The Boston Celtics were both great for the book and for bettors last week in NBA playoff betting. The players' biggest win of the week came in Boston's 85-75 victory over Philadelphia in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series on Saturday night behind a triple-double from Rajon Rondo.
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Rondo joined Larry Bird as the only Celtics players to post a triple-double in a Game 7 situation. It was Rondo's ninth career playoff triple-double, which ties him with Wilt Chamberlain for fourth all-time - Rondo is still a whopping 21 short of tying Magic Johnson's record total.
The Celtics went off as 6-point home favorites for Saturday's game and took nearly 66 percent of the action on the spread. At -300 on the moneyline, Boston took more than 75 percent of the lean. The book did fare well on the total as less than 20 percent of the lean was on the under 172 points. Incidentally, the top bettors' prop win in that game was on Rondo finishing over 14.5 points.
Three nights earlier, Boston's 82-75 loss at Philadelphia in Game 6 was the book's top NBA result of the week. That game closed as a pick'em and Boston took nearly 75 percent of the line on the spread (there was no moneyline).
The Celtics and Heat opened the Eastern Conference Finals on Monday night with Miami a big -550 favorite on the series line despite the uncertainty whether the injured Chris Bosh will play in the series. Bosh, out since Game 1 of the Pacers series, did have a light on-court workout Sunday but there is still no timetable for his return. The over/under for the Heat-Celtics series is 5.5 games, with the over a slight -125 favorite. That the series ends in Miami is the -170 favorite. Rondo getting a triple-double in the conference finals is at -120 on yes and no.
The Heat had regained their status as the NBA title favorites at the book, but that changed after San Antonio's come-from-behind 101-98 victory in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals over Oklahoma City. It was San Antonio's 19th straight victory, tying the NBA record for longest winning streak kept alive in the playoffs.
However, for just the fourth time in that run San Antonio didn't cover the spread in Game 1. But that was a good result for bettors as more than 56 percent of the action was on the Thunder +5.5 points. Bettors did lean at about 55 percent on the moneyline to the Spurs. San Antonio and Oklahoma City were No. 2 and No. 3 in the NBA in scoring during the regular season, so bettors jumped on the over 204 points in Game 1. Thus that was a positive result for the book.
The Spurs have jumped slightly ahead of the Heat (3/2) as the 13/10 favorites to win the NBA title. Both San Antonio and Oklahoma City would have home-court advantage against either Boston or Miami in the Finals. Thus the NBA champ coming from the Western Conference is the -145 favorite, with the East at +115.
The Spurs are 9-0 in these playoffs, becoming just the fourth team to win their first nine playoff games (record is 11). The other three all made the NBA Finals, with two taking the title. The last three teams to win their first eight playoff games had lost the opener of the conference finals on their way to dropping the series. There will be live play-by-play betting at the book on every NBA game the rest of these playoffs.
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