Best NBA Conference Finals Prop Bets
By Eric Uribe
Below odds courtesy of BetOnline.
Eastern Conference Series Outcome
Despite earning the best record in the Eastern Conference, almost no one is giving the Celtics a fighting chance this series. That’s what happens when you’re opponent is led by LeBron James, who hasn’t played in a week and a half.
Of course, Boston needed every ounce of energy to outlast the Wizards in seven games. Moreover, they’re green to this stage. The team has a collective age of just 26 years old, which doesn’t bode well against the reigning champions.
We hate to go with the crowd, but finding reasons for Boston to hang with Cleveland is like grasping for straws. Simply put, the Cavs are scorching hot. Through the first two rounds, they’re hitting on 70.7 percent of catch-and-shoot jumpers. Against Toronto, they tallied 183 points from downtown. An already-dangerous James is surrounded by a slew of shooters, perhaps the best of his career.
No, this won’t be a sweep. Home court advantage and an almost-expected explosion from Isaiah Thomas will help the Celtics steal a game, but the Cavaliers have their eyes set on a rematch with Golden State and little will stop that from happening.
Pick: Cavs in 5 games
Average Points This Series — LeBron James 30.5
This is the sixth time James will face Boston in the postseason, and boy, the Celtics picked the wrong time to collide with The King. At age 32, James is off to the best postseason of his historic career.
James became the first player to score at least 275 points with 70 rebounds and 50 assists in his team’s first eight playoff games — all wins. He’s topped 30 points in six straight games. Last series, James became the first player to score at least 35 points in each win.
Brad Stevens is a smart head coach, but he’ll rack his brain picking someone to defend LeBron this series. It’ll likely end up being a committee of Jae Crowder, Gerald Green, and Marcus Smart. Whoever it is, they’ll need Irish luck to stop James from his 34.4 point average this postseason.
Average Points This Series — Isaiah Thomas 28.5
Thomas is the type of player that plays his best with a chip on his shoulder. Whether that be his 5-foot-9 frame or falling down 2-0 in the first round, Thomas always responds to the underdog role — and that’s exactly where he and Boston find themselves here.
Days ago in Game 7, Thomas keyed the Celtics win with a 29-point and 12-assist effort. That came against John Wall, who is two years removed from an NBA All-Defensive Second Team selection. In this series, a matchup with Kyrie Irving is a lot more favorable for Thomas.
Irving makes the ooh-ah plays with his handles, but he’s a pedestrian defender. Jeff Teague of Indiana averaged 17 points against him in the opening round, while Kyle Lowry was averaging 20 points before an injury sidelined him prematurely.
It’s safe to say Thomas is more prolific scorer than those two, evidence by his conference-high 28.9 points per game during the regular season. Thomas has carried the Celtics all-season long and he’s fully aware he’ll have to do the same against the defending champions.
Western Conference Series Outcome
If not for a Kawhi Leonard injury in Game 1, this series would’ve been a lot of fun. Golden State had somehow escaped a series with the NBA’s premier franchise the last three years, and at last, we were going to find out if the great Gregg Popovich had a solution to the Warriors death lineup. It appeared Pop did as the Spurs raced to a 20-plus point lead until Leonard’s injury.
This bet all rests on that injured ankle of Leonard. As we saw in Game 2, San Antonio has zero chance without their superstar. The good news is Game 3 isn’t until Saturday. That gives Leonard three full days to recover. He should be back, but probably not at 100 percent. With that said, Golden State rolls on to their third straight NBA Finals.
Pick: Warriors in five games
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