The first round matchups play their second game today, the Milwaukee Bucks once again welcome the Miami Heat while the Denver Nuggets host the Portland Trailblazers out west.
The Bucks came away in a close overtime game behind Kris Middleton’s late game winner in what was a physical defensive battle that should set the tone for the series.
In Nuggets vs Blazers, expected NBA MVP Nikola Jokic matched Dame Lillard’s 34 point but it was not enough and Portland lead from the 1st quarter and all the way to the 48th minute. Both Denver and the Miami Heat could use wins tonight to get right back into the series, but we think they’ll be in for some tough games.
Both our picks are available at our recommended sportsbooks and if you want to read more about general NBA betting tips and strategy, feel free to check out our guide here.
NBA Playoffs Pick: Miami Heat @ Milwaukee Bucks
Both teams played well on defense in game 1, the Heat especially did a great job at covering the 3pt line and forcing a ton of misses. That might prove hard to do again though as Milwaukee was one of the top 3pt shooting teams in the NBA over the regular season.
If the Bucks can even out their 3pt shooting just somewhat, they should have a terrific chance of winning tonight’s game – we’ve taken the Bucks to cover the spread.
Pick: Milwaukee Bucks -5
NBA Playoffs Pick: Portland Trailblazers @ Denver Nuggets
The Denver Nuggets were without Jamal Murray in game 1 and it showed. He’s out for the rest of the season and while the Nuggets have a deep rotation, they really missed the penetration and shooting ability that Murray brings to the floor. 34 points by Jokic wasn’t enough and the joker did not have anymore tricks up his sleeve in the first 48 minutes of play.
While it should be a good game, we think Denver will ultimately fall short and the Blazers will prove to be too much behind the stellar play of Lillard and super effort by their 8 man rotation.
Pick: Blazers +2 and Under 227 points scored
What does -5 and +2 mean? See our betting guide here.
Betting Roundup - The day after
The night started off like we thought it would, with Milwaukee Bucks turning over the 3pt percentages and playing as the offensive dominant team that they are and comfortably covering the line in a big win. The Miami Heat never got into the game after the disastrous first quarter, they'll instead look to return home and do their best to keep the series competitive.
We were hopeful that the same wouldn't happen between Portland and Denver, but the Nuggets came out firing behind 38 points from Jokic on just 20 field goal attempts(!!). They definitely deserved this win and the series should be a good one going forward.
Sports Betting Guide Picks for the NBA playoffs: