The NBA Playoffs’ second-round matchups are nearly set, but there is still some work to do this weekend. The Eastern Conference will begin Second Round action, while the Western Conference will at least have one game on tap Friday night.
Here are the three confirmed matchups scheduled for this weekend in the NBA, with a quick betting preview and pick for each of the games.
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LA Clippers -2.5 at Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks have a 3-2 series lead over the LA Clippers, and they can close this thing out on their home floor. Homecourt advantage has not mattered in this series as the road team has won each of the first five games.
Stopping Luka Doncic has been a major issue for the Clippers in this series, but it will once again be the major focus heading into Game 6. Doncic took a ton of shots in the Game 5 win, but he delivered when his team needed it the most.
Kawhi Leonard has done his part for the LA Clippers in this series, but it’s time for his supporting cast to step up. Paul George was dealing with foul trouble in Game 5, but the Clippers need him to score the ball a ton in this game.
This should be another tight game that comes down to the final minutes, but this time homecourt advantage will play a role. Dallas will be playing in front of a packed house, and the energy will allow the Mavericks to finish this series off.
Bet the Dallas Mavericks money line as they upset the Clippers both in this game and in the series.
Brooklyn Nets -4.0 vs. Milwaukee Bucks
The Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks kick off a series on Saturday, and this should be a series worth watching. Both teams are NBA title contenders, and this feels like the Eastern Conference championship.
This series is also a matchup of the two highest-scoring teams in the NBA, and there will be plenty of points scored in this game. It’s Giannis Antetokounmpo trying to find a way to upset and take out the “Big Three” for Brooklyn.
The Nets have a ridiculous amount of offensive talent on this roster, but they don’t have a ton of depth. Milwaukee is going to play extremely fast, and that could allow them to wear down the Brooklyn Nets.
Every game in this series should be close, and it might take 120+ points to win each night. Brooklyn will want to make a statement in Game 1, and they will be able to do just that.
Milwaukee will keep this game close for 40 minutes, but the Nets will pull away late. Bet the Brooklyn Nets -4.0 in Game 1 of this series against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Philadelphia 76ers -2.5 vs. Atlanta Hawks
The Philadelphia 76ers and Atlanta Hawks begin their Eastern Conference semifinals series on Sunday afternoon. Philadelphia is the top overall seed in the East, and that will give them a homecourt advantage over the Hawks.
The biggest storyline entering this game is the health and status of Joel Embiid. Embiid reportedly has a torn meniscus, and his absence could spell some real trouble for the Sixers.
Atlanta just played a tough and physical series against the New York Knicks, and it should give them some confidence heading into this matchup. Point guard Trae Young has been leading the Hawks’ offense all season long, and he will have the full attention of the Sixers.
Even though the Hawks are underdogs in this series, don’t expect them to go down without a real fight. The fact that Embiid won’t be at 100 percent is a big problem for the 76ers and could affect the outcome of this series.
Atlanta is going to win some games, but it won’t happen in the series opener. Take the 76ers -2.5 over the Hawks on Sunday in Game 1.