NBA Picks for 2015 Playoffs: Western Conference Predictions, Betting Trends & Stats

Kevin Stott

Friday, April 17, 2015 2:55 PM GMT

Friday, Apr. 17, 2015 2:55 PM GMT

This sports handicapper shares his predictions & odds preview for the NBA Playoffs Round 1 in the Western Conference, complete with betting trends, records, Game 1 and Series odds and more.

NBA’s Western Conference Round 1 Should Be More Entertaining Than the East
On Saturday (April 18), the 2015 NBA Playoffs tip off with a slate of four games and it’s been obvious to both the casual NBA fan as well as sports bettors that the Western Conference was, again, much stronger than the Eastern Conference in the NBA’s Regular Season. In fact, one team with a .500 record (the Milwaukee Bucks) and two with sub-.500 marks (Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets) somehow qualified for the postseason in the East, while out West, one team with a record over .500 (the Kevin Durant-less Oklahoma City Thunder at 45-37) failed to even make the NBA Playoffs. But maybe the Western Conference (-160 to win NBA Championship, bet365) ends up beating up on themselves and someone like LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers or Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls or maybe even Paul Millsap and his Atlanta Hawks end up winning it all, actually making the underdog—despite having the teams oddsmakers are pegging to win it all in the Cavaliers (+260, Paddy Power)—Eastern Conference (+130 to win NBA Championship, bet365) a pretty good bet in that obscure Futures market, especially if the Bulls get red-hot and make a run at some glory. Anyway, here are all your Round 1 TV Schedules and Dates for all of the games in Round 1 of this season’s coming NBA playoffs. Enjoy.

NBA Picks During Playoffs: When to Fade Chalky Top Seeds

#1 Golden State Warriors vs. #8 New Orleans Pelicans
Golden State Warriors SU Records—67-15 ~ Home: 39-2 ~ Away: 28-13 ~ Conf: 42-10

New Orleans Pelicans SU Records—45-37 ~ Home: 28-13 ~ Away: 18-24 ~ Conference: 29-23

Golden State Warriors ATS Records—46-34-2 ~ Home: 26-14-1 ~ Away: 20-20-1 ~ Totals: 39-43

New Orleans Pelicans ATS Records—46-36 ~ Home: 25-16 ~ Away: 21-20 ~ Totals: 42-37-3

Golden State Warriors: 110.0-99.9

New Orleans Pelicans PF-PA: 99.4-98.6

SBR NBA Profile Link: Golden State Warriors

Regular Season Season Series: Warriors 3-1 SU, Warriors 2-2 ATS

Series Price: Warriors -5,000, Pelicans +1,800 (Sportsbook.ag)

Game #1 Odds: Warriors -11½ (Sportsbook.ag)

(Best) Western Conference Odds: Warriors +150 (Sportingbet), Pelicans +10,000 (Paddy Power)

NBA Championship Odds: Warriors 5/2, Nets 100/1 (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)

 

NBA Betting Verdict: Warriors vs. Pelicans
Golden State and head coach Steve Kerr just wrapped up an unbelievable Regular Season, one which saw the Warriors (W4, 8-2 L10) finish with the best record in the NBA, an ABA-like 110.0 ppg on Offense, a much-improved Defense under former Chicago Bulls guard Kerr and just 2 losses at Home (Spurs by 3, Bulls by 2 in OT) at the Oracle arena in Oakland. The Warriors (+300 to win NBA Championship, BetVictor) are led by the prolific guard tandem of likely-MVP Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, and when a dude on your team can pop 77 straight 3s in Practice, you know you have a shot at kissing and holding the Larry O’Brien Trophy. But whatever you do, no fondling it, Bubba. She some sensitive silverware. The Pelicans (W2, 7-3 L10)—like the lowly Brooklyn Nets in the Eastern Conference—snuck into the postseason like a thief in the night, ending an 11-game winning streak by the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night at the Smoothie King Center in The Big Easy, 108-103, as Anthony Davis had 31 points, 13 rebounds and 3 crucial blocks for the victors in the game where it mattered most. But the Pelicans reward? A team that can swish 3-pointers from the Locker Room. This one could 5 games only because The West Is The Best, and no series shall be easy in this rugged conference and New Orleans does have the virtually unguardable Chicagoan Davis. But look for Curry & Co. to thrash the Pelicans on Saturday (ABC, 3:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT) in Game 1 of this series at Home in Oaktown where the fans will be expecting a blowout and (the start of the path to) retention of that oh-so precious Homecourt Advantage. Duck and cover, duck and cover...

 

#2 Houston Rockets vs. #7 Dallas Mavericks
Houston Rockets SU Records—56-26 ~ Home: 33-19 ~ Away: 22-19 ~ Conference: 33-19

Dallas Mavericks SU Records—50-32 ~ Home: 27-24 ~ Away: 23-18 ~ Conference: 29-23

Houston Rockets ATS Records—48-34 ~ Home: 26-15 ~ Away: 21-19 ~ Totals: 40-41

Dallas Mavericks ATS Records—35-44-3 ~ Home: 15-23-3 ~ Away: 20-21 ~ Totals: 39-43

Houston Rockets PF-PA: 105.9-100.5

Dallas Mavericks PF-PA: 105.2-102.3

SBR NBA Profile Links: Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks

Regular Season Season Series: Rockets 3-1, Rockets 3-1 ATS

Series Price: Rockets -330, Mavericks +265 (Sportsbook.ag)

Game #1 Odds: Rockets -6½ (Sportsbook.ag)

(Best) Western Conference Odds: Rockets+900 (Sportingbet), Mavs +3,300 (Ladbrokes)

NBA Championship Odds: Rockets 14/1, Mavericks 60/1 (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)

 

NBA Betting Verdict: Rockets vs. Mavericks
For some strange Texas-y reason, this particular Lone Star State series seems like the only one of the first eight in Round 1 which feels like it will be will be one of those down-to-the-wire close series, although I do think Houston (18/1 to win NBA Championship, Sportingbet) will ultimately find a way to advance with superstar James Harden leading the way against the Defensively-suspect Mavericks (66/1, Ladbrokes). This series may go 6 or maybe 7 games, and the Homecourt Advantage may sway in this series like a Texas Dolly at a ZZ Top concert. Expect Dirk Nowitzki, Tyson Chandler, Rajon Rondo and Monta Ellis to do what they can for the Mavericks (5-5 L10), but with Harden, Dwight Howard, Jason Terry and Donatas Motiejunas, the Rockets (W3 7-2 L10) should find a way to advance to Round 2 where yet another Texas team—the defending NBA champion Spurs—may lie in wait.

 

#3 Los Angeles Clippers vs. #6 San Antonio Spurs
Los Angeles Clippers SU Records—56-26 ~ Home: 30-11 ~ Away: 26-15 ~ Conference: 37-15

San Antonio Spurs SU Records—55-27 ~ Home: 33-8 ~ Away: 22-19 ~ Conference: 32-20

Los Angeles Clippers ATS Records—38-44 ~ Home: 16-25 ~ Away: 22-19 ~ Totals: 38-43-1

San Antonio Spurs ATS Records—41-39-2 ~ Home: 21-18-2 ~ Away: 20-21 ~ Totals: 39-42-1

Los Angeles Clippers PF-PA: 106.7-102.1

San Antonio Spurs PF-PA: 98.3-95.1

SBR NBA Profile Link: San Antonio Spurs

Regular Season Season Series: Spurs 2-2 SU, Spurs 2-2 ATS

Series Price: Spurs -185 ?, Clippers +160 (Sportsbook.ag)

Game #1 Odds: Clippers -1 (Sportsbook.ag)

(Best) Western Conference Odds: Spurs +450 (Ladbrokes), Clippers +1600 (Totesport)

NBA Championship Odds: Spurs 4/1, Clippers 14/1 (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)

 

NBA Betting Verdict: Clippers vs. Spurs
The Spurs are the defending NBA champions and possess a Certain Experience, Confidence, Wisdom, Calmness and Depth usually found only in Kung Fu masters and old Blues stars like BB King and Muddy Waters. Enter Grand Master Pops. San Antonio has become absolute experts at Energy Conservation—both in games and within seasons—and this genius Budgeting of Playing Time employed by head coach Gregg Popovich, The Best Head Man In The NBA combined with a lockdown Defense (97.0 ppg allowed—the second-lowest of teams playing in the Western Conference postseason and surprisingly lower than every team in the Eastern Conference Playoffs) and the Best And Most Underrated Bench in the league (Second 5: Boris Diaw—Matt Bonner—Marco Belinelli—Manu Ginobili—Paddy Mills) is a big reason why this team is always the toughest draw of all in the postseason. Truth. Toss in veterans and future NBA Hall of Famers Tim Duncan and Tony Parker and unheralded guys like Danny Green and Tiago Splitter and Cory Joseph and you start getting the picture that this team only perceived weakness may be its Age and that could actually be deemed Experience and their greatest strength. Although ending up facing the red-hot Clippers (W7, 9-1 L10) looks like an awful draw for San Antonio and the Spurs Regular season was a tad lackluster, this team always finds a way to overcome obstacles and they really seemed to turn it on late when they wanted to under Kung Fu Master Pops, seemingly toying with the league all season. But that was the Regular Season, bruh. This is the NBA Playoffs now. Best shape up or ship out, Sanchez. This beat goes on.

 

#4 Portland Trail Blazers vs #5 Memphis Grizzlies
Portland Trail Blazers SU Records—51-31 ~Home: 32-9 ~ Away: 19-22 ~ Conference: 31-21

Memphis Grizzlies SU Records—55-27 ~ Home: 31-10 ~ Away: 24-17 ~ Conference: 35-17

Portland Blazers ATS Records—40-41-1 ~ Home: 22-18-1 ~ Away: 18-23 ~ Totals: 36-46

Memphis Grizzlies ATS Records—41-40-1 ~ Home: 21-19-1 ~ Away: 20-21 ~ Totals: 35-43

Portland Trail Blazers PF-PA: 102.8-98.6

Memphis Grizzlies PF-PA: 98.3-95.1

SBR NBA Profile Links: Portland Trail Blazers, Memphis Grizzlies

Regular Season Season Series: Grizzlies 4-0 SU, Grizzlies 4-0 ATS

Series Price: Grizzlies -190 ?, Trail Blazers +140 (Sportsbook.ag)

Game #1 Odds: Grizzlies -4 (Sportsbook.ag)

(Best) Western Conference Odds: Grizzlies +1100 (bet365), Blazers +2500 (Ladbrokes)

NBA Championship Odds: Grizzlies 25/1, Blazers 50/1 (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)

 

NBA Betting Verdict: Blazers vs. Grizzlies
If they lose at Home in either Games 1 or 2, the Grizzlies may have to win one up in the Rose Garden in Portland. It’s that simple. And, if this theoretical becomes a reality, it would better serve Memphis better to do so in Games 3 or 4, rather than in potential dramatic Game 6 in the Pacific Northwest. And, in the Regular Season (as you can see), the underrated Grizzlies did just that, winning both meetings up yonder in the Pacific Northwest in the Moda Center, as well as the two games back in Memphis. And the Grizzlies—who at least, unlike the Blazers (19-22) have a winning record on the Road (24-17)—won all four meetings (and covered for sports bettors) in the Regular Season by 13, 4, 6 and 11 points. Superb dear boy. With Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph and playmaker Mike Conley, the confidence of sweeping Portland and normal Blazers starting SG Wes Matthews (left foot) out for the season, there really appears to be a lot of present Value in this series on Memphis, much like the aforementioned Spurs in the San Antonio-Los Angeles New Guys series. To me, both series prices should be closer to and over -200 (for the favorites) with the Spurs reputation and the injury to Matthews really hamstringing LaMarcus Aldridge, Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers before the NBA Playoffs even began. Also, note the lower-seeded Grizzlies have the Homecourt Advantage here in this series which tips off in The BBQ Capital of the World with Game 1 on Sunday night (TNT, 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m PT).

 

Western Conference Round 1 Conclusions and Stomach Rumblings
As discussed, there is a tremendous amount of (perceived) Value in both San Antonio Spurs (-185, sportsbook.ag) and Memphis Grizzlies (-165) to win their respective series (against the Clippers and Blazers) and those look like they’re maybe the two best bets—not just Futures Series Bets, of the entire Round 1. Why? The Spurs have Pops and more NBA Playoff experience than the Basketballs and Rims themselves and this team expects to win and plays for this postseason. And they are the defending champs, brother. The defending champs don’t lose to the Clippers in Round 1, now do they? Expect San Antonio to come out with a bang in Game 1 on Sunday in Lalaland (TNT, 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT) and steal the Homecourt Advantage, poof, boom-bam splaadah, just-like-that, like taking candy from a baby, baby. History repeats itself and people have been counting the Old Spurs out since they were in the ABA and George “The Iceman” Gervin was doing finger rolls when most of y’all were still just tickles in your pappy’s sack. Getting the Spurs at +1 (sportsbook.ag) in that Game 1 is like a Gift From The Gambling Gods..why sure Manny, I’ll take Kawhi Leonard and 1 point in the Playoffs against the Clippers, kind sir. Now, have you any decent, fresh Beef Ribeye (Bone-In) steaks for $5.55 and some Free Fish Tacos while we’re at it? I’m hungry.

WESTERN CONFERENCE ROUND 1 SERIES PICKS: Grizzlies -190, Spurs -185 at a top Sportsbook

WESTERN CONFERENCE ROUND 1 GAME 1 PICKS: Warriors -11½, Grizzlies -4, Spurs +1 

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