The NBA Conference Semi-finals are set to get underway this week with four really interesting matchups. We bring you our series prediction and best bets for each of them here!
Also, be sure to check out our NBA Tips page regularly to find our best bets for some of the big slates. We’ll be covering every game on Wednesday, Friday and Monday, as well as predictions for every round!
NBA Betting Tips: Playoffs Second Round
(2) Boston Celtics vs (3) Milwaukee Bucks
The first of the four conference semi-finals series to get underway should be a very intriguing one. The Celtics and the Bucks finished with identical records this season at 51-31, but the Celtics secured the higher seed with the tiebreaker. Interestingly, the Celtics are the very short-priced favourites to progress through the conference finals despite the Bucks being the defending champions. A lot of that has to do with Khris Middleton being ruled out for the Bucks with an MCL sprain, but even without him I expect Giannis and co. to be able to push the Celtics all the way here.
Milwaukee Bucks +1.5
(2) Memphis Grizzlies vs (3) Golden State Warriors
The Grizzlies first round series with the Timberwolves certainly wasn’t as straightforward as they’d have liked. The needed the Timberwolves to cough up double-digit leads in three separate games to eventually defeat them 4-2. In contrast, the Warriors completed a gentleman’s sweep against the undermanned Nuggets in their first round series. They were far more convincing in their wins and will start as favourites in the second round as a result. The Warriors are simply firing on all cylinders at the moment and it would take something special from the Grizzlies to be able to extend this series to six or seven games, let alone win it.
Golden State Warriors -1.5
(1) Miami Heat vs (4) Philadelphia 76ers
It wasn’t always smooth sailing for the Heat this season, but they did enough to finish with the best record in the East. They showed just why they #1 in their conference with a dominant series win against the Hawks in the first round, led by Jimmy Butler who was in fine form. The 76ers weren’t quite as convincing in their first round win against the Raptors, but still closed it out in six games. Unfortunately, superstar Joel Embiid picked up an orbital fracture and a concussion in their close-out win and will be sidelined indefinitely. It was already going to be hard enough for the 76ers to be competitive in this series, but without Embiid it becomes almost impossible. I can see the Heat being able to win the first couple of games on their home floor and secure a split in Philly, before completing the gentleman’s sweep in Game 5.
(1) Phoenix Suns vs (4) Dallas Mavericks
Despite finishing with the higher seed and having homecourt advantage, the Mavericks started as underdogs in the first round against the Jazz. However, they quickly became favourites in the series after some dominant performances in the opening couple of games and eventually closed them out 4-2. Meanwhile, the Suns found it tougher going against the Pelicans than they would’ve initially thought. Devin Booker Missed Games 3-5 with a hamstring injury, but returned in Game 6 when Chris Paul put the team on his back and made sure the Suns closed out the Pelicans in six games. Now back to full health and again with homecourt advantage on their side, I expect the Suns to be able to win this series in six games or less.