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.
|Team||5Dimes (4/16)||5Dimes (1/20)||5Dimes (12/17)||5Dimes (7/11)|
|Golden State Warriors||+225||+450||+600||+2000|
|San Antonio Spurs||+440||+525||+375||+500|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+1550||+1300||+950||+1000|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+20000||+15000||+10000||+7500|
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.
- Golden State Warriors (-4,000) vs. New Orleans Pelicans (+2,000)
- Houston Rockets (-270) vs. Dallas Mavericks (+230)
- Los Angeles Clippers (+140) vs. San Antonio Spurs (-160)
- Portland Trail Blazers (+155) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (-175)
- Atlanta Hawks (-1,165) vs. Brooklyn Nets (+750)
- Cleveland Cavaliers (-3,500) vs. Boston Celtics (+1,750)
- Chicago Bulls (-900) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (+600)
- 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.
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.
- Grizzlies G Mike Conley, Ankle, Questionable
- Grizzlies F Zach Randolph, Ankle, Probable
- Blazers F LaMarcus Aldridge, Foot, Probable
- Bulls G Derrick Rose, Knee, Probable
- Bulls C Joakim Noah, Hamstring, Probable
- Hawks F Paul Millsap, Shoulder, Probable
- Mavericks F Chandler Parsons, Knee, Questionable
- Clippers C DeAndre Jordan, Ankle, Probable
Most Likely NBA Finals Matchups (via 5Dimes)
- Cleveland Cavaliers vs Golden State Warriors +215
- Cleveland Cavaliers vs San Antonio Spurs +420
- Atlanta Hawks vs Golden State Warriors +895
- Atlanta Hawks vs San Antonio Spurs +1490
- Cleveland Cavaliers vs LA Clippers +1510
- Cleveland Cavaliers vs Houston Rockets +1510
- Chicago Bulls vs Golden State Warriors +1520
- Cleveland Cavaliers vs Memphis Grizzlies +1835
- Chicago Bulls vs San Antonio Spurs +2490
- Atlanta Hawks vs LA Clippers +4825
- Atlanta Hawks vs Houston Rockets +4825
- Atlanta Hawks vs Memphis Grizzlies +5850
- Toronto Raptors vs Golden State Warriors +5950
- Cleveland Cavaliers vs Dallas Mavericks +6200
- 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:
- Are Favorites Undervalued Following a Blowout Loss?
- Are Low-Scoring Home Favorites Undervalued?
- Updated Zig Zag Theory System
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David Solar is the Content Manager for Sports Insights and can be reached directly at David@sportsinsights.com.