Sunday's NBA Playoff Picks - Odds & Analysis 8/30/20
Following several unexpected days off for reflection/protest, two NBA first-round series resume and one conference semi-final series begins Sunday down in the Florida bubble. Who do we like today for our free NBA picks?
Raptors -2/216 vs. Celtics, 1 pm ET, ESPN
These playoffs really get started when Boston and Toronto begin this best-of-seven Eastern Conference semi-finals series Sunday.
The Raptors just swept Brooklyn in four games in the first round of these playoffs, finishing the Nets off with a 150-122 romp last Sunday. Toronto won three of those four games by at least 24 points. Meanwhile, the Celtics just swept Philadelphia out of the first round, finishing that series off with a 110-106 win Sunday. Toronto finished five games ahead of Boston in the final regular-season standings, 53-19 to 48-24, but the Celtics took the season series from the Raptors three games to one. On the injury front, Boston is playing without F Gordon Hayward (ankle).
Free NBA Pick: This looks like it should be a great series between two very evenly matched teams. But we can't help but believe the Celtics will miss Gordon. Boston may have taken three of four games from Toronto during the regular season, but that sounds like a lean due for a correction. We'll take the Raptors for this Game 1.
Clippers -10/238 vs. Mavericks, 3:30 pm ET, ESPN
Los Angeles leads this series 3-2 following its 154-111 romp over Dallas Tuesday. The Clippers used an early 19-0 run to take a 41-22 first-quarter lead and never let the Mavericks get within single digits after that. LA led by 25 after three quarters and poured it on with 43 points in the fourth for the easy win and cover as an eight-point favorite. Game 5 also played over its total of 236, so the overs are now 4-1 in this series. The Clippers are now 6-2 both SU and ATS against the Mavericks this season. This series would be over if not for Luka Doncic's game-winning 3-point bomb for Dallas at the overtime buzzer in Game 4. On the injury front, the Mavs are already playing without F Kristaps Porzingis, and Doncic is hobbled by a sore ankle that also got stepped on in Game 5.
Free NBA Pick: We're 3-2 ATS picking this series, going with Los Angeles all five games. While the spread for this game seems a bit steep, we're giving the points again with the Clippers against shorthanded Dallas.
Jazz -2.5/220 vs. Nuggets, 8:30 pm ET, TNT
Utah leads this series 3-2 following Denver's 117-107 Game 5 victory Tuesday. The Jazz led that game by nine points at the half and 15 in the third quarter, but the Nuggets rallied to tie the score at 101 with four minutes to go. Denver then finished the game with a 16-6 run for the outright win as dogs of 2.5 points, staying alive in the process. Tuesday's game also played over a total of 220. So the overs are 4-1 in this series. The Nuggets swept three games from Utah during the regular season, so they're 5-3 SU, 6-2 ATS against the Jazz this season.
Free NBA Pick: We're 3-2 ATS on picks in this series, backing Denver all five games. And we still believe the Nuggets are the better team in this match-up. Also, in eight meetings this season, Denver has out-rebounded Utah six times. So we're gonna stick with the Nuggets for our pick on this Game 6.
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