NBA Playoffs Odds: Eastern Conference Matchups Betting Analysis

NBA Playoffs Odds: Eastern Conference Deep Matchup Betting Analysis

You could say that the race to the NBA Finals begins on day one of the regular season, but things really start to get serious once the season is over and the play-in games begin. That happens tonight, and we need to get through those games in both conferences before we get to the 8 teams in the East and West that will be trying to make a championship run. We will not know the path that teams need to take until those play-in games have been played, but we can still break down how the matchups might look. We will, of course, be doing this for both conferences, but let’s get the ball rolling by looking at the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

 

NBA 2023 Eastern Conference Playoff Matchups

 

Play-In Games

In the East, we have the Miami Heat, Atlanta Hawks, Toronto Raptors, and Chicago Bulls heading into the play-in. Two teams will emerge from that group, with the lowest remaining seed facing the Milwaukee Bucks, while the other team will play the Boston Celtics. Not exactly a great reward for making it out of this section of the postseason. We need to know who makes it out before we can properly handicap the first round, but I’m not sure we’ll see a ton of surprises in the opening round.

 

Round 1 Matchups

#1 Milwaukee Bucks Vs Heat/Hawks/Raptors/Bulls

I think it’s fair to suggest that the Bucks should be able to beat any of these 4 teams over the course of a 7-game series. Yes, they had some losses to these teams in the regular season but expect the Bucks to move up a gear in the playoffs and take care of whomever they have to face in Round 1.

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#2 Boston Celtics Vs Heat/Hawks

We know that the Atlanta Hawks or Miami Heat will make it out of the play-in, as they meet in the opening game, with the winner moving on. So, we also know that one of those teams will face the Celtics. Boston lost their last meeting with the Heat, but they took 3 of 4 from them in the regular season series. The Hawks faces the Celtics 3 times in the regular season and lost all 3, so it seems fair to suggest that the Celtics would be able to move on to Round 3, regardless of the opponent.

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#3 Philadelphia 76ers Vs #6 Brooklyn Nets

We are well aware that anything can happen in the playoffs, but you can bet that there are some matchups that make every team happier than others. For the 76ers, this might be the best-case scenario, as they had no issues with the Nets in the regular season, sweeping them in their 4 meetings, beating them by an average of 155 PPG.

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#4 Cleveland Cavaliers Vs #5 New York Knicks

It is very often the #4 versus the #5 matchup that is the toughest of all to predict, as these teams tend to be very evenly matched. In this case, we have one team with a definite edge, as the Knicks took 3 of 4 from the Cavaliers in their regular season series. Again, this is no guarantee that things will play out the same way in the opening round of the playoffs, where the pressure is that much higher.

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