The first round of the 2015 NBA Playoffs gets underway tomorrow with the Raptors and Wizards taking the court at 12:30pm. The sportsbooks have the series odds out, and as is normally the case in basketball the majority of series have a clear cut favourite. The only series where the favourite isn’t more than a 2 to 1 favourite are the Raps vs Wizards, Trail Blazers vs Grizzlies, and surprisingly the Spurs vs the Clippers.
Let’s take a look at each of the series odds and I’ll give you my prediction as to which team will advance to the second round.
Let’s start out in the East…..
(1) Atlanta Hawks vs (8) Brooklyn Nets
The Nets managed to squeak into the playoffs with a win on the last day of the season, but it should still be a short time in the post season for the Nets. The Hawks aren’t playing their best at the moment, but they should still have no trouble beating the Nets after having had their top players rest quite a bit over the last several games.
Play: Hawks -1150 @ 5Dimes.eu
(2) Cleveland Cavaliers vs (7) Boston Celtics
- Cleveland Cavaliers -5000 (BetOnline)
- Boston Celtics +3250 (5Dimes)
The Celtics are playing some very good basketball lately, but I don’t think it’s going to change the fact they are up against Lebron James and company. The Cavs look to have come together well over the second half of the season and I think they’re the definite favourite to win the East.
Play: Cavaliers -5000 @ 5Dimes.eu
(3) Chicago Bulls vs (6) Milwaukee Bucks
- Chicago Bulls -800 (BetOnline)
- Milwaukee Bucks +700 (5Dimes)
I think the Bulls are more of a threat this season than people are giving them credit for. They should be able to get past the Bucks without much difficulty and then if D Rose can catch fire they have a shot against the Conference elite.
Play: Bulls -800 @ BetOnline.ag
(4) Toronto Raptors vs (5) Washington Wizards
- Toronto Raptors -175 (BetOnline)
- Washington Wizards +165 (5Dimes)
The Raptors have had the Wizards number all season long, so they are the rightful favourites in this one. That said, the Raps division included the 76ers and Knicks, which in turn bloated the Raptors record in the regular season. I really see this series going either way and I think the John Wall vs Kyle Lowry battle will be one to watch. Based on this I’m taking the underdogs.
Play: Wizards +165 @ 5Dimes.eu
(1) Golden State Warriors vs (8) New Orleans Pelicans
- Golden State Warriors -2900 (5Dimes)
- New Orleans Pelicans +2250 (BetOnline)
I don’t think this will be as easy a first round match-up as many people think. Anthony Davis could take it to the Warriors, but in the end Curry and Thompson will have the last laugh. They may drop one game.
Play: Warriors -2900 @ 5Dimes.eu
(2) Houston Rockets vs (7) Dallas Mavericks
- Houston Rockets -260 (5Dimes)
- Dallas Mavericks +240 (5Dimes)
This is a very dangerous matchup for Harden and company, but I think the will be able to guide his team into the second round. That’s where the Rockets will faulter.
Play: Rockets -260 @ 5Dimes.eu
(3) LA Clippers vs (6) San Antonio Spurs
- LA Clippers +160 (5Dimes)
- San Antonio Spurs -170 (BetOnline)
It’s a very tough break for the Clippers that the Spurs lost their final game, which resulted in this match up. The Spurs have been on an absolute tear and I don’t think that will change against the Clippers. Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and company definitely have a shot, but I can’t bet against the Spurs.
Play: Spurs -170 @ BetOnline.ag
(4) Portland Trailblazers vs (5) Memphis Grizzlies
- Portland Trailblazers +190 (BetOnline)
- Memphis Grizzlies -210 (5Dimes)
I’m not a big believer in this Trailblazers team. They are the only team to make the playoffs out of the Northwest division and with a record of 51-31 they stumbled into home court advantage with the 6th best record in the West. Add on that the record is inflated because they had more games against teams like the Timberwolves and other non-playoff teams and I have to give the nod to the Grizzlies. Memphis came out of the Southwest division, which had every single team make the playoffs. They had very few gifts this season, but they still came out with 55 wins. Look for Memphis to easily handle Portland in this one.
Play: Grizzlies @ 5Dimes.eu