Must-Make Bets For First Round Of 2023 NBA Playoffs

Must-Make Bets For First Round Of 2023 NBA Playoffs

The opening round of the 2023 NBA playoffs begins Saturday, April 15. You need to read this before things get started because we’re laying out three bets that could get you paid. These are our favorite bets of the NBA playoffs first round and they are yours for free!

Series Winner: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Los Angeles Lakers

It wasn’t pretty but the Lakers survived their play-in game against Minnesota to set up this seven-game series against Memphis. Odds-wise, this Lakers-Grizz series has the closest betting line among the postseason eight matchups. As it stands, the NBA’s most-used betting sites are giving the edge to the second-seeded Grizzlies:

LA Lakers+120+120+120

We’re fully bought into Los Angeles’ comeback arc. This team was on the verge of missing out on the playoffs up until the trade deadline. Now? They’re legit championship contenders despite being the seventh seed. The team dealt non-shooting-threat Russell Westbrook in the trade in exchange for sharpshooters like D’Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley instead. The result? The Lakers are tied for seventh in net rating and third in defense since the move — all while LeBron James missed 16 games during the stretch.

The Lakers have gone 9-2 when James, Anthony Davis, and Russell play together. The caveat is that’s been against mostly bad teams, which Memphis certainly isn’t. This is the league’s best home team with a sizzling 35-6 mark. Los Angeles has to steal at least one game to advance, and we’re betting that they do.

The Grizzlies are going in the opposite direction of the Lakers, and that’s south. Its franchise player, Ja Morant, can’t stay out of trouble. But perhaps more importantly, the loss of Steven Adams to injury has left the team with a gaping hole down low. Lakers’ Davis — if he doesn’t get hurt — should be able to feast off an Adams-less Memphis lineup. Take Los Angeles to advance out of the first round.

Series Exact Games: Golden State Warriors vs. Sacramento Kings

Despite being the lower seed at six, the Warriors are comfortable -285 favorites to advance. We think they will, however, there’s hardly any money to make off that lopsided betting line. Instead, we’re focused on the Golden State-Sacramento exact series line. With this wager, you’re simply betting on how many games are played in the series (who actually wins it is inconsequential). Here are the betting options:

4 Games+650+650+650
5 Games+320+320+320
6 Games+190+190+190
7 Games+175+175+175

Golden State has been undone by age and injuries this season. However, the team appears to be as healthy as it can be this late in the season. Andrew Wiggins is expected to be back for this series, which is a much-needed boost to the defending champions' lineup.

We do not anticipate Kings being an easy out though. Trading for Domantas Sabonis last trade deadline changed the fate of the downtrodden franchise. Making its first playoff appearance since 2006, they’ll also have a rowdy crowd behind them that’s been clamoring for a postseason return, little less one with home-court advantage.

To us, this has the makings of a seven-game epic. Both teams are no longer who they were — Dubs aren’t nearly as dominant anymore and the Kings aren’t laughingstocks anymore either. Warriors should win given their experience but the newcomers will fight until the very end.

7 games played in Sacramento vs. Golden State playoff series

Series Correct Score: Boston Celtics vs. Atlanta Hawks

Our final bet is focused on the final series score between the Celtics and Hawks. Two-seeded Boston is overwhelmingly favored so you’ll see their betting options are shorter than the Hawks getting upset in any capacity. Here’s the full range of bets:

Boston 4-0+230+230+230
Boston 4-1+190+190+190
Boston 4-2+380+380+380
Boston 4-3+475+475+475
Atlanta 4-0+9000+9000+9000
Atlanta 4-1+5000+5000+5000
Atlanta 4-2+1700+1700+1700
Atlanta 4-3+2000+2000+2000

We’ll be completely blunt here: the Hawks franchise is in disarray (again). Just a few days ago, it was leaked — probably from the front office — that they are open to reading franchise player Trae Young. The star player’s relationship with the coach and general manager disintegrated (before each left or was fired from their job) and now it looks like Young will join them soon on the chopping block.

The Celtics should be able to feast off that dysfunction. They swept the regular-season series 3-0, and we expect the same to play out here in the postseason. Bet on Boston to get the four-game sweep. The no-playing-defense Young will be game-planned around to make this an easy series for the Celtics.

Boston to win series 4-0 vs. Atlanta

How To Bet On 2023 NBA Playoffs

NBA playoff betting is an entirely different animal than the regular season — the players are actually trying hard every game. So bettors too need to be on top of their game when chasing betting opportunities over the next two months.

The full range of playoff bets can be found at one of the bookies listed below. All five bookmakers in the underneath table are there because they rated high in our newest sportsbook review section. We encourage you to read those reviews to get the full scoop on each site — from the lucrative sign-up bonuses to the player experience. Once you have a site picked to bet on, you’ll have a one-stop for NBA gambling.