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Mon 30/04/2018 - 16:03 EDT

NBA Playoffs Second Round Series Prices, Picks, Futures Odds

Warriors, Rockets On Collision Course

Thanks to the Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans, there were two upsets in the first round of the NBA playoffs in the Western Conference.

All the favorites won in the opening round in the East, including the Cleveland Cavaliers who have been to the NBA Finals the last three seasons. The 2016 champions were pushed to the limit by the Indiana Pacers before winning at home on Sunday.

The Cavs now take on the regular-season conference champions in the Toronto Raptors, while the Boston Celtics tip off against the surging Philadelphia Sixers.

The two semifinals in the West have already started. The Golden State Warriors destroyed the Pelicans in Game 1, while the Houston Rockets dropped the Jazz in their opener.

**Perfect in first round — VGB picked the winners in all eight first-round series, including the two upsets. Let’s take a look at the four conference semifinals and try to keep this streak alive (odds provided by Bovada).


Eastern Conference

Raptors Rule On Home Court

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The Raptors have been eliminated the last two postseasons by LeBron James and the Cavaliers. The Eastern Conference regular-season champions also lost two-of-three to the Cavs this year.

Toronto has home-court advantage in the best-of-seven series. They were 34-7 at Air Canada Centre and undefeated in three home games in the first round against the Washington Wizards.

The Cavs went the maximum seven games in their series victory over the Indiana Pacers.

The Raptors have had a great season. It’s time to dethrone the king and make a run at the NBA title.

VGB’s pickToronto (-200)


Surging Sixers Meet Celtics

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The Sixers are definitely the wild card in the East. They won just 10 games two seasons ago. Now, they are a huge threat to take this conference.

Philadelphia won its first playoff series in six seasons when it knocked off Miami in five games, thanks to stellar play from Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and J.J. Reddick. Boston, playing without its star guard Kyrie Irving, went the distance against Indiana with the home team winning every game in the series.

The Celtics won three-of-four in the regular season and were also 3-1 against the spread (ATS). But the Sixers seem to have a different energy in the playoffs.

VGB’s pickPhiladelphia (-370)


Western Conference

Jazz Winless Against Rockets

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The Rockets lost just 17 games in the regular season. Now, the Jazz have to beat them four times in the next two weeks. That’s a lot to ask for a team that’s in the playoffs for only the second time in six years.

But don’t expect a blowout. The Jazz won 29 of their last 35 games in the regular season, with the league’s best defense and the 11th-ranked offense over that time. Young star Donovan Mitchell led all rookies in the first round of the playoffs with 28.5 points per game.

The Rockets, who took 49 per cent of their shots from three-point range against Minnesota in the first round, were undefeated in the regular season against the Jazz. They were also 4-0 ATS.

VGB’s pickHouston (-1500)


Champs Are Dominating Again

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MVP candidate Anthony Davis has taken the Pelicans someplace they haven’t been in a long time. This is the first time in 10 years New Orleans has reached the second round of the playoffs. They swept the favored Portland Trail Blazers in the first round and now trail the Warriors 1-0 in the second.

Winning in the playoffs is nothing new for Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and company. The Warriors have been in the championship final the last three seasons, winning two of them.

The Warriors won the first three games against the Pelicans in the regular season before dropping the fourth. The two teams were 2-2 ATS.

VGB’s pickGolden State (-850)


NBA Format For Second Round

The four winners in the opening round of the NBA playoffs advance to the conference semifinals, but there is no reseeding based on regular-season records. The winner of the 1-8 matchup meets the winner of the 4-5 series. The winner of the 2-7 series takes on the winner of the 3-6.

That’s why No. 2 Golden State is playing No. 6 New Orleans. Even though Houston is the top seed, they do not necessarily play the lowest remaining seed in the second round.

The two winners in the best-of-seven series advance to the third round, or conference finals. The winner from each conference will advance to the final round, or the NBA Finals.


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Alternative Bets For NBA Playoffs

For each and every playoff game, online sites like Bovada, TopBet and Betonline offer alternative betting options from the standard money line, point spread and over/under totals.

There are betting lines on all the quarters and both halves. There’s also action on alternative point spreads and totals.

You can bet on the first team to reach 10 or 20 points and whether the game will end in a tie in regulation. You can even attempt to predict the exact margin of victory.

There are dozens of player props, too — most of them involving points scored and rebounds for individual players. If you want to take on even more risk with your betting dollars, take a shot at a parlay.

VGB’s Top 10 NBA Teams

(Current odds to win the NBA Finals listed after team record. Odds provided by Bovada.)

  • Houston (65-17) +150 — Harden averages 34 a game against Jazz.
  • Golden State (58-24) -130 — Warriors continue to roll without Curry.
  • Toronto (59-23) +1200 — Cavs have ousted Raps two straight years.
  • Philadelphia (52-30) +800 — First playoff series win in six seasons.
  • Cleveland (50-32) +2500 — James scores 45 to lift Cavs past Pacers.
  • Boston (55-27) +10000 — Home team won every game in first round.
  • Utah (48-34) +5000 — Eliminated in conference semifinals last year.
  • New Orleans (48-34) +10000 — First playoff series win in 10 seasons.
  • Indiana (48-34) — Pacers haven’t won playoff series in four years.
  • Oklahoma City (48-34) — Second straight year ousted in first round.
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