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Betting On NBA Playoffs – Heat Take Control, Bulls Look To Even Up Series With Hawks

Posted by Craig Parsons on 2/6/2014 9:36:25 PM

The online betting odds for the Eastern Conference have been adjusted as both matchups will be done two games by Thursday morning, and the series that everyone was waiting for is close to turning into a rout, while the overall top seed has to pull out a win on Wednesday to keep from going into a hole.

Celtics Heat Betting

Miami held serve by winning the first two games of their matchup with Boston at home, and the tone was set in their 99-90 Game 1 win, when Paul Pierce was ejected for a couple of technical fouls within a minute of each other in the fourth quarter. The players on these two teams don’t like each other at all, and it’s going to be a chippy series from beginning to end. Boston knows they have to make it physical because talent-wise, they can’t overcome the Miami superstars, and that was highlighted in the first two games. Dwyane Wade poured in 38 points in Game 1, while adding 28 in a 102-91 win in Game 2, which was powered by a 35-point effort by LeBron James. Even Chris Bosh played better in the second game, notching 17 points and 11 boards and when Miami’s “Big Three” is rolling, their Boston counterparts of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen are going to find it tough to stop them. Miami’s athleticism gives them the advantage, and it has led to the sportsbooks making the Heat a -625 NBA betting favorite to progress to the next round as the series shifts to Boston on Saturday.

The Heat have just outplayed the Celtics in every aspect of the series over the first two games, but now we’ll really get a chance to see what they’re made of as they head to Boston, where they lost both of their games during the regular season. This series isn’t over yet, not by any stretch, but the Celtics now need to win both of their games at home to make this a series, because if the Heat get a sniff of winning in Boston, that’s all she wrote. There isn’t just one thing they need to improve, the Celtics need to play better across the board to avoid going home early.

Hawks Bulls Betting

Derrick Rose is the league’s MVP, Tom Thibodeau is the league’s best coach, and yet, Chicago finds themselves in a must-win situation as they fell 103-95 at home to Atlanta in the first game of the series. Joe Johnson showed why the Hawks felt he deserved a max contract by scoring 34 points, and he hit all five of his long-range attempts. The biggest difference is that he was taking the big shots in this game instead of Jamal Crawford, who had 22 points off the bench, and Johnson has to prove to everyone that he’s a big-game player, whether it’s fair or not. The Bulls started slow and couldn’t stop the Hawks in the fourth quarter, and they looked like the young team that they are. Rose had 24 points and 10 assists, but he shot 11-of-27 from the floor and tweaked his already-ailing ankle at the end of the game, so that has to be watched.

NBA betting odds have the Bulls as a -260 favorite to take the series, and they’re favored by nine points to take Game 2 at home on Wednesday night. They have to show they’re a much better defensive team than the one that allowed the Hawks to shoot 51.3% from the field and hit seven of their 13 attempts from beyond the arc. While Rose took the leap from good to great this year, the thing that fueled the Bulls all season was a defensive approach taught by Thibodeau, and you can expect them to come out and guard like their lives depended on it on Wednesday night. If they can sort out their problems from Game 1 on the defensive end, the Bulls will prove why they are being made massive favorites in your sports betting book.

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