2015 NBA Playoff Preview

2015 NBA Playoff Preview

It’s been an exciting season in the NBA, but the excitement is about to reach a fever pitch with the playoffs beginning on Saturday. Between LeBron James return to Cleveland, Golden State’s historically good season and the Atlanta Hawks shocking emergence as an Eastern Conference powerhouse, there is no shortage of fascinating storylines to monitor.

It should come as no surprise that the Warriors and Cavs are expected to face off in the NBA Finals, but which other teams are expected to compete for the championship? The table below displays the current title futures at 5Dimes along with each team’s odds at various points throughout the season.

Team5Dimes (4/16)5Dimes (1/20)5Dimes (12/17)5Dimes (7/11)
Golden State Warriors+225+450+600+2000
Cleveland Cavaliers+235+750+385+350
San Antonio Spurs+440+525+375+500
Atlanta Hawks+1050+850+7500+9000
Chicago Bulls+1200+650+750+1000
Los Angeles Clippers+1550+1300+950+1000
Houston Rockets+1600+1800+1700+1500
Memphis Grizzlies+2200+1900+1700+5000
Toronto Raptors+5000+2200+2000+5000
Portland Blazers+5000+2500+3000+4000
Dallas Mavericks+5500+1100+1700+5000
Washington Wizards+8750+3000+3000+4000
New Orleans Pelicans+20000+15000+10000+7500
Brooklyn Nets+22500+25000+12500+5000
Milwaukee Bucks+25000+30000+50000+37500
Boston Celtics+25000+100000+40000+11000

Although the Spurs are the 6-seed in a loaded Western Conference, they actually have the third best odds of hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy. It’s also interesting to note some of the larger line moves across the futures market.

On December 19th, the Boston Celtics dealt Rajon Rondo to the Dallas Mavericks — a move expected to help the Mavs compete with the West’s elite and drop the Celts into all-out tank mode. Instead, the results have been more surprising than Sandra Bullock’s best actress win at the Oscars.

Since the trade, Boston has gone an NBA-best 36-21 ATS (+13.03 units) while Dallas has struggled to a 21-32 ATS record (-12.00 units). This caused the Celtics future price to jump from +100,000 to +25,000 while the Mavericks have plummeted from +1,100 to +5,500.

Bettors are able to view real-time odds and public betting trends for each game on our free NBA odds page, but many readers have been curious about the series price for each first round matchup. The list below displays the current prices at the market-setting 5Dimes sportsbook. As always we encourage readers to always shop for the best line before placing any bets.

Western Conference

  1. Golden State Warriors (-4,000) vs. New Orleans Pelicans (+2,000)
  2. Houston Rockets (-270) vs. Dallas Mavericks (+230)
  3. Los Angeles Clippers (+140) vs. San Antonio Spurs (-160)
  4. Portland Trail Blazers (+155) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (-175)

Eastern Conference

  1. Atlanta Hawks (-1,165) vs. Brooklyn Nets (+750)
  2. Cleveland Cavaliers (-3,500) vs. Boston Celtics (+1,750)
  3. Chicago Bulls (-900) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (+600)
  4. Toronto Raptors (-160) vs. Washington Wizards (+140)

It should be noted that although Portland is the higher seed, Memphis actually finished the season with a superior record and will have home-court advantage.

While bettors predominantly take spreads, totals and moneylines with the occasional future thrown in, there’s always a high level of intrigue surrounding the Finals MVP. Last season Kawhi Leonard introduced himself to the world with authority, averaging 17.8 points and 6.4 rebounds while playing suffocating defense during the Spurs victory over the Heat.

This season expectations are much higher for the versatile forward. Currently listed at +1,000, Leonard trails only Stephen Curry (+320) and LeBron James (+275) as the Finals MVP favorite.

The table below displays the current NBA Finals MVP odds at 5Dimes.

Player5Dimes (4/16)
LeBron James  +275
Stephen Curry  +320
Kawhi Leonard  +1000
James Harden  +1200
Klay Thompson  +1600
Kyrie Irving  +2000
Jeff Teague  +2200
Chris Paul  +2500
Tim Duncan  +2800
Blake Griffin  +4000
Pau Gasol  +4000
Al Horford  +5000
Marc Gasol  +5000
Derrick Rose  +6600
Jimmy Butler  +6600
Kevin Love  +6600
John Wall  +7500
Kyle Korver  +7500
Mike Conley  +8000
Zach Randolph  +8000
DeMar DeRozan  +9000
Joakin Noah  +9000
Damian Lillard  +10000
LaMarcus Aldridge  +10000
Anthony Davis  +12500
Dwight Howard  +12500
Dirk Nowitzki  +17500
Jeff Green  +20000
Bradley Beal  +30000
Brook Lopez  +50000
Monta Ellis  +50000
Rajon Rondo  +50000
James Young  +100000
Joe Johnson  +100000
Paul Pierce  +100000
Tyson Chandler  +200000
Marcus Smart  +500000
Giannis Antetokounpo  +500000

In a shocking development, the odds for James Harden to win the Bill Russell Award (+1,200) are actually shorter than the odds that Houston wins the Championship (+1,600). The last time a player won the Finals MVP without actually winning the title was back in 1969 when Lakers great Jerry West averaged 30.9 points and 7.5 assists in a loss to the Celtics. For this reason, we would recommend steering clear of Harden despite his impressive statistics this season.

Many teams are banged up entering the postseason with several injuries to prominent players. Bettors are able to view the latest news on our free NBA injury page, but the list below shows the Game 1 status for a number of impact players.

  1. Grizzlies G Mike Conley, Ankle, Questionable
  2. Grizzlies F Zach Randolph, Ankle, Probable
  3. Blazers F LaMarcus Aldridge, Foot, Probable
  4. Bulls G Derrick Rose, Knee, Probable
  5. Bulls C Joakim Noah, Hamstring, Probable
  6. Hawks F Paul Millsap, Shoulder, Probable
  7. Mavericks F Chandler Parsons, Knee, Questionable
  8. Clippers C DeAndre Jordan, Ankle, Probable

Most Likely NBA Finals Matchups (via 5Dimes)

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers vs Golden State Warriors      +215
  2. Cleveland Cavaliers vs San Antonio Spurs      +420
  3. Atlanta Hawks vs Golden State Warriors      +895
  4. Atlanta Hawks vs San Antonio Spurs      +1490
  5. Cleveland Cavaliers vs LA Clippers      +1510
  6. Cleveland Cavaliers vs Houston Rockets      +1510
  7. Chicago Bulls vs Golden State Warriors      +1520
  8. Cleveland Cavaliers vs Memphis Grizzlies      +1835
  9. Chicago Bulls vs San Antonio Spurs      +2490
  10. Atlanta Hawks vs LA Clippers      +4825
  11. Atlanta Hawks vs Houston Rockets      +4825
  12. Atlanta Hawks vs Memphis Grizzlies      +5850
  13. Toronto Raptors vs Golden State Warriors      +5950
  14. Cleveland Cavaliers vs Dallas Mavericks      +6200
  15. Cleveland Cavaliers vs Portland Blazers      +6750

Over the years we have written a number of articles detailing profitable betting systems during the NBA playoffs. Before Saturday’s action tips off, we would recommend reading the following:

  1. Are Favorites Undervalued Following a Blowout Loss?
  2. Are Low-Scoring Home Favorites Undervalued?
  3. Updated Zig Zag Theory System

Have any questions for the staff at Sports Insights? Utilize our live chat to speak with a customer service representative or e-mail us at help@sportsinsights.com.

David Solar is the Content Manager for Sports Insights and can be reached directly at David@sportsinsights.com.

David Solar

David was the Content Manager at Sports Insights. He has since moved on to greener pastures.

1 Comment
  • James
    04/18/2015 at 3:48 pm

    Thanks as usual for the solid info and writeup Dave. Always enjoy checking and following your systems throughout the year for all sports. Insights has helped me greatly with my discipline and ROI

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