2021 NBA Playoffs Betting Preview: How they’re opening up

Giannis Butler NBA Playoffs
Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks take on Jimmy Butler and the Heat yet again in the playoffs.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The field of 16 teams for the 2021 NBA Playoffs is almost set barring the play-in tournament that dictates the final two seeds in each conference.

As those eight teams battle it out to keep their season alive a little bit longer, the sportsbooks have already dropped their opening odds for a majority of the series that are set.

Here is where things stand, courtesy of Bovada:

Eastern Conference

Atlanta Hawks (5) vs. New York Knicks (4)

Hawks to win: -110

Knicks to win: -110

The Knicks have defeated the Hawks in each of their three regular-season meetings, but that all goes out the window in the postseason — a sentiment that has been repeated often by New York in recent days. The Knicks’ defense is among the very best in the league, but will have a firm test in the explosive Trae Young and the down-low presence provided by Clint Capela.


Miami Heat (6) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (3)

Heat to win: +225

Bucks to win: -275

The defending Eastern Conference champions from the Orlando bubble are facing a Milwaukee Bucks team with plenty to prove after they were defeated by the Heat in five games during the second round. The Bucks are the highest-scoring team in the NBA with star big man Giannis Antetokounmpo trying to cement his legacy in Milwaukee.


Western Conference

Dallas Mavericks (5) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (4)

Mavericks to win: +325

Clippers to win: -450

A tough draw for Luka Dncic, who posted 27.7 points per game this season, and the Mavericks to take on a loaded Clippers team that is desperate to live up to expectations. They have the pedigree in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, who averaged nearly 50 points per game combined this season.

Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers (6) vs. Denver Nuggets (3)

Blazers to win: -105

Nuggets to win: -115

The Nuggets once had eyes on the top spot in the Western Conference, but still managed to stay a top-three seed even after star guard Jamal Murray was lost for the season due to injury. Nikola Jokic is one of the favorites to win the MVP, but the Blazers have their own superstar in Damian Lillard who has proven to be a big-time playoff performer.



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