With the regular season over, the NBA MVP votes will take place. James Harden and Russell Westbrook are in the lead. But beyond that, it’s time to move to what really matters. The NBA championship odds. The first round was settled. Let’s give it a look on how team’s matchup for these first set of games. The first round starts this Saturday with the team winning four of seven moving on to the second round.
These are the NBA Playoffs First Round Series Picks:
Indiana Pacers (42-40) vs Cleveland Cavaliers (51-31)
- NBA odds to win the title: Indiana Pacers +25000, Cleveland Cavaliers +340
- Season Series: Cavaliers 3-1
The Pacers closed out the season with five wins in a row. The issue is they had lost four straight before that winning streak. Indiana won the first game of the regular season series, only to lose the next three.
Indiana can score, averaging 105.1 points per game, but their defense is a question allowing 105.3. The best pay per head sportsbooks are not expecting a win by Indiana in the first round. Yes, the Cavaliers have lost four straight, including two losses against the Atlanta Hawks. But, Cleveland is superior to Indiana in the starting five and the bench.
NBA Picks: Cleveland in 5.
(8) Chicago Bulls (41-41) vs (1) Boston Celtics (53-39)
- NBA odds to win the title: Chicago Bulls +30000, Boston Celtics +2000
- Season Series: 2-2
Despite getting dismantled by the Cavaliers in Primetime two weeks ago, the Celtics found themselves with the first seed in the Eastern Conference. Boston won the last three games of the regular season and took advantage of Cleveland’s debacle.
The Celtics have an unproven roster, and that scares the price per head sportsbook. Boston and Chicago split the season series, but the Celtics stomped on the Bulls the last time they met with a 100-80 result.
NBA Picks: Boston in 6.
(6) Milwaukee Bucks (42-40) vs (3) Toronto Raptors (51-31)
- NBA odds to win the title: Milwaukee Bucks +25000, Toronto Raptors +3750
- Season Series: Raptors 3-1
Toronto is sick of hearing people talking about the Celtics and the Cavaliers. The Raptors believe they have more than just a punchers chance to get to the NBA finals.
They finished the season with six wins in their last seven games, including a solid victory over Cleveland. Toronto lost the last game they had against Milwaukee, but they dominated the season series with a 3-1 record.
NBA Picks: Raptors in 5.
(5) Atlanta Hawks (43-39) vs (4) Washington Wizards (49-33)
- NBA odds to win the title: Atlanta Hawks +25000, Washington Wizards +4500
- Season Series: Raptors 3-1
Washington is coming off a terrific regular season, despite losing two of their last three games in the regular season. Point guard John Wall took his game to the next level this season averaging 23.1 points per game and 10.7 assists.
Atlanta will present a big challenge for Washington, especially in the paint. But the pph services are counting the Hawks will struggle to keep the Wizards pace on the offensive side. Atlanta averages 103.9 points per game, almost six points fewer than what the Wizards average.
NBA Picks: Wizards in 6.
(8) Portland Trail Blazers (41-41) vs (1) Golden State Warriors (67-15)
- NBA odds to win the title: Portland Trail Blazers +30000, Golden State Warriors -150
- Season Series: Warriors 4-0.
The Blazers won’t be able to keep the pace of the Warriors offensive machine to win four games in this series, but Portland is hot and could steal one or two. Portland is in a playoffs mood a while ago. They saved the season getting into the playoffs, and their prize is to play the best team in the NBA.
Golden State swept the series against Portland. But at this point, a lot has changed for both teams. As mentioned, Portland is locked in. But the Warriors went from losing Kevin Durant to figure out how to play without him. Durant is back, and Golden State needs to find the way to make it work again. The pay per head bookie service expects a lot of action in this series.
NBA Picks: Warriors in 5.
(7) Memphis Grizzlies (43-9) vs (2) San Antonio Spurs (67-15)
- NBA odds to win the title: Memphis Grizzlies +15000, San Antonio Spurs +845
- Season Series: 2-2
If you look at the odds to win the NBA title, the bookie software should expect the San Antonio Spurs to win and advance. But this is a particularly difficult matchup for the Spurs. The season series was split to two wins each. Yet, San Antonio won the last two.
Memphis is a challenge for the Spurs due to the toughness of the Grizzlies. They are a team that battles and play defense. They go after every loose ball and will put a bigger effort than the rest to hide their lack of talent. That’s a dangerous team.
NBA Picks: Spurs in 6.
(6) Oklahoma City Thunder (47-35) vs (3) Houston Rockets (55-27)
- NBA odds to win the title: Oklahoma City Thunder +10000, Houston Rockets +2475
- Season Series: Rockets 3-1
The Rockets vs. Thunder is the best series in the NBA first round of the playoffs. Both teams are exciting, young and athletic. Neither cares much about defense. And both have MVP candidates in James Harden and Russell Westbrook.
Overall, Houston seems to have the edge. They have a better team, and that’s why the dominated the season series. OKC is more like a one-man show under Westbrook. The rest of the cast barely help on the offensive side. The sports bookie software has the Rockets as the clear favorite, but it should be fun to watch.
NBA Picks: Rockets in 6.
(5) Utah Jazz (51-31) vs (4) Los Angeles Clippers (51-31)
- NBA odds to win the title: Utah Jazz +6600, Los Angeles Clippers +5000
- Season Series: Clippers 3-1
The Jazz vs. Clippers is not a sexy series, but it’s perhaps the most even series in the NBA first round. Utah is a sneaky good team. They don’t receive a lot of praise because they don’t play many Primetime games.
Los Angeles, on the other hand, is the hottest team entering the playoffs. Yet, no one care. The Clippers have won 11 of the last 13 games, including seven in a row. Because of that winning streak, they stole home court advance from the Jazz.
NBA Picks: Clippers in 7.