NBA Playoff Games, Monday Aug 17

The return to action in the NBA has proven to be a great success, especially in the Western Conference, where we ended up seeing a play-in game required. It was the Portland Trail Blazers who came out on top in that one, downing the Memphis Grizzlies to take the #8 seed. Now that we know which teams are in and where they are all seeded, we can get to the playoffs proper, which will begin on Monday. There are 4 games on the schedule, all spread out over the course of the day, making it possible to watch and wager on them all. There is a lot of action to cover, but we are going to take a quick peek at all 4 Monday games, with predictions for each. To get the full odds, go to

Utah Jazz at Denver Nuggets (-3) – O/U 218
The Nuggets have won all 3 games versus the Jazz this season, but before you add their name to the betting slip, be aware that all 3 games were close, with one of the wins coming in 2OT. It’s also worth noting that the Nuggets come into the postseason on a 3-game losing skid, although they had the #3 seed locked up already, so it’s tough to say how much stock to put in that. While it has been the UNDER that most regularly hits when these two teams meet, both teams have been trending on the OVER in the bubble. I’m on the Nuggets to win and cover, and I really like the OVER.

Brooklyn Nets at Toronto Raptors (-9 ½) – O/U 222
Prior to losing to the Nets just before the lockdown, the Toronto Raptors were on a run that had seen them beat Brooklyn in 6 straight games. This has proven to be a lopsided matchup, and with the Raptors covering the spread in 7 of their last 9 games, they look like a very good bet. That said, the Nets are 6-1 ATS in their last 7. This is classified as a home game for the Raptors, who have beaten Brooklyn in 10 straight at home. Toronto wins, but I think the Nets might cover. Let’s also take the OVER.

Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics (-5 ½) – O/U 218 ½
The Celtics come into this one as the higher seed, but they are probably wishing they had landed some team other than the Philadelphia 76ers, as Philly took 3 of 4 from Boston this season. The 76ers snapped out of a 3-game losing with a win over Houston in their final game of the regular season, while the Celtics saw a 4-game winning run come to an end on the final day. I am tempted to go with the upset here, but I think I’ll play it a little bit safer and take Philly to cover. I also like the UNDER.

Dallas Mavericks at LA Clippers (-6) – O/U 230
The final game of the day on Monday sees the #2 seeded LA Clippers take on the Dallas Mavericks. The Clippers have not had it all their way against Dallas, though, going 4-3 SU in their last 7 meetings. LA is on a good run of form heading into the postseason, winning 4 of their last 5 games, while Dallas ended the season with back to back losses. Dallas tends to get into shootouts, so let’s take the OVER here, as well as the Clippers to cover.