NBA First-Round Playoff Preview | Odds, Stats, and Picks for 8/19/20

The NBA Playoffs are back in action with a four-game slate once again. The opening day of the playoffs included these same games, and they were quite excellent from a viewing perspective. Donovan Mitchell and his 57 points started off a day which was outstanding down to the core. This is a day of redemption for some teams, so we’ll need to look at that aspect of things.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the odds and best value plays from all four of the playoff games on the NBA slate. All of these lines are according to DraftKings Sportsbook.

Brooklyn Nets at Toronto Raptors (TOR leads series 1-0)

1:30 p.m. EST | Watch: NBATV

Total: 226 points | Over: -108 | Under: -112
BKN | Spread: +11.5 (-110) | Moneyline: +600
TOR | Spread: -11.5 (-110) | Moneyline: -835

Where’s the Money Going? (as of 11:30 a.m. EST today)

Spread: TOR, 61% of bets | TOR, 73% of money
Moneyline: TOR, 64% of bets | TOR, 75% of money
Total: Over, 59% of bets | Under, 52% of money

Betting Pick: Nets +11.5 (-110)

No one ever said this series was going to be easy for the Nets but there were spurts of time where they competed in Game 1. For Brooklyn, it’s all about weathering the impending storms that will be coming its away. The Raptors are probably going to win this game, and at least three of the next four, but we’ve seen the other side be scrappy before. Let’s take all these points we’re getting and use it to our advantage.

Utah Jazz at Denver Nuggets (DEN leads series 1-0)

4:00 p.m. EST | Watch: TNT

Total: 217 points | Over: -112 | Under: -109
UTA | Spread: +4 (-109) | Moneyline: +135
DEN | Spread: -4 (-112) | Moneyline: -162

Where’s the Money Going? (as of 11:30 a.m. EST today)

Spread: DEN, 63% of bets | DEN, 87% of money
Moneyline: UTA, 58% of bets | UTA, 91% of money
Total: Over, 84% of bets | Over, 57% of money

Betting Pick: Under 217 points (-109)

This was certainly one of the best games of all the Game 1s, and we’re probably going to see more of the same today. Denver already runs one of the slowest paces in the NBA and had a ton of three-point shots go down in Game 1. Not to mention, Utah wouldn’t have been as effective in that game if Donovan Mitchell didn’t save the day. Expect the Nuggets to key in on solely on Mitchell while making the rest of the team beat them. Both teams had a -0.5 decrease in team totals which is usually a good sign that we’ll see the offenses struggle.

Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics (BOS leads series 1-0)

6:30 p.m. EST | Watch: TNT

Total: 215.5 points | Over: -112 | Under: -109
PHI | Spread: +4.5 (-109) | Moneyline: +150
BOS | Spread: -4.5 (-112) | Moneyline: -180

Where’s the Money Going? (as of 11:30 a.m. EST today)

Spread: BOS, 61% of bets | BOS, 64% of money
Moneyline: BOS, 74% of bets | BOS, 62% of money
Total: Over, 65% of bets | Under, 77% of money

Betting Pick: 76ers Moneyline (+150)

This is a drastic change in odds from Game 1 of this series, where the Celtics were favored by -6 – or even -6.5 in some places. It can’t all be the injury to Gordon Hayward, who will be out for the next four to six weeks. This is more or less a sign that the 76ers will fight back with everything they have in this game. Look for Joel Embiid to lead the way and the rest of the troops to follow.

Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Clippers (LAC leads series 1-0)

9:00 p.m. EST | Watch: TNT

Total: 229.5 points | Over: -113 | Under: -108
DAL | Spread: +6 (-110) | Moneyline: +205
LAC | Spread: -6 (-110) | Moneyline: -250

Where’s the Money Going? (as of 11:30 a.m. EST today)

Spread: 50/50% of bets | LAC, 67% of money
Moneyline: DAL, 66% of bets | LAC, 52% of money
Total: Over, 73% of bets | Over, 68% of money

Betting Pick: Clippers -6 (-110)

The injury news this morning with Kristaps Porzingis could be a tough blow for the Mavs, who actually looked like they could hang with the Clippers. However, KP’s absence could certainly make things a lot more difficult for Luka Doncic. LA can deploy a nice trio of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Patrick Beverley his way. All in all, it could take the Mavericks some time to figure out what to do with Porzingis out of the lineup.

Side note: If Porzingis is healthy and ready to go, I may not feel as comfortable in taking the Clippers on the spread. Possibly, you could take them on the moneyline as part of a parlay to reduce the -250 cost.

Al Walsh
Al Walsh Chief Sports Writer