game 1: At Cleveland, Sunday April 19, ABC, 3 p.m.
  • Game 2: At Cleveland, Tuesday April 21, TNT, 7 p.m.
  • Game 3: At Boston, Thursday April 23, TNT, 7 p.m.
  • Game 4: At Boston, Sunday April 26, ABC, 1 p.m.
  • Game 5 (if necessary): At Cleveland, Tuesday April 28, TBD
  • Game 6 (if necessary): At Boston, Thursday April 30, TBD
  • Game 7 (if necessary): At Cleveland, Saturday May 2, TBD

Although LeBron and Kevin Love are somewhat long in the tooth, they should be ready to handle a young Celtics team that made the playoffs even though there isn’t a star among them. Boston’s just happy to have made it to the playoffs while the King and the rest of the Cavs want to win rings. Cleveland should sweep Boston in this matchup.

No. 3 Chicago Bulls vs. No. 6 Milwaukee Bucks

  • Game 1: At Chicago, Saturday, April 18, ESPN, 7 p.m.
  • Game 2: At Chicago, Monday April 20, TNT, 8 p.m.
  • Game 3: At Milwaukee, Thursday April 23, NBATV, 8 p.m.
  • Game 4: At Milwaukee, Saturday April 25, TNT, 5:30
  • Game 5 (if necessary): At Chicago, Monday April 27, TBD
  • Game 6 (if necessary): At Milwaukee, Thursday April 30 TBD
  • Game 7 (if necessary): At Chicago, Saturday May 2, TBD

The series could be tougher for the Bulls than many basketball handicappers realize. Milwaukee beat Chicago 95 to 91 the last time that these two teams faced each other. That game was on April 1. Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson, Derrick Rose and Kirk Hinrich are all listed on the injury report. They should all play, but the Bucks match up well. Chicago will win the series, but it won’t be easy.

No. 4 Toronto Raptors vs. No. 5 Washington Wizards

  • Game 1: At Toronto, Saturday April 18, ESPN, 12:30 p.m.
  • Game 2: At Toronto, Tuesday April 21, NBATV, 8 p.m.
  • Game 3: At Washington, Friday April 24, ESPN, 8 p.m.
  • Game 4: At Washington, Sunday April 26, TNT, 7 p.m.
  • Game 5 (if necessary): At Toronto, Wednesday April 29, TBD
  • Game 6 (if necessary): At Washington, Friday May 1, TBD
  • Game 7 (if necessary): At Toronto, Sunday May 3, TBD

This matchup is a battle between 2 very good point-guards. Toronto’s Kyle Lowry averages 17.9 points, 6.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game. Washington’s John Wall averages 17.6 points, 10 assists and 1.7 steals per game. Whichever point-guard wins the personal battle, will lead his team to a series victory. It should be Wall and the Wizards.

Western Conference

No. 1 Golden State Warriors vs. No. 8 New Orleans Pelicans

  • Game 1: At Golden State, Saturday, April 18, ABC. 3:30 p.m.
  • Game 2: At Golden State, Monday April 20, TNT. 10:30 p.m.
  • Game 3: At New Orleans, Thursday April 23, TNT. 9:30 p.m.
  • Game 4: At New Orleans, Saturday April 25, ESPN. 8 p.m.
  • Game 5 (if necessary): At Golden State, Tuesday April 28, TBD
  • Game 6 (if necessary): At New Orleans, Friday May 1, TBD
  • Game 7 (if necessary): At Golden State, Sunday May 3, TBD

Golden State has the best guard tandem in all of basketball with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. The Pelicans rely on the terrific Anthony Davis. New Orleans is a decent squad, but they have no shot of beating Golden State in a 7 game series. The problem for the Pelicans is that they rely too much on Davis while the Warriors have a lot of moving parts, Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green, etc., that Coach Steve Kerr can work with.

No. 2 Houston Rockets vs. No. 7 Dallas Mavericks

  • Game 1: At Houston, Saturday April 18, ESPN. 9:30 p.m.
  • Game 2: At Houston, Tuesday April 21, TNT, 9:30 p.m.
  • Game 3: At Dallas, Friday April 24, ESPN, 7 p.m.
  • Game 4: At Dallas, Sunday April 26, TNT 9:30 p.m.
  • Game 5 (if necessary): At Houston, Tuesday April 28 TBD
  • Game 6 (if necessary): At Dallas, Thursday April 30 TBD
  • Game 7 (if necessary): At Houston, Saturday May 2 TBD

Even without Patrick Beverley, Houston figures to handle Dallas in the first round. Nobody on the Mavericks can guard James Harden. Throw in Dwight Howard, who eats up a lot of space in the paint, and all of a sudden Dallas is inferior in almost every aspect in this matchup. The Mavericks are going to exit the NBA Playoffs much earlier than their fans expected at the beginning of the season.

No. 3 Los Angeles Clippers vs. No. 6 San Antonio Spurs

  • Game 1: At Los Angeles, Sunday April 19, TNT, 10:30 p.m.
  • Game 2: At Los Angeles, Wednesday April 22, TNT, 10:30 p.m.
  • Game 3: At San Antonio, Friday April 24, ESPN, 9:30 p.m.
  • Game 4: At San Antonio, Sunday April 26, ABC, 3:30
  • Game 5 (if necessary): At Los Angeles, Tuesday April 28 TBD
  • Game 6 (if necessary): At San Antonio, Thursday April 30 TBD
  • Game 7 (if necessary): At Los Angeles, Saturday May 2 TBD

This is the marquee first round matchup. San Antonio won 21 out of their last 25 regular season games. The Spurs are on a roll, but the Clippers might have the edge in Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. Griffin should be able to control the paint while Paul is brilliant no matter who he faces. That includes facing Tony Parker in the playoffs. 

No. 4 Portland Trail Blazers vs. No. 5 Memphis Grizzlies

  • Game 1: At Memphis, Sunday April 19, TNT, 8 p.m.
  • Game 2: At Memphis, Wednesday April 22, TNT, 8 p.m.
  • Game 3: At Portland, Saturday April 25, ESPN, 10:30 p.m.
  • Game 4: At Portland, Monday April 27, TNT, 10:30 p.m.
  • Game 5 (if necessary): At Memphis, April 29 TBD
  • Game 6 (if necessary): At Portland, Friday May 1 TBD
  • Game 7 (if necessary): At Memphis, Sunday May 3 TBD

This is going to be one heck of a series as well. The problem that Memphis might have is Mike Conley’s health. Without a healthy Conley, it’s difficult to see the Grizzlies being able to contain Trailblazers’ guard Damian Lilliard. Lilliard shined in the first round of last season’s playoffs. LaMarcus Aldridge is averaging 23.4 points and 10 boards per game. Portland should win the series.