NBA Predictions and Best Bets – September 2, 2020
The last series from the first round of the 2020 NBA playoffs hits the hardwood on Wednesday, as Chris Paul’s heroics helped force a game seven on Monday.
CP3 will lead his Oklahoma City Thunder up against James Harden and the Houston Rockets one last time, as these two sides square off to decide who advances to round two.
It’s not the only game we can bet on Wednesday, of course. Check out the two games on tap.
- Heat vs. Bucks
- Thunder vs. Rockets
Miami upset the Bucks in game one, which naturally plays into there being two very intense games on Wednesday. The question, of course, is how should you bet on them?
You can check out individual game breakdowns for both contests at our sports betting picks section, or proceed for a look at my NBA predictions and top betting picks for Wednesday.
Heat vs. Bucks Predictions
- Bucks to beat Heat
- Predicted total: 220-225
The Bucks are in an 0-1 hole for the second straight series. With no home-court edge, it’s easy for a little complacency or lack of energy to disrupt things, while the opposing Heat are at least still in their home state.
That could end up being a problem for the Bucks, but there’s just no way they let this thing get out of control and go down 2-0. Milwaukee is the better team, and Giannis Antetokounmpo will come out like a man possessed.
Milwaukee inexplicably held The Greek Freak back in game one, but that seems like an impossible thought in game two. I like the Bucks to tie this thing up, while we should get enough points to flirt with the Over.
Thunder vs. Rockets Predictions
- Rockets to beat Thunder
- Predicted total: 225-230
Chris Paul was unstoppable in game six, as he poured in 15 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter, elevating OKC when they needed him most.
CP3 left it all on the court ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/3ogJTREUG6— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) September 1, 2020
Can CP3 really keep this going and push the Thunder to round two? He probably can continue to play at a high level, but I’m not totally sold on the rest of OKC.
Houston has more star power in this series, and after Russell Westbrook got his feet under him, I think it stands to reason that he’ll eventually help the Rockets.
The Rockets were up 2-0 in this series, and when they’re cooking, they have the superior offense. Look for all of the points in a thrilling game seven, with James Harden set up to drop the hammer and finally prove he can come up big in the playoffs.
My Top NBA Picks for Wednesday, September 2nd
- Bucks to Win (-195)
- Heat (+4.5) -110
- Bucks vs. Heat Over 221 (-110)
- Thunder (+5) -110
- Thunder vs. Rockets Over 219 (-105)
Some of the pricing for this slate seems too good to be true, but I have no choice but to go with what feels right. First, my NBA predictions point to a Bucks win, as going down 0-2 in this series just isn’t an option.
Very rarely will you get the Bucks at this cheap of a price, so yes, betting on Milwaukee to win at -195 is actually a viable bet. I do think this is a close game, though, so you can kind of hedge a bit by betting on the Heat to beat the spread here.
If the Heat win, your bet is hedged, but I honestly just think the Bucks win after another test from Miami (meaning both bets look winnable together). I also like the Over in this game, as these teams combined for 219 points despite a combined 35 turnovers in game one.
Both teams came out and shot well (especially from long range), and if Milwaukee initiates the pace, there should be plenty of scoring here.
I think the same can be expected for the Thunder vs. Rockets game. Game sevens can give way to bad blowouts, but these teams match up quite well. I think we get a shootout here, and while I think Houston wins, I like OKC against the spread in what should be a battle until the end.