NBA Playoffs Best Bets and DFS Plays - Tuesday, August 18
Day two of the NBA playoffs features the teams with the best odds to win the championship: the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers. Both begin their title runs today, and while the Bucks should be unfazed in their series vs the Orlando Magic, but the Lakers could get pushed by the Portland Trail Blazers. Furthermore, the two most intriguing first-round series tip-off today as the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat get started. Lastly, we also get game one of a very intriguing matchup between the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder.
Orlando Magic vs Milwaukee Bucks
The Milwaukee Bucks are the team I like to win the whole thing this year. They have been the best team in the NBA for the majority of the season, their 56 wins were tops in the the league, and their overall point differential on the season is +10! The next best team was +6.
Milwaukee did impress the public in the seeding round, but they also had nothing to play for. The Bucks came to Orlando to win it all and that journey starts today.
You may be apprehensive laying 12 points in a playoff game, and I can dig that. But, if you take a look back at the 2018-2019 NBA playoffs the Bucks played the Detroit Pistons in the first round, and in the four-game sweep they won games by 35, 21, 16 and 23 points. The Bucks don't fool around with lesser competition. They tend to punish teams.
The Play: Bucks -12.5
Miami Heat vs Indiana Pacers
This should be a great series and will have a 1990's style basketball feel to it with the amount of physicality we're likely to see. Neither the Miami Heat or Indiana Pacers were highly touted coming into the season, but both teams fought their way to the top of the Eastern Conference. The Heat opened up this game as a three and a half point favorite, but public bettors have moved the spread up to four and a half points. Last week in the seeding round, the Heat had a lopsided victory over the Pacers, which I'm sure is why so much public money is coming in on Miami. The seeding round means very little now, and I like the Pacers to cover the spread and also get the game one victory.
The Play: Pacers +4.5
DFS Plays for Tuesday, August 18th
PG Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard and James Harden are the high-priced chalk play on the four-game slate. Both players will be highly rostered, but you have to have them.
SG/SF Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks
Middleton is a solid value today. As long as he gets his minutes, he will exceed fantasy value. I do think the Bucks blow out the Magic, but Middleton should play enough minutes to still give quality fantasy production.
C Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic
Orlando will get bullied by the Bucks today, but Vucevic will post a double-double and give you solid numbers at a fair salary.
SG/SF Eric Gordon, Houston Rockets
Gordon is always a good play when Russell Westbrook is out for the Rockets. He handles the ball more and plays a bigger role in scoring.