Playoff series in the NBA are usually pretty predictable. Seeding dictates a heavy factor in who advances—especially in a seven game series. I believe the NBA took away five game series due to some upsets that likely would not have occurred in seven game series.

Still there are scenarios that can be attractive for handicapping purposes eyeing plus payouts in series. Below are upsets from each conference that I believe possible in round one.

Eastern Conference- Toronto Raptors +110 over the Brooklyn Nets
By no means is this a strong upset—but it is a plus payout. Most series have lopsided odds because it is round one. Toronto is the higher seed but Brooklyn by experience gets the oddsmakers favor. Neither team is going to win this in five or six games in my opinion. Based on what I’ve seen in the regular season each team is extremely unpredictable. Brooklyn can lack mental defensive focus on one night, and Toronto can cave in on both ends of the court. Playoff time is different though, and father time can come calling at any moment in sports. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were on their last legs in Boston and I’m not sure the cohesiveness without those two in playoff form will be strong enough to last a playoff series.

Western Conference- Golden State Warriors +320 over the LA Clippers
A year ago the Memphis Grizzlies knocked off the Clippers. Adding more pieces to the puzzle does not automatically guarantee a leap the following season. LA has been all flash in the regular season but has lacked any game to game focus on the defensive end of the court. They get back in games by making consecutive shots and tiring teams with their offensive aggression. Tiring the Warriors is not going to happen, so we can scratch that off. Outshooting the Warriors is possible but not in a quick sweep. This is by far the best plus payout series around. I think Clippers fans are going to be disappointed for the second year in a row.


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