2014 NBA playoffs betting guide

Teams to bet on, against and other smart value picks for the postseason

Updated: April 18, 2014, 6:30 PM ET
By Evan Abrams and Erin Rynning | ESPN Insider

Dwight HowardMark D. Smith/USA TODAY SportsDwight Howard and the Houston Rockets, at 20-1 odds, are a smart value pick this postseason.

The NBA is a "favorites" league where star players and the top teams have a strong track record in the postseason. With the exception of the Dallas Mavericks in 2010-11 as a No. 3 seed, the title favorite/co-favorite has won each of the last six championships. The Miami Heat were favorites en route to last year's title. In 2011-12, it was a similar situation with the Heat as the No. 2 seed, but favored following Derrick Rose's injury. The Los Angeles Lakers won back-to-back titles as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. And the Boston Celtics were the top seed in the East during their 2007-08 title run.

Evan Abrams has been working in sports information and analytics for the past decade in New Jersey, New York, and Las Vegas. Born and raised in New York City, Abrams graduated from Indiana University.
Erin Rynning has been a professional NBA bettor in Las Vegas since 2002. He makes over 1,000 unique NBA bets a season.