Mon, Apr 30, 9:57am by Head Editor
The man who is already being called the best basketballer Australia has ever produced, Ben Simmons, was one of the main reasons the Philadelphia 76ers became the first Eastern conference team to book their place in the second round of the playoffs, which sees their Championship odds slashed from $15 to $11.
The Brett Brown-coached 76ers line-up defeated Miami in five games, and they’re now favoured to get past the second seed Boston Celtics, when that series begins in Boston on Tuesday (AEST).
$1.65 is the odds you’ll get for Philly to take a 1-0 lead over Boston ($2.30), while the defending Champion Golden State Warriors have hardly put a foot wrong in their quest to defend their crown and are now in from $2.20 to $2.10 to do just that ahead of the third game of their Western Conference Semi Final series against New Orleans, which they lead 2-0.
Houston finished above the Warriors in the standings but are just behind them in outright betting, at $2.50. James Harden had 41 points in their first up win in their second-round series against Utah Jazz, who got past the Thunder in six games, despite being the underdog.
Game Two of that series takes place on Thursday in the largest metropolis in Texas and as you’d expect, the hosts are in at $1.10 to take a 2-0 lead, with Utah out at the big odds of $7.50 to level the series and at $34 for the Championship.
The series with the most attention during the first round of the playoffs was the Cleveland Cavaliers taking on the Indiana Pacers and it didn’t disappoint, with the Cavs taking out Game Seven 105-101.
The 2016 Champions resembled a one-man team for the majority of the series, with the man widely regarded as the world’s best player, LeBron James, averaging 34.4 points, 10.1 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game for the series, in what was a herculean effort.
Punters aren’t convinced he and his teammates can get it done in their Conference Semi Final series against the number one seed Toronto Raptors. That series begins on Wednesday (AEST) in the Canadian City and the hosts are $1.38 to go 1-0 up, with Tyronn Lue’s side out at $3.15.
Toronto are in from $10 to $9.50 to secure what would be the first Championship in franchise history, while Cleveland are out from $11.50 to $18 to pull off an unlikely triumph, unless King James can get some help.
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