My NBA playoff picks follow one simple rule until the later rounds- bet the favorite. Nowhere is this truer than in Western Conference betting as you can pretty much pencil the winners in now. Of course there are always upsets such as the Oklahoma City Thunder over the San Antonio Spurs last season, but I suspect this year will be a little more straightforward.
As there are a few match-ups still to be determined in the Eastern Conference, let’s take a look at the West first. Even though NBA playoff betting is heavily geared towards favorites, we still might find some room for profit.
NBA Playoff Picks – Golden State Warriors vs. Portland Trail Blazers
Bet on the Golden State Warriors to win every game. Simple. Even if Steph Curry and Kevin Durant don’t play GSW will most likely win. There is no path to victory here for the Portland Trail Blazers– at all, ever. Although the playoff betting lines have not been finalized yet with a few games still remaining in the season, your betting on this series will most likely be about whether you see value in the pointspreads or not.
The key here is that there will be so much public money coming in on the Golden State Warriors that bookmakers will have to move the lines way out to balance the action. I think it will be hard to bet even the biggest Blazer moneyline with any kind of confidence, so therefore look at NBA playoff pointspreads. Trust me- there will be a game where the spread is just too big and Portland will cover.
Basketball Playoff Lines- San Antonio Spurs vs. Memphis Grizzlies
Again, hard to not see the favorite winning here. The San Antonio Spurs even without Tim Duncan are an excellent team, and Memphis will have to play the basketball of their lives to prevail. I think with the right kind of mojo and drive Memphis might make this closer than one might think, but the outcome will no doubt be a Spurs series win.
Take a look at the NBA playoffs series odds for this one, as there might be a little more value in betting San Antonio to win rather than tying your whole bankroll up betting GSW. The Spurs are outscoring opponents by almost 7.5 points a game so this is a team that can win on offense. Add to their mix probably the best NBA coach of all time in Gregg Popovich, and you always have a perennial favorite in the Spurs. Age is a concern for the Spurs, but with the addition of young stars like Kawhi Leonard they are trying to correct it. So in short, no way the Memphis Grizzlies win this one and bet the Spurs all day long.
Best Playoff NBA Lines – Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
When it comes to NBA playoff picks this series is going to be the toughest. This series may also settle who can lay claim to being the NBA MVP player as James Harden and Russell Westbrook go head to head in a battle of superstar point guards. I will leave who is the best to the selection committee, but I think Westbrook gets the nod.
In terms of the series, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets are at a similar level of talent albeit with different compositions. Both teams rely heavily on the star power of their point guards to win each and every night which makes them vulnerable to injury, fatigue, fouls etc. I think this series will be probably one of the most exciting of the playoffs due to the parity and the battle between Harding and Westbrook. I think the Thunder edge out the Rockets.
As always make sure to take my recommendations with a grain of salt, but GSW and the Spurs are no brainers. Look for them to get pushed offside on the point spread though because of public money- which in turn means you might be able to bet the dog spread for profit. In my next article we will take a look at the Eastern Conference for additional NBA playoff picks.
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