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The NBA Playoffs Are Here – Let’s Gamble

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The best sports league in the world kicks it into high gear today with the playoffs kicking off at 130pm Eastern. We made it through 8 seeding games and completed the first ever play in game (Sidebar: if you read my bubble preview article and bet on the Blazers to make 8th seed you are welcome for listening to my free advice). Let’s break down these matchups and pick some more winners.

EAST

  1. Milwaukee Bucks VS 8. Orlando Magic: Do I have to waste valuable words for this? Bucks sweep. Here’s the only interesting part to gamble on since Milwaukee is a staggering -15000 to win- Bucks 4-0 is -125 and I’m telling you there’s no way Orlando wins a game.

Pick: Bucks 4-0 (-125)

  1. Toronto Raptors VS 7. Brooklyn Nets: More insane odds for the favorite Raptors at -5000 for the series. The Nets are essentially a G-League team with fringe NBA bench players and Caris Levert. The Raptors will easily win this series, as the reigning champs have not looked like they’re missing much from their championship run.

Pick: Raptors (-5000)

  1. Boston Celtics VS 6. Philadelphia 76ers: The Sixers were my sneaky title contender before any bubble games took place and boy was I not right at all. The injury to Ben Simmons only cemented how wrong I was. With that being said, Joel Embiid has ‘Top 5’ player potential and can be the best player on the court any given night this series, and none of it could matter. Celtics are -400 to win and their Jalen/Jayson/Hayward/Kemba/Theis lineup is just nasty. Embiid can exploit the Celtics weakness in the paint but will it be enough to win? No

Pick: Celtics (-400)

  1. Indiana Pacers VS 5. Miami Heat: At -310 the Heat are the only “road team” favorite this entire first round. Let’s be honest those floating heads during cheering for the “home team” affect the game about as much as your lucky shirt you haven’t stopped wearing since 2003. Closest of the 4 Eastern Conference series, I think Bam Adebayo is the X-Factor especially with Sabonis’ status unknown for this series.

Pick: Miami (-310)

Parlay Calculator: Parlaying these 4 bets gets you to +103

WEST

  1. Los Angeles Lakers VS 8. Portland Trailblazers: Dame Time has been the best show in the bubble; him casually draining contested step-back threes while the defender just hangs his head in “what the fuck am I supposed to do” misery is my favorite pastime. But they couldn’t defend Bronny James let alone his father LeBron. Almost bringing the brooms out for this one I just don’t see how a team that fought that hard for 9 games just for their prize to be guard Anthony Davis.

Pick: Lakers (-550)

  1. Los Angeles Clippers VS 7. Dallas Mavericks: Luka Doncic is the less athletic James Harden. Seriously all his moves are Harden patent pending moves he’s just white so I guess that makes people more impressed. As amazing as he is, he runs into a chainsaw of defenders against the Clippers. This is my only pick this first round I’ll provide an “UPSET POTENTIAL” sticker on, because I don’t think the Clippers know exactly who they are as a team yet while the Mavs know Luka runs the show and Carlisle is infinitely better than Doc Rivers. But lets go safe here and pick the team with more experience over the one led by a 2nd year player.

Pick: Clippers (-450)

  1. Denver Nuggets VS Utah Jazz: I don’t know if I’m excited for this matchup or I just want to watch Michael Porter Jr. and Bol Bol play basketball. Utah is all Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert as Conley (Birth of child) is out of the bubble currently, and Bojan Bogdanovic underwent season ending surgery. This pick is all about whom I want to see more than whom I think wins.

Pick: Nuggets (-200)

  1. Houston Rockets VS 5. Oklahoma City Thunder: Now this is where things get spicy. CP3 versus his old team, Harden versus the player he explicitly wanted out. Westbrook versus the franchise he was the face of; well hopefully because in true irony, he picked up a quad injury that has him missing at least game 1 of the series. Didn’t the Rockets trade away their secondary star with a history of playoff injuries for the iron man Westbrook? Meanwhile, CP3 lead the Thunder to a 5 seed after having a less than 5% chance to make the playoffs according to most prediction models before the season. To me, this is going to come down to 2 things- Can the Rockets play Steven Adams off the floor and can the Thunder outduel the best one on one player in the league in crunch time?

Pick: Rockets (-175)

Parlay Calculator: Parlaying these 4 bets gets you to +140

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