The 2020 NBA Playoffs are set to begin in the Orlando Bubble. Keep reading fo the first-round series odds and analysis.
NBA Playoff Round 1 Series Odds
LAKERS -485 v TRAIL BLAZERS +385
CLIPPERS -630 v MAVERICKS +465
NUGGETS -220 v JAZZ +180
ROCKETS -150 v THUNDER +130
BUCKS -7000 v MAGIC +3000
RAPTORS -2200 v NETS +1315
CELTICS -420 v 76ERS +335
PACERS +265 v HEAT -325
Rockets vs. Thunder
This is a contrast in styles as the Rockets are excellent at scoring points while the Thunder have a great defense. Houston averages 118.1 points per. That ranks second in the NBA. The Rockets give up 114.6 per game.
Houston’s penchant for allowing teams to score at will favors the Thunder. But in their lone battle against a small ball team, the Phoenix Suns on August 10, OKC imploded, losing 101-128. Houston should roll to either a sweep or 5-game series win.
Bucks vs. Magic
The odds on the NBA Playoff’s “home team” to win the series sure are enticing. We can’t get too excited, though. Sure, the Magic have had their moments in the Orlando bubble. The playoffs figure to be a different story for Aaron Gordon and Markelle Fultz.
The Bucks matchup well with the Orlando Magic. Milwaukee’s tandem of Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo should rock Orlando.
The Bucks cratered the Magic 111-95 in the last head-to-head. If the Magic play keep away and dump it into Nikola Vucevic on every position, they might steal a game. If not, expect Milwaukee to pull off the sweep.
Celtics vs. 76ers
Boston enters the playoffs having won 4-of-5 in the bubble. It sure looks like Brad Anderson has tightened the screws on the team most expect to challenge Milwaukee and Toronto for Eastern Conference supremacy.
If we weren’t in a coronavirus pandemic stricken world, the 76ers might have a shot. They’d get at least a couple of games at home. But the worst road team in the NBA, the 76ers win 30% away from Wells Fargo, has proven to also struggle in the bubble. They’re just 3-4 on the moneyline. Boston takes this series.
Clippers vs. Mavs
In the last head-to-head, the Clippers blasted the Mavericks 126-111. That game happened on August 6.
Mav’s center Kristaps Porizingis scored 30 while Luka Doncic dropped 29. If Dallas couldn’t hang with the Clippers when Luka and Kristpas go off, they have no shot to beat the Clipps in a 7-game series. Back Kawhi, PG-13 and the rest with confidence.
Nuggets vs. Jazz
On August 8, these two played in a classic. Denver outlasted Utah 134-132 in overtime. The Jazz bounced back in their next game with a 112-110 win over the San Antonio Spurs.
Most expected Utah to fold once the Orlando restart happened. At first, it looked like they might. But the Jazz have picked it up in their last few games. Utah is 3-1 ATS in their last 4, proving that they’ve rediscovered a winning attitude. Take the healthy odds on the Jazz to move to the second round.