NBA Western Conference playoff preview: Round 2

May 4, 2013 |
NBA Western Conference playoff preview: Round 2
Kevin Durant will need to carry the Thunder in Round 2.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
Kevin Durant will need to carry the Thunder in Round 2.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
Everything didn’t go according to plan in the first round of the NBA Western Conference playoffs. While the top two seeds advanced, the No. 5 and No. 6 clubs shocked their way into the conference semifinals.

Here’s a look at the matchups and series odds for the second round of the Western playoffs.

No. 1 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. No. 5 Memphis Grizzlies

Season series: Memphis won 2-1, 1-2 ATS, 2-1 O/U
Series prices: Memphis -115, OKC -105

Why bet the Thunder: Oklahoma City got a wakeup call versus Houston and will be much more apt to close out teams on the ropes. Kevin Durant is more than capable of carrying the team and Kevin Martin has stepped up with Russell Westbrook out of action.

Why bet the Grizzlies:
Memphis got some help from the injury bug versus the Clippers and now collides with an OKC team missing its second-best player. The Grizzlies defense was able to put the breaks on L.A.’s fastbreak and will plug up the lane with Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. Memphis covered in the final five games against the Clippers.

No. 2 San Antonio Spurs vs. No. 6 Golden State Warriors

Season series: Split 2-2, Golden State 3-1 ATS, 1-3 O/U
Series prices: San Antonio -900, Golden State +650

Why bet the Spurs: San Antonio is well rested having rolled the Lakers in the first round. The Spurs were relentless in that series, averaging 104 points per game and limiting L.A. to just over 85 points. Tim Duncan’s legs looked spry versus the Lakers frontcourt and Gregg Popovich trumps Mark Jackson in postseason experience.

Why bet the Warriors:
Golden State hasn’t won at San Antonio since Stephen Curry was nine years old but the Warriors did manage to steal a win in Denver, one of the toughest venues in the NBA. Golden State has the scoring to stay in any game and Andrew Bogut and David Lee are a handful around the hoop. The Warriors covered in all six games versus the Nuggets and bring a nine-game ATS winning streak into Round 2.

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