Orlando Magic +700
Toronto Raptors -1400
I’m starting with this series because I think the Raptors are overvalued here. Orlando is a pretty good team and they have been for the last couple of years. They have come together with a team that has a lot of length and athleticism. The backcourt duo of DJ Augustin and Evan Fournier can both shoot from 3 very well. Their offense has been on a tear to end the season and will be getting their All-star center Nikola Vucevic back for the playoffs. The Magic’s last loss came in Toronto to the Raptors so I think they will be ready to face them again. In my opinion the Magic have a better head coach as well with Steve Clifford. I don’t think it is an absolute certainty that the Magic will win this series but +700 is really good value. This is a series I can see starting off 2-2 and going for 7 games. Right now theres no prices on taking the Raptors in 6 or 7 but I think that would be worth a look if you can get it. The Magic match up well and will definitely present a problem for the Raptors. There is probably some good value in Magic in 6 as well. I think the Raptors will have some issues adjusting to a playoff rotation at first. The Magic have treated the end of the regular season as prep for the playoffs and seam to have their rotation pretty much figured out. The Raptors depth is overrated as all depth is come playoff time. The Magic have played the Raptors very well this season and will be a good matchup for a playoff series.
Brooklyn Nets +450
Philadelphia 76ers -700
I’m not sure Brooklyn can perform in the playoffs. I think this is a situation the 76ers can dominate in. They start at home on a Saturday afternoon. The Philly scumbags will have the Wells Fargo center rocking. They should win that game by double digits. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more Philly fans in Brooklyn too. The loudest the Barclays center has been this year was when they chated ‘Paul Pierce Sucks’ at Dwayne Wade in his final game. Let me remind you that D-Wade does not play for Brooklyn. I see the 76ers finishing this one in 4 or 5.
LA Clippers +3000
Golden State Warriors -20000
I am so torn on this one. Because on one hand I love the way the Clippers have been playing all year. I love their backcourt and the defensive intensity they bring every night. They match up pretty well with the Warriors but we are talking about the Warriors. This team is totally different in the playoffs. They may have a little bit of a chance if Stephen Curry ends up being injured. But even then their chances are very slim. The Warriors have held a long standing grudge against the Clippers ever since Doc Rivers said the Warriors weren’t that good since they didn’t beat them in the playoffs when they won their first title in 2015. No shit Doc, your team wasn’t good enough to make it to play the Warriors. The Clippers have been able to get 2 wins over the Warriors in the last 2 years, 1 per season. One of those games was the famous Lou Williams 50 point game. It’s just going to be really tough for the Clippers to beat the Warriors 4 times in 7 games. Other than the Rockets, this is the only team I could see beating the Warriors in a series. They have a good mix of vets and young players that can play good defense. They have real depth with Lou Will and Montrezl Harrell coming off the bench. I’m sure there will be at least one game where Pat Beverly makes his presence known on defense and the Clippers get a win. This will be a tough matchup for the Warriors but I see them winning in 7 games.
San Antonio Spurs +190
Denver Nuggets -230
Thinking about this series does not really excite me. These teams split their regular season series, winning their home games. They’ll probably do the same here and Denver will win in 7. One scenario I can also see happening is the Spurs winning game 1, then the Nuggets winning games 2 and 3, Spurs game 4, then home teams winning the rest of the series. But would anybody be surprised to see the Spurs win this series? It is hard to bet against Greg Popovich. The Spurs season has ended in playoff losses to Golden State in each of the last 2 seasons. I’m basically talking myself into betting the Spurs. The decision for me ultimately comes down to Mike Malone vs Greg Popovich. I’m done thinking about this. I’m not going to be the fool that picks against Pop in the first round. Spurs in 6.