The 2019 NBA Playoffs start this Saturday on April 13. The Golden State Warriors are a massive favorite to win their third straight NBA Title. Golden State starts their quest for a title versus the L.A. Clippers. Will the Warriors sweep the 8-seeded Clippers? Check out 5 NBA First Round Predictions that might surprise you!
5 NBA First Round Odds & Betting Predictions
1-Golden State Warriors vs 8-L.A. Clippers
The Clippers aren’t close to being on Golden State’s level, but LAC could take advantage of a somewhat banged up Warriors squad. Steph Curry’s suffering from an ankle injury, Draymond Green has a banged up knee and Shaun Livingston has some soreness in his knee.
The Clipps won’t win the series. They could steal a game, and, if they’re lucky, they might even steal two.
NBA First Round Betting Prediction: Warriors 4 games to 1
4-Boston Celtics vs 5-Indiana Pacers
The Boston Celtics finished the season strong, going 4-1 straight up, and one of the wins was a dynamite 117-97 victory over Indiana, but the Pacers are a solid group. Both of these teams are banged up. Boston appears more banged up than Indiana.
The one advantage the Celtics have, though, is Brad Stevens on their sidelines. Stevens is a master strategist. He’ll find a way for the Celtics to play their best in this Round 1 series. Indiana will make it tough on Boston, but the Celtics will prevail in 6 games.
NBA First Round Betting Prediction: Celtics 4 games to 2
4-Houston Rockets vs 5-Utah Jazz
Three’s more drama on the Western Conference side as the Houston Rockets, The Beard, and CP3 take on Rudy Gobert and the Utah Jazz. Houston’s played much better defense after the all-star break and head into the NBA Playoffs on fire, winning 20-of-24 games.
The Rockets are probably the team to beat in the Western Conference if you don’t feel the Warriors are where they were the past couple of seasons. Heck, the Rockets are a solid play to win the NBA Championship. But, Utah has a big edge with Rudy Gobert at center.
Not only that, the Rockets didn’t battle Utah once during those 24 games. Utah can grab 2 to 3 in this series.
NBA First Round Betting Prediction: Rockets 4 games to 3
3-Portland Trail Blazers vs 6-Oklahoma City Thunder
Portland played well in the stretch even though their top player, Jusuf Nurkic, is out for the entire season. That’s going to be the death knell for the Trail Blazers in this series, though. The Oklahoma City Thunder have a legitimate shot to win the NBA Championship.
No, seriously. The team’s built like the Golden State Warriors with a couple of star players in Russell Westbrook and Paul George and the deepest bench in the NBA. Nerlens Noel, Raymond Felton, Dennis Schroder, and Markieff Morris all come off the bench for the Thunder.
They’ll easily handle the Trail Blazers.
NBA First Round Betting Prediction: Thunder 4 games to 1
2-Denver Nuggets vs 7-San Antonio Spurs
The Nuggets take on the Spurs in Round 1 and although San Antonio’s always a tough team because of how great of a coach Gregg Popovich is, Denver’s got a top 5 player on their squad in the amazing Nikola Jokic.
If NBA MVP voters were really serious, they’d send their votes towards Jokic who averages 20 points, 7.2 assists, 10.8 rebounds, and shoots 51.1% from the field. Jokic will dominate, like he almost always does. Nuggets sweep the Spurs.
NBA First Round Betting Prediction: Nuggets 4 games to 0