2020 NBA Bubble Playoff Round 1 Series Prices & Preview

2020 NBA Bubble Playoff Round 1 Series Prices & Preview

The matchups and betting odds for the First Round of the 2020 NBA playoffs are set

Each best-of-seven series will be played on alternate days in the bubble. The 2020 NBA Finals are currently scheduled to end no later than Oct. 13, however later rounds could be moved up if previous series don’t all need the full seven games.

2020 NBA Bubble Playoff Round 1 Series Prices & Preview

  • Los Angeles Lakers -485 vs Trail Blazers +385
  • Los Angeles Clippers -630 vs Mavericks +465
  • Denver Nuggets -220 vs Utah Jazz +180
  • Houston Rockets -150 vs Oklahoma Thunder +130
  • Milwaukee Bucks -7000 vs Orlando Magic +3000
  • Toronto Raptors -2200 vs Brooklyn Nets +1315
  • Boston Celtics -420 vs Philadelphia 76ers +335
  • Indiana Pacers +265 vs Miami Heat -325

Lakers vs Trail Blazers

All the Portland Trail Blazers wanted was a real shot at making the 2020 NBA Playoffs and when given the chance they went all in and cashed out.

The Lakers won the West, but now face red-hot Damian Lillard without home-court advantage. Good news is that Portland’s defense has been abysmal in the bubble but good enough for a 7-2 restart record. In Orlando, Portland only gave up fewer than 120 points twice, and fewer than 115 once. On the season, their defense was fourth-worst in the league, giving up 114.3 points per 100 possessions.

The bad news? The Lakers have had trouble scoring in the bubble. In eight games since the restart, they have the third-least efficient offense to go with a slightly below-average defense. The bet here is that the playoffs will wake them up.

  • Game 1: Aug. 18, Portland at Los Angeles, 9 p.m. EST, TNT
  • Game 2: Aug. 20, Portland at Los Angeles, 9 p.m. EST, ESPN
  • Game 3: Aug. 22, Los Angeles at Portland, 8:30 p.m. EST, ABC
  • Game 4: Aug. 24, Los Angeles at Portland, 9 p.m. EST, TNT
  • Game 5*: Aug. 26, Portland at Los Angeles, TBD, TBD
  • Game 6*: Aug. 28, Los Angeles at Portland, TBD, TBD
  • Game 7*: Aug. 30, Portland at Los Angeles, TBD, TBD

Rockets vs Thunder

The Rockets average a stellar 117.8 points per game to rank second in scoring, but allow 114.8 points per game defensively (23rd). 

Oklahoma City averages 110.4 points per game (21st) while limiting the opposition to 108.4 points per game to rank an encouraging seventh in points allowed defensively. Houston went 4-4 in the bubble, but will hit the playoffs looking to snap a three-game losing streak. Oklahoma City also went 4-4 in the bubble while alternating wins and losses over their eight games. The Thunder took each of the last two meetings after dropping their first regular season meeting this season while going 3-0 ATS along the way. More importantly, while James Harden and Russell Westbrook get a ton of national notoriety for their much-publicized exploits, I believe Oklahoma City has the best backcourt trio in the league in Chris Paul (17.6 ppg, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (19.0 ppg) and Dennis Schroeder(18.9 ppg). 

  • Game 1: Aug. 18, Oklahoma City at Houston, 6:30 p.m. EST, TNT
  • Game 2: Aug. 20, Oklahoma City at Houston, 3:30 p.m. EST, ESPN
  • Game 3: Aug. 22, Houston at Oklahoma City, 6 p.m. EST, ESPN
  • Game 4: Aug. 24, Houston at Oklahoma City, 4 p.m. EST, TNT
  • Game 5*: Aug. 26, Oklahoma City at Houston, TBD, TBD
  • Game 6*: Aug. 28, Houston at Oklahoma City, TBD, TBD
  • Game 7*: Aug. 30, Oklahoma City at Houston, TBD, TBD​​​​​​

Bucks vs. Magic

Milwaukee averages a stupendous 118.7 points per game to lead the NBA in scoring while allowing 108.6 points per game defensively to rank eighth in points allowed. The Bucks went 3-5 SU and ATS in the bubble with their most impressive win coming in their restart opener against Boston.

Orlando averages a modest 107.3 points per game (24th) while limiting the opposition to 108.3 points per game to rank an encouraging fifth in points allowed. The Magic went 3-5 SU and ATS in the bubble despite dropping five straight at one point.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks have won all four regular season meetings while going 3-1 ATS along the way. Maybe it’s me, but I think it’s going to take a major miracle for Orlando to advance out of the first round.

  • Game 1: Aug. 18, Orlando at Milwaukee, 1:30 p.m. EST, TNT
  • Game 2: Aug. 20, Orlando at Milwaukee, 6 p.m. EST, ESPN
  • Game 3: Aug. 22, Milwaukee at Orlando, 1 p.m. EST, TNT
  • Game 4: Aug. 24, Milwaukee at Orlando, 1:30 p.m. EST, NBATV
  • Game 5*: Aug. 26, Orlando at Milwaukee, TBD, TBD
  • Game 6*: Aug. 28, Milwaukee at Orlando, TBD, TBD
  • Game 7*: Aug. 30, Orlando at Milwaukee, TBD, TBD

Celtics vs. 76ers

The Sixers went 4-4 in the bubble, but they also looked mediocre at best in dropping three straight at one point. Philadelphia averages 108.4 points per game to rank an impressive fourth in scoring while allowing 110.7 points  per game defensively (20th).

Boston averages 113.7 points per game to rank ninth in scoring while limiting the opposition to 107.3 points per game defensively to rank a stupendous second in points allowed. The C’s went 5-3 SU and 3-4-1 ATS in the bubble. Philly took three of four regular season matchups, but with Ben Simmons out and Embiid battle some nagging injuries, Jayson Tatum and the C’s are looking good after putting up 122 points or more in each of their five bubble wins.

  • Game 1: Aug. 17, Philadelphia at Boston, 6:30 p.m. EST, ESPN
  • Game 2: Aug. 19, Philadelphia at Boston, 6:30 p.m. EST, TNT
  • Game 3: Aug. 21, Boston at Philadelphia, 6:30 p.m. EST, TNT
  • Game 4: Aug. 23, Boston at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. EST, ABC
  • Game 5*: Aug. 25, Philadelphia at Boston, TBD, TBD
  • Game 6*: Aug. 27, Boston at Philadelphia, TBD, ESPN
  • Game 7*: Aug. 29, Philadelphia at Boston, TBD, TNT

Clippers vs. Mavs

LA went 5-3 SU and 6-2 ATS in their eight bubble games while scoring 122 points or more in five of their victories. The Clippers rank an encouraging fourth in points per game (116.3 ppg) and 13th in points allowed (109.9 ppg).

The high-scoring Mavs put up an impressive 117.0 points per game to rank a stellar third in scoring while allowing 112.1 points per game defensively (16th). Dallas went an uninspiring 2-5 SU and 1-6 ATS in seven bubble games while giving up at least 117 points in in each of their losses. Mavs all-star guard Luka Doncic is definitely a gifted baller, but the Dallas has lost all three regular season meetings while giving up at least 110 points in each contest.  This fist round matchup could end in a sweep, although I’m giving Dallas one win because of Luka’s often jaw-dropping heroics.

  • Game 1: Aug. 17, Dallas at L.A., 9 p.m. EST, ESPN
  • Game 2: Aug. 19, Dallas at L.A., 9 p.m. EST, TNT
  • Game 3: Aug. 21, L.A. at Dallas, 9 p.m. EST, TNT
  • Game 4: Aug. 23, L.A. at Dallas, 3:30 p.m. EST, ABC
  • Game 5*: Aug. 25, Dallas at L.A., TBD, TBD
  • Game 6*: Aug. 27, L.A. at Dallas, TBD, ESPN
  • Game 7*: Aug. 29, Dallas at L.A., TBD, TNT

Nuggets vs. Jazz

The Nuggets put up 111.3 points per game (19th) while limiting the opposition to 109.2 points per contest (11th). Denver went a modest 3-4 SU and 4-3 ATS in seven bubble games, but gave up at least 124 points in every loss. The Jazz average 111.3 points per contest (18th) while limiting the opposition to 108.8 points per contest defensively (9th).

Utah also went 3-4 SU and 4-3 ATS in the bubble, but Donovan Mitchell and company dropped all three regular season meetings while covering the chalk just once. As usual, Utah just doesn’t have enough offense to beat the best in the west!

  • Game 1: Aug 17, Utah at Denver, 1:30 p.m. EST, ESPN
  • Game 2: Aug. 19, Utah at Denver, 4 p.m. EST, TNT
  • Game 3: Aug. 21, Denver at Utah, 4 p.m. EST, TNT
  • Game 4: Aug. 23, Denver at Utah, 9 p.m. EST, TNT
  • Game 5*: Aug. 25, Utah at Denver, TBD, TBD
  • Game 6*: Aug. 27, Denver at Utah, TBD, ESPN
  • Game 7*: Aug. 29, Utah at Denver, TBD, TNT

Raptors vs. Nets

Toronto went a stellar 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS in seven bubble games while beating the Lakers, Heat, Bucks and Sixers along the way. The Raptors average 112.8 points per game (13th) while limiting their opponents to just 106.5 per game to rank first in points allowed. Brooklyn surprised in a big way by going 5-3 SU and 6-2 ATS in eight bubble games while stunning Milwaukee and the LA Clippers along the way.

The Nets average 111.8 points per game (16th) while allowing 112.3 points per game defensively (19th). While young guard Caris Levert is clearly a gifted player that has a bright future, the defending champs have won three of four in this rivalry this season and are elite at both ends of the floor while clearly having a legitimate shot to come out of the east at the very least!

  • Game 1: Aug. 17, Brooklyn at Toronto, 4 p.m. EST, ESPN
  • Game 2: Aug. 19, Brooklyn at Toronto, 1:30 p.m. EST, NBATV
  • Game 3: Aug. 21, Toronto at Brooklyn, 1:30 p.m. EST, NBATV
  • Game 4: Aug. 23, Toronto at Brooklyn, 6:30 p.m. EST, TNT
  • Game 5*: Aug. 25, Brooklyn at Toronto, TBD, TBD
  • Game 6*: Aug. 27, Toronto at Brooklyn, TBD, ESPN
  • Game 7*: Aug. 29, Brooklyn at Toronto, TBD, TNT

Pacers vs Heat

The Pacers are continually overlooked, under rated and under-appreciated. And it’s about to happen again. T.J. Warren has been an offensive dynamo in the bubble earning NBA All-Bubble First Team honors. If Victor Oladipo gets going, Indiana will be troublesome to beat.

Injuries have kept the Miami Heat from fully realizing contender status but the Heat feel like a team with a legit claim shot at the East Title. The Heat are second in the bubble in points per game off turnovers (20.9) and third in fast-break points per game (13.4). Plus they have so much defensive versatility. Add all that up and Miami is going to be fun to watch.

  • Game 1: Aug. 18, Miami at Indiana, 4 p.m. EST, TNT
  • Game 2: Aug. 20, Miami at Indiana, 1 p.m. EST, ESPN
  • Game 3: Aug. 22, Indiana at Miami, 3:30 p.m. EST, TNT
  • Game 4: Aug. 24, Indiana at Miami, 6:30 p.m. EST, TNT
  • Game 5*: Aug. 26, Miami at Indiana, TBD, TBD
  • Game 6*: Aug. 28, Indiana at Miami, TBD, TBD
  • Game 7*: Aug. 30, Miami at Indiana, TBD, TBD

* – If Necessary
TBD – To Be Determined