Betting Predictions for the NBA Playoffs Second Round

Posted by Aaron . on April 29, 2016 in

The NBA playoffs have taken some real twists and turns. The Los Angeles Clippers looked like they were going to be done with the Portland Trail Blazers in five games (if not four!), but then the Trail Blazers awoke at home in Games 3 and 4, and the Clippers lost Blake Griffin and Chris Paul for the postseason, and now it looks like Portland will erase the Clips in Game 6. The Warriors seemed headed for a second straight championship, but now Steph Curry has suffered an ankle injury and a knee sprain that will keep him out for another week and a half. What can we bet on in the second round? Find the latest NBA odds here.

Betting Predictions for the NBA Playoffs Second Round



Can Oklahoma City send the Spurs home?

Let’s face it — the Spurs don’t have an offensive duo that can rival Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The Spurs did sweep Memphis in the first round, but the Grizzlies had been ravaged by injuries and almost slid all the way out of the playoffs before the regular season ended. The Thunder absolutely dismantled a Dallas team that has some talented scorers but ultimately lacked the defensive power to win more than one game out of five from the Thunder.

The Spurs and Thunder split their four games this season, with each team winning its home games. The Spurs hold the home court advantage in this series by virtue of their better regular season record. However, I would argue that the Thunder have the higher ceiling. If the Thunder can play 48 minutes of defense while also operating their high-octane offense, then they can win this series.

The Spurs, though, have the top-rated defense in the NBA. So it’s difficult to argue that the Thunder will be able to find their way around them. The Thunder also lack that dominant interior player to challenge Tim Duncan effectively. So while I love the Thunder’s style when it comes to offense, I don’t think they can get by the Spurs. I’m picking San Antonio in seven.

Can Al Horford do what Dominique Wilkins couldn’t?

There was a time when the Atlanta Hawks looked like the class of the Eastern Conference. With Dominique Wilkins leading a superior squad, the Hawks had a run-and-gun style that stood apart from most of the grinding systems in the East, where teams were happy to score 90 or 95 points and get a win. The high-flying offenses were in the West in those days. Wilkins’ team kept running into Larry Bird’s Celtics or Michael Jordan’s Bulls, though, and so they never made it out of the East in the playoffs.

Now, the Hawks have a new nemesis in the East: the Cavaliers and LeBron James. The Cavaliers won all three meetings in the regular season against Atlanta, winning by an average of 109.3 to 99.7. The Cavaliers won four straight in the Eastern Conference finals last year against those same Hawks — who had won 60 games in the regular season and snagged the top seed. Paul Millsap and Kyle Korver are back with Horford, and the Hawks are optimistic that their defense will be enough now?

Will it? I haven’t seen it in their head to head games this season. I’m predicting Cleveland in five.