On Wednesday, we will, in all likelihood, be saying goodbye to the non-competitive portion of the postseason. While the Portland Trail Blazers and Orlando Magic both impressed in Game 1 victories, neither had that juice to keep up with the No. 1 seeds from there, and with the other non-contenders largely knocked out of the postseason, things are about to get a whole lot tougher. That’s true for the teams that remain, and it’s true the bettors hoping to profit off them.
So what does that mean for you? We’ll address the more important games as they come. For now, we still have two walkovers to profit off as well as perhaps the most exciting first-round matchup still on the table. Here are Wednesday’s best bets.
All lines via William Hill Sportsbook
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Orlando Magic: Bucks -14
The Bucks have either reached or exceeded this spread in each of their past three games against the Magic, they averaged a 17-point margin of victory over Orlando during the regular season, and they covered a theoretical 14-point spread in all four games of their first-round sweep over the Pistons a year ago. The Bucks crush mediocre opponents. Describing the heavily injured Magic as “mediocre” is almost too kind right now. The Bucks will finish this one off in style on Wednesday.
Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder: Thunder +3
Playoff series are about counters. Oklahoma City has countered everything Houston has thrown its way. Chris Paul has identified James Harden as the late-game matchup to hunt. Dennis Schroder has taken over primary scoring duties against a Houston defense too small to contest him at the best. Oklahoma City’s small-ball lineup with Danilo Gallinari at center has now beaten Houston’s twice in a row in crunch time. The Rockets might outshoot the Thunder because they can outshoot anyone, but their roster isn’t exactly stylistically diverse. Without Russell Westbrook, they don’t exactly have the roster talent to counter what the Thunder are doing right now.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trail Blazers: Under 222.5
While Game 4 represented a best-case scenario for the Lakers offense, the reality is something closer to Game 3. The Lakers put up 116 points on 10 made 3-pointers in that one, and if that’s approximately what they can expect in this one, the under feels safe as Portland has no consistent means of shot creation with Damian Lillard sidelined. Get ready to see a lot of inefficient Carmelo Anthony isolations on Wednesday, and don’t be surprised if Portland finishes well below 100 points without its leader.