|Written by Jerry Santiago|
|Thursday, 16 April 2009 14:46|
NBA playoffs action will open on Saturday and the eastern conference looks like it will be a dogfight with 3 elite teams posted on the NBA odds board. NBA playoffs handicappers will evaluate a top heavy conference that features 1-seed Cleveland, 2-seed Boston, and 3-seed Orlando, all of whom will be heavy NBA odds chalks in the first round.
Cleveland finished with a league best 66-16 straight up record and was 49-33 against the spread making them the most attractive package in the NBA playoffs, especially when you add superstar Lebron James to the mix. James led Cleveland in scoring with an average of 28.4 points per game and also led the Cavs in assists and steals.
Cleveland's opening round opponent in the NBA playoffs will be the 8-seed Detroit Pistons, who were one of the worst values on the board in the regular season and an inept offensive team. Detroit was just 34-48 against the spread this year.
The defending world champion Boston Celtics enter the NBA playoffs as something of a disappointment, despite an overall straight up record of 62-20. Boston was just 43-39 against the spread, however, including 21-20 at home. For most teams standards, the Celtics would have had a great season, but finishing as the 2-seed for the NBA playoffs was a letdown. The Celtics will host 7-seed Chicago on Saturday to begin their series.
The Orlando Magic enter the NBA playoffs as the 3-seed in the east and, much like Cleveland, as one of the better board values in the regular season as they got the cash in 49 out of 81 decisions. The Magic will face Philadelphia in the opening round of the NBA playoffs and feature one of the games elite and dominant players in Dwight Howard.
The 4-seed Atlanta Hawks and 5-seed Miami Heat could be the most even series in the first round. Atlanta is no longer a surprise team while the Heat are a one-man-team that is totally dependent upon Dwyane Wade.
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