NBA Playoffs Betting: May 8

NBA Playoffs Betting: May 8

The 2014 NFL Draft takes center stage in the sports world on Thursday night, but the 2014 NBA Playoffs are still in full swing with a pair of games featuring the two leading title contenders. Both the Heat and Spurs showed in Game 1 of their semifinal series that legit championship caliber teams get better as the playoffs progress, as each pummeled the Nets and Trail Blazers, respectively. The onus is now on the underdogs to even things up on the road, which won’t be easy. Here’s a breakdown of the night’s matchups, including the latest point spreads.


The real Miami Heat took the floor in Game 1, thrashing the overwhelmed Nets by 21. LeBron was good, but it was the contributions from Chris Bosh and missing in action Ray Allen that were the difference; the duo combined for 34 points and 15 rebounds. Shane Battier was also defrosted by head coach Erik Spoelstra after being put on ice in the opening round; Battier’s do whatever it takes attitude and stellar defense proved valuable for a Heat roster that isn’t long on reliable options beyond the Big Three.

Meanwhile, Brooklyn got nothing from Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, who totaled a pathetic 8 points in 45 minutes. That must change soon or the Nets will be sent packing in a hurry. Joe Johnson and Deron Williams were able to take advantage of Miami’s smaller guards, but the lack of post-up offense spelled disaster. Fatigue clearly was a factor in Game 1. Does Brooklyn have the legs to compete after sweeping Miami in the regular season? Backing the visitors is risky, but they won’t bow out so easily.

Bet Brooklyn +8


Tony Parker probably got tired of hearing all the talk surrounding Damian Lillard prior to Game 1. 33 points and 9 assists later, and everyone was reminded that Parker still has the killer instinct. Lillard’s defensive liabilities were repeatedly exploited by Parker, who remains one the league’s most lethal pull-up jump shooters. Lillard has to reclaim the magic he conjured against the Rockets, or things could get even uglier as the series moves on. He was visibly frustrated and the Spurs had little difficulty taking advantage of his youth.

San Antonio also did what Houston couldn’t do in the first round: They shut down Portland’s perimeter shooters, holding them to 4-16 from three-point range. Gregg Popovich basically allowed LaMarcus Aldridge to have his way in the paint, and Aldridge responded in kind with 32 points and 14 boards. However, the Blazers can’t win this series in the post. With no real bench to speak of, players like Wesley Matthews need to look for and convert shots. Problem is, San Antonio has the deepest bench in the league and continues to get meaningful contributions from guys such as Patty Mills, Boris Diaw, and Marco Belinelli. Individual matchups are important in every series, but more so in this one. Portland simply doesn’t have the personnel to give the Spurs fits like Dallas did in the first round. They should be better in Game 2, but the San Antonio juggernaut has awakened from their late April slumber.

Bet San Antonio -7