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NBA Playoffs Tips & Previews, 17-18 May

Tips, previews and all you need for Game 1 of the NBA Conference Finals between the Celtics, Heat, Lakers and Nuggets.

Just when you thought the NBA Playoffs could get any better, the Conference Finals are upon us. 

Four teams remain in contention for this year’s championship, with Boston taking on the red-hot Heat in the East and Denver hosting the star-studded Lakers.

The BetDeluxe experts take an in-depth look at both games. 

Nuggets vs. lakers

17th May 10:30am

The best of the west will battle this Wednesday when Denver hosts the Lakers in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.

The Nuggets, who finished on top of the standings at the end of the regular season, hit their straps in Game 6 against the Suns with a dominant 100-125 victory in Phoenix. Unsurprisingly, Nikola Jokic was the main destroyer with a 32-10-12 triple-double alongside 26 points from Jamal Murray.

Jokic has been unstoppable during the post-season, with averages of 30.7 points, 12.8 rebounds and 9.7 assists.

While most punters expected the No. 1 seed’s appearance in the Conference Finals, it has been a different story for LA as they made their way from the seventh spot in the standings.

They overcame the Warriors in Game 6 of their semi-final clash, with LeBron James posting 30-9-9 and Anthony Davis returning to form with 17 points and 20 boards.

With the two sides going 2-2 throughout the regular season, we expect this series to go deep, with both sides making the most of their home-court advantage.

Suggested Bet: Nuggets to win @ $1.43

Celtics vs. Heat

18th May 10:30AM

It may have come down to a 51-point Game 7 performance from Jayson Tatum, but the Boston Celtics will enter their Eastern Conference final against the Heat as $1.25 favourites.

Things were looking shaky for the Celtics as they trailed the 76ers 23-29 at the end of the first quarter before a Tatum-led comeback and a 33-10 Q3 resulted in a 112-88 victory. The Celtics forward entered rare air with his 51 points, 13 rebounds and five assists, while Jaylen Brown dropped 25 of his own.

They won’t have it all their own way in the finals, however, with Miami having taken care of Milwaukee (4-1) and New York (4-2) after finishing eighth in the East.

Jimmy Butler is arguably the player of the series with 31.1ppg, 6.6rpg and 5.4apg, and is clearly the player the Celtics will need to stop in order to progress.

Suggested Bet: Celtics (-7.5) @ $1.89

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