2014 NBA playoffs betting guide

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

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.