Will the Philadelphia 76ers live up to their status as the top seed to claim the Eastern Conference Championship?
Will the much-publicized Brooklyn Nets get past Philly and everyone else in the east to live up to all of their preseason hype?
Coul both top seeds fall victim to a third-seeded Milwaukee Bucks team that is focused on reaching the NBA Finals and nothing less?
Last, but not least, could all three top seeds succumb to another lesser title contender, like the defensive-minded New York Knicks, dangerous Atlanta Hawks or defending conference chmpion Miami Heat?
With the 2021 NBA playoffs set to get underway in earnest in Saturday, May 22, it’s time for some fun-filled Eastern Conference betting predictions. That said, let’s jump right into action so you can place your bets against their NBA Playoffs odds.
NBA Eastern Conference Betting Predictions for the 2021 NBA Playoffs
NBA Eastern Conference 2021 Playoff Matchups
No. 6 Miami Vs No. 3 Milwaukee
Miami went 40-32 to finish sixth in the Eastern Conference. The Heat ranked an uninspiring 25th in scoring (108.1 ppg), but impressive fifth in points allowed (108. ppg). Milwaukee went 36-26 to finish third in the East standings, three games behind Philly. The Bucks led the NBA in scoring by putting up 120.1 points per game while ranking 22nd in points allowed (114.2 ppg). Milwaukee took two of three regular season meetings, including a 122-108 home win on May 15 the last time these two met.
Prediction: Not only do I have the Bucks winning this first round series, but I like Milwaukee to come out of the Eastern Conference after coming up well short in each of the last two years. The Bucks made some nice additions in point guard Jrue Holiday and more recently, veteran forward PJ Tucker. Miami might bre reigning conference champs, but this year, the Heat are getting bounced out of the playoffs in the first round.
Pick: Milwaukee in 6
No. 7 Boston Vs No. 2 Brooklyn
Boston went 36-36 to finish in seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings. The C’s were an underachieving bucnh though while ranking 16th in scoring (112.6 ppg) and 11th in ponts allowed (111.2 ppg). Boston is without all-star guard Jaylen Brown this postseason. Brooklyn went 48-24 to finish a game behind Philadelphia in the east. The Nets finished second in scoring (118.6 ppg), but played little to no defense on most nights while finishing 21st in points allowed (114.1 ppg).
Prediction: Boston might have gotten past Washington in its play-in game on Tuesday, but the Celtics stand little to no chance of getting the series upset here. Brooklyn won all three regular season meeting while scoring at least 121 points in two of those wins. Brooklyn may or may not be championship caliber material, but the Nets will get by the C’s, likely in five or six games at most.
Pick: Brooklyn in 5
No. 5 Atlanta Vs No. 4 NY Knicks
Atlanta and New York both went 41-31 this season to finish fifth and fourth respectively in the conference standings. The Hawks finished 13th in scoring (113.7 PPG) and 12th in points allowed (111.4 PPG). New York led the league in fewest points allowed (104.7 ppg) but finished an uninspiring 26th in points allowed (107.0 ppg).
Prediction: The Knicks won all three regular season meetings including a high-scoring 137-127 overtime win at Madison Square Garden on April 21, but I’ve got Atlanta coming out of this first round series. The Hawks are the far better offensive team in this affair and have played some phenomenal basketball ever since Nate McMillian took over. Atlanta went 26-12 under the former Sonics, Blazers, and Pacers head coach and have the look of a dangerous team no one wants to play, although the same could be said of New York.
Pick: Atlanta in 6
No. 8 Washington Vs No. 1 Philadelphia
Washington went 35-29 but caught fire late to reach the play-in tournament. After getting smacked around by Boston on Tuesday, the Wizards blitzed Indian en route to a commanding 142-115 beatdown on Thursday night. Washington finished third in scoring (116.6 ppg), but 30th in points allowed (118.5 ppg). Philly went 49-23 to finish atop the Eastern Conference standings. The 76ers finished the regular season ranked 14th in scoring (113.6 ppg) and a stellar sixth in points allowed (108.1 ppg).
Prediction: Philly won all three regular season meetings including a 127-101 smackdown on March 12 the last time these two met. More importantly, they’re no one on Washington’s roster that has an even remote chance of slowing down all-star center Joel Embiid, who is one of three finalists to win this season’s MVP award. Philadelphia wins in five games at most.
Pick: 76ers in 5
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