NBA Playoffs 2019: Postseason Standings, Championship Odds and Predictions

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistApril 22, 2019

Gordon Hayward helped lead the Celtics to a series sweep of the Indiana Pacers.
Gordon Hayward helped lead the Celtics to a series sweep of the Indiana Pacers.Michael Conroy/Associated Press

The Boston Celtics have made quick work of the Indiana Pacers, and they will get their opportunity to prepare for their second-round opponent.

That team will almost certainly be the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks, a team with a 3-0 lead over the Detroit Pistons. A victory by the Bucks Monday night will close out the series, but don't expect the Bucks and the Celtics to start their series before Saturday.

They know that playing the Bucks will be a much more challenging task, and they need time to get ready for the task.

"It's going to take everything we have," Gordon Hayward said, per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com). "That's why it's good we finished this series. We can rest up, prepare and have some extra time."

The fourth-seeded Celtics defeated the Pacers 110-106 in the fourth game of the series as they rebuffed every Indiana comeback effort and recorded their first 4-0 series sweep since 2011 when they ousted the New York Knicks.

Hayward came off the bench to lead the Celtics in scoring with 20 points, while Jayson Tatum and Marcus Morris both added 18. Kyrie Irving and Al Horford scored 14 points for the balanced Celtics.

In addition to Boston's victory, the Golden State Warriors earned a hard-fought 113-105 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers as Kevin Durant poured in 33 points and Klay Thompson added 32. The Warriors have recovered from their Game 2 home loss and lead the series 3-1.

The Toronto Raptors have the same 3-1 lead after beating the Orlando Magic 107-85 Sunday. Kawhi Leonard dominated the game for the victors with 34 points, and he also added six rebounds.

The Portland Trail Blazers completed Sunday's sweep by the four road teams with a 111-98 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. That win gave them a 3-1 lead with the series returning to the Rose City for Game 5 Tuesday. Guards C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard led the way with 27 and 24 points, respectively. Those two got help from forward Al-Farouq Aminu, who added 19 points and nine rebounds. 

Two more games are scheduled for Monday, and we offer predictions on those games in addition to looking at the current NBA bracket and championship odds.

          

Updated NBA Postseason Bracket

Eastern Conference

No. 1 Milwaukee Bucks 3, No. 8 Detroit Pistons 0

No. 2 Toronto Raptors 3, No. 7 Orlando Magic 1

No. 3 Philadelphia 76ers 3, No. 6 Brooklyn Nets 1

No. 4 Boston Celtics 4, No. 5 Indiana Pacers 0, (Celtics advance to second round)               

        

Western Conference

No. 1 Golden State Warriors 3, No. 8 Los Angeles Clippers 1

No. 2 Denver Nuggets 2, No. 7 San Antonio Spurs 2

No. 3 Portland Trail Blazers 3, No. 6 Oklahoma City Thunder 1

No. 4 Houston Rockets 3, No. 5 Utah Jazz 0

(First-round NBA playoff schedule.)

             

NBA Championship Odds, per Oddschecker

Golden State Warriors, -185

Milwaukee Bucks, +550

Houston Rockets, +550

Toronto Raptors, +1100

Boston Celtics, +2300

Philadelphia 76ers, +2600

Denver Nuggets, +3800

Portland Trail Blazers, +6500

Oklahoma City Thunder, +7500

San Antonio Spurs, +7500

Utah Jazz, +24000

Brooklyn Nets, +25000

Orlando Magic, +25000

Los Angeles Clippers, +25000

Detroit Pistons, +25000

           

Monday Predictions

Milwaukee Bucks at Detroit Pistons, 8 p.m. ET

The Pistons are down to their last chance in the series, and the idea that they could win a game against the Bucks seems to be a bit out of reach.

The Bucks have won the first three games of the series with relative ease, rebuffing a couple of brief challenges in Games 2 and 3 to record easy victories in both games.

Don't expect any letup from the Bucks even though they were the No. 1 seed as a result of their regular-season dominance. They have not won a postseason series in 18 years, and they are clearly motivated to advance to the next round.

"We might be the No. 1 seed and best team in the NBA (record-wise) but at the end of the day, we haven't won a playoff series in a while," MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo said, per NBA.com. "We're hungry, everybody's hungry."

The Pistons will look to Blake Griffin in an attempt to earn a victory in the series. After sitting out the first two games with a sore left knee, Griffin scored 27 points in 31 minutes during Saturday's Game 3 effort.

Griffin will give everything he has, but it won't be enough to stop the determined and talented Bucks.

Predictions: Milwaukee 112, Detroit 90

Houston Rockets at Utah Jazz, 10:30 p.m. ET

The Jazz and the Rockets appeared to have one of the competitive matchups as the NBA playoffs got underway, but Utah has been quite disappointing and has fallen into a 3-0 hole.

Their Game 3 defeat at home Saturday night was disconcerting. Houston superstar James Harden had one of the worst shooting nights in the history of the NBA playoffs, making just three of his 20 shots from the field. Nevertheless, the Jazz did not take advantage and dropped a 104-101 decision.

Donovan Mitchell will try to lead the Jazz to their first victory of the series. He scored 34 points in Game 3, but he endured a rough 9-of-27 shooting night.

"I don't think anybody is going to just lay over Monday," Mitchell said during a press conference, per NBA.com. "I don't think that is going to be the case. I don't think that is what our organization is based on. ... It is an uphill battle, but we are not going to lay over and give them a game."

The Jazz appear to have little chance of becoming the first NBA team to overcome an 0-3 deficit to win a series, but look for Utah to play its best game of the series.

Prediction: Utah 105, Houston 101

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