The NBA playoffs are a long-awaited treat after a long summer, but bettors don’t expect the first round to be very competitive.
BetMGM has placed odds on all seven series already set, and the theme is clear: each series’ favorite is a large prefer. The winner of the play-in game (s) between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Memphis Grizzlies will also likely have huge chances against the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Denver Nuggets are -200 in their series against the Utah Jazz, which means a bettor would have to place $ 200 on the Nuggets to win $ 100. And Denver has the lowest odds of any of the seven favorites.
Big favorites for the first round
If you want to bet the favorites in some NBA playoffs, you might just wait until the second round.
Here’s a list of the series coming out at MGM, with odds listed and starting with the biggest discrepancies:
Milwaukee Bucks (-10000) vs. Orlando Magic (+1600)
Toronto Raptors (-3334) vs. Brooklyn Nets (+1100)
Los Angeles Clippers (-527) vs. Dallas Mavericks (+375)
Boston Celtics (-400) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (+300)
Miami Heat (-400) vs. Indiana Pacers (+305)
Houston Rockets (-223) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (+175)
Denver Nuggets (-200) vs. Utah Jazz (+160)
These are overwhelming lines, and taking one of the favorites is going to get expensive. Apparently, punters haven’t been swayed by the fact that some of the league’s top teams have been playing poorly in recent weeks in Orlando.
Are the underdogs worth betting?
Since taking a favorite is really tough unless you’re willing to do a lot to win a little, it’s safe to watch the underdogs. One of the eight series must be upset, right?
But it’s hard to get a good deal for any of the underdogs individually.
If the Trail Blazers are the Lakers’ game, they might be a popular choice, as Damian Lillard is playing out of his mind and Los Angeles has been underwhelming in the bubble, to say the least. But it’s not like the Lakers have a ton of motivation and betting on LeBron James to be knocked out in the first round isn’t easy.
While TJ Warren is healthy for the Pacers, they are scheming after leading 5-2 in the bubble, although the Heat slowed Warren down in the last meeting. The 76ers line is high because Ben Simmons is out. Maybe Luka Doncic can lead the Mavericks in an upset streak, but it’s a tough game for them. Utah, the smallest underdog in the table, could be the best game among the eight underdogs.
The NBA playoffs should be fun and entertaining. Maybe the first round will be better than the odds indicate.
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