Second-Round NBA Playoff Preview
LAS VEGAS, NV (The Spread ) – With the games now underway, here’s a breakdown of the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs.
As of this writing, the underdogs went 2-0 on Monday night in Game 1 of the second round of the NBA Playoffs with the 'OVER' going 2-0 also easily. From a betting standpoint, I would like to discuss which teams in the second round I believe that will represent the best value for the bettor.
After losing Game 1 the Indiana Pacers have totally fell out of favor with the public. The Pacers are the still the best defensive team in the NBA and they will be a sizeable underdog when they play hit the road to play at Washington. I love a defensive underdog in the playoffs and believe the Pacers WILL COVER all 3 games in Washington. Looking at game 1, the Wizards shot 62% from the 3 point line and I expect Indiana to make the proper adjustments as I can almost guarantee that these same shots will not be falling for the remainder of the series. This series has also turned into a bit of a role-reversal for both teams. The Wizards were the underdog in the first round when playing the Bulls and now after winning game 1 vs. the Pacers, a lot of people are in Washington's favor saying they are the second best team in the East. Now the tide has turned also for the Pacers, but I like the motivational edge they will have for the remainder of the series to silence all critics. Paul George will need to play like the Elite Player he is and the teams defense will follow I am confident.
The next team that represents the best value for the bettor is the Brooklyn Nets. They swept Miami 4-0 in the regular season and I expect them to be an underdog for this entire series, including when playing at home. In the regular season, 3 games were decided by 1 point, and the other game Brooklyn won SU in overtime. With Pierce, Garnett, Williams, and Joe Johnson all having their fair share of playoff experience, I honestly feel like they are a sleeper team in the East and will be cashing checks at the ATM machine in this second round. Miami had a cakewalk in the first round which did not surprise me and I feel this is a disadvantage for them as they have not had to play a tough game in almost 3 weeks now. I will also note that Miami has had trouble on the road this season, including losing their last 3 road games to end the season.
I also like Oklahoma City to make a profit in the ATS category this series. Oklahoma City in my opinion is the best road team in the playoffs and beat the Clippers @ L.A. on 4/09 107-101. They also had a nice lead on the Clippers @ L.A. back on 11/13 before Ibaka got ejected and this changed the whole game. Durant will need help from the bench but I feel he will not be denied. While the Clippers have all the off-court distractions behind them, I still feel that the Thunder are the better all-around team. They will continue to be a small favorite at home in this series and a sizeable dog when playing on the road. Anytime you insert Durant and Co. as an underdog, this is a team that is clearly worth a closer look.
There is one wager for GAME 2 of the second round that I see cashing in with Ease. I will be playing a Two Team Parlay with Indiana and Oklahoma City on the MONEYLINE as this should be somewhere close to an Even Money Wager. For example, a $100 wager would profit somewhere close to $100. The lines have not yet been posted as of this writing, but I expect the odds to be close to Even Money. I like this wager for several reasons: Indiana is a defensive warrior and their backs are against the wall. The same way they woke up and beat the Hawks in Game 2; I see them making the proper adjustments to win this Game 2 as well.
The Wizards will not score 102 points I can guarantee and they will not shoot 62.5% from the 3 point line. George and Stephenson also went a combined 8-for-30 from the floor and I will play the 'bounce' factor in this game as both teams return to their normal self. Look for the tide to change in favor of the Pacers. I will say much of the same can be said about Oklahoma City. HC Brooks called off the troops early in Game 1 as they were down by 20+ points entering the 4th quarter. This gives the starters time to get some rest and think about they just get embarrassed on their home court.
The Thunder turned the ball over to a 2:1 ratio and I look for them to take better care of the ball. Chris Paul went 8-for-9 from three point range. CP III is an elite point guard, but he will not go 12-for-14 from the floor in Game 2 and I can guarantee that. The Clippers basically could not miss a shot and this was just one of those games where the Thunder started out in a hole and could not recover. Again, I will play the 'bounce' factor in this game as I like the home team to prevail in Game 2. While I'm not sure who will cover the spread, I am confident that Indiana and Oklahoma City will bounce back and protect their home court in Game 2.
Best Wager for Game 2 in the Second Round of the NBA Playoffs: Two Team Money Line Parlay : Play on Indiana and Oklahoma City