With the exception of Portland’s recent 4-3 series victory over Denver as a series underdog in the conference semifinals, the favorite has won the other 11 best-of-seven matchups in this year’s NBA playoffs. Moving on to the posted betting odds at MyBookie online sportsbook to win each of the conference finals, the early numbers once again lean heavily towards the two favorites.
The Milwaukee Bucks were the team to beat in the East for most of the regular season. They posted the best straight-up record in the NBA at 60-22. Drawing the Detroit Pistons in the opening round, that series was basically over before it began. Milwaukee pulled off the four-game sweep both SU and against the spread by winning each game by double figures.
The only blip on the radar screen in the next series against the No. 4 Boston Celtics was a 112-90 loss in Game 1 as eight-point home favorites. The Bucks went on to win the next four games both SU and ATS with three double-digit victories.
The Toronto Raptors lost their first playoff game this season before winning the next four games against Orlando. They went 3-2 ATS in those five games. They had their hands full against the No. 3 Philadelphia 76ers in the next round in a series that ended with an amazing Game 7 buzzer-beater by Kawhi Leonard. Toronto was 3-4 ATS in the seven games.
Milwaukee had the 3-1 edge both SU and ATS in the four-game regular season series against Toronto and the Bucks have been opened as six-point home favorites for Wednesday night’s Game 1.
The Bucks’ betting odds to win this series are set at -290 with the Raptors listed as +235 underdogs. It is hard to find any value in either bet unless Toronto can pull off an upset in Game 1 to drive down the odds on Milwaukee. Look for the Bucks to advance in six games.
Betting Odds to Win The NBA Western Conference
Portland finished the regular season on a strong note to edge out Houston for the No. 3 seed in the West on a tiebreaker. The Trail Blazers made short work of Oklahoma City in five games in their opening round series. Going down 3-2 in the series against Denver, they rallied for a pair of wins both SU and ATS in the final two games to pull off the mild upset.
Golden State’s run to its fifth-straight appearance in the conference finals out West consisted of six-game series wins against the Los Angeles Clippers and the Houston Rockets. The Warriors were 5-7 ATS in those 12 games with a 2-4 mark ATS in six home games. While it was not always pretty, they did prove that they can still beat an elite NBA team without the services of their top scorer.
Kevin Durant has averaged 34.2 points per game in the postseason, but he missed Game 6 against Houston with a calf strain. He is reportedly out of the lineup for Tuesday’s series opener in Oakland with the Warriors still favored by 7.5 points.
The betting odds that Golden State heads to the NBA Finals for the fifth season in a row are set at -575. The odds that Portland pulls off a second-straight upset are set at +425. There is no value betting the Warriors given their odds to win, but betting against them would be the equivalent of throwing your money in the trash. Golden State in five.