NBA Conference Finals Betting Preview

May 15, 2019

And now we’re down to the phenomenal four.

The Golden State Warriors and the Portland Trail Blazers will do battle for the west. And the Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors will go to war for the Eastern Conference title.

We’ll be checking in with the odds at the top sportsbook Bovada to see what the implied probabilities are for each team and to help us break down both series.

Let’s dive in!

Western Conference Finals | Golden State Warriors vs. Portland Trail Blazers

Game 1 shows the Warriors as 7.5-point favorites as well. But Kevin Durant is out … at least for Tuesday’s showing. The Warriors showed that they are not complete and total superheroes in their last series. The Houston Rockets gave them some troubles. And Portland is one of the few other teams in the league that can trade blows with the Warriors consistently.

Over the last three meetings, the Trail Blazers hold a 2-1 advantage, winning by an average margin of 114.7 to 110.3. So, with Kevin Durant hobbled, the Blazers should not be underestimated, especially at home. In fact, if we look at the series between these two teams in recent history, just 2018 and 2019, Portland has won four of the last six games against Golden State.

Interesting Stats

  • The Blazers are 11-4 in the L15
  • The Blazers are 6-0 against Pacific Division teams
  • The Blazers are 5-2 against the spread vs. Golden State
  • The score has gone OVER the TOTAL in 12 of the L18 meetings.
  • The Warriors are 14-5 in their L19
  • The Warriors are 9-2 in L11 home games
  • The Warriors are 13-1 vs. Portland in Oakland
  • The Warriors are only 3-6 against the spread over L9

When we look at average numbers, there is roughly a two-point average point differential that favors the Warriors. They allow 1 point per game more on defense than the Blazers but score 3 points more on average.

Look for the Blazers to cover the spread in Game 1. 7.5 is a lot to give with Durant against a team that won in Oakland the last time around.

Remember, the Blazers were underdogs in their last series against the Nuggets and they won-out. The Warriors will likely win this series, but we should expect the Trail Blazers to take it to Game 7. Buckle up this is going to be exciting.


Eastern Conference Finals | Milwaukee Bucks vs. Toronto Raptors

The Bucks are moderate favorites over the Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals –Milwaukee -260, Toronto +215.

So far, the Bucks have looked unstoppable. But how about Kawhi … ? His Game-7 buzzer-beater against the Sixers was a thing of legend. It is right up there with Damian Lillard’s walk-off against OKC. What made it all the more dramatic was the fact that it bobbled on the rim … will it fall in or out?

Game 1 is on Wednesday, May 15th, and the Toronto Raptors are listed as 6-point underdogs. This makes sense as the Bucks have increased their home average to 119.2 points per game. While not shabby at 112.3 per game on the road, the Raps put up almost a full 7 points. To make matters worse, even though the Raptors have the No. 5 road defense in the league at 108.2 points per game allowed, the Bucks only allow their opponents 106.7 in Fiserv Forum.

Despite what the odds say, I think Portland has a better chance of beating Golden State than the Raptors have of winning this series.

  • The Raptors are 1-4 against the Bucks in L5
  • The Raptors are only 1-4 against the spread vs. Bucks in L5.
  • The Raptors are 1-5 against the spread against Central Division.
  • The Raptors are only 2-4 against the spread in their L6.
  • The Raptors are 4-1 ATS on the road vs. the Bucks.
  • The Bucks are 8-1 in their L9
  • The Bucks are 8-1 against the spread in their L9
  • The Bucks are 4-1 against the spread in L5 home games
  • The Bucks are just 1-4 against the spread at home vs. the Raptors.

We see that the Bucks are 4-1 against the spread in Milwaukee. But this is a bit misleading because most of the games this season and last season have been played in Canada. To get this number, we stretch way back into the beginning of 2017. This is back when Jason Kidd had the team.

When we check recent history, the Bucks have won in 4 of 5 and in those victories the average margin is 9 points.

Six is an interesting number, and I’ll lay off Game 1. But we should expect the Bucks to get this series handled in 6 games.

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