NBA Conference Semi-Finals Betting
The NBA playoffs have progressed to the conference semi-finals stage, and fans of basketball betting are getting down to business with Bodog. It’s been a fascinating run since October 19, with 30 teams playing 82 games to bring us right to this moment.
Certain teams flagged as early contenders at the beginning of the regular season eventually buckled under the performance of stronger teams. Now, with just eight teams remaining in the competition that represent the best four of both Western and Eastern conferences, we’re set for a best-of-seven semi-finals race along the road to the Larry O’Brien trophy.
The two biggest casualties of the regular season were the Lakers and the Nets. The Lakers didn’t come within scoring distance to the playoffs, finishing 11th in the Western Conference having lost an astonishing 49 of their 82 matches. This is quite the fall for a team who won the NBA Championship just two years ago. The Nets, on the other hand, did make it higher up the ladder with a seventh-placed finish in the Eastern Conference, but made for easy prey against the Boston Celtics who had them pinned at 4-0.
Moving into the second stage of the playoffs, we have our four pairings which begin on May 1 and will continue until the best-of-seven best are all lined up. And then there were four…
The conference semis always throw up great matches, like in 2019 when the Raptors faced off against the 76ers in a nail-biting Game 7.
NBA Conference betting is in full swing and we’ve been reviewing each team’s chances in their second-round games.
Semi-Finals Are Where The Nail-Biting Begins
The two teams were neck-and-neck through the entire game but a last-second shot by Kawhi Leonard bounced around the rim four times, keeping every Canadian basketball fan’s heart racing for what felt like an eternity. It eventually fell in, securing the Raptors a spot in the EC finals and moving it one step closer to the team’s – and the nation’s – first NBA Championship.
While the Raptors won’t be pulling off a repeat this season, here at Bodog, we’re expecting some great battles.
Philadelphia 76ers vs Miami Heat
Back over in the Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat will take on the Philadelphia 76ers. Miami had the best record in their half of the league, with a 53-29 record, while the 76ers secured a playoff spot by finishing fourth on 51-31.
The Heat haven’t won an NBA Championship since 2013, though they did manage a conference title in 2020 thanks to several big trades in 2019. The biggest of these acquisitions was, of course, Jimmy Butler, who has continued to shine throughout this season. In the regular season, he managed 21.4 points per game but has dug deep in the playoffs and managed 30.5 on average so far.
The 76ers, on the other hand, have been without a Championship for nearly 40 years and a conference title for 20. Under head coach Doc Rivers, the team has begun a long-overdue revival. Last year, they were knocked out in the conference semis, so Rivers will be hoping to improve on that this year.
Despite that, the Heat are the current favourites in the pairing, with NBA conference betting lines from Bodog of -370 compared to the 76ers’ +285.
Dallas Mavericks vs Phoenix Suns
At the start of the season, the Dallas Mavericks were not taken seriously as a contender for a conference title, let alone the NBA Championship. Yet, here they are, in the conference semi-finals taking on the Phoenix Suns.
The Mavericks finished fourth in the Western Conference with a 52-30 record, quite a way behind the Suns’ 64-18.
Against the Jazz in the first round of the playoffs, the Mavericks managed to scrape through after finishing 4-2. Though the Suns also had to work hard to make it into the semi-finals even though they’d been paired against a team that fared much worse than them in the regular season.
Devin Booker continued the strong performances we saw from him in the regular season while Deandre Ayton and Chris Paul have upped their games. They’ll need to do even more if they want to make it any further in the postseason.
On paper, the Suns are looking stronger with basketball betting lines of -235 in Game 1 while the Mavericks are the underdog on +195. All that could change, however, if the Suns don’t improve on what we saw against the Pelicans.
Milwaukee Bucks vs Boston Celtics
As the reigning champions, the Milwaukee Bucks started their season carrying the high expectations of the pundit, however currently they’re fifth-favourite to win the NBA Championship with odds of +800.
If they can beat the Boston Celtics, who are the second-favourites with odds of +300, then their chances will improve dramatically.
The Celtics haven’t won an NBA Championship since 2008 or a conference title since 2010, but they’re a very different team under Ime Udoka who took over as head coach last year. The former small forward has done a great job of getting the most out of his players, especially Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, both of whom have carried their regular season energy into the playoffs.
The two sides were tied in the regular season, so they’re an evenly-matched pairing. However, it’s the Celtics’ explosive charge against the Nets in the playoffs that have them as the favourites to win this NBA conference betting pairing with current odds of -175.
Golden State Warriors vs Memphis Grizzlies
The Memphis Grizzlies were the last team to secure a spot in the conference semifinals and they haven’t had much time to rest, having already been in action against the Golden State Warriors.
The Grizzlies managed second in the Western Conference during the regular season with a 56-23 record, three wins more than their San Francisco-based rivals.
Back in December, the Grizzlies made NBA history when they completely demolished the Oklahoma City Thunder by a soul-crushing 73 points to finish out at 152-79. Perhaps the most impressive thing about that win was that it was a genuine team effort, with all but three players pinning doubt-digit points tallies to their sky-blue jerseys. It’s no time for bear hugs with those sorts of records, and the Grizzlies have lumbered into the playoffs looking fierce.
The Warriors are stronger than they have been for a few years. Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Jordan Poole have had a great 2021-22 season and continue that performance into the playoffs.
Their first conference semi-final game was a close one, with the Warriors clawing back an early lead for the Grizzlies to eventually win by a single point. We can expect the basketball betting odds to stay close between these two sides if their games continue along similar lines.
With the NBA conference playoffs now well underway, basketball betting is hot right now. These conference semi-final games are looking deliciously close, so get your slips in for NBA conference betting, and get ready for a rollercoaster ride.