• NBA Playoffs 2017: Warriors to Win

    Written by Rohit Ghosh

    Follow @rohitghosh on Twitter

    NBA Playoffs: AccuScore Picking Warriors To Win it All

    The NBA Playoffs are here - finally. The first round of the playoffs is easily one of the most entertaining two-to-three weeks of hoops all year with multiple series tipping off this Saturday. Let's take a look at some key points to watch for.

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    Below the Radar, but Very Important

    In the Western Conference, the 4-5 matchup between the Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz is easily one of the least discussed, but most intriguing. The winner of this matchup will end up playing the Golden State Warriors in the second round of the postseason. It's a loss either way.

    What's interesting, though, is that both Utah and L.A. have potentially volatile offseasons coming up. Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Gordon Hayward - all free agents this offseason. A long(er) postseason run should allow for easier decisions in the offseason, right?

    Against the Spread & Totals: AccuScore’s NBA Playoffs Picks

    Will Cleveland walk through the East?

    Although the last six years indicate LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers will once again reach the NBA Finals, a first-round matchup with Indiana along with AccuScore sim data suggests the path to repeating just might not be so easy.

    Indiana isn't the scariest of threats in the first round, but their talent on the wing with Paul George and athleticism in the middle with Myles Turner should prove to at least provide the fans with some competitive moments. Here's the thing - the Cavs can sweet the Pacers when playing their best ball.

    The problem, though, is that we haven't seen that level of execution from Cleveland in quite some time now. Can the second week of April flip the proverbial switch for Cleveland?

    First Round to Win it All

    Given how ridiculous this season's MVP race has been, why not have it decided on who wins the first-round matchup between the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder?

    In that sort of a set-up, AccuScore sim data would give the award to Harden as the Rockets are heavy favorites to win the series, majority of outcomes being decided in six or seven games.

    Keep an eye out for prop bet opportunities though in this series, with the lean on the OVER for any total -- individual or team.

    Best Bets / Value Picks

    In the often predictable NBA offseason, where's the value?

    After thousands of simulations, AccuScore sim data leans much more heavily towards the Toronto Raptors winning the Eastern Conference than indicated by Vegas odds.

    Toronto upsets Cleveland in the conference semis --- more than likely in 6 games -- to face the Warriors in the NBA Finals.

    At 30:1 odds, Toronto in the weaker East offers even more intrinsic value than any team in the West since very few consider the Rockets or Clippers to be 'true' title contenders compared to the Warriors or Spurs.

    They added forward Serge Ibaka in the offseason for this exact sort of a run. The Cavs are struggling as a whole, and specifically, have had issues with depth all season.

    With all that said, the Golden State Warriors are heavy 88.4 percent favorites over the Raptors in the NBA Finals.

    NBA Playoffs 2017 Odds

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  • Warriors vs Spurs: WCF Game 1

    Written by Rohit Ghosh
    Follow @rohitghosh on Twitter

    Western Conference Finals: Game 1

    The Western Conference Finals. We finally made it to the WCF matchup most expected to get, the Spurs and Warriors with a chance to secure a trip to the NBA Finals. Given the talent difference and just overall style of play, it's not tough to see why Golden State is such a heavy favorite to win the series.

    They've been at about -1100 on the money line this week to win the series, suggesting over a 91 percent chance of winning. San Antonio, at about +700, is being given about a 12.5 percent chance of winning.

    Let's take a closer look at what AccuScore simulations have to say about the series, and Game 1.

    Vegas Odds vs AccuScore Simulations

    AccuScore data actually bumps the Warriors' 91 percent chance of winning up to 94-to-94 percent, suggesting the money line pick on the Warriors has some value.

    How quickly do the simulations expect this series to end? There's nearly a 68 percent chance the Warriors win the series in four or five games, with the most likely outcome being five games.

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    Game 1 Outlook

    At the time of publication, the Warriors are listed as 10.5-point favorites at home, with the total listed at 211.5. There hasn't been any movement on line or total since it opened.

    While the simulation percentage doesn't indicate much of a value, the Warriors covering the spread is a three-star (out of four) AccuScore hot trend. In the past 30 days, the Spurs are 3-3 covering the spread on the road.

    Spurs-vs-Warriors-Game 1
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    Betting Trends

    We have another situation where simulation data is going against recent betting trends. Sims suggest taking the OVER, with nearly 57 percent of simulated matchups staying UNDER 211.5, a four-star (out of four) AccuScore hot trend.

    • The total has gone UNDER in 6 of the Spurs' last 9 games vs the Warriors.

    What to Watch For

    Point Guard Battle - The Spurs were one of two teams who won their regular season series vs the Warriors, winning two-of-three matchups. The Warriors didn't have everyone healthy, though, so looking at those games to indicate future results is largely futile. Given the discrepancy in top-level talent between the two teams, a big variable will be the play of Patty Mills and Dejounte Murray - collectively replacing Tony Parker. Mills is averaging nearly 15 points per game and 4.5 assists per game over his last four contests. There's a very good chance Warriors guard Stephen Curry feasts on these two, one of many obstacles the Spurs will have to overcome or strategize around.

    Offensive Rebounding - If the Spurs are going to win any games, they'll have to dominate the glass, especially the offensive boards. The Spurs will more than likely stay big with LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol, and will need to take advantage of a team that gave back 25.1 percent of opposition's missed shots. The Warriors are down to below 18 percent in the postseason, No. 1 in the league, but keeping that number low against the Spurs won't be the same as doing it against Portland and Utah.