The initial weekend of the NBA play-offs continues tonight with the Western Conference’s top seed San Antonio beginning their best of seven first round series with the Utah Jazz.
The Spurs can look back to 1999 when, in the previous season shortened by a lockout, they ended up as champions. But they’ll also hark back to 12 months ago when their number one seeding counted for nothing as they crashed out at the opening hurdle.
Utah lost the regular season series 3-1 and they’re a hugely generous 7.10 to win here. But that’s worth a look, especially as the Jazz’s frontline can match up with the Spurs in the frontcourt. But go under 207 total points at 1.91.
The series between the Memphis Grizzles and the LA Clippers could be the most fascinating in the first round. The Grizzlies, coming in with an 11-game winning streak at home, could be a dark horse to reach the Western finals for a second consecutive year and they’re justifiably priced at 1.42 to claim Game 1 despite losing the regular season head-to-head 2-1.
The Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets square off in the post-season for the third time in five years, with the opening game of their series in LA. The Lakers, chasing a 17th NBA title, look a little but more vulnerable without Metta World Peace so a bet on Denver at 2.78 is good value. Better still, go over the points total of 201.5, available at 1.91.
Elsewhere, it’s the final of Eurochallenge tonight in Debrecen with Besiktas 1.50 favourites to defeat Elan Chalon and bring a European trophy back to Turkey for the first time in 16 years.
The Istanbul side were hugely unconvincing in Friday’s semi-final against unheralded Szolnok while Chalon executed their plan to perfection to see off Triumph Moscow. It’s worth taking a punt on the French club at 2.60 to pull out an upset, going under the points total of 155.5.
Bet of the Day: Take Denver over the Los Angeles Lakers at 2.78.