2015 NBA Playoffs Picks: Shifts in Futures Odds

Kevin Stott

Tuesday, April 28, 2015 9:22 PM GMT

Round 1 of the NBA Playoffs is starting to wane down, with three teams—the Warriors, Cavaliers and Wizards—having already advanced to Round 2 by way of series sweeps. So, are there any odds worth a pick that stick out in the NBA Championship, Eastern and Western Conference and/or Series’ still going?

Introduction
Round 1 of the 2015 NBA Playoffs have provided only a couple of slight surprises to date, with three teams—the Western Conference’s top seed, the Golden State Warriors, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers and the somewhat surprising Washington Wizards having all already advanced on to Round 2 of the postseason by way of respective sweeps against the New Orleans Pelicans, Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors. And fresh NBA Futures Book odds this morning (Tuesday) from the world’s largest sportsbook, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook here in Sin City, show odds posted on just two of the five Round 1 series which are still currently going on: Hawks -2000, Nets +1000 (Hawks lead series 3-1; Game #5 (Wednesday) Odds: Hawks -9, 200, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook (TNT, 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT); and, the most entertaining and competitive series, the Spurs -140, Clippers +120 (Series tied 2-2; Game #5 (Tuesday) Odds: Clippers -2, 203½, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook (TNT, 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT). Odds for Futures Series Prices for the Bulls-Bucks (Bulls lead 3-2), Rockets-Mavericks (Rockets leads 3-1) and Grizzlies-Trail Blazers (Grizzlies lead 3-1) have all been taken down for these NBA Playoffs.

The biggest surprises so far in Round 1 probably have come from the Brooklyn Nets, who tied up their Best-of-7 series with the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night, beating the Eastern Conference’s top-seed, 120-115 in OT at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn; the Milwaukee Bucks, who pulled to within 3-2 in their Round 1 Eastern Conference series with the Chicago Bulls on Monday night with a hard-fought and impressive 94-88 victory at the United Center in the Windy City; the upstart Wizards actually sweeping the Raptors; and, the Clippers, now tied 2-2 with the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs after going into the Alamodome on Sunday afternoon and heading back to Lalaland with the Western Conference series tied after an impressive 114-104 win.

 

Odds to Win NBA Championship—(Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)
Golden State Warriors 8/5

Cleveland Cavs 2/1

San Antonio Spurs 8/1

Atlanta Hawks 12/1

Los Angeles Clippers 12/1

Houston Rockets 14/1

Chicago Bulls 14/1

Memphis Grizzlies 18/1

Washington Wizards 35/1

Brooklyn Nets 500/1

Dallas Mavericks 500/1

Portland Trail Blazers 1000/1

Milwaukee Bucks 2000/1

 

Odds to Win Eastern Conference—(Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)
Cleveland Cavs 2/1

Atlanta Hawks 12/1

Chicago Bulls 14/1

Washington Wizards 35/1

Brooklyn Nets 500/1

Milwaukee Bucks 2000/1

 

Odds to Win Western Conference—(Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)
Golden State Warriors 2/3

San Antonio Spurs 4/1

Los Angeles Clippers 6/1

Houston Rockets 7/1

Memphis Grizzlies 9/1

Dallas Mavericks 250/1

Portland Trail Blazers 500/1

 

Conclusions
In terms of trying to find a good NBA pick or two from these NBA Futures Book odds from the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook at this specific Moment in Time (Tuesday), it really seems to me (from watching) that the Brooklyn Nets are not the least bit scared of the Atlanta Hawks, and probably are feeling pretty good about themselves right about now and probably think that they can go into Atlanta on Wednesday night (TNT, 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT) and win that game—despite the 9-point spread on the NBA odds (there’s a nice pick for you close readers)—and steal the homecourt advantage in this series with just 3 games left (2-2-1-1-1 format). Yes, to me the 10/1 odds (+1000) on the Nets actually seem worth a shot, especially with the series tied 2-2, Brooklyn feeling strong and Atlanta the most overrated team in the NBA Playoffs this season in my mind. Obviously, the result in Game 5 will be massive, but that’s pretty much why there is (perceived) value in those posted +1000 (10/1) odds right now. The Nets could certainly upset the Hawks and now would be the best time to act on it.

And in terms of which team actually looks the strongest right now, I’d give the slight lean to the Western Conference’s top seed, the Warriors (2/3 to win Western Conference, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) over the Clippers and the Cavaliers—PF Kevin Love suffered a separated shoulder and is now out for the season, according to fresh reports out today—because of the seemingly supernatural and almost mystical shooting of Golden State G’s Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, as well as the night-in, night-out lunchpail work ethic of underrated PF Draymond Green. NBA teams win championships because of players like Curry, Thompson and, especially Green. And with the Western Conference’s other two Heavyweights (Spurs-Clippers) currently beating up on each other here in Round 1 play, whomever emerges as the winner of that series will surely be a bit gassed and then facing the winner of the Rockets-Mavericks series in Round 2 will also continue this Big Wear-Down Process. It happens every season in the playoffs. The Warriors are already at Home resting, chilling, relaxing, avoiding pressure before they face the winner of the Grizzlies-Trail Blazers series (more than likely Memphis) in Round 2, and just have too much easy scoring on that roster with dead-eyes Curry and Thompson, probably two of the best 10 shooters in the history of the NBA on the same team and at the same time. Nothing big.

NBA ROUND 1 SERIES PICK: Nets +1000 over Hawks (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)

NBA FUTURES PICK: Warriors 8/5 to win NBA Title (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)