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4 Ways You Can Still Make Money Betting on the 2017 NBA Playoffs
Sadly, the end of the 2017 NBA season is fast approaching. Once the Celtics/Wizards series finishes up, there will be just four teams still standing and three series remaining to be played.
But just because there’s only a handful of games left doesn’t mean that you are out of opportunities to cash in on the hardcourt this spring.
Here are four ways you can still make money betting on the 2017 NBA playoffs.
1. Lay the Points on the Live Betting Lines
Normally, I’d suggest looking to bet the underdog on the NBA live betting lines.
The old joke about basketball is that you only need to watch the last five minutes, since the games are usually tight in the last quarter. Point spread bets are often won or lost at the free throw line in the final minute, so grabbing an underdog at an inflated number when they go down early in a game can really pay off.
If you were doing that in these NBA playoffs, however, you’d be getting slaughtered. There’s been a ridiculous amount of blowouts in this post-season, and that’s a trend that is showing no signs of slowing down.
Golden State’s average margin of victory in these playoffs is 16.5 points. Three of the Cavaliers’ four wins over Toronto in Round 2 came by double digits. But it’s not just the big boys who are blowing out the opposition.
Even the competitive series have been full of non-competitive games. The Celtics and Wizards series has seen the home team win every game, but only one of them (Boston’s overtime win in Game 2) was close. For the record, that game was still decided by 10 points. In fact, going into Thursday night’s action, a whopping 30 percent of games in the 2017 NBA playoffs had been decided by 15 points or more.
And that was before the Kawhi Leonard-less San Antonio Spurs went into Houston for Game 6 Thursday and obliterated the Rockets by 39 points. If you saw Houston down 31-24 after the first quarter and felt it was an opportunity to catch the Rockets at a discounted price in a game they needed to win.
Look for teams that jump out to early leads, and don’t be hesitant to lay the inflated point spread with them.
2. Bet the Warriors to Beat the Spurs on the Series -2.5 Handicap
How quickly things have changed.
Last year, we all salivated at the thought of a Golden State-San Antonio Western Conference final, only to see Oklahoma City spoil it all with an upset of the Spurs in the second round. OKC went on to give the Dubs all they could handle in the Western final, jumping out to a 3-1 series lead before Golden State came all the way back, but it would have been nice to see the 67-win Spurs take on the 73-win Warriors.
This year, we get that Golden State-San Antonio matchup in the West, but it looks like a massive mismatch. So much of a mismatch, in fact, that 5Dimes has opened the Warriors as -1100 favorites to win the series.
The Spurs showed some flashes of their old selves last round against Houston, especially in their Game 6 rout without Leonard. But the Warriors are not the Rockets, and San Antonio generally relies way too much on Leonard (who will return for Game 1 of the Western final, but could still be banged up) to keep things competitive. LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol are going to struggle against Draymond Green and company in the Warriors frontcourt, and the Tony Parker injury was just devastating for the Spurs.
Instead of laying -1100 on Golden State to win the series, see if you can find a betting line on Golden State -2.5 on the series handicap (the Warriors need to win the series 4-0 or 4-1 to cover). You’ll get much friendlier odds to back, and Golden State will get three of those first five games at home.
3. Bet the Cavaliers to Win the NBA Championship
Cleveland’s opponent in the Eastern Conference finals is still unknown, with Boston carrying a 3-2 series lead over Washington into Game 6 of their semifinal series on Friday.
But let’s be real. Barring LeBron James breaking his neck, there’s no way the Cavs aren’t advancing to the Finals. Friday morning, Bovada was listing Cleveland at -750 to win the East, and that’s still a bargain.
Whoever wins the Celtics/Wizards series will be beat up, especially if it goes seven games. Meanwhile, LeBron and the Cavs have had their feet up since a surprisingly easy four-game sweep of the Raptors in Round 2, which came on the heels of a tighter sweep of Indiana in the opening round.
The Cavs stumbled down the stretch of the regular season, going 11-15 in their final 26 games. That must have been because of boredom, because they’ve hit another gear in the playoffs. James is playing out of his mind in the post-season, shooting nearly 56 percent from the field and close to 47 percent from the three-point line.
You can bet the Cavaliers to win the NBA title at BetOnline at +275 odds. I recommend going that route for a plus-money return, rather than laying the heavy juice on Cleveland to win the East. Besides, even if you don’t like the Cavs to win the title, you can hedge out of that wager once Cleveland’s in the final and pocket some cash that way.
4. Bet Steph Curry to Win NBA Playoff MVP
This bet may contradict my last one on the Cavaliers to win the NBA title, but we’re looking for value here. If you win one of these two bets, you’ll still be up a good amount, and as mentioned before, you can always buy out of the Cavaliers bet once they make the final.
The NBA is a matchup league. So when projecting which player will win NBA playoff MVP, we need to fast forward to the almost-certain NBA Finals showdown between the Warriors and Cavaliers.
Kevin Durant is the favorite on the NBA playoff MVP odds, paying close to +190. Steph Curry is second at a much more attractive +260, and LeBron rounds out the top three at +300.
The thing about Durant and James is that they’ll probably be matched up against each other. They’re both excellent defensive players, so if they’re guarding one another, it’s hard to imagine either of them going off offensively for an entire series.
Curry, meanwhile, gets to go against the Cleveland backcourt, possibly guarded by Kyrie Irving. Irving just happened to rank 78th out of 91 point guards on ESPN’s defensive ratings (Curry rated 13th).
The NBA playoff MVP award is technically for the most valuable player in the playoffs, not the final, but it almost always goes to the player on the winning team that made the biggest impact in the final series. Golden State is the most likely champion, and Curry has a great chance to be the player who shines the brightest.