NBA Playoffs Are Set to Get Underway

NBA Playoffs Are Set to Get UnderwayThe NBA playoffs are here, so it’s time to get in those series bets for the first round. Teams like the Warriors are heavily favored for a reason, and most Vegas pros wouldn’t go near them.

There are a few series, however, where betting on the underdog seems to be the smart play. One of them is the Pacers against the Cavs. That’s right, the defending champion is actually being bet against to lose its opening series. The Pacers were getting action when they were +675, so books were forced to move the line to +639.

With the NBA playoffs set to get underway, it seems like the perfect time to take a closer look back at the regular season numbers with a focus on the teams that excelled in specific categories – especially for NBA betting purposes.

The playoffs are a different animal altogether as defenses tighten up and the half-court game becomes more important. Also, playing well on the road is key. That being the case, we took a look at those stats to see who thrives in those areas. Ironically, the teams that led in the categories we decided to focus on all happen to play in the Western Conference. They also each qualified for a playoff spot.

Points Per Game – Golden State Warriors (115.9)

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The Warriors finished with the best record in the NBA because of their dominance in a number of areas. There is no doubt about where they are the most dangerous. Golden State led the NBA with an average of 115.9 points per game, thanks in large part to the partnership developed between Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant. Curry led the Warriors with an average of 25.3 points per game while Durant was right behind him with an average of 25.1 points per game. Klay Thompson averaged 22.3 points per game while Draymond Green also finished in double-digits with an average of 10.2 points per game. Teamwork was clearly a factor as Golden State also led the NBA with an average of 30.4 assists per game.

Points Allowed Per Game – Utah Jazz (96.8)

Utah’s defense remained the biggest reason for the team’s success this season as they held opponents to just 96.8 points per game. That total was almost two points better than the San Antonio Spurs and more than three points better than the Memphis Grizzlies for the best mark in the NBA. Rudy Gobert led the way with 2.64 blocks per game while George Hill, Gordon Hayward and Joe Ingles each averaged at least a steal per game. It might not have meant anything in the standings but the Jazz should gain some confidence from holding the Warriors to 99 points in the first of back-to-back wins over Golden State and San Antonio to close out the season.

The Jazz opening round matchup is with the Los Angeles Clippers, who have been an up and down team this season. If the Jazz can clamp down defensively, they could have a very good shot of beating the Clippers. As the playoffs begin, possessions become more valuable and the Jazz will be one of the teams that should be able to thrive in the half court sets. NBA playoffs are here at