2020 NBA Playoffs Series Betting

With all the craziness around Covid-19, the league being suspended and multiple players testing positive, the prospect of the season being played out certainly looked to be shaky ground – but the NBA Playoffs are finally here!

Before we get into the Playoff Matchups, here is a quick recap from the bubble:

  • We saw the Suns go a perfect 8-0 and just barely miss a playoff spot
  • The Blazers, led by Damian Lillard filled out the 8th and final playoff spot in the West, after defeating the Memphis Grizzlies by 4 points in the elimination game
  • Ben Simmons suffered an injury and is expected to miss the playoffs for the Philadelphia 76ers
  • Russell Westbrook suffered an injury and his return date is in doubt and he is expected to miss “at least” the first few games of the playoffs, but he is expected to return at some point this postseason for the Houston Rockets
  • Jonathan Isaac returned, but reinjured his knee again 2 games later and is out for the playoffs
  • Mike Conley departed the bubble for the birth of his child yesterday, so he could miss several games at least

Onto the matchups!



The Nuggets come in heavily favoured, led by do-it-all big man Nikola Jokic. The Nuggets have a very deep team, with a mix of youth + veterans. Michael Porter Jr has proven himself a player with star potential. Over the last 6 games in the bubble, Porter Jr averaged 23.8ppg, 9.8rpg, and was scoring from everywhere. He made 2.8 threes per game, and his shooting numbers were Steph Curry like: 57% field goals / 46% threes / 93% free throws

The Jazz at $2.85 seem to be priced just about right. They’re clear underdogs going in to this series with both Conley leaving the bubble, and Bojan Bogdanovic out for the playoffs. They will need Donovan Mitchell to be at his best, and for Jordan Clarkson or Joe Ingles to push up as their 2nd scoring threat and produce in the ~20ppg range to mix it up with the up temp Nuggets team.

Pick: Denver Nuggets to win the series in 5 or 6 games

Nuggets 4-2 @ $4.50 (click on ‘More Markets’)


This is expected to be a lopsided series, and rightly so, with the Nets missing the guts of their team. Not only are Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Deandre Jordan, Spencer Dinwiddie, Taurean Prince, Nicolas Claxton all sidelined, but 2 of the players that they signed to help them field a squad, Michael Beasley and Jamal Crawford are also out. Aye carumba!

Despite this, they have been playing very competitive ball lately, behind Caris Levert, Jarrett Allen, and Joe Harris. The Nets won 5 of their last 7 games in the bubble, and almost made it 6 of their last 7, narrowly going down 134-133 vs the Blazers in a nailbiter of a game. They also beat the Milwaukee Bucks and LA Clippers in that stretch, so they definitely do have upset potential, but in all likelihood they won’t present much of a problem for the Raptors when the games really count.

Pick: Raptors in 4 or 5 games.

Raptors 4-1 @ $3.00 (click on ‘More Markets’)


With the 76ers going in to this series without Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid is going to be forced to carry too much of the load for Philly. He’s had his fair share of knee problems during his short NBA career, and the prospect of a 7 game series against a loaded Celtics squad could take its toll on him.

They do have Tobias Harris and Al Horford still, and Shake Milton has shown he can score in bunches, which is why this shouldn’t be a complete walkover, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Celtics win this series in 6 games and record a few of their wins by 20+ blowouts.

Boston has an excellent squad and is a danger team to go all the way to the finals. Kemba, Hayward, Tatum, and Jaylen Brown can all score 20+ on any given night, and they have some nice defensive players like Marcus Smart and Daniel Theis. Aside from the last game in the bubble which was meaningless for the Celts, they averaged 129ppg over their 4 games prior, including a 149-115 win over Brooklyn, so this team should handle their business against Philly.

Pick: Celtics in 5 or 6 games

Celtics 4-1 @ $4.00 (click on ‘More Markets’)


The LA Clippers are one of the teams to beat in the West. However, the Mavericks will present more of a challenge than these odds suggest!

Led by one of the best tandems in the NBA of Luka Doncic and the unicorn, Kristaps Porzingis, the Mavs are playing with a lot of energy in the bubble.

They will look to turn it into a high scoring fast paced series, as this is their best chance to take the Clippers out. If it becomes a slow paced type of game where every offensive set is grinded out, the Clippers have a much stronger team of 2-way players that can come up with defensive stops. Kawhi, PG, Pat Beverley etc can all put the clamps on when needed.

Anything can happen in the bubble, and with no home court advantage there is an opportunity for the Mavs to pull out an upset here. While the Clippers are likely to emerge victorious, there could be some sneaky value on the Mavs at $5.25

Pick: Clippers in 6 or 7 games

Clippers 4-2 @ $4.00 (click on ‘More Markets’)



Orlando is simply outmatched here. It’s probably 50-50 whether they win even 1 game in this series, let alone beat the top Eastern Conference team 4x in a best of 7 series.

Vucevic is an excellent player, and the Magic have some nice wings and AG is a good glue guy at times, but Giannis will be pretty much unstoppable on the block, and when he’s surrounded by Middleton, Brolo, Bledsoe, it’s too much talent for this Magic team to get past.

There’s no value at 1.01 on the Bucks unless you’re betting massive amounts to get a small return, so this will be a no-play for me.

Pick: Bucks in 4 or 5 games

Bucks 4-1 @ $2.95 (click on ‘More Markets’)


Coming in to the bubble I would have said Miami, hands down. But the way TJ Warren G has been regulating lately, anything is possible here (Warren averaged 34.8ppg over a 5 game stretch, including a 53 point outburst against Philly!). Victor Oladipo is playing well again and the long break seems to have done him some good, as he played 27+ mins in all of their games in the bubble. He put up 22-7-5 against the Lakers.

If they had Sabonis healthy I may even have given them a slight edge, but as it stands I have to give the Heat a slight edge here mainly behind Bam and his 2-way play and chemistry with Jimmy Butler.

If I was to price up this matchup, I probably would have had the Heat around the $1.50 range, and Indiana around the $3.00 range, so at $3.60 the Pacers are probably a good value bet that have a chance to push this series to 7 games, at which point I’d say it’s a coin flip, but I’d lean slightly to Miami.

Pick: Miami in 7

Miami 4-3 @ $6.00 (click on ‘More Markets’)


A very hard series to pick here!

If Westbrook was healthy this would be much easier, but with him out, it’s going to be the James Harden show. He’s shown he can drop anywhere from 40-60 points pretty much whenever he wants, but his efficiency could take a hit if he’s trying to do too much.

CP3 could turn this into a grudge match, and OKC actually has a decent team this year. Most pundits were expecting the Thunder to quickly fall out of the race and shut down or try and trade CP3 and his huge contract, followed by potentially trading Aquaman (Steven Adams). Fortunately for Thunder fans they never had an opportunity to tank, behind the strong play from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, and contender for 6th Man Of The Year Dennis Schroder.

The X-Factor is going to be Robert Covington for the Rockets and what he can come up with in this series. Eric Gordon is expected to start game 1 with Westbrook sidelined, so his usage and scoring should spike as well.

Overall though, I’m leaning towards a slight upset here and looking at these 2 lineups as they stand, I think the Thunder will take this series.

Pick: Thunder in 6 games!

Thunder 4-2 @ $8.50 (click on ‘More Markets’)


Wow, not exactly a reward for the Lakers for landing the #1 seed in the West here!

There’s no such thing as home court advantage in the bubble, unless you count them making some cosmetic differences to the background, with no real fans in attendance either.

So the Lakers, who seemingly didn’t care too much about the results in the bubble due to having their #1 seed wrapped up, now find themselves going into the playoffs with all the momentum of a turd floating in a bathtub.

The Blazers on the other hand, fought their way through and managed to find a way to win in so many tough games. Damian Lillard proved he’s one of the most unstoppable players in NBA history when he’s in the zone – who else (besides maybe Lamelo Ball in Highschool) would casually pop a three from half court?

I’m torn on this one, if the Blazers catch the Lakers flat footed and take game 1 they present a huge problem for the Lakers. On the other hand, how much has it taken out of the Blazers players just to get to this point – Nurkic looked absolutely rooted at the end of their last game!

Pick: Lakers in 6 (but do not be stunned if Blazers upset LA!)

Check PlayUp website for the latest odds to win in 6 games!

Best of luck on all of your NBA bets during the Playoffs!

All odds quoted are accurate at at 2pm on 17th August 2020, check for the latest odds on site by CLICKING HERE.

Written by Peter Arena


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