The NBA regular season is officially behind us and it’s officially the most exciting time of the pro basketball season as eight playoff series await in the first round. As each of the 16 teams knows it needs 16 more wins to reach the mountain top, the intensity is sure to ratchet up as postseason games tip-off.
NJ sports betting players looking to win big these NBA playoffs will notice something familiar: the Golden State Warriors are the odds-on favorite to take home their fourth NBA title in five years. On SugarHouse Sportsbook, the Warriors are a massive -375 to win the west and -210 to win the championship. In the east, it’s the first-place bucks as the odds-on favorite to win the conference at +185. Before we can talk more about the conference finals, however, we must get through the first round. With a little help from SugarHouse Sportsbook, we’ll be looking at NBA playoff odds for each opening-round series and making sports betting picks.
Before making any NBA playoff picks, be sure to shop around all the NJ sportsbooks to get the prices you want. While searching, stop by SugarHouse Sportsbook, which provides reliable and up-to-the-minute lines for all sports, including basketball. BonusSeeker will be using lines from the SugarHouse Sportsbook app in order to make NBA playoffs picks throughout the postseason. Bet On The NBA Playoffs At SugarHouse Sportsbook!
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Sauce’s Courtside Seat: NBA Betting Picks Against The Spread (ATS) Courtesy Of SugarHouse Sportsbook For NBA Playoff Quarterfinals
Because some series odds are so lopsided, we are providing additional NBA picks on some of the special markets provided by SugarHouse Sportsbook. Below are our NBA playoff predictions for each first-round series.
Western Conference Playoff Picks
No. 1 Golden State Warriors vs. No. 8 Los Angeles Clippers (+2000)
Golden State is favored so heavily, the SugarHouse Sportsbook app doesn't even have a price for it.
The Clippers are the biggest longshot of any team in the NBA playoffs, and for good reason. It was a scrappy 48-win campaign for Los Angeles, but drawing the Warriors is nothing short of unlucky. Despite the entire Western Conference playoff field is separated by only nine games, but the difference between these two teams is truly enormous. The 57-win Warriors weren’t quite as dominant as we’ve seen in recent years, but it was good enough for the No. 1 overall seed, so it really doesn’t matter. The playoffs are a new season, and Golden State dominates this time of year. They’ve won 15 of 16 playoff series over the last four seasons and NJ sports betting players should confidently make NBA picks on Golden State.
Warriors win the series very easily, but we like the Clippers to steal a game, and that's where our real NJ sports betting pick for this series comes from.
Pick: Golden State Warriors
Bet: Series Over 4.5 Games (-121) or Warriors Win Series 4-1 (+162)
No. 4 Houston Rockets (-375) vs. No. 5 Utah Jazz
The Rockets go into the first-round series with Utah as -375 favorites, according to SugarHouse Sportsbook.
This series is a perfect contrast of styles, with the No. 2 offense in the league going against the No. 2 defense. More specifically, the Jazz allow the fewest three-point attempts and the second-fewest made threes per game while the Rockets shoot more from long range per game than any team in NBA history. With Houston having home court where they went 31-10 this season, there’s a bit more reason to be confident. NJ online sports betting players should know that it won’t be easy at times, but the Rockets will find ways to score the ball, even in Utah. James Harden averaged an incredible 36.1 points this season and he mixed with Houston’s other weapons are likely too much for the Jazz to handle or keep up with. Even though we don’t think this happens again, let’s not forget this series ended in five games last season.
With like Rockets to advance, but not without the Jazz giving them all they can handle. This series could go seven, but we love it to go at least six. Take the Rockets and the series over 5.5 games on the SugarHouse Sportsbook app.
Pick: Houston Rockets (-375)
Bet: Series Over 5.5 Games (-177)
No. 3 Portland Trail Blazers vs. No. 6 Oklahoma City Thunder (-143)
The No. 6 seed Thunder travel to Portland for the Western Conference Quarterfinals as slight favorites on SugarHouse Sportsbook, despite being on the road to begin the series.
This is perhaps the most exciting first-round series because these teams seem so evenly matched. Portland has home-court but isn’t favored, largely due to the fact that they went 0-4 against OKC this season. And without the injured Jusuf Nurkic in the middle, Russell Westbrook & Co. may have an even easier time scoring the ball than they normally do. Both of these teams want to run up and down, but the Thunder play the pace game better than the Blazers do, and it will spell trouble. Portland was an excellent team on its own floor this season, but that was the story last year as well before they got swept by the Pelicans in the first round.
Portland isn’t going to get embarrassed, but they don’t have the two-unit depth to keep up with Oklahoma City in our opinion. This one goes relatively deep and over 5.5 games with the road-favorite Thunder advancing to the next round.
Series Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder (-143)
Bet: Series Over 5.5 Games (-210)
No. 2 Denver Nuggets (-245) vs. No. 7 San Antonio Spurs
The Denver Nuggets are -245 favorites against the Spurs in the first-round of the Western Conference playoffs, according to the SugarHouse Sportsbook app.
It’s interesting that this matchup features one team in the playoffs for the first time since 2013 and another with a seemingly playoff appearance waiting for them at the end of every season for two decades. These teams do have some things in common, like home court dominance as the Spurs went 32-9 and the Nuggets went 34-7. As the most prolific home team in the league, Denver should be excited about having the advantage. They should also be excited about having an incredible amount of size with Nikola Jokic and Paul Millsap leading the frontcourt. With only LaMarcus Aldridge to combat all that size, the Spurs are at a huge disadvantage.
Despite the lack of playoff experience, the Nuggets are a team to be extremely wary of after leading the west for a portion of this season over Golden State. Even though they might sweat it out a bit, Denber should be able to dispose of San Antonio in no more than six games.
Series Pick: Denver Nuggets (-245)
Bet: Nuggets -1.5 Series (-143)
Eastern Conference Playoff Picks
No. 1 Milwaukee Bucks (-10000) vs. No. 8 Detroit Pistons
The term ‘massive favorites’ doesn’t do the Bucks justice for its first-round series with Detroit. They’re -10000 on the SugarHouse Sportsbook app as the No. 1 seed in the east playing a team that finished at .500 to sneak into the playoffs.
I’m just gonna say it: Detroit doesn’t stand a chance. Milwaukee, who went 33-8 at home this season, will use its home court advantage to bury the Pistons early, and that’ll be it. Detroit went 4-6 in its last 10 to barely back into the field and they’re likely just happy to be here. The Bucks are a 60-22 team that never took its foot off the gas despite every opportunity to fall into a major midseason lull. Now that the real season is beginning, the already in-form Bucks are ready to go.
This is a series that really shouldn’t be close. The Pistons are not on Milwaukee’s level in any way, and will not be able to stop the downhill train led by star Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Bucks winning the series provides no value, so consider going for the clean sweep on SugarHouse Sportsbook.
Series Pick: Milaukee Bucks (-10000)
Bet: Bucks Win Series 4-0 (-134)
No. 2 Toronto Raptors (-1250) vs. No. 7 Orlando Magic
The Raptors are another extremely large NBA playoffs favorite heading into the first round, according to the SugarHouse Sportsbook app.
Here is another Eastern Conference series that feels over before it begins. Orlando, which won its last four games to finish at 42-40, played strong defense and overall good basketball over the second half. After giving credit where it’s due, we come back to reality where Kawhi Leonard is fully healthy and the Raptors went 32-9 at home. On top of being the far more talented team, Toronto has a roster full of players with NBA playoff experience that is going to show itself.
There isn’t any value in NJ sports betting picks on the Raptors to win the series, so we are getting a bit more specific. Give Orlando a scrappy win and take the Raptors and the plus-money to win 4-1 in the NBA Quarterfinals.
Series Pick: Toronto Raptors (-1250)
Bet: Raptors Win Series 4-1 (+140)
No. 3 Philadelphia 76ers (-835) vs. No. 6 Brooklyn Nets
The star-powered Sixers are massive -835 favorites over the upstart Nets in the NBA Quarterfinals on SugarHouse Sportsbook.
Philadelphia’s starting lineup of Ben Simmons, J.J. Redick, Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris and Joel Embiid played together just 10 times, but it’s still a fearsome group. They went 31-10 at home and create matchup nightmares all over the floor for Brooklyn so long as Embiid is healthy. On the other side, Brooklyn bounced back fantastically after a brutal start to the season, then were treading water for a while. D’Angelo Russell has established himself as a bonafide star, and will lead a backcourt that is sure to give the Sixers some trouble. The Nets played well to win the final three games to lock into the No. 6 seed, but now face an uphill battle.
We couldn’t quite bring ourselves to go with the Nets at +550, but there is a ton to respect about this team. Without Embiid being 100 percent, it’s tough to know exactly how this shakes out, but we like Brooklyn to really make this a series.
Series Pick: Philadelphia 76ers (-835)
Bet: Nets +2.5 Games (+140)
No. 4 Boston Celtics (-560) vs. No. 5 Indiana Pacers
Despite it being a No. 4 vs. No. 5 matchup, SugarHouse Sportsbook has the Celtics as very heavy favorites over the Pacers in the first round of the NBA playoffs.
It’s really hard to tell which Celtics team you’ll get on a nightly basis. Now, they’re without an extremely important player in Marcus Smart for this series. The offense, however, led by Kyrie Irving is one that is extremely hard to stop when all the pieces are working. Add in the fact that Boston was 4-0 against Indiana this season, and there’s really now way to figure them losing four times in seven games. The Pacers have found ways to beat lesser teams, but not good teams. Add in Boston’s home court advantage after going 28-13 at TD Garden, and this is a one-way series.
We don’t see a way the Pacers can really stay with the Celtics in a seven-game series. Huge props for having an outstanding season after losing star Victor Oladipo, but the road ends here. Without much NJ sports betting value in Boston, our additional NBA playoffs pick is Boston in six games.
Series Pick: Boston Celtics (-560)
Bet: Celtics Win Series 4-2 (+400)
Good luck with your NBA Quarterfinals playoff picks!
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