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NBA conference finals picks – Third-round capsules and picks

Posted by Craig Parsons on 2/3/2014 6:51:39 AM

NBA betting odds have reached the conference finals, meaning we’re down to four teams. The Lakers and Cavaliers are favored to wind up in the NBA Finals, but the Magic and Nuggets might have a little something to say about that.

Can either Denver or Orlando pull off an upset, or is a Kobe Bryant-Lebron James showdown on the horizon? Here’s a preview of Round 3 for you basketball betting fans.

Round 3 capsules: NBA Finals betting just one round away

  • Nuggets won’t outscore Lakers
  • Magic confident after knocking off Boston
  • Cavaliers’ defense will propel them to Finals

Western Conference Finals: Denver Nuggets @ Los Angeles Lakers
Nuggets vs Lakers odds: Lakers -270

For the Denver Nuggets to be a factor on the NBA Finals odds, they are going to have adjust the way they play. The Nuggets have been outscoring every opponent so far this postseason but, without home court advantage against a team that outscored them during the regular season, the Nuggets will be in tough against the Lakers.

NBA Finals betting handicappers are also aware that the Nuggets have yet to be tested in a series so far. The Nuggets took care of the Hornets rather easily while they also had no problems with the Mavericks. Facing a veteran contender like the Lakers will be a real wakeup call.

While many odds makers have the impression that the Lakers sometimes take games off, don’t forget that the Nuggets have been known to wave the white flag prematurely as well. Use last year’s first-round series between these two teams as a barometer (L.A. swept Denver). This is not a good matchup for the Nuggets, so bet the Lakers.

Eastern Conference Finals: Orlando Magic @ Cleveland Cavaliers
Magic vs Cavaliers odds: Cavaliers -850

Defense will be king in the East Finals as the team that plays the better brand will win the series. The Cavaliers play better team defense that, combined with some rest and home court advantage, should be the difference. The Magic live and die off the three-point line and the Cavaliers are smart enough to contest all of those shots.

NBA finals betting handicappers will note that the Magic did win two of three matchups between the two teams in the regular season, but the playoffs should be a different story. While the Magic do have the edge in the front court with All-Star Dwight Howard leading the way, it just so happens that the Cavaliers have their most depth there.

For the Cavaliers, LeBron James is their key to making NBA Finals odds. The Magic—just like the Detroit Pistons and Atlanta Hawks found out—won’t have an answer for James.

The Cavaliers are rested, ready and focused. While the Magic will be a valiant foe, bet on the Cavaliers to advance to the Finals.

For more news on sports betting, check out the Betting Edge.

Craig Parsons is an avid sports fan, but his true love has always been basketball. Too short to realize his dream of playing in the NBA, he did the next best thing: sports betting and covering basketball for a living. Thoughts or questions?.



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