NBA Playoff Betting: Final Four Predictions

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The Eastern and Western Conference Finals got underway starting on Sunday afternoon with Game 1 between the Orlando Magic and Boston Celtics, and continued on Monday night with a duel between the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns. With the C’s and Lakers up 1-0 in each of their series, we’re going to take a look at what we can expect from all four teams for the remainder of their best of seven sets.

Boston Celtics – The C’s really had everything going for them in Game 1 against Orlando. Two of the “Big 3” were really clicking on all cylinders, as G Ray Allen and F Paul Pierce combined to shoot 14-of-24 from the field and scored a combined 47 points in the victory. Don’t look for much out of F Kevin Garnett the rest of the way in this one, as he has drawn a tough post matchup against the Orlando bigs. KG only shot 4-of-14 in Game 1, and though he’ll inevitably average more than the eight points he scored on Sunday, he won’t be a dominant player in this series.

Celtics 2010 NBA Championship Odds as of 5/18: +350

Orlando Magic – Things couldn’t have gotten much worse for Orlando than they did in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. C Dwight Howard only converted three of his 10 shots from the floor and turned the ball over seven times, while F Rashard Lewis went 0-for-6 from beyond the arc. However, HC Stan Van Gundy can rest easily in knowing that his team nearly erased a deficit that was as large as 20 points late in the third quarter. Better things will come from the Magic Men, who are trying to avoid losing their first two game losing streak in a whopping 50 games tonight in Game 2.

Magic 2010 NBA Championship Odds as of 5/18: +300

Final Word: Orlando will most likely come out in Game 2 of this series and tie things up. Boston probably has the horses to win a game or two more in this set, but if it ultimately comes down to a Game 7 in the Sunshine State, the Magic will do to Boston what the C’s couldn’t do to Orlando last year: Close out a series on their home court.

Phoenix Suns: Phoenix hung tough with Los Angeles for a little while on Monday night, but it ultimately didn’t have the defensive strength to keep up with Kobe and the gang. Six different players did score in double digits though, which has to be a good sign for HC Alvin Gentry. Look for Phoenix to do a better job on the glass in this series, as 34 rebounds isn’t going to cut it if it hopes to survive.

Suns 2010 NBA Championship Odds as of 5/18: +1000

Los Angeles Lakers: So much for G Kobe Bryant being in bad shape with that bum knee! He went off for 40 points in a Game 1 victory, but he got plenty of help from his friends as well, as four others scored in double digits. C Andrew Bynum is very clearly going to be a non-factor in this series, as he only played 20 minutes and took just four shots for the game. Someone is going to have to step up off of the LA bench to continue pouring the pressure on the Suns, and it looks as though G Jordan Farmar has that ability. He scored ten points to go with five assists in 19 minutes on Monday, as LA romped by three touchdowns.

Lakers 2010 NBA Championship Odds as of 5/18: -150

Final Word: It’s only one game so far, but the Lakers really looked like a significantly better side in Game 1 than the Suns are. Unless Phoenix turns this around, it could be a very, very short series. Still, we’re expecting to see that patented run and gun style catch up with LA at some point, so don’t be surprised if the Suns still ultimately take down the purple and gold in six or seven games.

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NBA Betting: NBA’s Best ATS Playoff Teams

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The 2010 NBA betting season is coming down the home stretch with only the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers series having gone undecided. The defending champion Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, and Orlando Magic have already punched their tickets to their respective conference finals.

With that being the case, I thought it would be interesting to see how these teams stack up against one another against the closing NBA point spreads in the post-season.

The best of the bunch has clearly been the Orlando Magic who have played a total of eight games and gone a sportsbook pummeling 7-1 SU & ATS in those outings. The lone defeat came by a single bucket in Game 1 of their 1st round series against the division rival Charlotte Bobcats.

They’re average margin of defeat has been a whopping 17.2 PPG. It was clearly evident that Atlanta didn’t deserve to even share the same court with them after getting rolled up and smoked in all four battles. Orlando barely broke a sweat as it pummeled the Hawks by an average of 25.3 PPG.

Orlando stands 7-1 SU & ATS as a favorite, 4-0 SU & 3-1 ATS at home, and 4-0 SU & ATS on the road in the 2010 NBA betting playoffs.

The other team to make some nice coin for NBA bettors in the post-season has been the Steve Nash led Phoenix Suns. HC Alvin Gentry’s club has gone 8-2 SU & ATS in their ten games played against the Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs.

Many had them pegged to once again fall to Tim Duncan and the Spurs in the teams Western Conference Semifinals match-up, but oddsmakers were correct in installing them the favorites after they pulled off the shocking sweep.

Since splitting its first four against the Blazers both SU & ATS, the Suns are currently on a six game winning streak both SU & ATS covering as favorites and underdogs three times each.

Like the Suns, the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers have only had to play ten games in the post-season after it just made quick work of the Utah Jazz in the 2nd round of the basketball betting playoffs.

Kobe and company got a much tougher test in the 1st round against the Oklahoma City Thunder evidenced by the fact that it took six games to dispose of Durant and company. Maybe Deron Williams and the Jazz expended too much energy in the 1st round vs. the Nuggets or the loss of Mehmut Okur was more of an issue against LA for it to be that easy. Regardless, you have to hand it to HC Phil Jackson’s crew for going into the Energy Solutions Arena, a place Utah stood 35-9 SU in at the onset of the series, and coming away with a pair of outright victories as short underdogs.

Entering the Western Conference Finals, the Lakers stand 5-0 SU & 3-2 ATS as home favorites and 3-2 SU & ATS as road underdogs.

Though its series with Cleveland is still yet to be decided with Game 6 going Thursday night in Boston, the Celtics have been solid bets for their backers in the post-season. They’re 7-3 SU & ATS and just like in the regular season, they’ve continued to excel on the road going 3-2 SU & ATS as a visitor; most recently picking up a huge 120-88 outright road win and cover as 7.5 point underdogs in Game 5.

As for Cleveland, it’s been largely unimpressive and failed to live up to its top billing at the onset of the second season. It got tested mightily by #8 seeded Chicago in the 1st round, and though it only took five games to dispose of the Bulls, Cleveland managed covers in just two of the three games.

LeBron and company have gone just 3-6 ATS the nine times it was favored this post-season. They pounded the Celtics 124-95 as one-point underdogs in Game 3, and they find themselves in that exact same role heading into Thursday night’s game.

Can you say Game 7 Sunday? Be there or be square!

NBA Rookie of the Year Odds 2010


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While the top overall pick in last summer’s NBA Draft will have to wait until next season to make his pro debut, there are still plenty of rookie standouts in this year’s class of first-year performers. With the absence of Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, the battle for NBA Rookie of the Year honors is an intriguing one as the second half of the season approaches. Here’s a look at three of the top candidates for the award:

Sacramento Kings Guard Tyreke Evans: 1/5 Odds

The fourth overall pick in the draft has stepped up for the Sacramento Kings to offset the loss of the squad’s top player for most of the season. With Kevin Martin out of the lineup for 32 games, Evans has emerged to lead all rookies in scoring with over 20 points per game. After spending just one year at college with the Memphis Tigers, he has been able to quickly adapt his game to the pro level. Evans is also averaging five points and rebounds per game for the Kings. While Evans is the favorite at the halfway mark of the season, his scoring numbers could go down with Martin’s return in the second half of the year.

Milwaukee Bucks Guard Brandon Jennings: +130 Odds

After bypassing college for a year of professional basketball in Italy, Jennings was a bit of a question mark after being the tenth pick in the NBA Draft. He silenced most of the doubters with a 55-point contest against Golden State in his seventh game for the Bucks in November. While Jennings is second in scoring among rookies with 18 points per game, his numbers have regressed from the first month of the season. He is shooting less than 39 percent from the field. To overtake Evans, Jennings will likely need to get Milwaukee into the playoffs in the weak Eastern Conference. However, the loss of franchise player Michael Redd for the rest of the season will make it difficult for the Bucks to reach the postseason.

Minnesota Timberwolves Guard Jonny Flynn: +1500 Odds

Flynn was tabbed by the Timberwolves with the sixth pick in the draft after starring for the Syracuse Orangemen for two seasons. He has averaged 14 points per contest for a young Minnesota squad. Like Jennings, Flynn has also seen his numbers fall a little since the first month of the season. He is shooting 41 percent from the field while connecting on over 81 percent of his free throw tries. With an 8-33 record in the first half of the year, the Timberwolves are heading for the draft lottery again. The struggles of his team will make it difficult for Flynn to overtake Evans and Jennings in the second half of the season.

Here are the odds for some of the other NBA rookie of the year odds contenders:

DeJuan Blair +2500
DeMar DeRozan +10000
James Harden +2500
Omri Casspi +2500
Stephen Curry +2500
Terrence Williams +10000
Ty Lawson +2000
Tyler Hansbrough +5000