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Bet NBA Online – A Mid-Round Update Of The Eastern Playoff Picture

Posted by Craig Parsons on 2/6/2014 3:04:52 AM

Sports betting players have watched an entertaining beginning to the NBA playoffs in the Eastern Conference, even with three series going 2-0 to the higher seeds. Here is a recap of all four matchups in the East as they head to the homes of the lower-seeded teams.

Pacers Bulls Betting

Much has been made of the Bulls needing close games to overcome the Pacers in this 1-vs-8 matchup, but wins are all the matters, and the Pacers’ task has been made more difficult by the injury to point guard Darren Collison, who left Game 2 with a severely sprained ankle. He feels that he’ll be ready to go by the time Game 3 rolls around on Thursday in Indianapolis, but coach Frank Vogel is pessimistic, and the duo of A.J. Price and T.J. Ford aren’t going to be able to play with Derrick Rose. At least Collison could pressure Rose when the Pacers had the ball, but his backups are going to struggle against the league’s probable MVP. Rose actually has better numbers away from the United Center, so the Pacers could be in trouble.

What the Bulls really need more of production from Carlos Boozer, although he did play much better in Game 2 after Tyler Hansbrough dominated him in the opener. Still, it doesn’t look good for Indiana’s NBA betting odds. The two split their two games in Indiana this season, both SU and ATS, and one of the games went over the posted total.

76ers Heat Betting

Game 2’s 21-point romp by the Heat was the way this series is supposed to go, and when Miami clamps down on defense they way they did, there is no way that Philadelphia can play with them, in Miami, in Philadelphia, on a neutral court, or on the moon. The Heat still don’t get anything offensively outside of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, and they’ve been awful from three-point land, but again, it’s all about the defense with the Heat. If they play defense, that keeps them out of their worst position: a close game coming down the stretch. The Heat were 2-8 this season in games decided by three points or less, and they still don’t know what to do in the halfcourt in those close games. It’s just too bad that Philadelphia won’t be able to take advantage of that.

The Heat made one trip to Philadelphia this season, claiming a 10-point win which means they also covered the spread, and the game went under the posted total. The 76ers are just too young and don’t have the talent level to hang with Miami, and unless they can win Thursday’s Game 3, they’ll be staring down the barrel of a sweep.

Knicks Celtics Betting

For all intents and purposes, the Knicks should be going back to New York with a 2-0 lead, but for a number of different reasons, it’s the opposite. They weren’t getting calls from the refs in Boston (which is plausible), Amare Stoudemire was hurt in Game 2 with back spasms (crippling), and Chauncey Billups missed all of Game 2 (not really a big deal). But like the Heat, the Knicks don’t know how to execute down the stretch when they have the ball, and for everything you can say about the Celtics, they know how to play when the game gets tight, especially in the playoffs. Carmelo Anthony exploded with 42 points, 17 boards and six assists in Game 2, but the Celtics stymied New York’s fast break attempts (the Knicks were outscored 16-4 in the open court), and you could see their championship experience in the late stages of both games, and New York just isn’t there yet.

The Celtics won both of their trips to Madison Square Garden this season, splitting them ATS and both games were different, with one being a high-scoring affair, and the other was a defensive game. The game to pay attention to was the meeting on March 21st, after the Knicks had picked up Anthony and Billups, and the Celtics had Kendrick Perkins go to Oklahoma City. The Celtics scored the final 10 points of the game for a 10-point win, and again, that experience pays off down the stretch. We think the Knicks will take at least one game at home, though.

Hawks Magic Betting

Like the Knicks, the Hawks should be going home with a 2-0 lead, but unlike the Knicks, they actually won a game on the road, so they’ll take a split. Dwight Howard has been out of control over the first two games of the series, averaging 39.5 points and 19.0 rebounds, but the Orlando supporting cast has been terrible offensively. At least they decided to play defense in Game 2 to take the pressure off Howard, who was given the Defensive Player of the Year award prior to the game, but the Magic need more offensively from Hedo Turkoglu. Jameer Nelson played one great quarter in this series, the third quarter of Game 1, but that’s about it. As for the Hawks, they didn’t get to the foul line in Game 2 as the Magic outscored them by 18 points at the charity stripe, and that’s a recipe for disaster every time.

The Hawks won both of their games at home against the Magic this season, both SU and ATS, and both went under the posted total, so they’ll be confident heading into Game 3 on Friday night. The Magic have quickly realized this is going to be a walk like it was last year, and if they don’t pick up their intensity and offensive execution, they’ll find themselves on the wrong end of an online betting upset.

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