Well we blew up the Eastern Conference yesterday with our picks of the Bulls and Knicks both having players be eliminated for the year with blown out knees. We inconspicuously got a check in the mail from a K.Bryant and a K.Durant today begging not to pick them in our Western Conference betting preview. Unfortunately, our integrity can’t be bought (without a couple more zero’s) so here is the 2012 NBA Western Conference 1st round series betting preview.
#1 San Antonio Spurs vs. #8 Utah Jazz.
Unlike the Eastern Conference which had 3 projected blowouts, Vegas has predicted the West pretty tight…with the exception of Spurs / Jazz. San Antonio is a -2000 favorite to win the series, meaning you could risk $10,000 to win $500. We don’t want to blow our whole Durant payoff check on one wager so it looks like exact games is the series bet. San Antonio is two things coming into the playoffs…hot and old. They’ve won 20 of 22 games and whereas the Thunder or Clippers could play an extra game without it affecting their stamina, the Spurs know the importance of resting those creaky knees. There’s good value in a Spurs sweep (+180) and we think they want to get over with this series ASAP…series bet Spurs in 4 for +180
#2 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. #7 Dallas Mavericks
The Mavs had kind of a hangover season after winning the title last year. Owner Mark Cuban would like to consider this a limbo year as he makes a run for Deron Williams and possibly Dwight Howard in the offseason. That being said, they’re still the champs. The Mavs have +400 odds to win the series whereas the Thunder are -525 on their inevitable meeting with Lakers in round 2. In the playoffs, we don’t really see value in risking over $1000 just to win $200 because anything could happen so we’ll have to yet again predict the exact game. The favorite from Vegas is the Thunder in 5 games as that comes in at 2:1 odds. We think the Mavs can steal a couple at home and the 6 game series offers good value at 4:1. Series bet Thunder in 6 at 4:1
#3 Los Angeles Lakers vs. #6 Denver Nuggets
In what has become a rite of Spring, the Nuggets once again take on the Lakers in the playoffs for the 3rd time in 5 years. Denver has won only 2 of those 8 games but this is a new-look Nugget team. Denver has big guys that can match up with Bynum and Gasol and a defensive presence in Arron Afflalo that could cause fits for Kobe. Vegas sees this series as relatively even, offering only -220 odds for the Lakers to advance. The Nuggets are +180 to advance to round 2. As much as we’d love to see the Nuggets upset L.A. here, we want to see Lakers-Thunders in round 2 even more. Las Vegas sees this game either going 5 games (3:1) or 7 games (3.5:1) in favor of the Lake Show. That being said, Nuggets in 6 has pretty low odds at 5.5:1 because it would be in Denver so that could be a possibility. We’re going to simply bank on L.A. to advance and take the boring bet. Series wager Lakers to win series at -220
#4 Memphis Grizzlies vs. #5 L.A. Clippers
This series could be one for the ages and it’s almost a lock to go 7 games, in fact Grizzlies in 7 has the most favorable odds at 3.5:1. Memphis is on a crazy hot streak at home winning 11 straight games but you never count out superstars in the postseason and Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are some of the NBA’s elite. Memphis is almost heavier favorites than the Lakers at -210 and if the Clippers can pull off the upset it’d pay out +170. We’re looking for Chris Paul to have a huge series and will ride Lob City as the underdog. Series bet Clippers to win at +170.