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Betting: Will Celtics keep rolling and eliminate Nets?

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Ariel Epstein and Jared Quay break down their best futures bets for the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

Video Transcript

ARIEL EPSTEIN: Welcome to "Yahoo Sportsbook" with Jared Quay. I'm Ariel Epstein. We're breaking down the first series in the NBA playoffs. Jared, I'm going to start with you. What are your two top plays for this first series of these playoffs?

JARED QUAY: I'm just excited for the playoffs. I feel like NBA basketball, games matter, but they don't matter until the playoffs. That's when players played 40 minutes if they need to. With that being said, I bet I like-- we're going to play it safe this first round. I like the Philadelphia 76ers to win game one and win the series against the Raptors.

I like that at minus 130. I think that this 76ers team is better than people think. I think they're playing at home. I know Matisse Thybulle will not be able to play in Toronto. But game one will be in Philadelphia. So I like him to win that one. And I just think Doc Rivers and James Harden and company should be able to get past the Raptors, who are a feisty team. But I like that minus 130.

The other one I like is even safer. I like the Denver Nuggets versus the Golden State Warriors to go over 5 and 1/2 games at minus 160. Curry may not play game one. And we're taping this early, so who knows? But that being the case, I think the Nuggets just steal that one. But we all think Golden State should win it. With that being the case, I love it to go over 5 and 1/2. It's not great, great odds. But look, we'll get to the second round and spend more.

ARIEL EPSTEIN: I love it. Laying a lot of juice. However, I do see that Golden State and Denver series being one of the best ones to watch in the first round.

For my first round bets, I'm going with two different series picks. First, I'm going to get some plus money and take the Bucks to win in five. That's priced at plus 180 on BetMGM. Now, I love this because the Chicago Bulls have really struggled defensively. They also have struggled against teams with a win percentage over 60%.

The Bulls have lost 14 straight games when up against a team that has a 60% win percentage or higher. Their last win was December 4 against the Brooklyn Nets. When you look at the game straight up and against the spread, Chicago 5 and 19 straight up, 6 and 18 against the spread against a team with a win percentage over 60%. I'm going to take Milwaukee at plus 180 to win this one in five.

As for my second futures bet in the first series, I'm going to be betting the minus 140 on the Boston Celtics to beat the Brooklyn Nets. I am fading this Brooklyn team because they are bad. The only two players you could bet on is Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. And I know that they're great All-Stars and they are great at shooting the ball.

This team can't play defense. Boston is a defensive-minded team. And they are playing some of their best ball in 2022. Looking at how well playoff home favorites with more rest than their opponent have done, that's going to 60 and 19 straight up and 46, 32, and 1 against the spread.

I know in series one, this is kind of new because the play-in series is new. Yet, it is still a stat. And Brooklyn is not as rested as Boston. The line also has moved in favor of the Celtics, especially for game one. And multiple times throughout the series, the public is slamming Brooklyn. I'm seeing 70% of action backing the Nets and the line moving in favor of Boston. Give me the minus 140 on the Celtics to win the series.

JARED QUAY: I got a feeling you're going to be rooting for the Bulls one game later. Please, Bulls, win one.

ARIEL EPSTEIN: I know. I'm debating on going four and five, getting both those plus money bets in on Milwaukee to win in either four or five. I just wanted to give out five because I give Chicago and that DeMar DeRozan shooting a little bit of the benefit of the doubt.

Now, here's where Jared and I are going, here's a recap. Jared is taking the Sixers in game one and the series at minus 130 for Philly, the Nuggets and the Golden State Warriors series to go over 5 and 1/2 games, which is at minus 160. As for myself, I'm taking the Bucks in five at plus 180 and the Celtics to win the series at minus 140.

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