Free NBA Picks Wednesday 8/19/2020 and Opening Line Report
All Game 1s in the bubble will be completed by tonight. Now we’re going to Game 2 of the playoffs with four exciting games in action starting early in the day and finishing late at night. It’s like March Madness but for the NBA, in August. This is fun. Maybe we should start a petition for every NBA playoffs to be like this. After watching the first games of these four series’ on Monday, I’m starting to think we’ll see the same results on this slate. Here are my leans for August 19 in the NBA Playoffs.
Nets vs Raptors 8/19/20 (-11, 226)
In the first game of this series, we watched the Raptors stretch their lead out to 33 points only to allow the Nets to scrape back into the game and get within eight in the second half. The Nets defense is going to be a problem, but the offense was smooth with great passing and chemistry. The Raptors are World Champions and proved that they belong in the conversation for back-to-back titles, even without Kawhi Leonard. Fred VanVleet was unconscious from three, and the Raptors did enough defensively to hold off the Nets. The Nets won’t win a game this series with that kind of defense.
Key trends: Nets are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 Conference Quarterfinals games.
Early lean: Raptors, Over
Jazz vs Nuggets 8/19/20 (-4, 217.5)
This series is going to be fun. Donovan Mitchell scored 57 points, which is the third most scored in NBA Playoffs history in a single game. The game found its way into overtime, and that’s when Jamal Murray did his Donovan Mitchell impression and was scorching hot in overtime to get the first win of the series. This is a great match-up and should be exciting throughout the series. The Jazz have lost four of their last five games (including the final four games of the regular season), and the Nuggets lost three straight before their playoff win. It’s going to come down to the hotter shooting team. That’ll likely be the Nuggets at this point.
Key trends: Under is 6-2 in Jazz last 8 Conference Quarterfinals games.
Early lean: Nuggets, Under
76ers vs Celtics 8/19/20 (-4.5, 214)
The 76ers are going to be eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. It happens every season. You think the Sixers have enough to win, and then injuries, bad signings, and plenty of drama destroys those chances. The Celtics are by far the superior team. Gordon Hayward might be limited in Game 2 with the injury he received in Game 1. Both teams play solid defense. However, what you’ll see is that the Celtics have enough offense to get by against the 76ers. Jayson Tatum looked real good in that first game with 32 points and 13 rebounds. He’s ready to take over for the Celtics and really make a run in the Eastern Conference. Also, doesn’t it seem like Tobias Harris just goes silent in the playoffs? That’s not a good sign for the 76ers offensively, although he did have plenty of rebounds and assists in this one. The 76ers need his scoring.
Key trends: Celtics are 35-16-1 ATS in their last 52 playoff games as a favorite.
Early lean: Celtics, Under
Mavericks vs Clippers 8/19/20 (-6.5, 229)
The Mavericks continue to lose close games. It’s a thing with the Mavericks. In tight games, they struggle to close. It’s going to be even harder going up against Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, two guys with clutchness inside their veins. Porzingis was ejected in Game 1 for standing up for Luka Doncic, who got into a scuffle. Meanwhile, Doncic looked like his ankle or achilles was bothering him all game. He still scored plenty of points, but it wasn’t enough. The Clippers ran away with the game at the end. With Doncic injured, it’s going to be real hard for the Mavericks to win this series. If they fall down 2-0, I don’t know if the Mavs win a game. This is a big one for the Mavs, but I still don’t think they get it done.
Key trends: Mavericks are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 playoff games as an underdog.
Early lean: Clippers, Over
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