Open top menu
Experts’ 2014 NBA Playoffs Picks and Predictions

Experts’ 2014 NBA Playoffs Picks and Predictions

Right after the dust of the crazy regular season has settled, a platoon of hoops experts raced into analyzing the matchups before coming down with their tasty predictions of the first round of the much awaited 2014 NBA Playoffs. To get you set for one of the most exciting betting seasons of the year, we’ve compiled their picks below so you can cash in on what will be an outstanding first round of the NBA playoffs.

[sc:MultiSportArticles ]

Experts Picks for the First Round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs?

[sc:NBA240banner ]Because the first round of the NBA playoffs, unlike the NHL playoffs, is not known for its upsets, one of the more interesting elements of the discussion amongst experts is not who will win, but how the favorites will win. For that reason, we’ve tried to compile as many different voices and opinions as possible so as to provide some statistical reasoning as to why and how the experts have come to consensus on the teams they have, starting with the WorldWide Leader.


*Number of votes in parentheses


First Round Picks

Henry Abbott, J.A. Adande, Kevin Arnovitz, Chris Broussard, Bradford Doolittle, Amin Elhassan, Chad Ford, Israel Gutierrez, Tom Haberstroh, Steve Ilardi, Benjamin Morris, Kevin Pelton, Ramona Shelburne, Marc Stein, Ethan Strauss, David Thorpe, Michael Wallace, Brian Windhorst Pacers (18-0)
Heat (18-0)
Nets (10-8)
Bulls (17-1)
Spurs (18-0)
Thunder (16-2)
Clippers (18-0)
Rockets (15-3)

Unsurprisingly, the 18 pundits from Bristol were unanimous in their picks of the Indiana Pacers and the Miami Heat to win their respective series. They were also in unison with the notion of the Spurs knocking off Dallas and the Clippers shutting the door on Golden State in the first round

Collectively, in the Pacers-Hawks series, the folks from ESPN give the Hawks zero chance of making it past Indiana despite the fact that Atlanta beat the Pacers twice during the regular season, although TrueHoop Blog contributor Ethan Strauss was more generous than his colleagues, as he was the only one who dared say that the series will go full seven.

That’s one more win for the Hawks than what we predict. Top Bet has Indiana emerging victorious, four games to two.

The experts trust the Pacers’ defense to stop Atlanta’s impossible dream of making the second round. The Pacers may have stumbled down the stretch of the regular season but their defense is not to blame. How can a top-ranked defense (96.7 points allowed per 100 possessions) be a liability? The fault lies on the Pacers’ misfiring offense, which is among the worst in the NBA (96.7 PPG, 24th). Still, the idea of the Hawks advancing to the second round is a mind-blowing concept no one from ESPN can wrap their heads around.


Likewise, the Heat are expected by these writers to run through the Charlotte Bobcats, 18 votes to none. The longest they predicted the series could take is five games. The Bobcats simply have an unsolvable problem in LeBron James, who dropped a 61-point bomb on them in March 3. Al Jefferson could abuse the Heat’s thin interior but surely not the entire Miami squad. Steve Clifford has done an outstanding job of lifting the image of the Bobcats from a perennial laughingstock into a playoff team. However, there’s a long way to go before Charlotte becomes a true contender.

Where the ESPN hoops savants become significantly divided is in the matchup of the Brooklyn Nets and the Toronto Raptors. Ten sided with the veteran-laden Brooklyn squad, while the remaining eight penciled in the young up-and-comers of Toronto to prevail. That said, the series’ storyline is basically experience versus youth. This series will be a close one with a high potential to reach Game 7. The home team has won in all four Brooklyn-Toronto meetings in the regular season, so a dramatic finish in Toronto may be in the offing.

Though the votes tallied 17-1 in favor of the Bulls, the writers see a very competitive series against the Wizards, with 14 of them expecting it to require six games or more. It is the same sentiment they have for the Thunder-Grizzlies series, too. The Thunder are the overwhelming pick against Memphis, 16-2, but no less than 14 experts think the series will end in either Game 6 or 7.

Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls, NBA

Bleacher Report, USA Today

*Expected number of games of each series in parentheses

Expert First Round Picks
Grant Hughes Pacers (5), Heat (4), Raptors (6), Bulls (7), Spurs (4), Thunder (6), Clippers (5), Rockets (6)
Adi Joseph Pacers (5), Heat (5), Nets (4), Bulls (4), Spurs (5), Thunder (7), Clippers (4), Rockets (5)

These views also rang true with Bleacher Report’s National NBA Featured Columnist, Grant Hughes. He believes Indiana will grab the Hawks by the collar before throwing them out the playoff window in Game 5. The Heat will inflict the same treatment on the Bobcats in a brief four-game series. He also has the Raptors winning in six games, Bulls in seven, Clippers in five, and Rockets in six.

Meanwhile, USA Today’s NBA Digital Editor Adi Joseph, though having conservative picks with the Pacers and Heat, was quite bold when he opined that the Nets would sweep Toronto. Furthermore, in his book, the Bulls will also make quick work of Washington in four games.

Sports Illustrated

*Expected number of games of each series in parentheses

Expert First Round Picks
Matt Dollinger Pacers (5), Bulls (7)
Daniel Friedman Heat (5)
Ben Eagle Nets (7)
Rob Mahoney Spurs (5)
Phil Taylor Thunder (7)
Chris Ballard Clippers (6)
Ben Golliver Rockets (6)

Over at Sports Illustrated, Matt Dollinger predicts the Pacers to dispose the Hawks in five games. Like most of the aforementioned experts, Dollinger also has the Bulls and Wizards in a battle royale, with Chicago coming out the winner in seven games simply because they have a better coach in Tom Thibodeau than the Wizards’ Randy Wittman.

In another interesting matchup, Chris Ballard gave the Clippers his nod, citing the absence of ever-hurt Andrew Bogut for the Warriors a big reason as to why Doc Rivers will see his team advance to the next round in six games. Without Bogut, Mark Jackson will be inconvenienced by having to shuffle his players in and out of the lineup in a dire attempt make his frontcourt as competitive against Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan as possible.

Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, LA Clippers, Golden State Warriors, NBA

Phil Taylor, on the other hand, makes a case for the gritty bunch of the Memphis Grizzlies led by the bruising duo of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph against the Oklahoma City Thunder. However, they will eventually succumb to the Thunder’s own duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in Game 7.

Top Bet

*Expected number of games of each series in parentheses

Top Bet Expert’s Picks
Pacers (6)
Heat (5)
Raptors (7)
Bulls (6)
Spurs (5)
Thunder (5)
Clippers (5)
Rockets (6)

We’re not going to beat around the bush here.  We’ve already predicted the Heat to capture their third straight NBA title this season against the Thunder in June with the series ending in six games.

To keep that prediction alive at least after the first round, the Heat should take care of Charlotte, which we think LeBron James and company will have little problem of doing. We are looking at a six game series here, with Al Jefferson stealing two games. As for the Thunder, we believe that Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka are up to the challenge of banging bodies with the tandem of Gasol and Randolph, thus taking away the Grizzlies’ supposedly biggest advantage in this series. With that, we anticipate Durant and Westbrook to take over the series, sending Memphis into an early vacation after five games.

Now that you’re stuffed with knowledge you can bet on the NBA’s first round knowing you’re making informed decisions. In the meantime, stay tuned to Top Bet News all postseason as we breakdown every major match up through the NBA Finals.

[sc:NBA490banner ]

 2,191 total views,  1 views today



Written by Rex

Sports Betting Tips, News, and Analysis