Saturday's NBA Playoff Spread Picks
Favorites swept the four NBA playoff games Friday, going 4-0 against the spread along the way. So chalk is now 16-4 SU, 15-5 ATS during this NBA postseason. Saturday brings with it four more key Game 3's down in the Florida bubble. Who do we like for our free NBA picks?
Bucks -12/226 vs. Magic, 1 pm ET, TNT
This series is tied at 1-1, following Milwaukee's 111-96 victory Thursday. After being shocked by Orlando in Game 1 Tuesday, the Bucks, led by 21 at the half Thursday and by 23 in the third quarter. They then allowed the Magic to get within 101-92 with about four minutes left but hung on for the win and the cover as 12-point favorites.
After shooting the lights out, Tuesday Orlando missed 25 of its first 28 shots Thursday.
Milwaukee is now 4-6 SU and ATS since the restart, while the Magic is 4-6 SU, 5-5 ATS.
The Bucks are also now 5-1 SU, 4-2 ATS vs. Orlando this season.
Free NBA Pick: We're 1-1 ATS on this series, picking Milwaukee twice. Sometimes the best thing that can happen to a heavy favorite is a good, hard slap in the face, like the Bucks, received Tuesday. We expect Thursday's degree of play to carry over into Game 3, so we're sticking with Milwaukee here.
Heat -5/214 vs. Pacers, 3:30 pm ET, TNT
Miami leads this series 2-0 after winning Game 2 Thursday 109-100. The Heat led by five at the half then pushed that advantage to 16 in the third quarter and held on from there for the win and the money as four-point favorites.
Miami took the opener of this series Tuesday 113-101, also covering at -4.
The Heat are now 5-5 both SU and ATS since the NBA's restart but 4-2 both SU and ATS when Jimmy Butler plays. Indiana, meanwhile, is now 6-4 both SU and ATS since the reboot.
Miami is also now 5-1 SU, 4-2 ATS this season against the Pacers.
Free NBA Pick: We're 2-0 ATS on this series by riding the Heat twice, and we see no reason to hop off this horse right now. We'll stick with Miami for Game 3.
Rockets -3/224 vs. Thunder, 6 pm ET, ESPN
Houston leads this series 2-0 after taking Game 2 Thursday 111-98. The Rockets actually trailed Oklahoma City by three points early in the fourth quarter, then used a 17-0 run to take control, on their way to the win and the cash as two-point favorites.
Houston took Game 1 of this series Tuesday 123-108.
The surprising thing about this series so far is that while Houston's James Harden is just 14/45 from the field, the Rockets have won twice by double-digits.
Houston is now 6-4 SU and ATS since the NBA's restart, while the Thunder are 4-6 SU and ATS.
The Rockets are also now 3-2 SU against OKC this season, but the Thunder are 3-2 ATS.
Houston played the first two games of this series without an injured Russell Westbrook, and he'll miss this game, too. But so far, his absence hasn't mattered.
Free NBA Pick: We're 0-2 ATS on this series, backing OKC twice. But we still believe these teams are closer than the first two games of this series might indicate. If they can just start sticking the ball in the hole, the Thunder might be alright. We'll stick with Oklahoma City for Game 3.
Lakers -7/225 vs. Blazers, 8:30 pm ET, ABC
This series is tied at 1-1 after Los Angeles bounced back for a 111-88 romp Thursday. The Lakers led by 17 at the half Thursday and by 30 through three quarters, on their way to the easy W and the cover as seven-point favorites.
Portland took the opener of this series Tuesday 100-93, winning outright as a six-point dog.
Even with Thursday's win/cover, LA is only 4-6 SU, 2-8 since the restart.
Even with Thursday's loss, the Blazers are still 7-3 SU, 5-4-1 ATS since the restart.
Los Angeles is also now 3-2 both SU and ATS against Portland this season.
On the injury front, Blazers G Damian Lillard dislocated a finger Thursday, left the game and didn't return. But he is expected to play Saturday.
Free NBA Pick: We're 1-1 ATS on this series, picking Portland twice. But perhaps it's time to jump ship and go with the best team in the West, against a team that got exposed as thin when Lillard left
Thursday's game. We'll give the points here with the Lakers.