NBA Playoffs and 2024 Opening Round Odds, Picks and Team Notes

FairwayJay Chips-in 2024 NBA Playoff previews, picks and information you can bet on.

Preview and picks for the opening round of the NBA Playoffs

The opening NBA Playoffs play-in games will be completed Friday, April 19, and the opening round conference quarterfinal series begin Saturday. The Sacramento Kings (-1.5) vs. New Orleans Pelicans winner will be the No. 8 seed in the West and play the No. 1 Oklahoma City Thunder. NBA Palyoffs betting advice tips The Miami Heat vs. Chicago Bulls winner will be the No. 8 seed in the East and play the top seed Boston Celtics

The other Western and Eastern Conference series matchups and schedule are updated, and series odds are set and provided below courtesy of BetOnline.  

NBA Series Odds 

NBA game and series odds from BetOnline refresh periodically and are subject to change, including on props and live betting. Additional series and game odds updated as announced. 

Eastern Conference 

- No. 1 Boston Celtics (-10500) vs. No. 8 Miami (+2300)
- No. 2 New York Knicks (-120) vs. No. 7 Philadelphia 76ers (+100)
- No. 3 Milwaukee Bucks (-105) vs. No. 6 Indiana Pacers (-115)
- No. 4 Cleveland Cavaliers (-205) vs. No. 5 Orlando Magic (+175)

Western Conference

- No. 1 Oklahoma City Thunder (-615) vs. No. 8 New Orleans (+475)
- No. 2 Denver Nuggets (-370) vs. No. 7 Los Angeles Lakers (+300)
- No. 3 Phoenix Suns (-133) vs. No. 6 Minnesota Timberwolves (+113) - Opinion: Timberwolves
- No. 4 Los Angeles Clippers (+115) vs. Dallas Mavericks (-135) - Opinion: Mavericks (odds up)

Saturday, April 20 

Game 1 betting lines and totals updated April 19 from BetOnline . Knicks, Nuggets & Mavericks up 1/2 point, and all April 20 game totals except Knicks/Sixers up 1-1.5 points.

Game 1

- Orlando at Cleveland (-4.5), Total 207.5 - Pick: under
- Philadelphia at New York (-3), Total 209
- Phoenix at Minnesota (-1.5), Total 214 - Opinion: Timberwolves
- LA Lakers at Denver (-7.5), Total 224

Sunday, April 21

Game 1 

- Miami at Boston (-14), Total 208.5
- Dallas (-2) at LA Clippers, Total 223
- Indiana (-1.5) at Milwaukee, Total 232
- New Orleans at Oklahoma City (-8), Total 214 

Team notes - Some stats provided by the Vegas Stats & Information Network (VSiN). Check back Friday and Saturday for more and any Picks and Opinions

The Celtics were the dominant team in the East and led the league in offensive rating (122.2) and finished second in defensive rating (110.6). Boston averaged the most 3-point makes per game (16.5) and ranked third in shooting percentage (38.8%). The Celtics finished the regular season fourth in clutch net rating (+15.4), but had a negative clutch net rating in each of the last two years in the playoffs. Boston was 37-4 at home this season and 15-2 vs. their Atlantic division opponents. 

NY Knicks NBA playoff betting The Knicks surge has been surprising to many in the media, and now they'll have to win in the playoffs without Julius Randle following his season-ending shoulder injury in January. But Jalen Brunson led the team in usage rate (33.6%) and averaged 28.6 points and 6.7 assists on 48.0% shooting from the floor. That increased to 34.7 PPG over New York's final 16 contests starting March 16. New York was outscored by 5.5 points every 100 possessions that Brunson was on the bench with a lack of bench production a concern. But the Knicks are also the best offensive rebounding team in the league (32.2%), which will be put to the test in the playoffs as they try to reach the Eastern Conference finals for the first time in 24 years. 

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo’s status (calf strain) is in doubt for the beginning of the series. That caused a significant drop in the series price favoring the Bucks. The Bucks went 1-4 SU/0-5 ATS in five meetings with the Pacers this season. Bucks NBA Playoff predictionsIndiana scorched Milwaukee’s defense for 122.0 points every 100 possessions in those contests. In those five games the Pacers averaged 151.6 points per 100 plays in transition off live rebounds and 16.2 fastbreak points per game. But Indiana has slowed down its offensive attack since acquiring Pascal Siakam. Pacers PG Tyrese Haliburton is averaging 16.9 points and 9.5 assists on 45.4% FG including just 32.3% on 3-pointers since he returned from a hamstring injury 36 games ago. The Bucks have improved defensively since head coach Doc Rivers took over the end of January. Milwaukee has allowed 3.6 points fewer per 100 possessions overall and 5.1 points fewer per 100 plays off live rebounds. 

Coming out of the All-Star break the Cavaliers were 36-17 and in control of the second seed in the Eastern Conference. However, Cleveland went 12-17 SU/10-19 ATS with a -3.6 net rating in non-garbage time after the break. Clevealdn Cavs NBA playoffs picksDonovan Mitchell, Max Strus and Evan Mobley all missed at least nine games with injury after the All-Star break. Mitchell has averaged just 18.5 points on 38.3% shooting from the floor his past eight games since receiving a platelet-rich plasma injection in his knee. The Cavs average only 112.8 points per 100 possessions when the frontcourt of Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley are on the floor. The Magic finished second in non-garbage time defensive efficiency, allowing only 111.5 points per 100 possessions. They forced turnovers on 15.6% of opponent possessions, and limited the opposition to a 24.7% offensive rebounding rate. Orlando's n non-garbage time offensive efficiency (113.9) ranked 22nd, and they struggled in the half court and with spacing while taking just 32.9% of their shots from beyond the arc.  

The 76ers closed the regular season on a 8-0 SU/ATS run, and it's now 9-0 SU/8-1 ATS as they open the first round series vs. the NY Knicks following a 105-104 non-covering win over the Miami Heat. During that stretch, the Sixers are 7-0 SU and 6-1 ATS with Joel Embiid on the floor. Philly is now 12-5 SU/13-3-1 ATS over their last 18 games. 

The Oklahoma City Thunder tied the Denver Nuggets with a Western Conference best 57 wins and both teams went 33-8 at home for the second best marks behind Boston. OKC Thunder NBA top seed predictionThe Thunder are a top-5 team in halfcourt offensive efficiency, and OKC has the lowest turnover rate in the NBA. The Thunder are the third-best 3-point shooting team (39.2%) in the league and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is so tough to defend, and the Thunder have a solid Big Three with Jalen Williams and Chet Holmgren. Gilgeous-Alexander averaged 30.3 points and 6.2 assists per game, and was second in the league in Estimated Plus-Minus (+8.8) and first in Estimated Wins (20.0) during the regular season. Defensively, the Thunder allow the lowest field goal percentage at the rim (61.6%), thanks to Holmgren. But the Thunder are also the worst rebounding team in the playoffs, by far. Oklahoma City was a surprise this season, and now they are youngest No. 1 seed in NBA history.

The defending NBA champions Denver Nuggets lost as 13-point favorites against the San Antonio Spurs on Friday, April 12th. That ended up costing Denver the top seed in the Western Conference. The Nuggets outscored opponents by 12.0 points per 100 possessions with Jamal Murray, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Michael Porter Jr., Aaron Gordon and Nikola Jokic on the floor, and they were in the 99th percentile in offensive efficiency with that group. Jokic finished the regular season fifth in Estimated Plus-Minus and third in Estimated Wins, and he’s a heavy betting favorite to win his third MVP award in four years. 

The Suns finished the regular season ranked 9th in adjusted offensive rating and 13th in adjusted defensive rating. Phoenix was 34-18 since Dec. 28 and top 10 in the league in both offensive and defensive rating. The Suns were 3-0 vs. the Timberwolves this season, and T-Wolves guard Anthony Edwards is just 1-11 in 12 career meetings with Suns guard Devin Booker. But Minnesota ranks No. 1 in defensive efficiency this season, and the Timberwolves won 56 games and get home court advantage over the higher-seeded Suns (49 wins). 

From November 17 to February 5, the LA Clippers went 31-8 and averaged more points per 100 possessions (124.7) than any team in basketball while also boasting a top-10 team in defensive efficiency. LA Clippers NBA playoffs bettingBut after the All-Star break, Los Angeles went just 15-13 and ranked 18th in the league in net rating. Kawhi Leonard missed the final eight games of the regular season with knee swelling, but is expected to play Game 1. James Harden has been a non-factor the past two months while Dallas is 21-8 with the third-highest efficiency differential in the league since trading for P.J. Washington and Daniel Gafford. The Mavericks were No. 1 in the league in defensive efficiency over its previous 15 games before the season finale. Stars Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving lead an offense that was No. 2 in the league in 3-point shooting frequency. Prefer the coaching of Mavs HC Jason Kidd vs. Clippers HC Tyronn Lue, and the chemistry and play of Dallas, who is taking money to win the series.

More NBA Playoffs coverage and picks on Gamblers World with play-in games and opening round series picks and insights. 

You can bet on it.

FairwayJay is recognized as a leading sports betting analyst providing insights and information you can bet on here at OSGAFollow him on X (Twitter) @FairwayJay for more sports betting news and insights.

Sign-up for the OSGA Newsletter!

Every week get news and updates, exclusive offers and betting tips delivered right to you email inbox.