Today's NBA Playoff Picks 8/19/20
The NBA playoffs offer up four Game 2's Wednesday for our viewing and betting pleasure. And after a day in which both top seeds lost their series openers, we're wondering what might happen next. Who do we like for our free NBA playoff picks for Wednesday?
Raptors -11/226 vs. Nets, 1:30 pm ET, NBATV
Toronto leads this series 1-0 after taking Game 1 Monday 134-110. The Raptors shot themselves out to a 68-35 lead in the second quarter, let Brooklyn get within 90-82 late in the third, then re-applied the gas and pulled away for the victory and the cover as 10-point favorites.
For the game, Toronto shot 47 percent from the floor, which included a 22/44 performance from 3-point land. Brooklyn also shot 47 percent on field goals, but some of that can be attributed to the Raptors easing up on D after taking that huge lead.
Short-handed Brooklyn actually played well during the eight-game “seedings” re-start, going 5-3 SU, 6-2 ATS, but ran into a steamroller Monday.
The Raptors are now 8-1 SU, 7-2 ATS since the re-start. Toronto is also now 4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS against the Nets this season.
The Raptors finished 18 games ahead of Brooklyn in the final regular-season standings.
Free NBA Pick: Toronto is probably going to win this game and this series, but Brooklyn actually played some decent ball during the re-start and nearly played its way back into Monday's game. We're not big believers in the "zig-zag" theory, but we'll take the Nets and the points here.
Nuggets -3.5/218 vs. vs. Jazz, 4 pm ET, TNT
Denver leads this series 1-0 after winning the opener Monday afternoon 135-125 in overtime. The Nuggets trailed Utah by five points with under two minutes left but rallied to force OT, then scored the first eight points in extra time to take control. Denver also pulled off a somewhat unlikely cover as a five-point favorite.
For the day, the Nuggets shot 52 percent from the field, going 22/41 from 3-point land.
The largest lead either team had all game was 12 points.
Denver is now 4-5 SU, 5-4 ATS since the re-start, while Utah is now 3-5 SU, 4-4 ATS.
The Nuggets beat the Jazz by a game and a half in the regular-season standings. Denver is also now 4-0 both SU and ATS vs. Utah this season, although the last two of those win/covers came in overtime.
The Jazz is playing without G Mike Conley (personal), and they probably could have used him Monday, especially late in the game.
Free NBA Pick: The Nuggets seem to have Utah's number, and the Jazz are without one of their key guys. We like Denver here.
Celtics -4.5/215 vs. 76ers, 6:30 pm ET, TNT
Boston leads this series 1-0 after taking Game 1 Monday 109-101. The Celtics trailed the Sixers 81-75 early in the fourth quarter but used a 26-11 run to take control. Then Boston hit 6/6 on free-throws in the last minute to secure the W and the money at -6.5.
The Celtics only shot 42 percent from the floor Monday but won the turnover battle 18-7.
Boston is now 6-3 SU, 4-4-1 ATS since the re-start, Philadelphia 4-5 SU, 3-6 ATS.
The Celtics beat the Sixers by 5.5 games in the regular-season standings, but Philly took the season series from Boston three games to one.
Philly F Ben Simmons is out with a knee injury, but the Sixers have actually played some decent ball without him this season. Meanwhile, Boston is now without F Gordon Hayward, after he turned an ankle Monday.
Free NBA Pick: We picked Philly Monday because we thought they could play without Simmons, and they took the season series from Boston. Unfortunately, we came up a bucket short of the cover. But again, while we're not big believers in the "zig-zag" theory, we'll stick with the Sixers here.
Clippers -6.5/231 vs. Mavericks, 9 pm ET, TNT
Los Angeles leads this series 1-0 after downing Dallas Monday 118-110. The Clippers led the Mavs early 18-2, they trailed by five early in the third quarter. But Dallas F Kristaps Porzingis got ejected, and LA slowly took control from there.
Los Angeles also hit 4/4 free-throws in the last 30 seconds for the cover at -6.5.
The Clippers are now 6-3 SU, 7-2 ATS since the re-start, while Dallas is just 3-6 SU, 1-8 ATS.
LA finished 7.5 games ahead of the Mavs in the final regular-season standings. The Clippers are also now 4-0 both SU and ATS vs. Dallas this season.
On the injury front, Porzingis is listed as questionable for Wednesday after tweaking a knee Monday, but we expect him to play.
Free NBA Pick: We backed Los Angeles Monday because it's the better team, playing the better ball as of late, and nothing's changed since then. We'll stick