The first round of the NBA playoffs starts on Saturday with four games on tap. On Sunday, the second half of the first round games tip off.
Odds makers have set the lines, point totals and offered an array of props, but now after four days of rest the teams will tip off their first games on Sunday afternoon and evening.
Dallas vs. San Antonio – April 20 – 1:05 p.m.
The early game on Sunday features the Dallas Mavericks the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference against the No. 1 seed and the team with the best overall record in the league, the San Antonio Spurs.
The game line on Bovada has San Antonio at -9, with the point total on 206.5. For the series, the moneyline has the Spurs at -700 and the Mavericks on +500.
It is tough to see how there is any way Dallas can win this series. History indicates it is unlikely to happen. San Antonio has defeated Dallas in nine consecutive regular season meetings and has covered the spread in each of the four games during the regular season.
San Antonio against the spread at home this season is just 20-21, while Dallas on the road this season is 24-17 against the number.
Series Pick: San Antonio in 4 games
Charlotte vs. Miami – April 20 – 3:30 p.m.
The line at topbet has Miami at -9.5, with the point total on 198.5. The moneyline for the series has Miami at -2500 and Charlotte at +1500.
Miami was 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS in its four games against Charlotte in the regular season. Since Miami’s Big Three have been together, Charlotte has never defeated Miami. Charlotte has won three consecutive games and 8 of their past 9. The large spread in today’s game is a possibility to cover for Charlotte.
Series Pick: Miami in 5 games
Washington vs. Chicago – April 20 – 7:05 p.m.
On betonline, the line for game 1 has Chicago -5 with the point total on 182. The moneyline has Chicago -185 and Washington +165.
Chicago might have the best value at 15 to 1 to win this year’s Eastern Conference. The club has fine-tuned its defense and off their great defense score offensively.
Since February 9, the Bulls are 24-9 straight up and will be tough on the Wizards.
Series Pick: Bulls in 5 games
Portland vs. Houston – April 20 – 9:35 p.m.
The line on sportsbook.com has Houston at -5.5, with the point total sitting on 215. The moneyline has Houston at -200 and Portland at +175.
Following a strong run during February and mid March, Houston has only covered the spread in 3 of its past 11 games.
Dwight Howards has played little over the past three games and missed eight games prior to that. Howard played exceptionally well in the four games this season against Portland. Houston was 3-1 straight up against Portland this season. Portland is 5-0 SU over its past 5 games overall.
All four of the games between the two teams finished OVER, so the high total of 215 should not be worrisome.
Series Pick: Houston in 6 games