Free NBA Picks Saturday 8/1/2020 and Opening Line Report
In the first two games of the NBA restart, the average point differential was just two points. The Lakers defeated the Clippers by two points and the Jazz defeated the Pelicans by two points. Early on, it looks like we’ll see some close and tightly contested games that should really excite viewers around the world. Maybe it’s time to think about betting on the underdogs early in this re-start. Here are the early leans for Saturday’s NBA slate.
Heat vs Nuggets 8/1/20 (-1.5, 216.5)
The Miami Heat were worried about potentially being without Bam Adebayo to start the season due to COVID-19 but it looks like the All-Star center will be available and ready to go to re-start the season for the Heat along with Jimmy Butler, who was averaging 20.2 points per game before the pandemic. The Nuggets have been the most intriguing team going into the restart. Nikola Jokiic played point guard during exhibition games while Bol Bol made his return to the court and turned some heads. Denver’s frontcourt should have no problem against Miami’s frontcourt as the Nuggets won their first game of the season against the Heat, 109-89.
Key trends: Heat are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games as an underdog.
Early lean: Nuggets, Under
Jazz vs Thunder 8/1/20 (+2, 216)
The Jazz are coming off a come-from-behind win against the Pelicans as slight underdogs with Rudy Gobert sealing the game with a pair of free throws. Jordan Clarkson led the team in scoring with 23 points off the bench, while Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley each added 20 points in the win. Gobert had a double-double. It was fun watching this team in action, and there’s no hard feelings on the court after the COVID debacle. The Thunder won three straight games before the pandemic hit. All three games were on the road against the East teams, with one team being the Celtics, winning 105-104. The Thunder shocked many this season and have plenty of young talent and a young core that could surprise moving forward. The Jazz already played a game, though. They’ll have little rust.
Key trends: Jazz are 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 games following a straight up win.
Early lean: Jazz, Over
Pelicans vs Clippers 8/1/20 (-5.5, 226.5)
With this game, you won’t need to worry about rust. Both teams are coming off two-point losses on Thursday. One team will walk away happy, while the other team will hang their heads after two straight losses to start off their Orlando experience. The Clippers played well in the middle of their game against the Lakers but ultimately lost the game in the first and fourth quarters. Paul George dropped 30 points, while Kawhi Leonard scored 28 points. Remember, Lou Williams will not be available for this game, either. The Clippers didn’t get much help scoring outside of George and Leonard. The Pelicans played Zion Williamson just 15 minutes, but he still scored 13 points. Brandon Ingram dropped 23 while JJ Redick scored 21 from the bench in the loss.
Key trends: Pelicans are 11-4-1 ATS in their last 16 games as an underdog.
Early lean: Pelicans, Under
76ers vs Pacers 8/1/20 (+4.5, 214)
With the 76ers and Pacers tied up at 39-26, this game is more important than the average fan would think. Victor Oladipo hasn’t decided about playing just yet, so be on the lookout for his status before betting on this game. He has “reconsidered” playing, but the Pacers will absolutely be without Domanta Sabonis, who left the bubble for medical treatment. The Pacers will also be without rookie Goga Bitadze. Plus, if Myles Turner gets in foul trouble, the Pacers could be in trouble trying to defend Joel Embiid, who they haven’t seen yet in two games this season.
Key trends: 76ers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games as a favorite.
Early lean: 76ers, Over
Lakers vs Raptors 8/1/20 (+3.5, 217)
The Lakers are coming off a two-point win over the Los Angeles Clippers and will now take on the Toronto Raptors. The Lakers are re-starting the season with some heavy competition. However, with the way Anthony Davis is playing, the Lakers look like the absolute champions early in the re-start. The Raptors had won four straight games before the pandemic started, winning on a West Coast slate against the Suns, Warriors, Kiings, and the Jazz. Months later, the “West Coast” trip continues… but in Orlando. The Raptors have won their last ten games against the Lakers and won earlier this season, 113-104. Pascal Siakam scored 24 in that one.
Key trends: Raptors are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games as an underdog.
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