How to spot a good playoff underdog

2014 NBA playoffs odds predictions betting

LAS VEGAS, NV (The Spread) – How can bettors spot a good underdog that will represent value in the NBA playoffs? Let’s explain.

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The NBA Playoffs are underway and in the first round, we already saw four road teams steal the opening game of the series. When taking a closer look, some of these upsets have not surprised me as this is probably the most 'wide-open' NBA Playoffs that we have seen in many years.

The Brooklyn Nets have battled injuries this season and got off to a slow start, but they are a team full of veterans with plenty of playoff experience. In my opinion, they are a bit under seeded and can pose a threat to the Raptors in this first round strictly because of their veteran leadership as well as HC Jason Kidd with a lot of playoff experience as a NBA player. This series will probably go 7 but if the Nets win this series, they will face the Miami Heat (Bobcat's don't stand a chance) and pose a serious threat to the Miami Heat and will offer us a tremendous amount of value as bettors. The Brooklyn 'Vets' swept the Heat 4-0 in the regular season and could possibly be an underdog in every game of the series including when playing at home.

So let's watch the Brooklyn Nets as they will be a 'live dog' when visiting Toronto for Game 5 and 7 if necessary. If they advance to the next round, I will definitely be looking to play them aggressively vs. the Miami Heat considering their past success vs. the defending champs this season.

In the Western Conference, there is a tremendous amount of parity and there will be some great opportunities to cash in with some 'live dogs'. We saw Dallas almost steal Game 1 from the Spurs, Portland stole game 1 from Houston, OKC/Memphis is tied 1-1, and the Warriors/Clippers are also tied up 1-1. I would like to tell you what team I see that should be given a closer look when inserted as an underdog in the first round.

The Dallas Mavericks are the team in the West that offer us the most value as an underdog in the first round. We saw them cash in easily as a 9.5 point underdog in Game 1. This was an inflated line based on the Spurs dominance of the Mav's in the recent past as San Antonio has now beaten Dallas 9 straight times after the win in Game 1.

Dallas is playing their best basketball of the season currently and have a deadly 1-2 combo with Monta Ellis and Dirk Nowitzki. The Mav's are one of the best road dogs in the NBA historically speaking and they should only be about a 6 point road dog when playing in San Antonio in this series. With Devin Harris a reliable point guard coming off the bench and Vince Carter a guy that still has some 'Vinsanity' left in his tank, watch out for the Mav's in this series. It is possible they will be a small home dog in Games 3 and 4 and I believe they will be offering us a substantial amount of value throughout this first round series vs. the San Antonio Spurs.

In closing, we have already seen a lot of upsets in the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs and the underdogs have been 'barking'. While the linesmakers will try to adjust, there is just so much parity from the #1 to #8 seeds,some of the lines cannot be adjusted enough and the underdogs should always be given a closer look.

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