The NBA Orlando restart has been a huge success with zero positive Coronavirus tests. Now with a final stretch of bubble games, including the first ever NBA play-in game, here are the top games that will decide the playoff seeding.
NBA Closing Week Must Bet Games
Monday, August 10
Toronto at Milwaukee at 6:30 PM ET
The Raptors bounced back from their blowout loss against Boston on Friday to subdue Memphis 108-99 on Sunday as Pascal Siakim led the way to victory. Milwaukee couldn’t stop Luka Doncic late and succumbed to the high-scoring Mavs 136-132 in overtime on Saturday. Giannis Antetokounmpo and the top-seeded Bucks have won two straight in this rivalry after losing the previous four. While the Under is 4-0 in the last four meetings, Milwaukee hasn’t been playing very good defense since the restart in allowing 119 points or more in dropping three of four.
Denver at LA Lakers at 9:00 PM ET
The Nuggets have won three of their last four after dropping their restart opener, including a high-scoring 134-132 overtime win over Utah on Saturday. The Lakers have lost three straight while getting humbled by Indiana 116-111 on Saturday. With some of the shine off their luster and Denver having won two of the last four in this rivalry, it’s no wonder 69 percent of public bettors are backing Denver to get it done as somewhere near a 5.5-point road dog in this meeting.
Tuesday, August 11
Portland at Dallas at 6:30 PM ET
The Blazers have won three of their last four after dropping their restart opener while Dallas has won two of three after dropping their first two restart contests. Still, while Dallas put on a show against Milwaukee on Saturday, Portland has been more impressive to me in taking out Houston, Denver and Philly over their last four. While Luka Doncic is an unadulterated star, he definitely doesn’t have the postseason experience of Damian Lillard who went off against the Sixers for 51 points on Sunday night after missing some costly free throws in Portland’s narrow loss against the Clippers on Saturday. While the Mavs have won two straight in this series, Portland is clearly a better – and more dangerous team – now that they are completely healthy for the first time all season.
New Orleans at Sacramento at 9:00 PM ET
Zion Williamson and the Pelicans came up small in their 122-113 loss against San Antonio on Sunday, but Sacramento has lost three of their last four and four of vie restart games overall. Still, after recording an emphatic 140-125 win over New Orleans on Thursday, to snap a three-game skid in this series, Sacramento looks like a solid pick to get it done again, although the Over might be the best pick here, seeing as how neither one of these teams plays much defense and the Over has gone 6-0 in the last six meetings and 9-1 in the last 10 meetings overall.
Wednesday, August 12
Toronto at Philadelphia at 6:30 PM ET
With Sixers all-star center Joel Embiid potentially out of the lineup for this one after spraining his ankle on Sunday and Toronto taking three of the last four meetings in this rivalry, the defending champion Raptors clearly have an edge in this meeting even if these two have split their last six evenly against the spread. I’ve got to believe that Toronto wants to make a statement in this one should they meeting Philly in the postseason.
LA Clippers at Denver at 9:00 PM ET
After talking a ton of trash following their narrow (lucky?) win over Portland on Saturday, the Clippers looked mostly awful in their 129-120 loss against lowly Brooklyn on Sunday. Denver has won three of four while putting at least 121 points on the board in all three victories. While LA recorded an emphatic 132-103 blowout win at home the last time these western conference rivals met in February, Denver took each of the previous three meetings, although all three victories came on their home floor. More importantly, since the restart, the Nuggets have found out that first round draft pick Michael Porter Jr. is clearly going to be a big-time star in this league.
Thursday, August 13
Washington at Boston at TBD
The Wizards have lost all five of their restart contests and have nothing left to play for in this matchup. Conversely, Boston has won three straight and four of five and is clearly starting to resemble the dangerous title contenders they looked like before the league suspension. This one could be over by halftime.
Portland at Brooklyn at TBD
The Blazers have won three of four and have the look of a dangerous team that could definitely pull off a huge upset if they get into the playoffs. However, Brooklyn simple hasn’t rolled over despite losing their top three players and comes into this affair having won two straight and four of five while beating the likes of the Bucks and Clippers along the way. With the Nets putting up at least 115 points in all of their restart contests and the Blazers scoring 117 or more in five of their six restart games, the Over looks like a solid selection in this matchup if you ask me.
Friday, August 14
Philadelphia at Houston at TBD
Philly had their three-game winning streak snapped in their narrow 124-121 loss against Philadelphia on Sunday and they could be without Joel Embiid in this matchup after the versatile big man injured his ankle this weekend. High-scoring Houston has won four of five restart games while putting 113 points or more on the board in each of their victories. Will Philly have enough offensive firepower to keep up with Houston in this one? I think not!
Miami at Indiana at TBD
The Heat have lost two straight and three of four while giving up 119 points or more in each of their last two games. Indiana has won four of five while watching sweet-shooting forward T.J. Warren become the hottest player in the league since the restart. Indy’s 116-111 win over LeBron and the Lakers on Saturday was impressive to say the least and right now, no one can stop Warren.