Odds for the first round series and where to find your bracket for the NBA playoffs.
Players Only have released their series prices for the 2010 NBA playoffs and even though action gets underway today, Saturday April 17th, there is still time to get your picks in. Please see below for all the match-ups, the odds for each match-up, and for where to find the NBA bracket online.
Eastern Conference Bracket (all odds Players Only; all odds to win first round series)
(1) Cleveland Cavaliers (-2800) vs (8) Chicago Bulls (+1600)
(4) Boston Celtics (-190) vs (5) Miami Heat (+150)
(3) Atlanta Hawks (-900) vs (6) Milwaukee Bucks (+550)
(2) Orlando Magic (-1000) vs (7) Charlotte Bobcats (+600)
Western Conference Bracket
(1) Los Angeles Lakers (-800) vs (8) Oklahoma City (+500)
(4) Denver Nuggets (-200) vs (5) Utah Jazz (+160)
(3) Phoenix Suns (-600) vs (6) Portland Trail Blazers (+400)
(2) Dallas Mavericks (-165) vs (7) San Antonio Spurs (+135)
Go to http://espn.go.com/nba/bracket for a printable bracket.
There's no real way that any of the favorites in the first round can be touched with the exception of the Dallas Mavericks. The other favorites have come in way to short to mess around with or the underdog should be bet for the upset.
These are the lines that could be deemed valuable at this point:
Oklahoma City at +500: the Lakers enter the post-season cold and with questionable hunger. They are talking about turning things on but the question is why hasn't the engine been turned all along? There's something missing from this Laker team and Kevin Durant can't be ignored.
Dallas at -165: San Antonio is no normal 7 seed however the Mavs have won 5 in a row heading into the post-season and they have been one of the best teams in recent months. Of the three teams in the west with a .610 winning percentage the Spurs have the worst road record and they can't be backed with any confidence as short at +135.
Utah at +160: the series between the Jazz and the Nuggets looks like it could be very close. The key lays with Utah's ability to steal a game on the road and then defend their own court. With the Nuggets owning the worst road record among the playoff teams in the west and with Utah at 32-9 at home, the Jazz can expect to do the latter. As for winning in Denver, it won't be easy but the odds are worth backing at +160.
Miami at +150: Miami went 9-1 in their last 10 while Boston went 3-7. There's nothing wrong with backing an underdog in that kind of situation at any time.
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