The 2019 NBA play-offs are on the way. At this point, we're at the stage of the semifinals. That's where it'll be decided which team from each Conference is going to play in the final.
In the Eastern Conference semi-final, Milwaukee Bucks are taking on Toronto Raptors, while in the Western Conference, Golden State Warriors are pitted against Portland Trail Blazers. Let's discuss each of the semis in more detail!
Milwaukee Bucks vs Toronto Raptors (East)
Milwaukee Bucks were phenomenal in the regular season and their dominance seemed like it was going to continue into the play-offs. And it did! They destroyed Detroit Pistons 4-0 in series in 1/8-finals. Another impressive feat came soon afterward when they beat Boston Celtics in the quarter-finals. The total score was four wins for Bucks, one win for Celtics.
Now, they're facing the toughest challenge so far. They're playing against Raptors, the team that finished the regular season just behind them, on the second place in the East. What's giving them a lot of confidence ahead of the semi-final games is that they have a pretty decent record against Raptors. This season, they won three out of four duels with the Canadian team.
Golden State Warriors vs Portland Trail Blazers (West)
Out West, the Warriors once again look like big favorites, despite the fact that two of their main stars (Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins) are out due to injuries. If they manage to get to the big final, it's going to be the fifth consecutive time they're fighting for the title. In the previous four, they were the ones to take the ring on three occasions.
But, before they get a chance to win another championship title, they need to go past Portland Trail Blazers, a team that had a really nerve-wracking adventure in the quarter-final. Thanks to a vintage 17-point comeback against Nuggets in the Game 7 of the East quarter-final, they got themselves a spot in the semis.
NBA Play-Offs Predictions
According to leading NBA handicappers, Golden State Warriors are favorites to take the ring once again. Most sportsbooks agree, making the Warriors number one contenders for the title, with the odds currently standing at -167.
The second-favorite is Milwaukee Bucks, with the odds currently around +250. Toronto Raptors come in third, with the odds on them winning the championship standing at +900. The biggest underdog is the team from Portland. The books are giving a huge +2,500 on Trailers to win the ring.