By Wayne Root

The NBA Playoffs start Saturday…so you know THE KING OF UPSETS is already on the lookout for possible Cinderella stories involving first round underdogs. I may have some upset calls this weekend in all the series openers. I may be releasing some series upsets to my clients in the hours between now and first tip.

You regular readers know I can’t post my official selections here in my web articles. That information is for paying clients. What I will do for you today is outline what it would take for the underdog in each series to spring an upset and advance to the second round. You can keep those factors in mind as you handicap the full series and each individual game.

Let’s go in the order the series openers will be played this weekend.

TORONTO (+110) vs. Brooklyn: The Raptors are a series underdog even though they have home court advantage as the superior seed. This obviously wouldn’t be much of an upset with such a low price. The key to me is speed. Brooklyn is a slow, old team that could be in trouble if they have to chase the faster Raptors around the floor for a long series. The key for a series upset will be Toronto using its youth and speed to best advantage.

GOLDEN STATE (+320) vs. the LA Clippers: Golden State’s in some trouble here without Andrew Bogut. He’s a defensive anchor…and the Clippers are an opponent with a lot of weapons. Golden State must shoot well from long range to have a chance to win this series. They’re capable of doing that a few times. Can they do it four times?

ATLANTA (+450) vs. Indiana: The Pacers are a very shaky favorite given how poorly they played over the past month. Atlanta’s best shot is to disrupt the Indiana offense so that all the behind-the-scenes chemistry issues come back to haunt a favorite that seems poised to implode. Atlanta has a losing record this season. They’re not really capable of “beating” a top seed. That top seed could beat themselves though.

MEMPHIS (+300) vs. Oklahoma City: Memphis is always dangerous in the playoffs. If they continue with their solid defense and rebounding, then they’ll at least be in position to make things interesting. The key to beating Oklahoma City is always encouraging Russell Westbrook into making reckless mistakes. The Grizzlies are capable of doing that.

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DALLAS (+500) vs. San Antonio: The Mavericks are very poor this year at defense and rebounding. Their only option is to shoot lights out four games out of seven. And, even then, San Antonio is just as capable of shooting lights out. Will take four really big games from Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis.

CHARLOTTE (+1100) VS. Miami: Well, the Bobcats are the biggest dog in the field….and obviously the one least likely to spring a series upset. Can they score upsets in a couple of games? That wouldn’t shock me. Miami tends to go at half-speed until full-speed is needed. Charlotte can certainly rise up and beat half-speed Miami once or twice. Note that Charlotte’s defense is probably much better than you had been thinking. Real improvement this year for the Bobcats.

WASHINGTON (+165) vs. Chicago: Another tight series. Chicago is getting the pricing nod because of home court advantage, more playoff experience, and superior head coaching. Washington’s best hope is to disrupt the fragile Chicago offense while letting John Wall run their show. If Wall can play like Derrick Rose, the Wiz can become a newer version of the Bulls. Can their inexperienced head coach stay out of the way?

PORTLAND (+175) vs. Houston: Houston’s weaknesses are defense (outside of Dwight Howard and Patrick Beverly), and Howard’s free throw shooting. Portland must shoot well from 10-feet and beyond (which they’re capable of doing), then find a way to slow down Houston’s offense late in close games.

I have some very big plays planned for you this weekend. And, I’ve already mapped out much of my game two strategies based on how things are likely to go this weekend. You can always purchase my game day BEST BETS right here at the website with your credit card. You get the most bang for your buck by signing up for longterm service. If you have any questions about that, please talk to one of my representatives in the office at 1-877-ROOT-WINS. Be sure to ask about combination packages with major league baseball when you call.

We’ll talk more about the NBA Playoffs next week. I’ll also be mixing in some baseball chatter throughout the Spring. It’s a great time to be a Las Vegas sports bettor because the action is coming hot and heavy every single day. That means it’s time for YOU to go to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!

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 717 GRIZZLIES
 718 THUNDER
4/21/2014 8:00 PM(et)
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4/21/2014 10:30 PM(et)
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4/22/2014 7:00 PM(et)
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No MLB games scheduled.

No NFL games scheduled.

No College Football I-A games scheduled.

No College Basketball games scheduled.

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