The second round of the playoffs got underway in the Eastern Conference with the Raptors easily taking care of the Sixers in Game 1. Today, we shift our attention to the Western conference and provide our best bets for the two upcoming series! Check them out below and good luck to everyone following!
First up we look at the mouth-watering second round series between the Houston Rockets and the defending champion Golden State Warriors. This is the best of all modern-day rivalries and it should include some great games between two of the best teams in the league.
The Rockets got their season off to a very slow start with injuries being the main factor. However, they got things together pretty quickly and finished off the season strong enough to give themselves home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Reigning MVP James Harden was huge for the Rockets all season and joins Giannis Antetokounmpo as the favourites for this seasons MVP award as a result.
Houston began their playoff run strongly with a dominant 4-1 job over the Jazz. The Jazz simply didn’t have enough firepower to keep up with James Harden and the Rockets, which is something a lot of teams can relate with.
Golden State Warriors
Like most teams, the Warriors endured their fair share of problems throughout the 82-game regular season. Injuries plagued them for the most part, although they still did enough to claim top spot in the Western Conference for the fourth time in five seasons.
In what looked like a straight forward first round match-up against the Clippers on paper, certainly didn’t work out that way. The defending champs were pushed to six games on the back of some poor play from them and some inspiring play from their opponents. Despite the challenge, the Warriors, led by Kevin Durant, were too much to handle and progressed to the second round once again.
If not for the Chris Paul injury in Game 6 last year the Rockets may very well be the defending champs. Further, the Rockets defeating the warriors on three of their four meetings during the regular season and they also come into this with the better form. All things considered; we believe the value lies with the Rockets +1.5 games in this series.
Second up in the Western Conference semis we’ve got the Portland Trail Blazers taking on the Denver Nuggets. With all the hype around some of the other series, this one has definitely flown under the radar. It should be an extremely exciting match-up between two superstars of the NBA in Nikola Jokic and Damian Lillard.
Portland Trail Blazers
As they usually do, the Blazers exceeded everyone’s expectation with yet another terrific regular season. They finished with a record of 53-29 which earned them the third seed in the stacked Western Confernce. Damian Lillard had another fantastic season averaging 25.8 points and 6.9 assists, while CJ McCollum was no slouch as a second option (averaged 21 points per game).
The Blazers backed up their successful regular season with a brilliant performance in the first round of the playoffs against the Thunder. Damian Lillard was playing like a man possessed and hit one of the all-time great buzzer-beater shots to send the Thunder packing in Game 5.
The Nuggets were perhaps the surprise team this season as they pushed the Warriors all the way in a big for the one seed in the West. Whilst they eventually fell short, 2ndseed in a stacked Western Conference is a fantastic result for the youngest team in the playoffs. Nikola Jokic was dominant all year long and is quickly becoming a top 10 player in the league.
While they would eventually advance, the Nuggets were given an all-mighty scare in their first round series against the Spurs. Mike Malone’s young team showed their inexperience at times and found themselves in trouble against the veteran Spurs. However, all’s well that ends well and Jokic and the Nuggets will live to fight another day.
This is a fairly difficult series to predict due to there being a lot of unknown. The Nuggets weren’t at all convincing in their 4-3 win against the Spurs, while the Blazers will likely be without Enes Kanter which could be a big blow. Look at the price, we lean towards the Blazers to advance at decent odds.
The UCL returns this week with the knockout stages! There are plenty of exciting matchups set to play out on Wednesday and Thursday morning and we have our best bets for them right here! read more
The 2020 Call of Duty League continues this weekend as we head to Atlanta for the second official event of the season! We have a full preview and betting tips for the action here read more
Three meetings get the new week of racing underway, with winners to be found at Ballina, Gatton and Newcastle. Luke Krahe has provided his best bets for each track here! read more
Learn the importance of the Betfair exchange for both recreational and professional punters. In this article we take a closer look at how Betfair works and why it often offers a superior product to the traditional online sports betting operators. read more
The 2019-20 Big Bash League season is set to be a thriller! Check out the full squads for the upcoming BBL09 here read more
In the third instalment of our Betfair instructional series, we take a look at understanding staking plans and how they can be used to stay in control of your bank roll read more
In our next strategy guide for the Betfair platform, we take a look at understanding how the Betfair markets work and what different types of backs and lays you can place with Betfair! read more
The 2020 AFLW season is just around the corner and this year will be bigger than ever! See the full fixture for all 8 rounds in the regular season here read more
The 2019-20 Big Bash League gets underway on Tuesday, the 17th of December and as many of the teams won't have their full compliment of players available to them on night one, we have compiled a predicted starting XI for all eight teams in the first week of the tournament here read more
The Sydney Thunder will be buoyed by the full-time return of star batsman Usman Khawaja this year, but will it be enough to lift them into the finals in BBL09? See our full Sydney Thunder preview here read more
The Sydney Sixers are one of the more successful sides in Big Bash League history, having won the title once and made the finals in five of eight seasons. Can they make waves in BBL09? See our full Sixers team preview here read more