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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Sunday, April 9, 2017 at 12:43 PM


We know that you've already circled Saturday, April 15th on your little desk calendar ... it may be Tax Day and all but, more importantly, it's the start of this year's NBA Playoffs!

Hey, finally time to get down to the business of crowning a pro hoops king for this 2016-17 campaign.

In today's weekend edition of Jim Sez - always one of our favorite columns of the whole sports year -- we'll break down the playoff-bound teams (or, in some cases, what we believe to be the playoff-bound teams) and we will categorize them in terms of who has the best-to-worst shots to win it all (note all records shown below are through the games of Thursday, April 6 and all the Odds to Win it All prices are based on $100 per-play wagers).

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers/Bloggers are hitting their stride these days in pro hoops and we'll be cashing in big with the NBA and Major-League Baseball each and every day this month. Just go online or call our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 and we'll send you straight into the winner's circle. Remember: The NBA Playoffs will begin on Saturday, April 15th



GOLDEN STATE (65-14) - Now that Kevin Durant is back in the fold, the Warriors figure to be downright impossible to stop and - as you can see by the Las Vegas odds - the desert folks sure seem to think Steve Kerr's crew is gonna win a second title in three years. Now, if only G-State can make sure emotional F/C Draymond Green stops kicking opponents in their personal areas!
Odds to Win it All -- -250

CLEVELAND (51-27) - The defending champs surely have experienced some choppy waters this year with internal bickering and the usual LeBron James complaints regarding not having enough "support" but the Cavaliers are the heavy-duty favs to win the East and what's to say we're not gonna have a Game 7 in June between Cavs-Warriors ... again?
Odds to Win it All -- + 200

SAN ANTONIO (60-18) - It's impossible to toss out the great-every-year Spurs from serious conversation regarding winning yet another title but, let's face it, the prospects grow dimmer when you figure Gregg Popovich's crew likely will have to beat Golden State and Cleveland back-to-back/belly-to-belly in this year's post-season. Can someone else (read Houston or Boston, perhaps) do some of the "dirty work" for San Antone?
Odds to Win it All -- + 550


HOUSTON (53-25) - No doubt MVP candidate James Harden is enough of a one-man show to get the Rockets a couple of rounds into this year's post-season but even this high-octane offense isn't likely to beat the league's elite squads in a seven-game series.
Odds to Win it All - + 1200

BOSTON (50-29) - Maybe the most "fun" team to be part of this NBA tournament, the Celtics could be the team that ruins a Cleveland versus Golden State Part III showdown in the NBA Finals and there's some decent value here at 14-to-1 ... is lefty G Isaiah Thomas and mates dogged enough to make it to the Finals?
Odds to Win it All - + 1400

TORONTO (48-31) - The return of perennial All-Star G Kyle Lowry gives the Raptors a much-needed boost and a real review of this roster (starring G DeMar DeRozan) shows there's plenty of firepower ... again, great value here at better than 25-to-1. Hmm.
Odds to Win it All -- + 2600

WASHINGTON (48-31) - Has there been a better Eastern Conference team since the start of this calendar year? Probably not but better believe John Wall, Bradley Beal and friends sure do wish to avoid a second-round matchup with the Cavaliers.
Odds to Win it All -- + 3300


LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS (48-31) - Let's face it, there's simply too many mountains to climb for the oft-injured Clips (will Blake Griffin and/or Chris Paul stay in one piece this whole post-season?) who will have hands full in a first-round matchup with defensive-minded Utah.
Odds to Win it All -- + 3200

UTAH (48-30) - Speaking of the Jazz, it plays near-.700 ball at home and simply must win all of its playoff home games if Quinn Snyder's crew is gonna stick around for long in these upcoming playoffs.
Odds to Win it All -- + 3300

OKLAHOMA CITY (45-33) - Wow, triple-double maven Russell Westbrook has willed this Thunder team to great heights this year but if Okie City gets past the second round we'll be personally quite shocked.
Odds to Win it All -- + 6600


MEMPHIS (42-37) - The Grizzlies are heading in the wrong direction (lost seven of last 10 games) as we inch closer to the post-season.
Odds to Win it All -- + 10,000

ATLANTA (40-38) - Gotta say that F Paul Millsap could be a major factor in the East as the Hawks could be facing off with Cleveland in Round II.
Odds to Win it All -- + 10,000

MILWAUKEE (40-39) - Right now the Bucks are on the inside-looking-out at a potential playoff berth but this fragile club should be happy to get in the post-season and just win a couple of games.
Odds to Win it All -- + 10,000

CHICAGO (39-40) - Give the Bulls some credit for hanging tough despite a very bumpy road but if Chitowners make it into the playoffs, it will be over-and-out faster than you can say Butterbean Love!
Odds to Win it All -- + 12,500

INDIANA (39-40) - The Pacers sported a slim half-game lead for the final Eastern Conference playoff berth heading into the weekend but who really takes this team seriously?
Odds to Win it All -- + 12,500

MIAMI (38-40) - Hats off to the Heat for an excellent in-season bounce-back campaign and Erik Spoelstra's squad could make things sticky in Round One for one of the conference's favorites.
Odds to Win it All - + 12,500

PORTLAND (39-40) - First things first, beat out Denver for the last spot in the West and then pray that this star-studded backcourt plays lights out against Golden State.
Odds to Win it All -- + 17,500

DENVER (37-41) - Do the Nuggets really belong in this year's post-season? They rank 27th in the NBA in scoring defense ... bummer!
Odds to Win it All -- + 25,000

Note: Lots of MLB and NBA goodies in the next Jim Sez plus lots of NFL Draft coverage soon too!

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