Free NBA Picks Saturday 8/22/2020 and Opening Line Report
In the second games of the conference quarterfinals, the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers took their first loss to heart and absolutely destroyed their opposition in the second game. Nothing should change in game three between those two teams. The other two games will feature the Pacers, who are now down 2-0 to the Heat, and the Thunder, who are down 2-0 to the Russ Westbrook-less Rockets. Can the Thunder or Pacers make their series anything, or will both teams go down three games to none? Here are the leans for Saturday’s NBA playoff action.
Bucks vs Magic 8/22/20 (+12, 226)
The Magic came into game two with a 1-0 lead in the series. The Bucks weren’t going to let that lead get any bigger and shined against the Magic in the second game of the series. The Bucks know that they’ll have to give plenty more in this series to win. No game is an easy victory in the NBA, especially in the playoffs. Giannis Antetokounmpo added 28 points and 20 rebounds in game two. The star heard it plenty after a brutal game one. The Bucks won’t let the Magic steal any more games. An early start for the Bucks should happen again in the third game.
Key trends: Bucks are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Conference Quarterfinals games.
Early lean: Bucks, Over
Pacers vs Heat 8/22/20 (-5, 214)
The Miami Heat have won the first two games of this series with very good defense and timely shooting. Duncan Robinson stayed hot from downtown for the Heat, with seven three-point balls, while Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic did their thing with a combined 38 points from the two. The Heat are getting solid contributions from the bench, including Tyler Herro and Andre Iguodala, who played 35 and 28 minutes, respectively, and combined for 23 points in Game 2. The chemistry looks tight with the Heat, while the Pacers continue to battle with a bench that might seem deep but a bench that isn’t producing much. The Pacers maybe have more depth, but the depth isn’t producing.
Key trends: Pacers are 0-5-1 ATS in their last 6 Conference Quarterfinals games.
Early lean: Heat, Under
Rockets vs Thunder 8/22/20 (+3, 224)
The Rockets up are 2-0 against the Thunder in the conference quarterfinals without Russ Westbrook. Before the playoffs began, the Rockets were ice cold from long range. Things have changed in the playoffs. The Rockets are now shooting lights out and held the Thunder to just 98 points in the second game. You’d expect the Thunder to win a game or two before losing this series. Down 2-0, the pressure is absolutely on. The Thunder need to adjust on defense, and the Rockets probably won’t shoot this well all series long. Look for this game to be tighter.
Key trends: Under is 4-1 in Rockets last 5 Conference Quarterfinals games.
Early lean: Thunder, Under
Lakers vs Trail Blazers 8/22/20 (+7, 225)
The hype might have finally calmed down for Damian Lillard and the Blazers. It’s not that the Blazers are bad. Everyone is still rooting for them. It’s just that the Lakers, with Anthony Davis in his zone, are undoubtedly unstoppable. After losing game one, Davis felt like he didn’t play well and came into the second game on a mission. Davis isn’t used to the playoffs like LeBron James is. James gave him some pointers, along with the other players, and the Lakers offense picked up with their defense continuing to be excellent. The Lakers are something else when their shots are falling.
Key trends: Under is 5-2 in Trail Blazers last 7 Conference Quarterfinals games.
Early lean: Lakers, Under
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