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Betting On The NBA – Expect The Favorites To Lead 2-1 In The Second Round

Posted by Craig Parsons on 2/6/2014 9:37:06 PM

The weekend of NBA basketball is closer than you think, because there will be no games played on Thursday evening. Buckle up for Game 3 action in two Saturday showdowns.

NBA Betting Matchup: Game 3, Oklahoma City Thunder @ Memphis Grizzlies

Saturday, May 7

NBA betting experts know several things about the rhythms and the workings of the league over an extended period of time. One thing is obvious: Eighth-seeded teams don’t reach the final four of the league playoffs. Only two eighth seeds have even reached the second round before Memphis turned the trick this year: The Denver Nuggets made the second round of the 1994 playoffs before falling to the Utah Jazz in seven games in that year’s Western Conference semifinals. In 2007, the eighth-seeded Golden State Warriors lost to the Utah Jazz in a five-game West semifinal clash.

This year, though, it seems that the Memphis Grizzlies, the third team with an “(8)” next to its place in the NBA postseason bracket, actually has the chops to advance to the West finals. The team that decisively handled the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs in round one of the postseason is getting sustained production from its two prime post players, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, who are both playing the best basketball of their careers. Randolph is playing at a genuinely elite level and is proving to be a near-unstoppable force for the Grizzlies, who won just 46 games during the regular season but look like a 55-win team right now.

When looking at Game 3, it will be important to see how the youthful Thunder handle a raucous environment in Memphis, while the Grizzlies will try to play within themselves and not get caught up in the emotion of the moment. Oklahoma City isn’t a mature team, but it is highly skilled. What’s particularly encouraging for the fourth-seeded Thunder is that in Game 2, their interior bangers, Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins, genuinely bothered the Randolph-Gasol combo, limiting them to just 28 points after the two Grizzlies torched the Thunder for an aggregate total of 54 points in Memphis’ Game 1 triumph. Memphis can definitely take this series – it figures to be a long one – but since Oklahoma City is still the favorite, it makes sense that the Thunder should take this game; Memphis is a better bet to win Game 4 and force a 2-2 series. For now, though, the Thunder should go up 2-1 after three games.

Oklahoma City Memphis Betting Pick: Oklahoma City

Game 3, Miami Heat @ Boston Celtics - Saturday,May 7

Yes, it’s true that if you had quizzed sports betting gurus or even MLB baseball betting experts two and a half months ago, they never would have told you that Miami would lead Boston by two games in a playoff series. However, that was before Boston traded away Kendrick Perkins to Oklahoma City for Jeff Green and others in a multi-player deal that has altered the Celtics’ on-court composition. Boston is not tough enough near the rim to make Miami pay for its lack of imposing interior players. The Heat easily defended their home court to roll into New England with a commanding position in this best-of-seven confrontation.

With respect to Game 3, though, all bets should flow to Boston. The Celtics are too proud and too resilient to get swept in this series. It would seem hard to trust Miami in this situation. The Heat are very talented, and they’re likely to win this series, but not in four games. Boston grabs this one to make Game 4 interesting.

Miami Boston Betting Pick: Boston

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