NBA Playoff Picture - Second Round Picks

Playoff Picture: Re-cap and Look Forward

We’re now in the second round in the NBA Playoffs and no real surprises have cropped up so far.

The only lower seed to win in the first round were the Dallas Mavericks. Their victory over the San Antonio Spurs wasn’t really an upset as the Spurs were without one of their top sharp shooters, Manu Ginobili.

After all of the buzz that both the Miami Heat against the Atlanta Hawks and the Chicago Bulls against the Boston Celtics generated, both the Hawks and Celtics ended up winning.

Let’s take a look at where we are in the second round right now and where we might be headed.

NBA Playoffs: Second Round

Dallas Mavericks vs. Denver Nuggets

Denver up 1 – 0

Analysis: Denver covered a 6 ½ point spread in Game 1 by beating the Mavericks by 14 points 109 to 95. It was the third win in a row for the Nuggets who probably should be undefeated in the playoffs right now. Denver is playing at an extremely high level and the Mavericks have an issue where they can’t keep up offensively and aren’t as good defensively against Denver. The Nuggets should win this series in 5 games.

Atlanta Hawks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

Game 1: 5/5/2009

Tip-off: 8:05 pm est.

Analysis: Cleveland is just exceptional right now, but they could suffer a letdown after winning their first round series so easily. How much of a letdown is the question. The Hawks had to really fight to take down Dwayne Wade and the Heat in the first round. They won’t have to struggle too hard in this series because Cleveland should sweep Atlanta. Atlanta just doesn’t match up very well at all versus the Cavs. In game one, the spread is Cavs -11 ½. I believe they cover that.

Orlando Magic vs. Boston Celtics

Game 1: 5/4/2009

Tip-off: 8:00 pm est.

Analysis: BetUS is offering a series wager on this one with the Celtics at -140 and the Magic at +110. I see the Magic actually winning the series at +110. So, to me that’s an exceptional bet. Boston was almost upset by Chicago in the first round. Now they have to deal with Dwight Howard and the rest of that Orlando front line. Boston is a 2 ½ point favorite in game one on Monday night. I like the Magic to upset Boston and set the tone for the series. Howard is probable on Monday. I don’t know what that means since he should have already served his time for the suspension. Even without Howard, the Magic might have enough to win game one

Houston Rockets vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Game 1: 5/4/2009

Tip-off: 10:30 pm est.

Analysis: Like the Orlando vs. Boston series, the Sportsbook is offering odds on the winner of this series. The Rockets are a huge +700 underdog in this series while the Lakers are -1200. During the regular season the Lakers covered in all four games versus the Rockets. Nothing should change in this series and the Lakers are a solid wager at -1200 if gamblers are willing to risk that much. In Game 1, L.A. is favored by 8 ½ points. They should cover that spread.