NBA Series Odds - 2019 Playoffs First Round

Written by:
Tyrone Black
Published on:

The NBA Playoffs began in earnest on Saturday.


Nets vs. 76ers

What We Like

  • Books are moving the line based on the early action
  • Sagarin suggested a line of -2 Philadelphia even before word that Embiid could be sitting this one out
  • 70% of action on Nets

What We Don't Like

  • Action on this game balanced out ahead of tip off

The line on this game had moved to Philadelphia -5.5 just ahead of game time.  Some books were still at -7.5.

Joel Embiid was in the starting lineup for the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 1 of their playoff series against Brooklyn.  Tendinitis in the All-Star player's left knee could leave Embiid at less than 100 percent.

Embiid averaged 27.5 points and 13.4 rebounds in 64 regular-season games.

ESPN betting expert Preston Johnson writes: “Joel Embiid's health is a an obvious concern, but just how significant of an impact would Embiid missing games or playing limited minutes make? This season with Embiid off the court, the Sixers have a net rating of -5.5 points per 100 possessions. That ranks 27th percentile league-wide. When Embiid was on the court, however, the Sixers outscored opponents by 8.9 points per 100 possessions. His impact is far and away the most significant on this Philadelphia team, and his uncertainty is worrisome.”

Magic vs. Raptors

What We Like

  • Magic are 4-1-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings
  • Sagarin indicates the line should only be -7 Toronto
  • Raptors are 0-7 ATS in their last 7 games playing on 3 or more days rest

What We Don't Like

ABOUT THE MAGIC (42-40): Reserve swingman Terrence Ross averaged 27.3 points over the past four games - including a season-high 35 in the regular-season finale against the Charlotte Hornets - and drained 22 3-pointers during the stretch. Ross made 217 3-pointers to become the first player to top 200 in a season without starting a game in NBA history and is thriving in Orlando after spending the first 4 1/2 seasons of his seven-year career with the Raptors. "My role is night and day different than when I was in Toronto," Ross, who averaged a career-best 15.1 points, told reporters. "I've stepped into a new role here and I'm embracing it."

ABOUT THE RAPTORS (58-24): Leonard averaged 26.6 points while playing in 60 games, fewer than he was anticipating after playing in just nine for the San Antonio Spurs last season before being dealt to Toronto. "We did a great job of just attacking the problem in the beginning, during training camp, laying out the schedule, and I feel good," Leonard told reporters. "I wasn't as healthy as I wanted to be this year, but I couldn't say I would have this type of season in the beginning of the year, you know, the way things have started and how I felt." The Raptors finished the season strong by winning seven of their last eight games, including a 121-109 home win over Orlando on April 1.

Clippers vs. Warriors

Too high a line -13 on Warriors when Sagarin suggests the line should be no higher than -3.5

Golden State is 16-2 in the first round over the last four seasons but isn't overlooking the Clippers, who made the playoffs despite numerous preseason lottery predictions.

"They've been getting better with every move they've made," Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters of Los Angeles. "They've really set themselves up for the future, and I think just making the playoffs surprised a lot of people. But the way they've played the last couple of months, they've been rock-solid. They're a tough opponent. It doesn't matter who you play in the playoffs - you're gonna get tested, and it's gonna be fun." The Clippers dropped three of their last four regular season games, including a 131-104 setback at Golden State, to fall into the No. 8 spot and go into the postseason with a pair of rookies in the starting lineup. "Not a lot of teams that ever have had two rookies starting going into the playoffs, but we do," Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers told reporters. "And (center Ivica Zubac) is like a rookie. So, that experience for them is gonna be amazing ... and we want them to have a great experience. They're gonna have to grow up fast, but I think they will."

- Tyrone Black

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