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2024 NBA First Round Picks: Which Teams Will Survive?

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com

Adam Thompson  | 3 mins

2024 NBA First Round Picks: Which Teams Will Survive?

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More than perhaps any other pro league, the level of intensity between the regular season and the postseason amplifies in the NBA. 

Unlike the other sports, the stars truly shine the brightest in the NBA Playoffs. Superstars win championships, and it begins this weekend when the 16-team bracket starts with a best-of-7 opening round. 

Bookies.com veteran NBA betting handicapper Adam Thompson reveals his top-five series sports betting picks for the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

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Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Lakers Pick

Nuggets To Win Series (-310)

The Lakers can win a game with their stars leading the way, but win four times against the defending NBA champs? Denver won all three regular-season meetings, all by at least eight points. It swept the Lakers out of the postseason last year. It’s a tough matchup all around for LeBron and Co. Get the best odds for this pick at Caesars. 

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Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Phoenix Suns Pick

Suns To Win Series (-120)

The Wolves are the No. 3 seed in the West and Karl-Anthony Towns is back in the mix. Despite that, they’re the underdog against the No. 6. Suns. The veteran Suns went 10-4 down the stretch, plus they not just beat, but thoroughly handled, the Wolves in all three regular-season matchups (by 19, 10, and 18 points). The best odds for this series are at BetMGM. 

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Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Orlando Magic Pick

Magic to Win Series (+165)

These teams split four games this season, each going 1-1 at home. Orlando hasn’t been a good road team, and Cleveland has the homecourt advantage. But this could be a breakout series for the young Magic. Orlando has the advantage in the paint, and the Cavs aren’t at 100% in the backcourt. The Magic have an opportunity to advance past the first round for the first time since 2010. Lock in the upset pick over at DraftKings. 

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Milwaukee Bucks vs. Indiana Pacers Pick

Over 5.5 Total Games (-150)

Nobody seems to know when, or if, Giannis Antetokounmpo will suit up. It won’t be Game 1. Giannis averaged a ridiculous 43.8 ppg vs. the Pacers this season, and yet Indiana won four of five meetings anyway. Perhaps the Bucks will find a better formula without the Greek Freak, perhaps he will tear it up upon his return. We can’t count out either team, so we’ll take both of them to win at least two games. Snag the longer-series odds over at BetMGM.

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About the Author

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com
Adam Thompson
NFL writer and expert Adam Thompson joined Bookies.com in 2019 after a successful run as senior handicapper for SportsLine and CBSSports.com. He's long been established as one of the nation's premier handicappers, specializing in the NFL where he's hit on more than 60% over the past three years. Adam's NBA, PGA and horse racing picks have also produced major winners over the last 12 months. His customized NFL and NBA odds for players and teams have been picked up by hundreds of websites over the past year.