NBA Playoffs Picks – Friday (6/18/2021)

Friday’s two-game NBA Playoffs schedule is a fantastic way to take us into the weekend. If you’re looking to catch the action on TV tonight, you’ll find the Philadelphia 76ers at Atlanta Hawks (7:30 p.m. EST) and Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Clippers (10 p.m. EST) both on ESPN.

Last night, I lost on the Nets as the only game of the night, and that brings my season-long record to 22-24-1 ATS after a 57% regular season. Here are two more free NBA betting picks to get our weekend started the right way.

Philadelphia 76ers (-2.5) at Atlanta Hawks – Total: 222

The biggest game in Hawks history is going down in ATL tonight, and you know the crowd is going to bring everything they’ve got. Trae Young led an improbable comeback last game, leading the Hawks from as much as 26 points down to win the game outright. If you’re a 76ers player, coach or fan, you know how deflating of a loss that was in Game 5.

Ben Simmons continues to have mental lapses, and that showed as he missed some crucial free throws late in the last contest. Joel Embiid is clearly giving it everything he’s got recently, but we know that he’s not 100%. This is the time of the season where it’s more of a “strength of health” complex that works best.

Looking at the betting landscape (as of 10 p.m. EST), 62% of the bets placed and 70% of the money wagered are both on the 76ers. In addition, 71% of the bets placed and 77% of the money wagered are both on the game total going over. I’m taking the Hawks

Betting Pick: Hawks (+2.5)

NBA Playoffs Picks – Friday (6/18/2021)

Utah Jazz (-1) at Los Angeles Clippers – Total: 220

The Clippers pulled off a monumental win in Game 5, but I’m not so sure it’ll happen once again. To me, it appeared obvious that LA would win as only a +3 underdog without Kawhi Leonard playing. Kawhi will not be playing in Game 6 either, and now I think his absence will finally catch up. The Jazz, who come in as a -1 favorite, would certainly love to get this series back to in front of their rawkus crowd in Salt Lake City.

One thing about the great performance by Paul George in Game 5 is that things like that from him don’t happen often. I felt like Game 5 was a perfect spot for him to bounce back and really take control of the offense without Kawhi. Prior to Game 6, the Jazz have been able to study what went wrong and correct it this time around. Utah is one of the best teams in the NBA at making adjustments, and we should see that tonight.

Looking at the betting landscape, the Jazz are getting 70% of the bets placed and 63% of money wagered both in their favor. On the total, though, is where I see a huge opportunity. 70% of bets placed are on the over while nearly all of the money is on the under.  

Betting Pick: Jazz (-1) / Under 220

Al Walsh
Al Walsh Chief Sports Writer