Late last week, I asked if there were any potential first round upsets, before outlining the way that each underdog would have to perform if they wanted to pull off a shocker. Hours later, a busy weekend of NBA Playoff action featured FIVE road underdogs winning outright…and created a buzz for what could be a very wild spring and summer of postseason action.
The East was going to be Miami/Indiana. Anyone who thought Indiana had thrown in the towel on the season was going with Miami/Chicago. Suddenly, everyone’s talking about Miami/Washington for the Eastern title. That’s what kind of weekend it was…the Washington Wizards because a darkhorse for the Eastern Conference championship off one game!
Handicappers and sports bettors need to keep their heads on straight. We’ve seen time and time again over the years that the first game of a series often has little to do with everything that follows afterward. Teams make adjustments. Superior teams make superior adjustments. You can’t just assume that Indiana, the LA Clippers, Houston, and Chicago are going home in short order. And, even though Toronto was a series underdog that was playing at home…you can’t assume that the Raptors have no chance against the Nets now that they’ve lost that home court advantage in the best-of-seven.
What we saw Saturday and Sunday was Chapter One in a long book about potential Cinderella’s. Top seeds (and defending conference champions) Miami and San Antonio won their games. They’re still writing their own books about championship legacies.
Which initial series underdogs now have the BEST chance to sneak into the second round?
*WASHINGTON has a size advantage over Chicago, and was much more poised down the stretch of Game One thanks to the veteran experience of Andre Miller. As great as the Bulls are defensively, they didn’t have an answer for Nene Hilario of the Wiz. It’s not like they have an ace in the hole somewhere ready to come off the bench and contain him. A size advantage plus home court moving forward makes Washington best positioned to finish off a first round upset in my view.
*ATLANTA deserves serious thought only because Indiana is such a train wreck. The Pacers provide no evidence whatsoever that the problems of the second half of the season were behind then. In fact, falling behind by 20 points in the second half made it seem like the problems were as big as ever! This isn’t a traditional #1 vs. #8 series. Based on form of the last several weeks, it’s more like two different #8’s playing…and one is trying to get the season over with. There’s time for Indiana to recover and advance. There’s just no evidence yet that it’s going to happen.
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*PORTLAND is just as likely to lose a coin flip game at home as they were to win one in Houston. So, I’m not comfortable pushing the Blazers into the second round just yet. Both of these teams rely too much on perimeter scoring. Both teams are capable of having long dry spells offensively. And, given all the minutes the starters played in the opener, either team is capable of running out of gas deeper in the series. Obviously the Blazers are in better shape now off the win. Still a very tight series that could go either way.
*GOLDEN STATE is still without Andrew Bogut, and still possesses less overall talent than the LA Clippers. Blake Griffin won’t foul out in 20 minutes every time out. And, LAC plays much better on both sides of the floor when he’s in the game. I do expect the Clippers to win at least once by the Bay, which would return home court advantage to them in the series. I’m not saying Golden State can’t win. They clearly have the toughest challenge of the series underdogs who won openers because of the caliber of their opponent…and because they’re missing a key player.
You can purchase my top underdogs, small favorites, and Over/Under bets each day right here at the website with your credit card. Oddsmakers are reeling after so many misreads over the first weekend. Underdogs either went 6-1-1 ATS or 6-2 ATS depending on your lines. And, again, five game day underdogs won OUTRIGHT. Prime territory for THE KING OF UPSETS to cash tickets for his clients!
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Shockers…stunners…thrillers…and that’s just two days into the 2014 NBA Playoffs. Obviously it’s time for YOU to go to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!...