Ranking first-round upset chances

Nets top list of Game 1 winners with best odds of beating first-round favorite

Updated: April 21, 2014, 11:01 AM ET
By Kevin Pelton | ESPN Insider

Brooklyn NetsTom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY SportsDeron Williams and the Nets impressed in their Game 1 victory over the Raptors.

So much for home-court advantage. The first weekend of the NBA postseason belonged to the road teams. Five of the eight lower seeds immediately swung the series by winning Game 1, some in decisive fashion, others dramatically down the stretch. That's a big change from last year, when the home teams were 8-0 during the first weekend.

However, don't start scouting a Washington Wizards-Atlanta Hawks series in the conference semifinals just yet. Since the first round expanded to seven games in 2003, road teams that have stolen Game 1 on the road have gone on to win the series less than half of the time (10-of-22, 45 percent, to be exact). But that's an average, and each playoff series is unique.

Based on the matchups and how Game 1 played out, here's how I'd rank the five road winners' chances of taking the series.

1. Brooklyn Nets (60 percent chance of winning series)

In most quarters -- including our expert picks and Las Vegas -- the Nets were actually slight favorites entering this series. Their Game 1 victory in Toronto only reinforced that perspective. Brooklyn took advantage of favorable matchups at power forward (where Amir Johnson couldn't hang with Paul Pierce on the perimeter) and on the wing (where Joe Johnson posted up smaller Raptors counterparts, putting Terrence Ross in early foul trouble) to lead most of the game.