Weekend NBA and NHL Betting
Sports bettors have the opening of the NBA playoffs to look forward to this weekend, while the NHL's postseason continues with second-round series, and baseball offers up a full slate of wagering matchups.
NBA playoff positioning wasn't locked down until Thursday night for some teams, but the San Antonio Spurs had already clinched the top seed in the Western Conference. The Spurs, up with the favorites on the NBA futures, will take on the eighth-seeded Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs starting this weekend.
In other NBA postseason action, the Boston Celtics will be up against the Atlanta Hawks. The Celtics have been on fire in the second half of the season, and their playoff experience could give them an edge on the NBA betting lines.
Indiana will have home-court advantage against Orlando in their first-round NBA playoff matchup and will be a favorite in that series, thanks to the Magic being forced to play without injured center Dwight Howard.
On the ice, Nashville will open their Western Conference second-round playoff matchup with the Phoenix Coyotes on the road on Friday, but they will likely be the favorites on the NHL betting lines for the series. The Predators had more points during the regular season, but it was the Coyotes who won their division to give them the third seed in the West.
The other Western Conference NHL postseason betting matchup this weekend is between the Kings and the Blues, with Los Angeles the road underdogs as they start their series in St. Louis on Saturday.
On the diamond, Tampa Bay has won five straight games to jump into an early lead in the tough American League East division, and they have a series this weekend with the red-hot Texas Rangers - who have more wins than any team in baseball so far in 2012. The Rangers will be home favorites for this series.
As well, the Washington Nationals lead the National League East, and they will try to extend their hot streak in a tough MLB betting series with the Los Angeles Dodgers this weekend. The Dodgers are in first place in the NL West standings.