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NBA Playoff Betting: Eastern Conference

It’s a new season where everyone has a clean slate and bettors get a chance to make up for past losses. The best of the East in the NBA tip off on Saturday, with the conference champion Chicago Bulls the favorite to come through for backers.

Sportsbook.ag doesn’t think much of the Pacers' chances against the Bulls in their opening-round series that starts Saturday afternoon at the United Center. Chicago will open the series at -4000 against Indiana (+2000) on the series betting lines.

Chicago will be the Game 1 favorite at home and Indiana cannot match up in this series against Chicago. Chicago has the top-ranked defense in the league, while the Pacers are 17th. Head-to-head the Bulls took the season-series 3-1.

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The Bulls are 8-3 against the spread in the last 11 games and should be a good pointspread bet during this series. The Pacers are a mere 1-5 ATS against teams with a winning percentage above 60 at home.

Miami has won eight of its last 10 and enters the postseason sizzling as they go up against the Philadelphia 76ers in the opener of their first-round series in a late Saturday afternoon NBA betting matchup.

The Heat took all three head-to-head against the 76ers during the season series.  Miami is at -2000 at Sportsbook.ag for a series victory against the 76ers, who are listed at +1200.

Miami should be the pick by the majority of bettors in this series, but Philadelphia is one of the best teams at covering the NBA spread and should make some money for bettors on the point spread lines.

Orlando hosts Atlanta in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference betting matchup on Saturday night with the Magic at -400 to clinch the series over the underdog Hawks, who are listed at +300 at Sportsbook.ag.

Orlando lost the season-series 3-1 to the Hawks, but they enter the playoffs on a roll against a team that has dropped six straight. The Magic are 1-7 ATS in their last eight home games, and will not be a good bet on the pointspread lines head-to-head with the Hawks.

Atlanta is 4-1 ATS in its last five matchups with the Magic. The only trend that points to a solid wager in this series is that both teams tend to pay out to UNDER bettors in totals betting.

The final Eastern Conference postseason betting matchup gets underway on Sunday, with the Celtics opening their series with the Knicks in Boston. The Celtics are at -400 to earn a series victory, while the Knicks are +300 at Sportsbook.ag.

Boston won all three matchups with New York this season, but the Knicks did cover the spread in two of three losses. The Knicks will be the underdogs in the series, but they have a chance to push the veteran-laden Celtics to the limit.

Boston will be the favorites in Game 1 at home, but expect the Knicks to keep it close and be a good pointspread wager in this series. The Celtics' second-ranked defense should put them over the top in what could be a long first-round series.