It is understandable if you are shocked by the current playoff picture. After all, several pre-series betting tips saw certain teams easily containing their opponents. The Rockets are sure to progress, while the Cavaliers are in a tricky deadlock.
Meanwhile, betting odds are now tipping in favour of the Utah Jazz, and the Oklahoma City Thunder are looking first-round elimination in the eye.
Will we see a shocking first-round exit for the Brodie and his team? Or will the Thunder rouse themselves and set up a dramatic Game 7?
Washington Wizards @ Toronto Raptors (April 26, 8:00 GMT +8)
The Raptors seemingly left their fluid passing game at the Air Canada Centre when they played the Washington Wizards. Dwane Casey needs to sort his team’s regression to iso-ball if he wants to end the series in six games.
Meanwhile, all John Wall and the Wizards have to do is to clog Toronto’s passing lanes. However, I don’t think DeMar DeRozan would stand being upstaged at home. The Raptors will win, but the Wizards should be able to keep it close, making Washington +7.00 @ 1.92 an interesting prospect.
Indiana Pacers @ Cleveland Cavaliers (April 26, 8:00 GMT +8)
LeBron James is simply playing incredible basketball to cover the Cavaliers’ weaknesses. While it may be impossible for James to keep this level of play the entire postseason, he should be able to push for a 3-2 advantage.
Victor Oladipo will definitely try to push the issue here, but I don’t see him making a dent in LeBron’s performance for the Cavs in any shape or form. The Cavs should be able to win, albeit another tight one. It could all end in a one-possession game, so Indiana +6.00 @ 2.05 is the better punt to make.
Minnesota Timberwolves @ Houston Rockets (April 26, 10:30 GMT +8)
The Wolves made an admirable run to the playoffs, even going so far as to steal a game against the Rockets. However, I see this as nothing more than a gentleman’s sweep for the loaded Houston squad.
James Harden, Chris Paul and the rest of the Rockets made quick work of Minnesota in Game 4 and will not likely let up on the return leg. Jimmy Butler, Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns got some much-needed playoff experience under their belts at the very least.
Houston -12.50 @ 2.02 is a no-brainer of a pick.
Utah Jazz @ Oklahoma City Thunder (April 26, 10:30 GMT +8)
Russell Westbrook is staring elimination straight in the face, and it is not a pretty sight.
While he, alongside Paul George and Carmelo Anthony, have played superbly, the Utah Jazz have been nothing but a delightful surprise. Donovan Mitchell’s 27.5ppg is the shining star in a well-oiled machine that features a lot of passing and great defence. Heck, even Joe Ingles is talking smack to George!
I don’t like the thought that this is the end for OKC, but Utah are just too good. I still think they have a chance at winning this, but the stars would have to align and pigs would need to grow wings.
If you’re watching this game, Utah +4.00 @ 1.93 is the most appealing odds.
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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.