NBA Playoffs: Second Round Predictions 2017
The second round of the NBA Playoffs is underway with the opening matches going mostly to script. Eight teams are left, spread across the two conferences and despite the reigning East and West champions (Cleveland and Golden State) looming as the likely winners again, there are a number of teams that can throw a wrench into that plan. Team by team, here are the best markets for the remaining Playoff sides.
The Utah Jazz upset the Las Angeles Clippers in the first round of the Playoffs, taking the series all the way to game seven and winning three matches on the road. The Jazz come into their second round series against the Warriors with a lot of confidence and high hopes, but already down 1-0, the might of Golden State is probably going to be too much for them. Gordon Hayward and Joe Johnson, who proved so vital against the Clippers, were heavily restricted early and the Warriors did what they do best, putting up big scores.
As far as markets go, considering it’s incredibly unlikely that Utah will advance beyond this stage, there aren’t really any markets worth considering for them.
The Raptors have the equally tough task of taking down Cleveland and if game one is anything to go by, it doesn’t look like they’ll be capable of getting it done. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan combined for only 39 points and if the Raptors are going to stand any chance, they’ll need to push that number closer to 60. Serge Ibaka and Norman Powell were big parts of the side advancing passed Milwaukee, but neither were able to impact either. Expect the Cavs to get through the series relatively unscathed, though Toronto could certainly pinch a home game if things go right.
Toronto Raptors trailing 1-2 after three games: $1.91 at Sportsbet
Series going to game 6: $4 at Sportsbet
The Wizards were fancied by many as the favourites in their battle with the Boston Celtics, but the Celtics have put their foot down and now lead 2-0. The problem for the Wizards is John Wall can’t do much more than he already is. They also took Boston to overtime in game two and fell short, putting them in a very uphill battle to get back into this series. While they probably won’t get through now, you can bet they will take a few games before all is said and done. This could be another seven game thriller.
Washington Wizards to win (Game 3): $1.42 at Sportsbet
Washington Wizards to win the series: $4.50 at William Hill
San Antonio Spurs
Houston’s thrashing of San Antonio in game one may have come as a surprise to many, but the warning signs were all there. Danny Green is in atrocious form, Tony Parker isn’t able to score more than 15 points, LaMarcus Aldridge and Manu Ginobili are struggling to score and Kawhi Leonard physically can’t do any more to carry this team. While they boast one of the deepest benches in the NBA, they simply can’t get enough scoring out of their best players and that’s hurting them against a team as good as the Rockets. The Spurs are the number two seeds, but Houston will be favourites to win this series unless coach Pop can turn this around.
San Antonio Spurs to win the series: $2 at Centrebet
Patty Mills 15+ points in game three: $2.50 at William Hill
The number two seeds are showing why they’re the reigning champs. They’ve been close to unstoppable since the Playoffs started and LeBron James is at the peak of his abilities. The Cavs are operating at their best offensively at the moment. Kyrie Irving put up 25 points in game one and is in great touch and Kevin Love’s ability to chip in with 18 points makes him so dangerous. Even off the bench, Channing Frye, Kyle Korver and Iman Shumpert can do serious damage. The Cavs’ defense, which has been a big question mark for them, looks solid right now, but Toronto matches up nicely for them and so will Boston assuming that’s who they face next round. The Cavs are looming unbeatably in the East.
Cleveland Cavaliers to win the series: $1.13 at Sportsbet
Cleveland Cavaliers to win the series in four games: $3.75 at Sportsbet
Cleveland Cavaliers to win the championship: $4.50 at Sportsbet
The number one seed in the East were written off by many after their 0-2 start against Chicago, but since then they have been at their best. They got through the Bulls and now lead 2-0 against the Wizards. It’s not going to be a cakewalk though. Isiah Thomas put up 53 points to sneak them over the line in overtime. It could very easily be a 1-1 series heading to Washington. But it isn’t and now they’re in the box seat. Assuming they can get passed the Wizards, the Celtics don’t match up well against the Cavs in the conference finals. It’s unlikely they’ll be able to faze Cleveland without Thomas getting more help.
Celtics/Wizards series to go six games: $3.60 at Sportsbet
Boston Celtics to win series: $1.22 at Sportsbet
The Rockets were pushed hard by Oklahoma City, but looked at their absolute best against cross-state rivals San Antonio in game one. The Rockets were on fire early and had the game done and dusted by half time. The Spurs are famous for restricting good teams to low scores, but the Rockets had nearly 70 points to half time. San Antonio will bounce back, but Houston is now in the box seat to take the series. Trevor Ariza and Clint Capela dominated the Spurs and James Harden didn’t even need to have his best game for the Rockets to win. Even if they lose game two, the Rockets could be looking at a conference final birth.
Houston Rockets to win the series: $1.83 at Sportsbet
Houston Rockets to win game two by 11+: $9.50 at William Hill
Golden State Warriors
The Warriors remain the team to beat. Kevin Durant is over his minor injury and after they made quick work of Portland, they look like doing the same to the Jazz. Curry and Thompson are in good form, though probably not as hot as James and Irving, but it doesn’t matter considering how effective they are as a unit. Defensively, they’re at the best they’ve been all season and they’re getting good minutes out of Javale McGee, Ian Clark and James McAdoo off the bench which gives them an extra dimension. Good luck stopping them.
Golden State Warriors to win the championship: $1.53 at Sportsbet
Kevin Durant for finals MVP: $4 at Centrebet
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Writer at the Australian Betting Organization
Nic studied at Monash University and is currently working as a sports journalist. You'll often find Nic at the pub enjoying time with friends while watching UFC and WWE.
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