NBA picks: Raptors vs. Celtics, Clippers vs. Nuggets
The Boston Celtics look to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals and the Los Angeles Clippers seek to create distance between themselves and the troublesome Nuggets as the NBA returns to action on Wednesday evening.
Raptors vs. Celtics tips off at 6:40 p.m. ET, and Clippers vs. Nuggets follows at 9:00 p.m. ET. BetAmerica has the odds and the call for both big games.
Wed, September 9 2020, 10:35 PM
Boston’s "Big Three" came up huge in Game 5, battering the Raptors to the point of defeat as soon as the first half ended. Everything that led to Toronto evening up the series, particularly the awful three-point shooting and tepid play from Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker, was fixed and the result was an astounding 111-89 victory.
Boston was unstoppable, shooting nearly 50% all game and out-rebounding Toronto to stay in full control of the game. Though the defending champs felt they stole some momentum back, there’s not much after that performance to suggest they’ll force a Game 7.
Brown and Walker should carry their excellent performance into this afternoon's tip off, while the demoralized Raptors are scrounging for something to turn this series around. The Celtics’ starters outscored the Raptors starters 93-45, and while that might not be the case again today, it’s a clear indicator of Boston’s superiority when the Celtics are on point.
If Toronto’s starters weren’t up for the task to take control of the series, they’ll have to play like a team possessed to force a Game 7. However, it’s very hard to imagine them doing that, especially if they fail to get boards or their stars can’t produce.
While the Raptors have fought against the odds all season, the Celtics have their number and are simply the better team right now. Boston should close out the series and cover the spread today, setting up an improbable Eastern Conference showdown with the Miami Heat.
NBA pick: Boston spread and moneyline
Thu, September 10 2020, 1:00 AM
It took the Clippers three quarters to remember how to play defense, but Los Angeles weathered the storm and took late control of Game 3 to win 113-107. As expected, Kawhi Leonard bounced back from his terrible Game 2 performance and made plays on both sides of the ball, but it was more of the Nuggets losing the game than the Clippers winning it. While Jerami Grant has the massive responsibility of containing Leonard, the Nuggets were getting better scoring out of Michael Porter Jr. until the team simply ran out of gas in the fourth.
The Nuggets can either defend or attack, but they can't seem to do both for a full 48 minutes. With Paul George getting into a rhythm and Leonard remaining dangerous late in the game, the Nuggets will need to put the game out of reach early, like they did in Game 2, to steal another win. In another back-and-forth game, the Clippers will clamp down defensively and take a commanding 3-1 series lead.