Round one is underway so let’s take the temperature of each series in my updated NBA playoff expert picks. The biggest surprises are coming out of Golden State and Atlanta, while it’s business as usual for the top two championship contenders.
Before I give you my updated 2014 NBA playoff picks here is a look at the updated series prices:
Updated NBA Playoff Series Prices
Memphis Grizzlies +550
Oklahoma City Thunder -800
Golden State Warriors +150
Los Angeles Clippers -170
Atlanta Hawks +160
Indiana Pacers -185
Brooklyn Nets -300
Toronto Raptors +250
Washington Wizards -157
Chicago Bulls +137
Charlotte Bobcats +1750
Miami Heat +3000
Dallas Mavericks +850
San Antonio Spurs -1300
Portland Trailblazers -145
Houston Rockets +125
Updated 2014 NBA Playoff Expert Picks
Should You Bet On the Brooklyn Nets To Beat the Toronto Raptors?
If you’re backing Toronto to win this series already, I wouldn’t fret too much. The refs gave them a classic screw job in the opener by burying Terrence Ross on the bench with two fouls early on while he tried to get around moving screens, and Brooklyn somehow didn’t have a single defensive foul in the fourth quarter during a tightly contested, physical game. That shouldn’t be possible.
In any case, with almost nothing going right for them, Toronto still managed to hold court with Brooklyn playing near their absolute peak and that says enough for me to steady my faith in the young Raptors as they play the dinosaurs from Brooklyn. The mitigating factor here is Paul Pierce, whose range and cagey veteran move set gave the Raptors nightmares on Saturday. Toronto will adjust to the climate of the playoffs, and hopefully the league will hammer down on the refs to make this series a bit more fair for both sides. Either way I’d still take Toronto in 7 (+400) or Brooklyn in 7 (+550) in my updated NBA playoff expert picks.
Updated Bulls Vs. Wizards 2014 NBA Playoff Betting Picks
I really thought this would be an open-shut case for Chicago, a team that has looked and played like the best team in the Eastern Conference since the turn of the new year. But John Wall, who eviscerated Kirk Hinrich in the first game, might have enough run here to open up things completely for his teammates.
I’m still taking Chicago to win this series, but my updated NBA playoff expert picks would be remiss if I didn’t also encourage a play on Washington to take the series in 6 games because that’s totally on the table now.
Atlanta Ruining Playoffs Yet Again For Everyone
The Hawks have been the quintessential non-contending playoff team for the past decade, and their presence always frustrates handicappers when they’re trying to dish out updated NBA playoff expert picks. The look of the team is completely different, but as is usually the case, Atlanta is here thumping away and giving their opponents a difficult time.
It’s not so much that Atlanta has a chance of winning the series. More so, it’s a case of Indiana being put in a position where they could lose the series. They don’t have any gas in the tank, and whatever punch they’re supposed to have as the “pace setters of the regular season” isn’t there. I don’t love the Hawks to win this series, but if they do it’s going to be quick. I’d take Atlanta to win in 5 games (+1500) or Indiana to right the ship in 6 (+350) as my two plays here.
Charlotte Showing Fight But Miami Is The Favorite
There’s basically nothing new to say here for my updated NBA playoff expert picks. Miami scorched a punchy Charlotte team 99-88 thanks to a second-quarter squash and look like they’re in complete control here. LeBron had 27 points and Miami should win in 4 games as expected.
Revenge Is Obviously On Oklahoma City’s Mind
I could write pages upon pages about what Oklahoma City has done wrong this season despite all their success, but the fact remains that Durant and Westbrook look like they’re ready to bury Memphis in to an early grave. Oklahoma City wins this in four games.
Portland vs. Houston Will Be The Best Game To Bet On
Hate defense? Love offense? Then this series is for you! This is easily the hardest series to predict because neither team seems capable of stopping the other, but I still prefer Portland to take this one in 5 games and send Houston home early on in my updated NBA playoff expert picks. The reason? I’ll take Aldridge over Dwight any day of the week and I don’t think Wesley Matthews is going to let Harden explode like he did last season.
Signs Of Life In Golden State?
I hammered Golden State for their injury woes and development issues, but the one byproduct of all those elements betraying them created a resiliency that I overlooked. Golden State looks dangerous in this series, especially with the Clippers failing to show the type of defensive discipline required to really take control of this series. As such, I have the Warriors in 6 (+260) but I still like the Clippers to throw down the gauntlet and take this series in 5 (+800) in one of my more brazen updated NBA playoff expert picks.
Mavericks Won’t Go Down Without A Fight
The Mavericks threw the kitchen sink, the kitchen cabinets, the fridge, the stove and all the dishes at San Antonio over the weekend…and still fell five points short in a thrilling loss. Dallas obviously has nothing to lose here as the eighth seed and a massive underdog in the series. They’ll be an interesting play on a per-game basis, but I still like San Antonio in the sweep. The Spurs are looking good to win in 4 games, which has been reduced in price to +200 in updated NBA playoff expert picks.