2018 NBA Playoffs Betting Predictions
So what the Cleveland Cavaliers aren’t the top seed in the East. Or, the second seed for that matter. The big question when it comes to the East is whether or not anyone dethrones a LeBron James-led squad, no matter what the 2018 NBA Playoffs betting odds dictate, seeing as how ‘King James’ has won seven straight Eastern Conference championships.
In the Western Conference, all eyes are pretty much on two teams. First, can the Golden State Warriors get back on track after battling a bunch injuries and some clearly apparent complacency all season long? Second, can the betting favorite to win it all Houston Rockets live up to their billing as the top-seed in the conference to dethrone the Dubs and represent the conference in the NBA Finals?
Let’s find out the answers to these questions and more as I delve into the expected NBA Playoff matchups and offer up a few, fun-filled predictions along the way!
With three days remaining in the regular season, here’s how the playoffs would look if the season ended today.
2018 NBA Playoffs Betting Predictions
— First Take (@FirstTake) 10 de abril de 2018
(1) Raptors vs. (8) Wizards
Toronto has the top seed in the conference and they’ll get past a Washington team that has been one of the biggest bunch of underachievers in the league. The Wizards recently got back all-star point guard John Wall after a lengthy injury, but again, the Wizards always come up small when it matters most.
(2) Celtics vs. (7) Heat
Even without Kyrie Irving, Boston will get past a Miami Heat team that just doesn’t have enough talent once you get past Goran Dragic, D-Wade and Hassan Whiteside. The C’s play some stout defense and they have a big coaching edge in this series.
(3) 76ers vs. (6) Bucks
While Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks started the season off making big news because of their early play, the Philadelphia 76ers and Ben Simmons are suddenly playing some eye-opening basketball that has everyone in the East, including LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers a bit fearful. Philly will win this series to advance to the second round, even without Joel Embiid.
(4) Cavaliers vs. (5) Pacers
I’m thoroughly impressed with the way that Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis have elevated their respective games to make the Pacers relevant and I believe that Indiana has a pretty bright future because of the pair. However, the Pacers just don’t have enough gumption (cajones) to stop LeBron James from having his way in this first round matchup. The Cavs, even with all of their blemishes this season, remain as the NBA Playoffs betting favorites and will win to advance!
(1) Rockets vs. (8) Pelicans
The Pelicans are scary good with Rajon Rondo feeding Anthony Davis and the latter back to looking like one of the best players on the planet. However, New Orleans doesn’t have nearly the depth that it will take to overcome a Houston Rockets team that has so the league’s MVP this season, a future Hall of Fame point guard, one of the most athletic – and underrated – big men in the league and so many scorers that they’re seemingly coming out of the woodworks. Houston is the clear NBA Playoffs Betting favorite to advance.
(2) Warriors vs. (7) Wolves
Minnesota may have the best young big man in the league today in Karl Anthony Towns and they may have a pair of all-star caliber perimeter players in Andrew Wiggins and Jimmy Butler, but what they don’t have is any depth on their bench – or any chance to take out a Golden State Warriors team that I’m expecting to be extremely focused on struggling down the stretch run portion of the regular season.
(3) Blazers vs. (6) Spurs
The Blazers caught fire a couple of months back to jump into the No. 3 spot in the Western Conference and they’ve definitely got a pair of superstars in their backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. However, I’m thinking Portland has a bad matchup against a San Antonio Spurs team that still has some talent, far more postseason experience and one that is better in the frontcourt than the Blazers. With only a win separating these two teams despite their seeding right now, I smell an upset brewing if these two teams meet in the first round.
(4) Thunder vs. (5) Jazz
Right now, the Thunder and Jazz both have an identical 47 wins, so, who gets home-court advantage in this potential first-round matchup is anyone’s guess. While Oklahoma City has the bigger name stars in this matchup, I’m going with the Utah Jazz and their more cohesive team play to win and advance in an outcome that really shouldn’t be an upset in anyone’s mind.