Sports betting experts are getting ready to size up the 2012 NBA Playoffs. All of the seeds and matchups aren’t quite yet established, but there’s enough information to make informed picks.
2012 NBA Playoff Outlook – NBA Finals Prediction
When you do your homework and assess your sports bet on the NBA postseason, you will quickly find that only four teams have a particularly good chance of making the NBA Finals. There are a few mid-level seeds that could possibly spring surprises, but in the end, darkhorses don’t make deep runs in the NBA playoffs. Hockey is kind to Cinderella, but not professional basketball. At least one eighth seed has advanced in the NHL’s first round, and another eighth seed could still advance later this week. However, in the NBA, it’s a kingdom belonging to the high seeds. This year’s playoff competition should be no exception.
When you take a quick look at this playoff field in an attempt to make an online betting selection, you are basically choosing between the top two teams in both the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference. In the East, the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat stand above the rest of the crowd. The Bulls should be concerned about the health of superstar point guard Derrick Rose, but they won’t be tested by the Philadelphia 76ers in round one. The Boston Celtics could push the Bulls a long way in round two, but Chicago’s depth and rebounding should be enough to get them past Boston. Ultimately, Chicago and Miami should meet in the Eastern Conference finals. These teams have established a higher standard than anyone else in the East. Boston will have a chance to make some noise, but the Celtics are simply not as young or as powerful as they used to be.
Who will win a Chicago-Miami series? Rose needs to be supremely healthy to give the Bulls their best chance of winning. This won’t be a short series, because Chicago fights too hard and too well. However, Miami has been pacing itself through this season, much as it did last year. The Heat have the best player on the floor, LeBron James, and that’s going to count for a lot in crunch time. Miami should beat the Bulls in six games to return to the NBA Finals.
In the Western Conference, it’s all about the top two seeds as well. The San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder are on a collision course in the Western Conference finals. San Antonio has surprised the league by once again reaching the top spot in the West, but in a playoff series, Oklahoma City is better positioned. The Thunder have become a better low-post team, especially on defense, giving them some balance to go along with their perimeter attack led by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Oklahoma City has younger legs than San Antonio and can score from more spots on the floor. The Thunder will beat the Spurs in six games to face the Heat.
Who will win in the finals? Miami plays terrific defense, but its role players – especially wing shooters like Shane Battier and Mike Miller – have not hit threes on a consistent basis this season. Miami needs to shoot particularly well to keep pace with Oklahoma City. The Heat aren’t likely to do so, and that’s why they’ll fall short. The Thunder will win their first NBA title.
NBA Finals Prediction: Oklahoma City over Miami in 6 games