NBA Predictions Playoff Week 9/14-9/20 – Updated Daily!
15 September 2020
Last updated: 22 September 2020 at 6:32 am
Saturday Betting Play
Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat
Opening Line: Celtics -2.5 and 207.5
Current Line: Celtics -3 and 206.5
Well well well, it would appear as if the Celtics have mentally broken. To me, this very much has the feel of an MMA fighter that gets broken mentally, and at that point, the fight is over. The Celtics reportedly had a good deal of infighting after the Game 2 loss, and it reportedly nearly became physical.
After playing the first two games very close, and seeing the Heat simply be the more clutch team that rises to the moment at the end of the games, it is understandable the Celtics have frustrations. The isuse for them is these frustrations won’t bring a different result, and I think this series is now heading for a sweep. It truly feels wrong to continue to keep putting the Celtics out as favorites, but as they say, we will take what they will give us. Right back to the Heat on Saturday night as they essentially end the series going up 3-0 and start preparations for the NBA Finals.
Betting Play: Heat +3
With the Lakers vs Nuggets series for the Western Conference crown tipping off on Friday, I can’t say I have a read on this series. Apparently all the Nuggets needed to fix their woeful defensive issues was Gary Harris to return to his normal role. If that is the case, this series will be much closer than the Lakers -750 series line suggests. I will be sitting out Game 1 but will be watching to see if we are pointed towards a Game 2 play.
After a lackluster game overall, Jimmy Buckets was the man down the stretch again, along with Dragic and Adebayo. The Heat won 106-101 after trailing in the fourth quarter. I think this is going to be a consistent theme in this series, where the Heat will simply be the team able to close out games. We will need to see the line but we are likely to go right back to them on Saturday.
The win brings us to 8-7 on the playoffs and 82-64 on the season.
We had a nail biter on Tuesday, and it came down to getting it done at the very end of the game. The Heat were the team to do that behind some clutch plays from Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo en route to a 117-114 win. Crowder also shot extremely well once again, going 5 of 9 from three point range.
The win brings us to 7-7 on the playoffs and 81-64 on the season.
Thursday Betting Play
Miami Heat vs Boston Celtics
Opening Line: Celtics -1.5 and 210
Current Line: Celtics -2.5 and 208.5
If you scroll down just a little bit, you can see all the key points I made leading into Game 1. I believe everything said still stands and applies equally to this game as it did to Game 1. The biggest difference is we now get an extra point with the Heat at +2.5 in a series where we will see multiple games be decided in the final possession. Look for Jimmy Butler and company to be the better closers in another close game, in a spot where I think the Game 1 outcome made it apparent the Heat should be favored, yet the line is moving in the opposite direction. Note that Gordon Hayward has been upgraded to doubtful but is still not expected to play. Back to the Heat for Game 2.
Betting Play: Heat +2.5
Tuesday Betting Play
Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat
6:40 PM EST
Opening Line: Celtics -1 and 211.5
Current Line: Celtics -1.5 and 209.5
We have arrived at a Conference Finals game, and we still have a bit of shock that the Bucks are not taking the court for this series. The Heat simply would not be denied and Jimmy Butler and company will look to carry that momentum over to this series against the Celtics. Underdogs no more, the Heat sit at -135 to win the series against Boston.
There are a couple keys to touch on in this series, and these keys will be the reasoning behind the Game 1 play in this game.
The first key is who is present and who is not for each team. When Boston won the first two games of the season series, pre bubble, they had Gordon Hayward available and the Heat did not yet have Jae Crowder and Andre Iguodala. Given these available options, it’s plain as day the difficulty the Heat would have defending the trio of Tatum, Brown and Hayward. The current circumstance could see Hayward miss the entire series. He is currently recovering from the ankle injury, and could be available at any point in this series, he also plans to leave the bubble again for the birth of his fourth child sometime in September and could easily miss the entire series. The focus here is Game 1, and he is certainly out. Not out are Crowder and Iguodala, who will be invaluable in terms of defending Tatum and Brown, and it should certainly be noted that Crowder is shooting lights out from three at the moment.
The second key, and what will be most important in tight games, is simply Jimmy Butler. While it is arguable whether he will be the “best” player on the floor in this series, he is certainly the player I’ll put my faith in at the tail end of tight games. The Raptors did not have an offensive option like Butler to close out games, but the Heat do, and he will do it better than anyone on Boston.
If I were making this Game 1 line, I would have made the Heat a couple point favorite, and I do like the plus points with this play. If making a series play, I like the Heat but prefer going game by game in this series.
Betting Play: Heat +1.5