NBA Playoffs First Round Games May 23: Lakers and Suns Headline Action

The NBA Playoffs have arrived with 16 teams with a chance at the title. We’ll focus on three games for May 23 with the defending champions Los Angeles Lakers facing the Phoenix Suns as the featured game.

Los Angeles Lakers versus Phoenix Suns

The Lakers entered at the 7th seed with a regular-season record of 42-30 and Suns are the 2nd seed after a 51-21 record. The Lakers won the season series between the teams, winning three of the five games. Both teams are “burning hot” on the Team Strength Oscillator and the Suns have a +29 to +25 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator. The Team Volatility Oscillator indicates the Lakers are the more stable team at +31 to +19, performing more consistently according to their favorite/underdog status. The Totals Predictor shows both teams trending in games over the line, however, the Scores Predictor shows a low-scoring 99-96 game in favor of the Suns with a confidence of 70 percent. The Suns are a 1.752 to 2.250 favorite and I will go with the Suns to prevail and bet the “under”.

Washington Wizards versus Philadelphia 76ers

The Wizards entered as the 8th seeds after beating the Pacers in the play-in round. The 76ers enter as the top seed after a record of 49-23 in the regular season. The 76ers are “burning hot” on the Team Strength Oscillator compared to “average” for the Wizards. Philadelphia has a +22 to +13 edge on the Power Ranking Indicator and has been among the most stable teams in the league at +36 on the Team Volatility Oscillator. During the regular season, the 76ers won all three meetings. Expect a high-scoring game since the Totals Predictor shows both teams trending over the line. In addition, the Scores Predictor shows the 76ers on top by the score of 118-115 with 87 percent confidence. The 76ers are a huge 1.350 to 3.620 favorite and will win and cover at home.

Atlanta Hawks versus New York Knicks

On paper, this is the tightest matchup of the day. Both teams came in with a record of 41-31 and both are “burning hot” on the Power Ranking Indicator. The Knicks dominated play between the teams during the regular season, winning all three games. The Hawks, however, have a +20 to +17 edge on the Power Ranking Indicator. The Totals Predictor shows the teams trending on opposite sites of the line, making the over/under a bet to steer clear of.  If looking for consistency according to their favorite/underdog status, both teams are very stable at +24 on the Team Volatility Oscillator. The Knicks are a very slight favorite of 1.928 to 2.012 and the Scores Predictor indicates a tight game of 103-100 in favor of the Knicks with a confidence of 79 percent. Check the line closer to the game, but I’d go with the Knicks outright and the Hawks to cover.

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