Free NBA Picks Friday 7/31/2020 and Opening Line Report
The NBA season is back after a long pause due to the Coronavirus outbreak. The NBA will be playing their games in Orlando, where they’ve built a bubble to prevent the spread of the virus between their players and staff. With protocols in place, the NBA is finally able to finish their season and then move into the playoffs with a different playoff picture set-up. There are some big names and faces that have opted out of the season, including basically the entire Nets roster. Other players include Davis Bertans and LaMarcus Aldridge. Here are Friday’s early leans for NBA action that starts at 2:30 pm EST and goes on until around 1 am EST.
Magic vs. Nets 7/31/20 (+7, 211.5)
The Orlando Magic were getting hot after three straight victories before the abrupt pause to the NBA season. The Magic had defeated the Timberwolves, Rockets, and Grizzlies all on the road and won three straight games to get to 30-35 on the season. Al-Farouq Amiinu will not be in Orlando for the restart, but Jonathan Isaac will be after joining the scrimmage game not too long ago. The Magic are healthy and technically playing home games as the bubble is in Orlando. On the other hand, the Nets will be without Kyrie Irving, Spencer Dinwiddie, DeAndre Jordan, Taurean Prince, and of course, Kevin Durant. The Nets top player will be Caris LeVert. However, if you look up and down that lineup, how can you trust Brooklyn?
Key trends: Magic are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
Early lean: Magic, Over
Grizzlies vs. Trail Blazers (-2, 223)
The Trail Blazers are finally starting to get healthy, and that’s some huge news going into this restart. Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins are going to be getting back in action for the Blazers. The forward and center positions were a problem for the Blazers earlier this year as injuries plagued the team. The Blazers are now much deeper. The Blazers were beaten and bruised in the paint earlier in the season. However, with a couple centers back, that changes. The Grizzlies ended up defeating the Blazers in February, 111-104, but again, the Blazers return extremely healthy and will do whatever they can to make the playoffs at this point.
Key trends: Grizzlies are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 Friday games.
Early lean: Trail Blazers, Under
Suns @ Wizards 7/31/20 (+7, 225.5)
The Wizards are 5.5 games out of first place with little time to get back into the playoff race. They’ll be led by Bradley Beal, who averaged 30.5 points per game before the NBA season was postponed. However, Davis Bertans, the Washington forward and second-best player, has opted out of the restart as he looks forward to free agency. The Suns are six games behind the Grizzlies for 8th place and are looking up in the standings as four other teams are ahead of them in the West for that 8th spot. Devin Booker, DeAndre Ayton, and Ricky Rubio will all be playing for the Suns at the restart.
Key trends: Wizards are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games as an underdog.
Early lean: Suns, Under
Celtics vs Bucks 7/31/20 (-5, 219)
This is a game between two top teams in the East. This might be the Eastern Conference Championship match-up this season. The Celtics are at full strength with Kemba Walker, Jayston Tatum and Gordon Hayward returning to action along with Jaylen Brown. The Celtics defeated the Bucks earlier in the season, 116-105 in October. Yes, October. The Celtics were second in the NBA in points allowed per game with 106.8 and did a great job limiting field goals. The Bucks, on the other hand, were struggling before the pandemic took place losing three straight games and four of their last five as they were on the West Coast facing the Lakers, Suns, and Nuggets before the season ended. All of those games were losses. It’s still unclear if Eric Bledsoe will be able to play this game after being cleared from Coronavirus. He joined practice and is able to go but circumstances might not allow it due to less practice time compared to others.
Key trends: Celtics are 20-8 ATS in their last 28 games as an underdog.
Early lean: Celtics, Over
Kings vs Spurs 7/31/20 (-2.5, 216.5)
The Spurs will be without LaMarcus Aldridge for the restart. Aldridge underwent shoulder surgery during the coronavirus lockdown and will not play in this game. Therefore, the Spurs will make Jakob Poeltl a starter and put more pressure on DeMar DeRozan to perform and get the Spurs into the playoffs. The Spurs aren’t used to being outside looking in. This isn’t a familiar position for the team. On the other hand, the Kings will bring back their solid and balanced scoring attack led by De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield. I don’t believe the Spurs are in a position to make the playoffs this season.
Key trends: Spurs are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record.
Early lean: Kings, Under
Rockets vs Mavericks 7/31/20 (-1.5, 227.5)
This is likely the game of the night in the NBA. Rockets lost four of their last five games before the pandemic to teams like the New York Knicks, Charlotte Hornets and Orlando Magic. That’s not going to help the Rockets moving forward. However, the Rockets defeated the Mavericks earlier in the season at home in January, 128-121. The Rockets feature a small lineup without a real center, and that might not match-up well with the Mavericks, who have legitimate size. The Mavericks are third in the NBA in points per game and fifth in field goal efficiency with 54.8 percent. Porzingis scored 35 points and grabbed 12 boards in that Mavericks game against the Rockets. In Luka Doncic’s first game against Houston, this season, he dropped 41 and nailed five threes in a road game in November.
Key trends: Rockets are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
Early lean: Mavericks, Over
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