NBA Conference Finals Preview, Picks and Betting Strategy

NBA Conference Finals Preview, Picks and Betting Strategy

The Conference Finals are set as the Warriors host the Trail Blazers in Game 1, and the Bucks host the Raptors in Eastern Conference.

Golden State Warriors -550 versus Portland Trail Blazers +425

The regular season series was split at two wins a piece, although playing the Warriors in the postseason has historically been a much different beast.

The Blazers are fresh off a 100-96 upset victory on the road versus the Nuggets in Game 7 on Sunday. The Nuggets did a good job limiting Damian Lillard forcing him to miss the first six shots of the game and holding him to 3-of-17 shooting from the floor.

The Warriors make their fifth straight Western Conference finals after an upset win in Game 6 on the road at Houston without Kevin Durant.

Game 1 the Warriors will once again be without Durant and he seems likely to miss Game 2. This is a huge loss for the Warriors as KD is averaging 28.8 points on 57.5 percent shooting from the floor, and 41.2 percent from beyond the arc. He has scored at least 30 points in seven of the most recent 10 versus the Blazers.

The Warriors are huge favorites in the series for good reason at -550 and not warranting of a bet. Here are a few ways to improve the odds on cashing on the Dubs:

1. Game and Series double: Warriors to win game and WIN series (-250)

This bet parlays Golden State winning the opening game, along with them to win the series. With the Warriors winning 13 of the most recent 14 in the head-to-head versus the Blazers, and as 7.5-point favorites in Game 1, this bet can drastically improve the odds to back GSW on route to another NBA Finals.

2. Series Handicap: Warriors -1.5 (-200)

If you think this series has all the makings of a Golden State blowout or sweep, look into taking the Warriors -1.5. It looks likely Golden State will get out to an early 2-0 lead winning both of their games on their home court.

3. When will series finish? Game 5 (+200)

Obviously the highest odds are predicting a 4-game sweep at (+500), however there does seem to be a lot of value in trying to figure out when the series will end.

Game 5 looks like the most likely option with Portland potentially winning a game in order to keep their playoff hopes alive (+200). If Kevin Durant is unable to suit up for Game 3, and the Blazers are at home, Portland might be able to force 5 or 6 games.

Milwaukee Bucks -290 versus Toronto Raptors +235

In the Eastern Conference finals the Bucks and Raptors square off. Milwaukee has cruised this postseason and Toronto have struggled, having barely pulled off the win in the seventh game versus the 76ers.

The Bucks depth has been on full display this postseason with Khris Middleton averaging 19.1 points and 46.7 percent shooting from beyond the arc this postseason. Defensively he did a fantastic job shutting down Jayson Tatum and Gordon Hayward who really struggled throughout the series and he will likely be the primary defender on Kawhi Leonard. In three regular season matchups against Leonard, his numbers were poor averaging 12 points on 40.7 percent shooting.

The Raptors will need contributions from Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka. When Ibaka is making shots, he was a +39 in four wins against the Sixers and -20 in three losses. It is important for the Raptors to have him locked in on both sides of the floor.

If there is a team out of the East which could give Milwaukee problems on their home court, it is the Raptors who went 26-15 in the regular season on the road. Look for this series to go 6 or 7 games, and if all players show up both teams have the depth to make this the series to watch.

Bet: Take Toronto on the series handicap +1.5 (+100). Look for this series to go 6 or 7 games, and there is a lot of value at even money taking a team that matches up well versus the Bucks.

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