Two massive Conference Finals Game 1’s will be played out on Tuesday and Wednesday night in the NBA and we have you covered with a preview and betting picks for both games below.
NBA Conference Finals Game 1 Betting Picks
Los Angeles Lakers at Denver Nuggets
Ball Arena, .830pm (ET)
The Nuggets have been the standout performers of the NBA Playoffs so Timberwolves in five games in the opening round before downing the Suns in six games in round two. They are a perfect 6-0 at home during the playoffs so far, and will have home court advantage for their Western Conference matchup against the surprise packet Lakers.
LeBron and the Lakers entered both round one and two as underdogs but managed to clinch both series in front of a raucus LA crowd in six games. James and Anthony Davis have been standout performers as expected, but it has been their role players that have elevated their games, turning this overlooked team into a true contender.
The Nuggets maintained the best home record in the league throughout the regular season at 34-7 and an impressive 25-15-1 against the spread. All things considered the Lakers were no slouches when it came to road trips, finishing the season with a 20-21 record on the road, 19-21-1 against the spread.
Tough game to call here. The Lakers have been super impressive throughout the playoffs so far and I think they will be competitive in this series. I do, however, think that they need some time to work their way into a series, particularly LeBron, who generally takes a few games to breakdown his opposition on both ends of the floor.
The Nuggets start as 6 point favourites here and I’ll be backing them at that line.
Miami Heat at Boston Celtics
TD Garden, 8.30p (ET)
The Celtics looked in real trouble down 3-2 and with Game 6 on the road in Philadelphia. However, they rallied to win the last two games of the series, Game 7 a commanding victory on the back of a 50 point game from star forward Jayson Tatum. The Celtics will enter the Conference Finals as the highest remaining seed in the NBA, meaning they’ll have home court advantage for the rest of their playoffs run.
The Heat are the surprise packet of the Eastern Conference. Coming in as the No.8 seed, they were able to become just the fifth eight seed in NBA history to upset a one seed when they sent the Bucks packing in five games. They went on to defeat the Knicks, with star guard/forward Jimmy Butler leading the way on both ends of the floor.
The Celtics have been another dominant performer at home throughout the regular season, finishing the year with a 32-9 record straight up and a 24-17 record against the spread. On the contrary, the Heat were pretty poor on the road as far as playoffs teams go, maintaining just a 17-24 record away from Miami.
Regardless of that, the Heat have been super competitve in every game they have suited up for with Jimmy Butler in the line-up this playoffs so far. Considering how hard they play night in night out, I think the 8 point line in favour of the Celtics is just a touch high here. Back the Heat to cover on the road.