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NBA Predictions Playoff Week 8/31-9/6 – Updated Daily!

01 September 2020

Last updated: 06 September 2020 at 3:08 pm

NBA Picks and Predictions by TJ Calkins at USsportsbonus

Sunday Betting Play

Miami Heat vs Milwaukee Bucks

330PM EST
Opening Line: Heat -1.5 and 220
Current Line: Heat -1 and 219.5

It seemed unthinkable at midseason that the Bucks would be pushed to the brink like this, but here they are. The Heat lead 3-0 and it looks like they will bounce the 1 seed today and secure their spot in the conference finals. 

It has not been overly reported, but it has been quite clear: The players are not enjoying themselves in the bubble. They generally do not want to be there and are pushing through to close the season. When a team goes down 3-0 like the Bucks have, it is just genuinely difficult for me to envision the team with the deficit putting up any real level of fight to try to climb an essentially insurmountable mountain. With the Bucks going home at the conclusion of this series, I suspect they will will ask, “why wait?” Look for the Heat to continue their dominance in this series and close out the Bucks on Sunday. 

Betting Play: Play the Heat.

Best Sportsbooks For This Pick

New JerseyWilliam Hill square logoBet@William Hill
PennsylvaniaSugarHouse online casino square logoBet@SugarHouse
IndianaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
West VirginiaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
ColoradoBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
IllinoisBetRivers square logoBet@BetRivers

Friday NBA

We are unfortunately without a dedicated play today. The Bucks have shown us they cannot be trusted, but I am also not in a rush to bet against them in this down 0-2 spot either. Best to take this game in and gain whatever additional information comes available. 

The Lakers and Rockets kick off their series today. I want to see how both teams look against each other at full strength, as I don’t currently have a solid read on this series. Needless to say, if Houston can be even remotely effective in the paint and on the glass, they are very live. 

No plays today. 

Thursday Review

The Raptors won in dramatic fashion, on a last second three. The problem is they won by jone one while laying two. They did let a four point late lead slip away and then kinda lucked into a win. They were beaten in the paint and on the glass again, and might be best served to simply remove Marc Gasol from the rotation at this point. I don’t believe we’ve seen the last nail biter in this series and it may be a difficult one to target going forward. 

The loss brings us to 5-5 on the playoffs and 79-63 on the season. 

Thursday Betting Play – Boston Celtics vs Toronto Raptors

630 PM EST
Opening Line: Raptors -1 and 214
Current Line: Raptors -2 and 217

The Celtics have taken the first two games of this well matched series, but the trend is for the series to tighten with a Toronto win today. The Celtics had an easy 18 point win in Game 1, shooting 47% while Toronto was at an abysmal 37%. The Celtics outrebounded the Ratpors by 10 in that game and were +7 in three pointers made. Game 2 trended much more towards the Raptors. The shooting disparity was just 42% to 40%, the Celtics were +3 in rebounds, but were still +4 from behind the arc. This was also a game the Raptors controlled heading into the fourth quarter before letting the lead slip away and losing by three points. The Raptors fixed the points in the paint problem in Game 2. After being dead even in Game 1, the Raptors were +20 in Game 2 and fully lost a game they shouldn’t have. 

I look for the Raptors to get in the win column on the series today. They will probably lose behnd the arc in every game this series, but they can certainly fix the rebounding disparity from the first two games, and attack the Celtics inside. The Celtics will continue to be without Hayward and while that hasn’t caught up with them yet, today is the day that will begin. Take the Raptors. 

Betting Play: Raptors -2

Best Sportsbooks For This Pick

New JerseyWilliam Hill square logoBet@William Hill
PennsylvaniaSugarHouse online casino square logoBet@SugarHouse
IndianaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
West VirginiaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
ColoradoBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
IllinoisBetRivers square logoBet@BetRivers

Wednesday Betting Play – Milwaukee Bucks vs Miami Heat

630PM EST

Opening Line: Bucks -4 and 221
Current Line: Bucks -5.5 and 221.5

The Heat were able to pull off the upset as underdogs in Game 1, but that game came with a couple factors that are highly unlikely to repeat in consecutive games. Those factors were the off game from Giannis Antetokoumnpo despite a full stat line, and the extremely efficient and the difference making scoring performances from both Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic. Of course those players will be high up on their team’s output in the box score each game, but the combined 22 of 35 shooting, including 4 of 7 from 3 and 19 of 20 from the charity stripe is more efficient than we can reasonably expect on any given day. 

The Bucks also had a Game 1 hiccup in their series against the Magic, dropping that opener before bouncing back and taking control of the series. Expect a similar bounce back tonight both from the team and from Giannis en route to evening the series in decisive fashion.

Betting Play: Bucks -5.5

Best Sportsbooks For This Pick

New JerseyWilliam Hill square logoBet@William Hill
PennsylvaniaSugarHouse online casino square logoBet@SugarHouse
IndianaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
West VirginiaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
ColoradoBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
IllinoisBetRivers square logoBet@BetRivers

Tuesday Review

The offense was fully broken for both the Jazz and Nuggets. The Jazz were helpless in the first half and the Nuggets in the second. Both teams managed to shoot just 36% and this one never had a chance. 

The loss brings us to 5-4 on the playoffs and 79-62 on the season. 

Tuesday Betting Play – Denver Nuggets vs Utah Jazz

830PM EST

Opening Line: Jazz -1.5 and 220.5
Current Line: Nuggets -1 and 218.5

A bittersweet game 7 is upon us. Game 7’s are always great, but it will be sad to see this profitable series leave us. We were hoping for more donkey level stubbornness from the public leading into today, and well, we got it. The public mashed the total down a full two points once again without hesitation, making the over once again a wildly attractive play. 

A reminder on the results between these two teams in the bubble thus far:

Nuggets 134-132 – 266 points
Nuggets 135-125 – 260 points
Jazz 124-105 – 229 points
Jazz 124-87 – 213 points
Jazz 129-127 – 257 points
Nuggets 117-107 – 224 points
Nuggets 119-107 – 226 points

Yes you’re reading correctly. Yes these teams are averaging over 239 points over seven games. Yes the over is 6-1 in those games, and yes the totals keep being pushed downwards. 

The only cause for pause is Gary Harris returning in game 6 and seeming to have a positive improvement on the Nuggets complete inability to get stops in the bubble. But he is coming off the bench and should just be around 20 minutes once again, and it is not a big enough reason to go away from what has worked so well for us. Take this gifted line once more as we move on to the conference semifinals starting tomorrow. 

Betting Play: Over 218.5

Best Sportsbooks For This Pick

New JerseyWilliam Hill square logoBet@William Hill
PennsylvaniaSugarHouse online casino square logoBet@SugarHouse
IndianaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
West VirginiaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
ColoradoBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
IllinoisBetRivers square logoBet@BetRivers

Sunday Review

What a splendid outcome we got on this one. The Nuggets won 119-107 so we essentially won twice. The over play on the game paid out, and with the Nuggets winning, we get to do it again on Tuesday. Let’s hope the public stays stubborn and pushes the total in the wrong direction again. 

The win brings us to 5-3 on the playoffs and 79-61 on the season. 


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