2020-21 NBA Playoffs Betting Tips: Conference Finals

June 20th 2021, 5:13pm, By: SmitsTips

NBA Conference Finals Betting Tips

The conference semi-finals in the NBA are almost done and dusted at the time of writing, and by Monday just four teams will remain in the hunt for the 2020-21 NBA title. Check out our full preview and betting tips for the Conference Semis, beginning on Monday, below.

(Game 7 between the Hawks and Sixers still needs to be played on Monday, but the we’ll have the series previews up for the East as soon as we know the matchup)

NBA Conference Semi-Finals Betting Tips

Phoenix Suns vs Los Angeles Clippers

The Suns are back in the Western Conference Finals for the first time since losing to the Lakers all the way back in the 2009-10 season. It’s been a fantastic season for the Suns so far, who finished 2nd in the Western Conference standings and were written off against the Lakers in Round 1 of the playoffs only to pull out a dominant 4-2 victory. The Suns have only made it to the NBA Finals once in their history, but they’ll be favourites to overcome a battered Clippers team and get back into the finals for the first time since 1993.

The Clippers are one of the only NBA franchises in the Western Conference with less playoffs experience than the Suns. They will be making their first trip to the conference finals in history, but will have to start the series without their best player in Kawhi Leonard. The2xFinals MVP could return later in the series, which will no doubt make the Clippers much more competitive, but this Suns side has a lot of firepower on offence, and without Leonard’s 25ppg, LA could struggle to keep up.

The Suns start as $1.50 favourites to take the series, which seems about right given the injury to Leonard and the fact that they’ll have the extra game at home. The Phoenix crowd has been absolutely raucous throughout the first two rounds so far and they’ll be even more invested as they support their team in the conference finals for the first time in over a decade.

I think if Kawhi Leonard misses the first two games of this series, which is a real possibility, the Suns will go up 2-0 with the first two games being played in Phoenix. From there it’s basically a formality that they will wrap up the series in six games or better.


Milwaukee Bucks vs Atlanta Hawks/Philadelphia 76ers

Surely we aren't living in a world where we can have a Suns-Hawks NBA Finals? That finals matchup would have been 1/10,000 at the start of the season but now it's a real possibility as the Hawks won game seven against the 76ers to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals against the Bucks. The Bucks won their own thrilling Game 7 against the Nets to make it back to their 2nd conference finals in three years. 

The Bucks will start as firm $1.21 favourites for this series and it's hard to look past them given they have the home-court advantage and the clear best player in the series in 2xMVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. The star Bucks forward was fantastic in Game 7 against the Nets, putting up 40 points and 13 rebounds in the win. He will be a tough cover for the Hawks, who don't really have a ready made defensive stopper at the wing position. If Atlanta are to be successful here, it'll take a momumental team effort to defend the Greek Freak. 

Atlanta captured a massive upset win over the 76ers in the conference semis, led by their All-Star point guard Trae Young, who averaged 29.0 points and 10.9 assists through the 7 game series. He might run into a bit more of an issue in this round though as he comes up against one of the premier defensive point guards in the league in Jrue Holiday. Even with Young in great form, it's tough to see them being able to keep up with the Bucks offensively. The Hawks certainly don't have the defensive weapons that are needed to contain the likes of Giannis, Kris Middleton and Brook Lopez, back themt to win this series and advance to their first NBA Finals in over 50 years. 

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