NBA Playoffs 2018: First Round Picture and Outright Bets

Outright Bets are possibly my favorite kind of bets and US Sports perfectly match with these.
What many people don’t know is that you don’t really have to be at the very beginning of the season to place an outright bets: the fact that they run all year with odds constantly adjusting game after game, makes outright bets ideal for trading purposes, for high odds targeting and it also gives us plenty of time to continuously reevaluate the situation as it evolves in order to make sure we can constantly cash in the profit or limit the losses.

We had a pretty amazing outright bet this year on the Toronto Raptors to win the Atlantic Division instead of the Boston Celtics that we thought were overestimated by everyone. Well Toronto won and we cashed in 6,500$, and if you want to read more about this, please head on to our preseason outright betting on the NBA 2018 season.

Toronto Raptors 2018 Outright Bet

Toronto Raptors 2018 Outright Bet

That was a cool bet, but the regular season is now over and it time to talk about the playoffs, let’s start with the Eastern Conference.

Eastern Conference

NBA 2018 Eastern Conference Final Standings

NBA 2018 Eastern Conference Final Standings

The 8 teams to make it to the playoffs were long known as Detroit, which finish 9th, was always a few games far from the 8th position, which is the last to grant the playoffs. The Pistons ended the 2018 NBA regular season with a below 50% winning record, 4 wins away from playoffs and have never really been a postseason contender throughout the regular season.
The order of the first 8 position was long in doubt, and especially the last 3 spots, that were assigned by the last regular season game.

Let’s dive into the playoffs matchups:
Toronto Raptors vs Washington Wizards (1.15 – 4.75)

Toronto had an amazing regular season, Washington, despite John Walls’ long injury had a good season, which ended on a very bad run. The Wizards’ form has been very poor in the last few weeks and they also lost the division title to Miami. I really can’t see how Washington can cause troubles to Toronto. The Raptors have longer rotation, better form, better defense and better offense and had the league’s best home record (together with Houston, 34-7). Wall is back for Washington, but the Wizards’ form in the last month as been too bad to see Toronto struggling here.
Prediction: Toronto Raptors in 5 games.

Boston Celtics vs Milwaukee Bucks (1.80 – 1.90)

This is probably the weakest matchup in the East in terms of strength of teams. Boston had a very good regular season, with ups and down and a lot of injuries. Hayward has been out for the whole season, Irving has missed a couple of months and will be sidelined for the rest of the playoff with a knee injury. Marcus Smart, who is key to their game, has only played 54 matches of of 82 and we are not sure about his conditions right now. On the other hand Milwaukee has not been consistent at all. I think that the Bucks are limited in terms of talent and strength (apart from their start, Antetokounmpo), so despite the injuries I think Boston will move on.
Prediction: Boston Celtics in 6 games.

Philadelphia 76ers vs Miami Heat (1.35 – 2.90)

The Miami Heat played an unbelievable regular season ending with the Southeast division title. For me, this was the biggest surprise of the season (together with the Utah Jazz). I do not think that Miami is that strong, they have a couple of good players but I could not see them winning 44 matches this year. Dragic and Whiteside, plus they brought Dwayne Wade back home. Waiters is a good scorer, but overall the team does not look good to me. Their form is so so right now. Philadelphia is much stronger and even if Embiid will be out for at the very least the first game of the series I see the 76ers moving on here. Philadelphia is also running the leagues longest winning streak, 16 games as their form, despite Embiid’s injury has been impressive.
Prediction: Philadelphia in 5/6 games

Cleveland Cavaliers vs Indiana Pacers (1.20 -4.00)

Cleveland has been an enigma all season long: we have seen at least 3/4 different Cavaliers versions because f injuries and because of the mega trade right before the trade deadline. They can count on the best Lebron James ever whose teams have won the last 6 or 7 Eastern Conference titles. I did not expect so much struggle for Cleveland this season, but it looks like lately they have managed to find some sort of balance and can be more optimistic for the playoffs. Their record at the end of the regular season was 50-32. The Indiana Pacers ended with a very similar record of 48-34. I can’t really figure out this team: they are not particularly strong but still tough to beat. They have a 27-14 home record and Honestly, I think this series can be a little closer than odds suggested. Cleveland should win and move on.
Prediction: Cleveland Cavaliers in 6 games.

Western Conference

NBA 2018 Western Conference Final Standings

NBA 2018 Western Conference Final Standings

This year’s Western Conference was crazy! I’m not referring to the top 2 positions as Houston and Golden State were way ahead of competition, while the remaining teams that qualified for the playoffs are all within a 2-win difference. LEt’s see the matchup!

Houston Rockets vs Minnesota Timberwolves (1.10 – 5.75)

The Rockets had a great regular season! 65-17 is an impressive record and for the first time it looks like they are good defensively as well, which is something really important in the playoffs. Their offense runs perfectly and they are huge favorite in the first round. The Minnesota Timberwolves have been pretty disappointing to me. They are talented for sure but have had a lots of ups and downs too. Butler is their leader and got back just in time for the final rush to get that playoffs spot with an overtime time win in the last regular season game against Denver. Minnesota does not look in good form at all and I thought Denver was going to win that last game in Minneapolis.
Prediction: Houston Rocket in 5 games

Golden State Warriors vs San Antonio Spurs (1.15 – 4.00)

The Golden State Warriors are clear favorites and deserve to be! They won 11 games more than the Spurs in the regular season and with their stars coming back from injuries they are getting back to their top form which makes them the top team in the NBA. The Spurs, assuming Leonard won’t be back from his injury have little to no chances to beat them. They might win 1 or 2 games (especially at home) but I don’t see them go further than this.
Predicition: Golden State Warriors in 5/6 games

Portland Trailblazers vs New Orleans Pelicans (1.45 – 2.60)

One of the most balances series. Portland is good and have recorded another good season, ending with a record of 49 wind and 33 losses. Well, New Orleans’ record was 48-32 so basically the same. The Pelicans are not a good team but can count on an unstoppable Anthony Davis. The home court advantage could be deciding but for me it is too difficult to pick a winner here.
Prediction: N/A

Oklahoma City Thunder vs Utah Jazz (1.72 – 2.00)

Another close one as the very talented Thunder could not be consistent all season long, while the Jazz can count on their incredibly solid defense and the phenomenal rookie Donovan Mitchell. I think defense is key when it comes to playoffs basketball and I like the Jazz as the underdog.
Prediction: Utah Jazz in 6/7 games

3 years ago
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