With the first round of the NBA playoffs done and dusted (bar tonight’s Game 7 between the Spurs and Nuggets), it’s time to move focus on to the Conference semi-finals.
First up, the third seed Philadelphia 76ers travel to Toronto to take on the second seed Raptors. Both teams have lofty ambitions of a Conference or even NBA title and a closely matched series beckons. The Sixers feature a strong starting five of Simmons, Redick, Butler, Harris and Embiid, but I don’t think they’ll be able to cope with the team from the North. Led by Kawhi Leonard, the Raptors have great strength in depth along with the nailed on Most Improved Player Pascal Siakam. It promises to be a tight series, but I think Toronto have enough strength in numbers to get the job down. Having home court advantage will play a crucial role and I can see the Raptors winning the series 4-2 (5/1 with Skybet)
Additionally, for tonight’s first game of that series, I like Embiid, Simmons, Siakam and Lowry to each post a double-double at a huge 33/1 with Skybet. I’ve also backed Simmons to post a stat line of 15+ points, 10+ assists and 10+ rebounds at 12/1 (he’s 9/4 to post a triple-double).
Next up is the series between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Boston Celtics. The Bucks had the best regular season record of all teams in the league and have secured home court advantage throughout the playoffs. I think that, along with the force of nature that is Giannis Antetokounmpo, will see them progress at the expense of Boston. Boston should be able to win a couple of home games with master tactician Brad Stevens at the helm, so I think backing the Bucks to win the series 4-2 at 11/2 with Skybet represents great value.
Milwaukee Bucks 4-2 series win @ 11/2 – 1pt
Toronto Raptors 4-2 series win @ 5/1 – 1pt
Multiple players double-double @ 33/1 – ½pt
Simmons 15+ pts, 10+ rebounds, 10+ assists @ 12/1 – ½pt