Today's NBA Picks for 8/18/20

Favorites ruled the day in the NBA Monday, winning and covering each of the four playoff series openers. Four more series begin Tuesday down in the Florida bubble. How are we playing these games with our free NBA playoffs picks?

Heat -4/216 vs. Pacers, 4 pm ET, TNT

Indiana is the four seed in the East, Miami the five seed, but the Heat are lined as -300 favorites to win this series.

The Pacers played 6-2 both SU and ATS after the re-start, with wins over Philadelphia, the Lakers, Houston, and last time out, this Miami team.

The Heat, meanwhile, only played 3-5 both SU and ATS after the re-start, playing several games without Jimmy Butler. But he should be good to go for this series.

Miami won the season series with Indiana three games to one, but the Pacers beat the Heat 109-92 last Friday.

On the injury front, Indiana is playing without Domantas Sabonis (19 points, 12 rebounds per game this season), who's out with a bad foot.

Free NBA Pick: Miami took three of four games from Indiana during the regular season, and Butler missed the only game they lost. The Heat should take care of business with their leader Tuesday.

Thunder -2/225 vs. Rockets, 6:30 pm ET, TNT

Houston is the four seed in the West, Oklahoma City, the five seed. These teams finished with identical regular-season records (44-28).

OKC will probably play at least the first couple of games of this series without Russell Westbrook, who's dealing with a pulled quad.

The Thunder played 4-4 both SU and ATS after the re-start, alternating wins and losses. Most recently, they fell to the Clippers last Friday 107-103 in overtime.

The Rockets also played 4-4, both SU and ATS, during the re-start. Houston won four of its first five games in the bubble, then lost its last three, including a 134-96 drubbing at the hands of Philadelphia last Friday.

The Thunder took the season series from the Rockets two games to one.

Free NBA Pick: Oklahoma City plays the better defense and does a better job on the boards, and Houston is without Westbrook. We'll take the Thunder here.

Lakers -5.5/229 vs. Trailblazers, 9 pm ET, TNT

LA is the top seed in the West, Portland, the eighth seed, but many foresee this as a tough series for the Lakers.

Portland played 6-2 SU, 5-2-1 ATS during the re-start, winning its last three in a row. The Blazers then defeated Memphis in a mini-series game last Saturday, 126-122, to advance to meet the Lakers.

LA played just 3-5 SU, 1-7 ATS after the re-start, but it was enough to hold off the Clippers for the No. 1 seed in the West. Obviously, the Lakers had things on cruise control and even looked disinterested at times.

LA took the season series from the Blazers two games to one, but Portland won the most recent meeting in January 127-119.

Free NBA Pick: The Lakers are the better team, but the Blazers got Big Mo on their side right now. We'll take Portland and the points.

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