2021 NBA Playoffs 1st Spherical Collection Opening Odds and Picks

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Giannis Antetokounmpo posts up

Milwaukee will sq. off with Miami for the second straight postseason. (Photograph by JB Autissier/Panoramic/Icon Sportswire).

  • The 2021 NBA Playoffs tip off Saturday, Might twenty second, whereas the Play-In Event to determine the seventh and eighth seed in every convention begins Tuesday, Might 18th
  • Milwaukee will probably be trying to avenge its second spherical loss to Miami final season
  • See beneath for 1st Spherical collection evaluation, plus a pair bets to focus on

The NBA common season is formally within the rearview mirror, and whereas a handful of postseason matchups are nonetheless to be determined, playoff basketball is about to start this week.

The inaugural Play-In Event to determine the seventh and eighth seed in each conferences ideas off on Tuesday (Might 18th), whereas the eight playoff collection begin on Saturday (Might twenty second). Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Utah and Phoenix don’t know their 1st Spherical dance companion but, however 4 collection are set in stone, together with two rematches from final yr’s postseason.

2021 NBA Playoffs 1st Spherical Collection Odds

Group Collection Odds at DraftKings
Miami Warmth +270
Milwaukee Bucks -360
Group Collection Odds
Atlanta Hawks -112
New York Knicks -112
Group Collection Odds
Portland Path Blazers -105
Denver Nuggets -120
Group Collection Odds
Dallas Mavericks +270
Los Angeles Clippers -360

Odds as of Might sixteenth

Dallas and the LA Clippers will meet for the second consecutive season within the 1st Spherical, whereas Milwaukee will probably be trying to avenge its stunning loss to Miami within the Convention Semifinals. The Bucks had one of the best report within the league in 2019-20, however had been ousted by the fifth seeded Warmth in simply 5 video games. Milwaukee has been on the been one of many hottest groups down the stretch within the East, and I wouldn’t wager on historical past repeating itself.

Bucks Extinguish Warmth

Final yr’s Bucks workforce lacked depth and three-point capturing. These weaknesses had been uncovered by Miami within the playoffs, and the end result was a convincing collection victory. However Milwaukee didn’t simply run it again, they upgraded.

They added former All-Star and two-time All-NBA Defensive workforce member Jrue Vacation to the combo, who leads the workforce in steals, whereas averaging 17.7 factors per recreation, and 39.2% from three. Fellow newcomer Bobby Portis is a Sixth-Man of the 12 months candidate, and leads all rotational gamers in three-point effectivity (47.1%). The lengthy distance capturing upgrades didn’t finish there, as sharpshooter Bryn Forbes was additionally added in free company, and he’s burying 45.2% of his triples off the bench.

Milwaukee shot simply 32.7% from three in final yr’s playoff loss, and it’s secure to imagine they’ll be executing at the next price from past the arc this time round. They ranked third within the league in three-point capturing in 2021, and nonetheless characteristic Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, one of the vital productive one-two punches within the NBA.

The duo helped Milwaukee lead the league in each scoring and complete rebounding this yr, whereas rating third in field-goal proportion.

The Warmth in the meantime, have fallen from a top-10 offensive workforce final yr, to a bottom-10 workforce this yr, and suffered double-digit losses to Milwaukee in two of their three conferences. Miami tried to bolster its roster on the deadline, however a deal for Victor Oladipo has turned out to be a bust, due to a season ending quad damage.

Choose: Milwaukee Bucks (-360)

Blazers Stun Nuggets

Portland is peaking at simply the fitting time. Coming into the postseason, no workforce was hotter down the stretch, because the Path Blazers gained 9 of their remaining 11 contests. They blew out their 1st Spherical opponent Denver in primarily a meaningless recreation for the Nuggets within the season finale, whereas famous person Damian Lillard is taking part in his finest ball of the season.

Lillard scored not less than 30 factors in seven straight earlier than a decreased workload within the finale, capturing above 50% from the sector in all however a kind of outings. Portland is loaded with playoff expertise, having made the postseason in seven straight seasons, and is only one season faraway from a Western Convention Finals look.

They ranked fifth within the NBA in factors per recreation and three-point capturing proportion, and whereas their protection might be suspect at occasions, they did maintain Denver to a median of 108.5 factors per recreation within the two conferences the place each groups went full out.

After all shutting down runaway MVP favourite Nikola Jokic will probably be subsequent to inconceivable, however the Nuggets are hurting. Jamal Murray, who was a playoff star a yr in the past, is completed for the season, whereas fellow guard Will Barton hasn’t performed because the finish of April because of a hamstring damage. Barton is Denver’s fourth main scorer this season, and dealing with the excessive powered Path Blazers with out two of your top-four scoring choices will probably be daunting.

One other factor working in Portland’s favor is its street prowess. The Path Blazers racked up 22 street victories this season, tied for second most within the NBA, they usually’ll must steal not less than one recreation in Denver to tug off this upset.

Choose: Portland Path Blazers (-105)

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