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Bet On NBA Online - Upsets Litter The Landscape As Favorites Get Ambushed

Posted by Craig Parsons on 2/6/2014 3:05:07 AM

For the first time in the history of the NBA postseason, the two top seeds in the same conference lost on the first day of playoff competition. The West proved to be very, very wild indeed.

(8) Memphis Grizzlies vs. (1) San Antonio Spurs - Grizzlies lead series, 1-0

With Rudy Gay out for the Grizzlies and Manu Ginobili sitting on the pine for the Spurs, each of these teams had to take the court at reduced capacity in Sunday's Game 1. Memphis wasn't necessarily more dominant; San Antonio grabbed a 10-point lead late in the third quarter and carved out a 98-94 lead with 1:06 to go thanks to a 10-0 run fueled by two three-pointers from long-range marksman Matt Bonner. However, Memphis stayed in the ring and landed the final blows of this game to steal a 1-0 series lead and defy the NBA betting consensus. Shane Battier gave the Griz the lead for good on a ballsy three-pointer from the left wing with roughly 23 seconds to go, and when San Antonio missed two threes in the final 15 seconds, Memphis held on for its first-ever playoff win. San Antonio's Tony Parker endured a miserable 4-of-16 outing, which is not likely to happen again in this series. San Antonio should still pull through, but the aging Spurs have to be worried that Memphis will drag them into an extended series, making the push for a championship that much more difficult.

(5) Denver Nuggets vs. (4) Oklahoma City Thunder - Thunder lead series, 1-0

Kevin Durant scored 43 points in a typically stellar outing, but all anyone will remember from this exciting, competitive and high-octane shootout is that the biggest basket of the night shouldn't have counted. Oklahoma City took a late 102-101 lead when big man Kendrick Perkins tipped in a missed shot that, on replay, was within the cylinder at the point of contact. Perkins should have been whistled for offensive basket interference, but the officials allowed the bucket to stand. When Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook got a friendly bounce on a jumper just moments later, the Thunder solidified a late advantage and held on for the win. Expect more cutthroat intensity when these evenly-matched teams have at it in Game 2 on Wednesday. You’ll want to focus on Nuggets-Thunder even as you monitor MLB baseball betting developments.

(6) Portland Trail Blazers vs. (3) Dallas Mavericks - Mavericks lead series, 1-0

The Portland Trail Blazers owned a 72-66 lead midway through the fourth quarter of Game 1 on Saturday night in Dallas, but proceeded to go away from meal-ticket scorer LaMarcus Aldridge. Dallas said "thank you very much" and limited the Blazers to just nine points in the final six minutes. Dirk Nowitzki got the ball for the Mavericks at crunch time, and because the third seed actually gave the ball to its best player (unlike Portland), Dallas was able to survive. This has the feel of a long series, though; Portland lacks a center, but that's exactly what the Mavericks don't have, either.

(7) New Orleans Hornets vs. (2) Los Angeles Lakers - Hornets lead series, 1-0

This is the most shocking series of all after one game, a thunderbolt for all sports betting gurus. With Game 2 not until Wednesday in Los Angeles, one would think that the two-time defending champions will figure out New Orleans. On Sunday, though, they didn't. Aaron Gray, a backup center with no credentials, torched Pau Gasol for 14 points and enabled the Hornets to keep pace with the Lakers through three and a half quarters. In the final six minutes, New Orleans point guard Chris Paul smoked an older, slower Derek Fisher on several possessions, enabling the Hornets to score on a consistent basis and stun the basketball world.

Gray got injured late in Game 1, but beyond that, the Hornets will still be without forward David West. It's hard to see how the Lakers will remain in the doldrums for very long. Then again, if the score is close at crunch time, Paul gives New Orleans a realistic chance at another upset. The Lakers need to close the door early and not allow the Hornets to hang around.

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