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NBA Playoffs Round One Best Picks and Top Odds: Sunday, March 17

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After four games were played on Saturday, the remaining eight teams will tip off this Sunday. At the end of the weekend, the first round of games in the playoffs will be off and running. The picture of the NBA title race will be a little bit clearer and this slate will provide NBA champion candidates an opportunity to stake their claim. The Play-In tournament was actually a big success and its dramatics set us up for a great NBA Playoffs. Here are the top picks from the four game Sunday slate.

Atlanta Hawks at Miami Heat

This Hawks team is not your normal eight seed. Yes, they struggled for the first half of the season but they really picked up their play after the all-star break. They returned largely the same team from their Eastern Conference Final run from last season and with Trae Young, they have a certified playoff performer. The Hawks had to fight through the play-in tournament to get here, but did so admirably. They have all sorts of momentum, and may not win the series, but they should be able to shock a Miami team that may come out flat.

Miami is a very disrespected one seed and it makes sense. They have been steady all season but haven’t really flashed championship potential. They have a deep team that plays good interior defense but Trae Young, a point guard, will not be phased by that. If the Heat’s shooters slump, this series will be very easy for the Hawks and after a long rest, it’s likely it takes a bit for Miami to snap into game shape. Yes, they are a more consistent team than the Hawks and will likely win the series, but in Game One, the Hawks moneyline presents great value.

Atlanta Hawks To Win


Chicago Bulls at Milwaukee Bucks

Ultimately, these two teams are not in the same stratosphere and this series has a sweep written all over it. Milwaukee will also be at home in this game and they will use that energy to dominate the Bulls and take a stranglehold on the series. The Bulls were an objectively bad team at the end of the season and will enter the playoffs with a plethora of key injuries. Lonzo Ball’s absence will seriously inhibit their defensive prowess and will allow Bucks’ all world forward Giannis Antetokounmpo to go off.

Giannis was unbelievable in the playoffs last year and clearly lives for the big moments. This will be an opportunity for him and the Bucks to end this series before it ever starts and the Bucks should be able to blow out the Bulls and cover the number.

Milwaukee Bucks -10


Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics

This is perhaps the most interesting first round series we have this year. The Celtics should win this series, but are missing a key defensive contributor and have to play against Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. There’s no denying the Nets have more star power but the Celtics have the better team as a whole. It’s going to be an awesome showcase of talent but one that the Celtics will be kicking themselves if they’re not able to advance.

Overall, in this game, the over is the pick. Robert Williams’ absence from the Celtics rotation hurts their defense in a big way and while they have other defensive studs, the Nets will be able to drive to the hoop with more ease than normal. The Nets also can score at will with their aforementioned stars and if they can get some of their role players to hit some threes, this over will hit easily. Also, the Nets don’t play defense and the Celtics will be able to get good shots all series long. As long as they don’t miss every open shot, this over will hit easily and this game will be a display of great, offensive basketball.

Over 224 Points


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