Angelo Montilla |  Sat 14/04/2018 - 16:10 EDT

NBA Playoffs: Western Conference Series Preview and Predictions

NBA Playoffs: Western Conference Series Preview and Predictions
James Harden — the NBA’s league-leading scorer — will lead the Houston Rockets into the playoffs on Sunday as the team begins its quest to win its first championship since 1994. Top-seeded Houston will open the playoffs as heavy favourites against the eighth-ranked Minnesota Timberwolves. Let’s take a look at all the Western Conference playoff series and the betting lines for each matchup. We will also offer our prediction for each first-round series.

NBA Western Conference first-round odds are courtesy of William Hill.

Houston Rockets (-2000) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (+1000)

James Harden has had a remarkable season, leading the NBA in scoring with 30.4 points. Harden and the Rockets, who posted a 65-win campaign to top the Western Conference, will take on the pesky Minnesota Timberwolves in the first round of the playoffs.

The Rockets have owned the Timberwolves over the last 10 meetings, winning 9 games during that stretch and out scoring their opponents 121.7 to 112. As good as the Rockets have been this season, the club has been mediocre against the spread with a 41-39-2 record.

The Timberwolves squeaked into the playoffs after wrapping up the regular season with a 47-35 record — a game ahead of the Denver Nuggets for the 8th seed. The Rockets will roll through this series in four.

Pick: Houston Rockets (-2000)

Golden State Warriors (-1000) vs. San Antonio Spurs (+650)

The defending NBA champions are flying under the radar heading into the playoffs as the No. 2 seeds. The Golden State Warriors open the playoffs against the San Antonio Spurs as heavy favourites at -1000.

The Warriors capped off their seasons with a 58-24 record but did not top the Western Conference for the first time in three years. Golden State will be without its star point guard Stephen Curry, who is expected to miss the entire series with a sprained MCL.

The head-to-head series over the last 10 meetings between these two Western Conference foes has been tilted in Golden State’s direction as the Warriors heave defeated the Spurs 8 times during that stretch. This series will go the distance with Golden State pulling through in the end.

Pick: Golden State Warriors (-1000)

Portland Trail Blazers (-222) vs. New Orleans Pelicans (+180)

The Portland Trail Blazers clinched third place in the West, earning home-court advantage in their opening round series against the New Orleans Pelicans. Damian Lillard often doesn’t get the respect in a star-studded Western Conference, but the forward finished 4th in league scoring with 26.9 points per game.

Lillard and the Blazers are -222 favourites going into the opening round, which begins on April 14. Despite going in as the frontrunners to win the series, Portland has actually struggled against the Pelicans over the last 10 meetings.

New Orleans, which is an enticing +180 underdog pick, has won 6 of the last 10 against the Blazers. This is another series that will go the distance, but the Blazers will come out on top.

Pick: Portland Trail Blazers (-222)

Oklahoma City Thunder (-130) vs. Utah Jazz (+110)

There were high expectations pinned on the Oklahoma City Thunder after the club added offensive threats Carmelo Anthony and Paul George in the off-season.

Following a 4th-place finish in the Western Conference, OKC will face the surging Utah Jazz in the first round. The Thunder, who are -130 favourites, sputtered down the stretch, winning 5 of their last 10 games. Bettors will be reluctant to take a chance on the Jazz, who’ve dropped 8 of their last 10 against OKC.

Utah will rely on its stingy defence to keep the Thunder’s best scorers — including Russell Westbrook — from putting up big numbers throughout the series. Utah will put up a fight but OKC’s offence will be too much to handle in what will be a 5 or 6 game series.

Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder (-130)

Category : Sports News

Tag : nba , nba playoffs , western conference

Join The Conversation
More articles...
Sports News - 24/04/18
Champions League Final Four Preview and Predictions 
The UEFA Champions League is down to 4 teams — Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Liverpool and AS Roma. Which two clubs has what it takes to reach the final round? Real Madrid will look to continue its dominance in the tournament and head into Wednesday’s first leg as the odds-on favourite to win it all. We break it all down in our UEFA Champions League Semifinal Betting Preview.
Read this article 
Sports News - 20/04/18
NHL Stanley Cup Odds Update: Penguins Still the Team to Beat 
After the first set of opening-round games, do we have a clearer picture of who will come out on top and win the Stanley Cup in 2018? While it still. May be too early to make that call just yet, sportsbooks have released updated prices for outright Stanley Cup futures — with the Nashville Predators still at the top of the list.
Read this article 
Sports News - 17/04/18
CONCACAF Champions League Final: TFC Hungry to Make History 
Toronto FC is looking to accomplish something no other MLS team has ever done — win the CONCACAF Champions League Final. First, they’ll have to get past a tough Chivas Guadalajara side in a two-match set beginning Tuesday night at BMO Field in Toronto. TFC is off to a slow start but still head into the first leg as the favourites. Let’s take a look at the odds and betting lines for this matchup and offer our prediction for the final.
Read this article 
Sports News - 13/04/18
NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Series Preview and Predictions 
The NBA playoffs tip off this weekend with several mouth-watering matchups for bettors in the Eastern Conference. The mighty Toronto Raptors have proved all season long they’re the team to beat in the East and the club will look to continue its dominant run in the opening round against the Washington Wizards. Check out the odds and betting lines for the Eastern Conference playoffs as we offer our prediction who will win each series.
Read this article