NBA Playoff Betting Trends: Round 1 NBA Trends

Last Updated: April 14th, 2011 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)
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The dance is finally here for the men of the pro hardwood, and here at Bankroll Sports, we’ve got all of the ins and outs covered for the race to beat the NBA Finals odds! Check out the series prices, along with the trends and history that you need to know for all of these teams as we make our NBA Finals picks!

#8 Indiana Pacers vs. #1 Chicago Bulls
NBA Series Prices
Chicago -4000 vs. Indiana +2000 @ Oddsmaker Sportsbook
Chicago -3500 vs. Indiana +1750 @ SportBet Sportsbook
Chicago -5000 vs. Indiana +1200 @ BetUS Sportsbook

Series Trends and History
This is the first time that the Pacers have been in a playoff game since 2006, and they haven’t won a playoff series since 2005. Indiana has never won an NBA Championship, and it will be making its 19th appearance in the second season this year. It has an 81-80 record in these games. Obviously, Chicago has had a team rich in tradition and history thanks to the play of Michael Jordan, who brought the franchise six titles. However, none of those have come since 1998, and there is only one playoff series victory in that stretch.

The Bulls are 8-4 ATS against Indiana over the course of the last three series, and more importantly, they are 5-1 ATS and 6-0 SU at the United Center in that stretch. That’s terrible news for an Indiana team that didn’t even come close to finishing .500 this year, especially knowing that there has to be at least one huge upset in the Windy City to win this series.

#7 Philadelphia 76ers vs. #2 Miami Heat
NBA Series Prices
Miami -2000 vs. Philadelphia +1200 @ Oddsmaker Sportsbook
Miami -2000 vs. Philadelphia +1250 @ SportBet Sportsbook
Miami -2500 vs. Philadelphia +900 @ BetUS Sportsbook

Series Trends and History
It’s been quite awhile since the 76ers were in the NBA Finals in 2001, and this doesn’t look to be the year that anything changes. The last time they won a playoff series was in 2003, and for proof of just how long ago that was, New Orleans was still playing in the Eastern Conference! This is the third straight playoff appearance in four years for Philly, but both previous times, it bowed out with 4-2 series defeats. Miami hasn’t won a playoff series since winning the 2006 NBA Championship. This is its 14th playoff appearance in team history, and none have ever been considered as important as this one. This is where LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh will be measured, and even one game’s worth of a slip in this series would bring up a ton of questions.

The Sixers really haven’t stood in there against Miami in these last three seasons, going just 5-6 ATS and 2-9 SU over the course of the 11 meetings in the last three seasons. This year, the series was absolutely all in favor of the Heat, as it went 3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS in this series, winning all three games by at least nine points. Over the last three years, Miami is a perfect 6-0 SU against the Sixers when playing at home at the American Airlines Arena.

#6 New York Knicks vs. #3 Boston Celtics
NBA Series Prices
Boston -400 vs. New York +320 @ Oddsmaker Sportsbook
Boston -360 vs. New York +300 @ SportBet Sportsbook
Boston -500 vs. New York +350 @ BetUS Sportsbook

Series Trends and History
You have to go back to 2000 to find the last time the Knicks won a playoff series, but the hype at Madison Square Garden is as high as it has ever been thanks to the assembly of the trio of Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, and Amare Stoudemire. There’s a lot of history hanging in those rafters in Beantown, though. The C’s have 48 playoff appearances, 321 lifetime postseason wins, and 17 NBA Championships to their credit, and many think that this is yet another year in which they can shine.

The Knicks have tried their best against the Celtics, but they just haven’t been able to get over the hump. They were swept in the season series this year season, and they are just 2-10 against the C’s over the last three years. If you like higher scoring series, this might be the one for you, as five of the last six have gone past the ‘total’ in this series in games played at the Garden.

#5 Atlanta Hawks vs. #4 Orlando Magic
NBA Series Prices
Orlando -600 vs. Atlanta +450 @ Oddsmaker Sportsbook
Orlando -600 vs. Atlanta +450 @ SportBet Sportsbook
Orlando -600 vs. Atlanta +400 @ BetUS Sportsbook

Series Trends and History
If the Hawks are making a run this season in the NBA playoffs, they are going to have to overcome a tremendously dull history that hasn’t seen a title since 1958. That was also the last time that the team won more than one series in a postseason. Last year they won a series, only to get run out by these Magic. Orlando knows that it has a lot of work to do to get to its third NBA Finals in team history, and it really doesn’t seem like a task that is all that possible. Dwight Howard and company have had a great run over these last few seasons, but this might be the least equipped team to get the job done.

It’s almost like we can throw the season series out between these two teams. Both squads made significant changes since playing each other in games that meant anything, as we put absolutely no stock in Atlanta’s win right at the end of March against an Orlando team that was resting players. One of the wins for the Hawks in this series also came the day after the huge trades that left the Magic with just eight healthy bodies and virtually no stars to rely on. What we do have to remember is that last year’s romp by Orlando in these playoffs was the most lopsided beating in the history of the postseason in terms of margin of victory.

#8 Memphis Grizzlies vs. #1 San Antonio Spurs
NBA Series Prices
San Antonio -360 vs. Memphis +300 @ Oddsmaker Sportsbook
San Antonio -360 vs. Memphis +300 @ SportBet Sportsbook
San Antonio -500 vs. Memphis +350 @ BetUS Sportsbook

Series Trends and History
The bad news for the Grizzlies is that they have never won a game in the history of the franchise. This team has only made three previous postseason appearances, and it is just 0-12 in 12 games to show for its work. We tend to believe that at least one game will go Memphis’ way in this one, but more than that would probably be considered a bit of a triumph. This is the 31st playoff appearance for the men in black and silver, and it is the 14th straight year in which the team was in the playoffs. The only year that the Spurs weren’t in the dance was in 1997, dating all the way back to 1990, and the team has made a number of Western Conference Finals in this run.

The regular season series was actually split between these two teams, as the Grizz really came on strong at the end of the year. We know that Memphis had the best NBA betting record in terms of ATS this season of any team, and as a result, many are on its bandwagon. San Antonio might be without Manu Ginobili for some or all of this series, and if that’s the case, the door might really swing open for the Rudy Gay-less Grizzlies.

#7 New Orleans Hornets vs. #2 Los Angeles Lakers
NBA Series Prices
Los Angeles -2000 vs. New Orleans +1200 @ Oddsmaker Sportsbook
Los Angeles -2100 vs. New Orleans +1280 @ SportBet Sportsbook
Los Angeles -2500 vs. New Orleans +900 @ BetUS Sportsbook

Series Trends and History
Since moving to the Crescent City, the Hornets have only won one playoff series, that coming when they were the No. 1 seed in the West in 2008. Aside from that though, the majority of the series have been quite ugly, including that awful 4-1 loss to the Denver Nuggets in 2009 with a ton of lopsided games. There’s no team that has the marks of the Lakers in the Western Conference. They have 429 lifetime playoff wins in 58 appears prior to this year, and they have a whopping 16 titles in the rafters, including championships in back to back seasons.

If the Lakers can stay out of their own way, they have no reason that they shouldn’t be winning this series with ease, especially with David West out of the fold for the Hornets. Kobe Bryant has a sparkling playoff record, and the Lakers are 9-2 SU and 6-5 ATS over the course of the 11 meetings in this series over the course of the last three seasons. LA is also 29-11 SU since 1996 against the Hornets, though some of those games came against the franchise when it was in Charlotte.

#6 Portland Trail Blazers vs. #3 Dallas Mavericks
NBA Series Prices
Dallas -230 vs. Portland +190 @ Oddsmaker Sportsbook
Dallas -210 vs. Portland +175 @ SportBet Sportsbook
Dallas -240 vs. Portland +190 @ BetUS Sportsbook

Series Trends and History
Dallas’ playoff history is definitely marred, especially during the tenure of Dirk Nowitzki. He has always been looked at as the player that just can’t win the big one, and he has only taken the Mavericks to one NBA Finals appearance, the only one in the history of the team. Portland hasn’t really been relevant since 2000, which marks the last time that it won a playoff series.

These two did meet up in the 2003 playoffs, with Dallas taking the series in seven games. This is a potentially wicked matchup for the Mavs, who split the season series with the Blazers. Portland hasn’t lost to Dallas since the acquisition of Gerald Wallace, winning 104-101 and 104-96 at the Rose Garden. The Blazers are 37-27 ATS against Dallas since 1996, but the Mavs own the 35-29 SU edge. Still, this could be a series that comes down to the wire, especially if Portland can flip home court advantage in these first two games.

#5 Denver Nuggets vs. #4 Oklahoma City Thunder
NBA Series Prices
Oklahoma City -210 vs. Denver +170 @ Oddsmaker Sportsbook
Oklahoma City -210 vs. Denver +175 @ SportBet Sportsbook
Oklahoma City -210 vs. Denver +165 @ BetUS Sportsbook

Series Trends and History
Denver really hasn’t had a great time in the playoffs in team history, as it only has two series victories since 1994, both of which came in 2009. These defeats have been ugly as well in that stretch, as the two games won against the Utah Jazz last year only gave the team eight wins in seven losing series since 1995. Oklahoma City made the playoffs for the first time since moving from Seattle last year, losing out four games to two to the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers.

This is probably going to be the best series of the bunch in the first round of the playoffs because both of these teams love to get out and run, and they are certainly going to be keeping the scoreboard operators both at the Ford Center and Pepsi Arena occupied. Sure, three of the four meetings stayed ‘under’ the ‘total’ this year, but it really isn’t likely that the Nuggets are going to be held to a total of 183 points in any two games in this series. OKC won the regular season series 3-1, and it went 3-1 ATS to show for its work as well.

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Posted in NBA Basketball - Last Updated on Thursday, April 14th, 2011 @ 5:49 pm (EST)
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