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2013 NBA Handicapping: Playoffs & futures odds update

NBA Betting By Chance?

We are down to the final four for this year’s playoffs as the march towards the NBA Finals wears on.

The Western Conference Finals got underway this past Sunday with the No.2 San Antonio Spurs drawing first blood with a dominating 105-83 victory over the No. 5 Memphis Grizzlies in Game 1 as 4.5-point home favorites. Game 2 from the AT&T Center is scheduled for Tuesday night.

Eastern Conference

The Eastern Conference Finals kick-off this Wednesday night with the No. 3 Indiana Pacers squaring off against the No. 1 Miami Heat.

The first two games of this best-of-seven series will take place at American Airlines Arena before the series shifts to Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis for games three and four.

Bovada has released its updated futures odds to win this season’s NBA title for the four remaining teams and it is no big surprise that Miami is still the overwhelming favorite to win a second-straight NBA championship at 1/3. It has rolled through these playoffs so far with an 8-1 record straight-up and a 6-3 record against the spread.

The Heat beat Milwaukee four-straight times by double-digits to sweep that series. The total stayed UNDER or ended as a PUSH in all four games.

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Showing some obvious signs of rust from an extended layoff, Miami lost Game 1 of its next series against Chicago 93-86 as a 12.5-point favorite at home.

The wake-up call was well received with four more SU wins to end that series in five games.

The main concern for the Heat moving forward is the health of Dwyane Wade’s knee. If he goes down against the Pacers the gap between Miami and the rest of the field would drastically shrink.

Western Conference

The next team on the list to win it all at 4/1 is the San Antonio Spurs and there is already some added value to those odds considering the 1-0 edge it has in the conference finals. The Spurs hardly played like a championship caliber ball club down the stretch of the regular season but on a team that is littered with highly experienced veterans, they were able to quickly return to form once the postseason began.

San Antonio made short work of the Los Angeles Lakers with four-straight double-digit victories for the series sweep. Things got a bit more difficult against its next California team after Golden State battled the Spurs to a 2-2 series tie through the first four games. The true sign of a seasoned veteran team is the ability to raise its play to a whole new level when things tighten up and that is exactly what San Antonio.

It closed-out the Warriors in six games with back-to-back victories by a combined 30 points. When this team is playing at that kind of level, it could easily give Miami a run for its money in a best-of-seven showdown. [ad-6571516]

Despite the Game 1 loss, the Oddsmakers see the Grizzlies has having the best chance of pulling off an upset to win the Western Conference. They have been opened at 10/1 to win it all and given their past track record in these playoffs remain worth another look.

Memphis lost the first two games on the road in the opening round against the Los Angeles Clippers and bounced back with four-straight wins both SU and ATS. It stumbled out of the gate in Game 1 against Oklahoma City in a two-point loss as a 3.5-point road favorite, but ended that series in five games with another four-game run both SU and ATS.

This team has the defense to keep things close against anyone, but to have any chance at winning it all, the Grizzlies cannot afford to fall too far behind against the Spurs in their current series.

Indiana has the longest odds of the group 16/1, but that does not mean there is not any value in them. The Pacers won the regular season series against Miami 2-1 both SU and ATS with both wins coming at home.

The key to getting to the finals would be to steal a win on the road in one of the first two games of the conference finals to swing home court in their favor.

This will be far easier said than done, but Indiana is another team that knows how to play defense and bang the boards to get rebounds. Once again, if Wade goes down, these odds start to look pretty good.

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About Dave Schwab

David Schwab is a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. While not cheering for his beloved Philadelphia Eagles David can be found working on his blog at www.eaglesinc.com. David wants to hear from you so please comment below.


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