The Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks started their NBA Playoff series with Boston being the series favorite. The Celtics were projected at -200 to win the series while the Bucks were +170. The Bucks took game one by a score of 101-89.
During the regular season, the Bucks and the Celtics split 2-2. Game 3 is being played in Milwaukee. The Bucks were 27-14 at home while the Celtics were 23-18 on the road. The Bucks will get a strong effort from Bobby Portis and Grayson Allen and take Game 3. The game goes under. The player prop bet is Portis over 9.5 rebounds and Jrue Holiday over 19.5 points.
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Warriors Take Memphis in Game 3
The Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors are in the only playoff series where the team without homecourt advantage is the favorite. The Warriors are -250 to win this series. The Grizzlies’ price is +210. The Warriors won Game 1, 117-116.
During the regular season, the Grizzlies won three of the teams’ four meetings. Game 3 is being played at Golden State. The Grizzlies’ road record was 26-15 while the Warriors were 31-10 at home. Warriors win Game 3 with a plus 20-point effort from each member of their “Death lineup” of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole. The game will go over.
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Embiid Injury Hurts 76ers
The Miami Heat and the Philadelphia 76ers are the series with the highest odds differential. The Heat are a whopping -420 to win the series while the 76ers are +320. This is solely based on the unavailability of Joel Embiid. The opening series line had the Heat at -155 and the 76ers at +135.
The Heat won the first game 106-92. Without Embiid, Philly will be hard pressed to win a game. There appears to be a chance he could play in this series. Game 3 would be the earliest. Take Philly and the points in Game 3. Tyrese Maxey scores over 18 in that game. The game goes over.
Underdog Dallas Wins at Home
The Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks both have their star players back earlier than expected. Devin Booker and Luka Doncic helped their teams advance in two Game 6 wins on the road. The oddsmakers have the Suns a hefty favorite, with a price of -300 to win the series. The Mavericks have a price of +240. They’re two of the best teams in the playoffs in clutch-time performances.
The outstanding floor leadership of Chris Paul gives the Suns a slight edge when there is a five-point lead or less with under five minutes remaining in the game. Game 3 is being played in Dallas. The Mavericks have a 29-12 home record. The Suns are a league-best 32-9 on the road. They’ll steal a game in Dallas. It will not be Game 3 Dallas wins and the game goes under. Deandre Ayton gets more than 11.5 rebounds.
Conference Finals Predictions
My series predictions are the Warriors in six, the Celtics in six and the Suns in five. My one upset was Philly over the Heat, but that’s not conceivable without Embiid, so the Heat will win in five. Here are the odds to win the NBA Championship and the Conference Finals.
Odds* to win NBA Championship
- Phoenix Suns +250
- Golden State Warriors +260
- Miami Heat +500
- Milwaukee Bucks +500
- Boston Celtics +550
- Memphis Grizzlies +2500
- Philadelphia 76ers +3500
- Dallas Mavericks +4000
*Odds courtesy of BetMGM
In two weeks, I’ll preview the NBA Conference Finals. If there’s a potential Game 6 or 7 in the second round, I’ll handicap those games next week with a Same-Game Parlay.
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