The San Antonio Spurs have opened as underdogs against the Denver Nuggets in round one of the Western Conference Playoffs. Do they have a chance to pull off the upset?
Other than the injury-riddled Portland Trailblazers, the Denver Nuggets provided the juiciest matchup for the San Antonio Spurs among the teams at the top of the Western Conference.
I’ve written about how the Spurs can defeat the Nuggets in a seven game series, but what do the oddsmakers in Vegas think?
San Antonio has opened at +195 to win the series, which means one would bet $100 to win $195 (for example) to get past the Nuggets in the first round.
This two seed versus seven seed matchup is much closer than the one in the East where the Orlando Magic are +750 to stun the Raptors in the first round.
Here are the playoff odds that have been released so far regarding the Spurs:
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Series Price: +195
Game 1: 5.5-point underdogs
NBA Championship: 250/1
Western Conference Champions: 50/1
The Spurs opened up as 5-point underdogs for Game One in Denver on Saturday, but some early money has pushed that line up to 5.5 in favor of the Nuggets.
We’ll have to wait and see if that line keeps climbing, or if money comes in on the underdog Spurs to cause the line to come back down.
Obviously the odds are pretty long for San Antonio to win the NBA Championship with Golden State in their conference, but they have better championship odds than the Nets, Pistons, Pacers, and Magic which further shows the superiority and depth of the Western Conference.
I would place a wager on the Spurs to cover the spread in Game One and sprinkle some money on them to win that game outright. The Nuggets don’t have a ton of playoff experience on their roster or on their coaching staff, which could cause them to come out of the gates nervous against a veteran squad from San Antonio with Gregg Popovich at the helm.
Because I think the Spurs have a good shot to take Game One, I’d also place a bet on them to win the series.
If San Antonio can steal home-court advantage back with a Game One victory, they’ve proven to be dominant at the AT&T Center this season and the home team was 4-0 in the regular season series between these two teams.
I won’t be placing any money on the Spurs to win the championship or reach the NBA Finals, even though I think the playoff bracket shapes up well for them to make a decent run.
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Of all the first round series, I think San Antonio and Oklahoma City (who are actually favored by Vegas) have the best chance of pulling an upset. And I’d be willing to back up my opinion on the Spurs with some cold hard cash.