The NBA regular season dragged on a little bit, but playoff basketball is finally here. For an allegedly predictable league, the results have been anything but to start this post-season.
Here’s how the week looked for punters:
Loss Angeles Lakers
The losses keep piling up for the Lakers.
Losing players to injury, a LeBron James season, 45 games, and now Magic Johnson and Luke Walton. It’s been a horror season for the once great franchise.
The Johnson hire was always questionable and his departure was strange. He stepped away as the president of basketball operations in a routine chat with the media. Nobody knew it was coming; Luke Walton found out via text.
Walton soon found out that he would be the following Magic out the door. Fired after three seasons as head coach, it looks as though Walton will be the winner in all of this with a job in Sacramento.
The Kings and Luke Walton have agreed to terms for him to be the next coach, a source tells @TheAthleticNBA. The length of his deal will be in line with that of Kings GM Vlade Divac, running through the 2022-23 season.
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) April 13, 2019
What a strange season for the Lakers…
The NBA playoffs are underway and so too are the upsets.
Only the Warriors ($1.45 to win the championship) got through the first day of the playoffs as favourites.
The Nets dealt with the 76ers with relative ease to win 111-102. A DJ Augustine game-winner gave the Magic a surprise 104-101 win over the Raptors. Meanwhile, the Spurs used all of their smarts and experience to beat a Nuggets team that already looks vulnerable in the post-season.
DJ AUGUSTINE CALLED GAME. The Magic have upset the Raptors in Game 1! pic.twitter.com/Xdc5L8h1aM
— Sports It’s What We Do (@SportsWhatWeDo) April 13, 2019
So much for this league being “boring and predictable”.
The Warriors haven’t been good for punters so far this season. Only the Bulls, Lakers and Knicks finished with a worse record against the spread.
But forget all that; it’s time to back the best team in basketball.
S T E P H E N C U R R Y pic.twitter.com/U9G7XTkGAa
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) April 14, 2019
They’ve cashed in during the playoffs over the last two seasons. Going 11-6 in 2016-17 and 12-9 in 2017-18, the Warriors turn it on and produce the profit in the post-season. To narrow it down a little more, it’s on the road where they really make their mark.
The Warriors are 13-5 against the spread away from home in their last two NBA post-seasons.
Their big 121-104 win over the Clippers was enough to cover the -13.5 line to start this time around.
NBA Playoffs: Day 3
Despite taking Game 1 somewhat comfortably, the Nets are heavy $3.90 and +8 underdogs in Game 2. As a young and energetic team that has covered at a tick over 55% all season, the Nets make for a promising underdog punt.
Meanwhile, the Warriors are giving the Clippers another -13.5 point headstart in Game 2. They’ve been waiting for this point in the season all year. Re-engaged and with their profitable history against the spread in the post-season, the Warriors look good to cover once again.