Before the start of the NBA Playoffs, most basketball fans would have said the smart money was on the LA Lakers to go all the way. However, they’re certainly not showing themselves to be a championship team, dropping several games as the season drew to a close, and then losing to the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 1 of the postseason.  Fortunately for the Lakers, they have the day off to regroup and try to put up some better numbers in the next game but, in the meantime, there won’t be any shortage of excitement as the NBA Bubble continues to work toward deciding a winner. So, let’s have a look at our NBA picks for Aug 19.

Sports Intel NBA Picks Aug 19, 2020

Clippers Look To Make It Two Against the Mavs

The LA Clippers have now jumped up in the charts as the best contender to win the NBA title this year.  Partly due to the Lakers’ stumble, but also because they took it to the basket from start to finish when they played the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1.

Some have tried to argue that the ejection of the Mav’s Kristaps Porzingis had a lot to do with the final score, but the Clippers were solid the entire game.  If they keep the pressure on again tonight, expect the lines to move even more, putting the Clippers even more secure for a championship.

The Clippers saw a great performance by several players, including Marcus Morris, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, and they’re just getting started.  Leonard dropped 29 of the Clippers’ 118 points, but Morris wasn’t far behind, delivering 19.  The team started strong and, although there were a couple of stumbles along the way, didn’t have too much difficulty against the Mavs.

The win came in spite of a spectacular performance by Mavs guard/small forward Luka Doncic.  He put up 42 points in Game 1, giving him the award for the most points in an NBA playoff debut.  He will have to continue to bring his talent in Game 2 today if the Mavs want to win.  The problem, though, is that the Clippers have been solid against the Dallas squad all year, winning all four of their matches.  Porzingis is questionable, and the Mavs might have to find a sub.

Strong favorites to win at -278, there’s no point in taking the Clippers on the moneyline.  However, given the fact that the Mavericks are putting up solid numbers with young NBA talent, the Over/Under of 229.5 (-110) is definitely set to be beat so that’s our first pick for Aug 19.  Expect the Clippers to cover the spread (-6, -110), but this is going to be a close game.

Can The Celtics Continue Their Rebound?

The Boston Celtics took Game 1 against the Philadelphia 76ers and, in doing so, may have suddenly appeared as a true contender to take the title.  If they win, it will be the 18th championship and will put the team back in the limelight once again.  Jayson Tatum was phenomenal dropping 32 points and running away with 13 rebounds.  The power forward now has 29 points in three straight games and shared the spotlight with Jaylen Brown – 29 points – and Kemba Walker, with 19 points.

The Sixers continuously beat the Celtics in the regular season, taking three out of four meetings.  In Game 1, they had the lead with the clock heading into the final minutes of the game, but the Celtics rallied and added pressure that put Philadelphia into a corner.  Still, the Sixers can count on players like Joel Embiid and Josh Richardson to bring more heat today, throwing the Celtics off-balance.  However, they’re still going to be without defensive giant Ben Simmons, and this is where the difference will be found.

The Celtics are getting -185 today, and aren’t too worried about having to play without big man Gordon Hayward, who went down in Game 1 with an ankle injury.  In 20 games this season where he wasn’t on the court, the Celtics still took 14 wins.  The Celtics can taste the championship and aren’t going to give up easily.  The Over/Under sits at 216, and probably won’t be reached, so betting on the Under could be the best route to take, especially since these two are 4-1 in favor of the Under across their last five games.  The spread of -5.5 (-110) in favor of the Celtics should be good for an extra wager.

That’s it for our Aug 19 NBA picks, good luck guys!