Can LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers pull off the repeat? Will the defending champs even make it past Chris Paul and the surprising Phoenix Suns in the first round? Could MVP candidate Nikola Jokic lead the Denver Nuggets to brand new heights without sidekick Jamal Murray? Are the fourth-seeded LA Clippers primed to pull off the conference win after coming up well short of their championship aspirations a year ago?
With the 2021 NBA playoffs set to get underway in earnest in Saturday, May 22, it’s time for some fun-filled Western Conference betting predictions. Let’s get right to it so you can bet against their NBA Playoffs odds.
NBA Western Conference Betting Predictions for the 2021 NBA Playoffs
NBA 2021 Playoff Matchups
No. 5 Dallas Vs No. 4 LA Clippers
Dallas went 42-30 to finish in fifth place in the Western Conference standings while LA went 47-25 to finish fourth. The Mavericks put up 112.4 points per game (17th) while allowing 110.2 points per game defensively (9th). The Clippers finished 10th in scoring (114.0 ppg) and fourth in points allowed (107.8 ppg).
Prediction: Dallas won two of three against LA and bounced the Clips out of last season’s playoffs well before anyone expected. Still, this time around, I expect PG13 and Kawhi Leonard to lead LA to the series win, even if I don’t have the Clippers winning the conference crown. Luka Doncic needs more help in Dallas and that’s why the Mavs will fall.
Pick: Clippers in 5
No. 6 Portland Vs No. 3 Denver
Portland went 42-30 to finish in sixth place while Denver went 47-25 to finish third. The Trail Blazers finished an impressive fifth in scoring (116.1 ppg), but a mediocre 23rd in points allowed (114.3 ppg). Denver finished eighth in scoring (115.1 ppg) and an identical eighth in points allowed (110.1 ppg) while taking two of three in this rivalry this season.
Prediction: The Nuggets have an all-world superstar in versatile center Nikola Jokic, but the Blazers have one too in sweet-shooting point guard Damian Lillard. Portland also has another all-star caliber performer in shooting guard CJ McCollum and really, more quality depth than the Nuggets. I expected Portland to challenge for the Western Conference crown a year ago, but they came up short. That won’t be the case this time around as the sixth-seeded Blazers get the ‘upset’ to advance.
Pick: Portland in 6
No. 7 LA Lakers Vs No. 2 Phoenix
The Lakers went 43-30 to finish seventh out west while Phoenix went a phenomenal 51-21 to finish second to Utah, one game back. LA finished a modest 22nd in scoring (109.5 ppg), but stellar second in points allowed (106.8 ppg). The Suns finished seventh in scoring (115.3 ppg), and an identical seventh in points allowed (109.5 ppg).
Prediction: Phoenix took two of three before falling to LA the last time they met. Still, I’m stunned that no one is picking Phoenix to get past the defending champs, but that’s exactly what I believe will happen. You might think it’s an upset, but I won’t. The Suns survive in a seven-game thriller.
Pick: Phoenix in 7
No. 8 Golden State or Memphis Vs No. 1 Utah
The Warriors and Grizzlies play on Friday night with the winner advancing to meet Utah and the loser going home for the summer. No matter who wins, there’s no way Utah fails to advance out of the first round. The Jazz finished a stellar fourth in scoring (116.4 ppg) and equally impressive third in points allowed (107.2 ppg). The Jazz will get past Golden State in 5 or Memphis via a sweep.
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