The NBA playoffs are underway and you can find NBA predictions and NBA expert picks on BetUS at its Locker Room site.
This is a challenging season with not one team dominating. The Eastern Conference appears to be the stronger side when it comes to NBA picks and championship betting decisions.
However, there is an unusual balance around the league and that means any series can go to either team, exempting the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets, which turned into a four-game sweep for Joel Embiid, James Harden & Co.
That series was the only clean sweep in the first round, which shows you how tough it will be to make it through four best-of-seven series to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy and NBA championship. We saw one of every seed in the second round for the first time ever.
The Miami Heat taking down the Milwaukee Bucks in a gentleman’s sweep (five games) showed us anything is possible. This was the sixth time an eight seed defeated a one seed in the first round. The Bucks were one of the sportsbook’s top two favorites to win the NBA title. With Milwaukee out, the Boston Celtics have become the clear favorite to win the NBA 2023 championship.
The Celtics had a strong regular season and are considered a serious threat to add another piece of hardware to their stories collection. Boston reached the NBA Finals last season, losing in six games against the Golden State Warriors. The Celtics finished with the second-best regular-season record, only one game behind the Bucks. Boston has the tools to win it all, led by wings Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. The Celtics also feature a strong bench with Sixth Man of the Year Malcolm Brogdon.
Boston is the favorite to win the 2023 championship. However, the 76ers are giving everything the Celtics can handle in the second round. It also took Boston six games to beat the Atlanta Hawks in the first round. Anything can happen in this edition of the NBA postseason. Even the title favorite has been up and down.
The Denver Nuggets are challenging the Celtics as the frontrunner for the championship. Denver looks like the best team in the postseason after taking the Minnesota Timberwolves out in five. The Nuggets also hold a comfortable lead over the Phoenix Suns in the second round, which was one of the title favorites in NBA expert picks before the postseason tipped off. Denver’s two-man game between guard Jamal Murray and center Nikola Jokic has been virtually unstoppable, and forward Aaron Gordon has been a reliable contributor. Now could be the time to jump on the Nuggets’ 2023 championship odds before it continues to drop.
Despite beating the Los Angeles Clippers in five games in the first round, the Suns have disappointed thus far. It has not been pretty with forward Kevin Durant’s underwhelming play. Guard Chris Paul will also be out for multiple games after suffering a groin injury. It could be time to fade Phoenix in NBA predictions for the championship.
Whoever comes out of the Lakers-Warriors series will also see their NBA Finals odds sharply fall. Los Angeles looks the part with a deep rotation, and forward Anthony Davis has flourished. Golden State should never be counted out with its championship pedigree led by Stephen Curry & Co.
The Miami Heat and New York Knicks series has been fun, but it is unlikely either team contends for the championship. The Heat and Knicks are the last choices to win the title in NBA picks.
At this stage, the Celtics, 76ers, Nuggets, Lakers and Warriors look like the favorable sport bets. Each team looks the part and has flashed immense upside. But who knows what happens? This has been a wild playoff with shocking results.