The Insider’s Handicapping Guide to the NBA Playoffs
- Updated: May 8, 2012
The quest for this season’s NBA World Championship continues as the first round wraps up this week in anticipation of the start of the conference semifinals. While two series have already been closed-out, the following are few betting trends for the other six series to help handicap the remaining games.
No.8 Philadelphia 76ers vs. No.1 Chicago Bulls
The surprising 76ers are just one win away from advancing with a 3-1 series lead heading into Tuesday night’s Game 5. They are now 7-2 against the spread in their last nine games and 5-2 ATS on the road in their last seven. The Bulls are 2-5-1 ATS in their last eight games against the Atlantic Division.
The favorite is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings and the total has gone ‘over’ in seven of the last 10 games in Chicago.
No.7 New York Knicks vs. No.2 Miami Heat
New York staved-off elimination with an 89-87 victory in Game 4 as a 7.5-point home underdog. The Knicks are 1-4 ATS in their last five playoff games as underdogs. Miami is 6-1 ATS in their last seven home games as a favorite.
The Knicks are 1-5 ATS in the last six meetings and the total has stayed ‘under’ in nine of the last 11 meetings. The favorite is 5-1 ATS in the last six games.
No.6 Orlando Magic vs. No.3 Indiana Pacers
Orlando has lost the last three games of this series by a combined 40 points after winning the opener 81-77 as a nine-point road underdog. The Magic are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 first-round playoff games and Indiana is 3-11-1 in its last 15 playoff games as a favorite.
The Magic are 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings overall and 4-1 ATS in their last five games in Indiana. The total has stayed ‘under’ in 13 of the last 17 games played in Indiana.
No.5 Boston Bruins vs. No.4 Atlanta Hawks
Boston lost Game 1 of this series 83-74 as a 1.5-point road underdog but has rolled to three straight wins since then. The Celtics are 15-6-2 ATS in their last 23 games overall and Atlanta is 6-1 ATS in their last seven games following a SU loss.
The road team is now 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings and the total has stayed ‘under’ in five of the last six games in Atlanta.
No.8 Utah Jazz vs. No.1 San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio swept the Jazz with four SU wins and went 3-1 ATS. The total stayed ‘under’ in all four games. The Spurs are now a perfect 14-0 SU and 12-1-1 ATS in their last 14 games. The total went ‘over’ in eight of their last 10 regular season games.
No.7 Dallas Mavericks vs. No.2 Oklahoma City Thunder
The second-seed Thunder made short work of the defending champion Mavericks with four SU victories but split the games 2-2 ATS. Oklahoma City is now 7-2 SU in its last nine games and 4-5 ATS. The total went ‘over’ in three of four games in this series and has now gone ‘over’ in five of the Thunders’ last seven games overall.
No.6 Denver Nuggets vs. No.3 Los Angeles Lakers
The Nuggets are on the brink of elimination; trailing 3-1 after Sunday night’s 92-88 loss as 2.5-point home favorites. Denver is 8-0 ATS in its last eight games following a SU loss. The Lakers are 4-12 ATS in their last 16 home games.
Los Angeles is 7-3 SU and 5-5 ATS in the last 10 meetings. The total has stayed ‘under’ in three of the four games in this series and in nine of the last 10 meetings overall.
No.5 Los Angeles Clippers vs. No.4 Memphis Grizzlies
The Clippers are one win away from advancing to the conference semifinals after beating Memphis 101-97 in overtime in Monday’s Game 4, but failed to cover as two-point home favorites. LA is now just 2-5-1 ATS in its last eight games. The Grizzlies are 6-2-2 ATS in their last 10 first-round playoff games.
Los Angeles is 7-2 SU in the last nine meetings and 5-3-1 ATS. The total gone ‘over’ in three of the four games in this series, but has stayed ‘under’ in five of the previous six games between the two.
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