NBA Playoffs: Can anybody beat the Heat?

The NBA's “second season” tips off this weekend with the start of eight first-round, best-of-seven playoff series.

Here's a quick look at how things shake out for this first weekend of NBA playoff action, with betting odds to ponder.

Play begins Saturday in New York as the Knicks, the two seed in the East, host the seventh-seeded Boston Celtics (3 pm ET, ABC).

Then out in Denver the Nuggets, the three seed in the West, host the sixth-seeded Golden State Warriors (5:30 pm ET, ESPN).

Then in Brooklyn the fourth-seeded Nets host the fifth-seeded Chicago Bulls (8 pm ET, ESPN).

And for a Saturday nightcap out in LA the fourth-seeded Clippers, in a rematch of a first-round series from last season that went the full seven games, host the fifth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies (10:30 pm ET, ESPN).

As of Friday morning most NBA betting outlets were listing the Knicks at -7 points for their Game 1 over Boston; the Nuggets at -8 over the Warriors; the Nets at -4.5 over the Bulls; and the Clippers at -5 over the Grizz.

Also, New York was lined at -400, Boston at +320 to win that series; Denver was listed at -550 over Golden State (+425) to win that series; Brooklyn at -140 over Chicago (+120) to win that series; and LA at -170 over Memphis (+150) to win that series.

Moving on to Sunday, the Indiana Pacers, the three seed in the East, host the sixth-seeded Atlanta Hawks (1 pm ET, TNT).

Then the San Antonio Spurs, the two seed in the West, host the seventh-seeded (and Kobe-less) Los Angeles Lakers (3:30 pm ET, ABC).

Then the top overall-seeded Miami Heat host the eighth-seeded Milwaukee Bucks (7 pm ET, TNT).

And the Oklahoma City Thunder, the top seed in the West, host the eighth-seeded Houston Rockets (9:30 pm ET, TNT).

In early Game 1 betting the Pacers were favored by seven points over the Hawks; the Spurs were favored by nine points over the Lakers; the Heat were favored by 13 points over the Bucks; and the Thunder was favored by 10 points over the Rockets.

For these series Indiana was favored by -420 over Atlanta (+330); San Antonio was chalked at -900 over Los Angeles (+675); and Oklahoma City was favored by -2000 over Houston (+1200).

Finally, on the NBA championship board the defending league champion Heat were listed as -150 favorites, followed by the Thunder at +300; the Spurs at +750; the Clippers at +1000; the Pacers and Knicks at +1500; the Nuggets at +1700; the Grizzlies at +2500; the Bulls at +3500; the Lakers at +4000; the Nets at +4500; the Celtics at +8000; the Hawks and Warriors at +10000; the Rockets at +15000; and the Bucks at +25000.  



Follow us on Twitter