All four conference semifinals matchups are now set for the NBA Playoffs with both Eastern Conference series having already started. It’s in this that the unexpected has become the norm at Walt Disney World in Orlando.
Following Wednesday night’s controversial loss to the Miami Heat, Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks find themselves down 2-0 in their series. Meanwhile, the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors are also down 2-0 in their series against the Boston Celtics.
Out west, the Los Angeles Lakers will do battle with the Houston Rockets while the Los Angeles Clippers are set to tip off a best-of-seven series against the Denver Nuggets.
We now have some updated odds, and it’s not what you would expect.
Los Angeles Clippers now favored to win the NBA title
Here’s a look at the updated odds, via Sports Betting.
- Los Angeles Clippers: 2/1
- Los Angeles Lakers: 3/1
- Boston Celtics: 9/2
- Miami Heat: 13/2
- Milwaukee Bucks: 7/1
- Houston Rockets: 12/1
- Toronto Raptors: 20/1
- Denver Nuggets: 40/1
Milwaukee Bucks season on the brink
Obviously, the Bucks’ fall from grace has to be seen as the biggest story here. Now down 2-0 in their series against Miami, rumors are persisting about Antetokounmpo’s future with the Bucks. That has this team on edge is it faces a must-win Game 3 outing Friday afternoon.
It’s now time for the Greek Freak to prove his worth as the most valuable player in the NBA. He can’t continue to be just another guy on the court. Miami has too much depth and talent for Milwaukee to win four of the next five without Giannis taking over.
Clippers and Lakers still favored to meet in Western Conference Finals
Seeing the Clippers surpass their Southern California rivals is also rather interesting. For most of the season, it was the Lakers favored to take on the Bucks in the NBA Finals.
LeBron James and Co. struggled during seeding games before a difficult first-round matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers. Not until Damian Lillard suffered a series-ending injury were the Lakers able to pull away.
As for the Clippers, reigning NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard is playing at an elite level. The star forward continues to find a way to turn it up when the postseason comes calling.
The good news here for the Lakers is that Houston is coming off a hard-fought seven-game series win over the Oklahoma City Thunder in Round 1. The Clippers’ matchup, Denver, also went the distance in its first-round series win over Utah. This seems to indicate that a Clippers-Lakers Western Conference Finals is in the cards.
For now, it appears that the Clippers and Celtics are favored to meet in the NBA Finals. That would certainly be something else.