2018 NBA Playoffs Betting Preview

Despite missing Stephen Curry and stumbling down the stretch in the regular season, the Golden State Warriors will begin the NBA playoffs as the championship favorite.

At Bovada Sportsbook, the Warriors are a +135 favorite on the NBA championship futures odds as they head into a first-round series with the San Antonio Spurs. Golden State ended the regular season 4-6 straight up and 3-7 against the spread in its last 10, but San Antonio wasn’t much better at 4-5 SU and 3-6 ATS in its last nine.

This season the Warriors were 3-1 SU and 2-2 ATS vs the Spurs. They met up in last year’s Western Conference final, which the Warriors won in four straight games.

In another West first-round matchup, the Houston Rockets face the Minnesota Timberwolves. Houston posted the best record in the NBA this season but has lost its last four ATS, and six of seven. The Rockets were 4-0 SU and ATS vs Minnesota this season, and haven’t lost to the Timberwolves in Houston since 2012.

The Portland Trail Blazers and New Orleans Pelicans tip off after splitting their season series 2-2 SU and ATS. New Orleans ended the regular season hot, winning five straight SU and ATS. Portland has owned this matchup at home lately with a 6-2 SU and ATS record in their last eight.

The last West matchup is the Oklahoma City Thunder vs the Utah Jazz. The Thunder have been a bad bet lately at 3-6-1 ATS in their last 10 games. The Thunder were 3-1 SU and 2-2 ATS vs Utah this season with all four games going UNDER the posted total.

In the East, the top-seeded Toronto Raptors take on the Washington Wizards. Toronto has also been killing bettors lately at 3-9-1 ATS in its last 13. Washington was 2-2 SU and ATS vs Toronto this season and the last time they met up in the postseason in 2015 the Wizards swept the series in four games.

One series where the higher seed may be an underdog is the Boston Celtics vs the Milwaukee Bucks due to Kyrie Irving’s injury. The smart bet here could be to take the OVER. Boston is 6-1 OVER in its last seven games, Milwaukee is 8-1 OVER in its last nine and in the matchup the OVER is 7-2-1 in the last 10.

The team to watch in the first round could be the red-hot Philadelphia 76ers vs the Miami Heat. The 76ers have won 16 straight at 11-5 ATS and have home-court advantage against a Heat squad that is 2-12 SU and 7-5-2 ATS in its last 14 on the road. They split the season series 2-2, but the 76ers have won their last four at home vs Miami.

Finally, the Cleveland Cavaliers begin their run for another title against the Indiana Pacers. Indiana won the season series 3-1 SU and ATS. However, in Cleveland, the Cavaliers are 10-1 SU and 4-7 ATS in their last 11 vs Indiana.