NBA Restart Betting Odds and Picks — Saturday, August 1
The NBA Restart began with two games on Thursday, followed by six games Friday night. Basketball continues with five more games Saturday. Six of the 10 teams involved will be taking the court for the first time in over five months, while four others will play their second game in the Orlando bubble. Here are NBA odds and picks from online sportsbooks for Saturday, August 1.
NBA Odds for Saturday, August 1
Recapping the 2020 NBA Restart
The dogs barked and the Unders hit on Thursday but Friday was a different story. The Overs printed cash, sweeping the slate 6-0.
So instead of sloppy offense as many expected, it has been defenses that have struggled.
It appears oddsmakers are adjusting to the unexpected burst in points. The Jazz-Thunder total has moved from 211.5 to 217, and the Sixers-Pacers total has undergone a similar change. Clearly, hypothesizing what pace and efficiency would look like in these unprecedented circumstances was a guessing game, and still might be. Friday’s totals were obviously off in hindsight, but six games is a small sample size. Might there be an overreaction on Saturday that creates value on the Under? It seems plausible. Public bettors will likely be flocking to the Over regardless.
NBA Betting Picks for Saturday, August 1
Miami Heat vs. Denver Nuggets (1PM ET, ESPN)
The Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets are two teams making their Restart debuts. Both squads have clinched playoff berths, but do they have the motivation to improve their seeding without home-court advantage on the line in the Disney World bubble?
Currently fourth in the Eastern Conference, a three-seed for the Heat would put them on the opposite end of the playoff bracket from the Giannis Antetokounmpo and the one-seed Milwaukee Bucks. The Celtics’ loss on Friday gives the Heat an opening to do just that.
The Nuggets are sandwiched between the Clippers and Jazz as the three-seed. However, announcing Gary Harris and Will Barton out plus Jamal Murray questionable, they won’t be playing fully healthy in their first game back.
The Heat have plenty of gas in the tank as only one player, KZ Okpala, is dealing with an injury.
Overs were hitting Friday, but I think the streak ends in this match as the Nuggets are one of the slower-paced teams in the league even when they’re healthy and the Heat are not scoring juggernauts. I’m also taking the points with the Heat.
NBA Picks: Heat +1 and Under 211.5
Utah Jazz vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (3:30PM ET, ESPN)
The Jazz beat the Pelicans as underdogs in the NBA’s first game back. Ironically, it was Rudy Gobert who commenced the Restart with the first official basket 140 days after becoming the first NBA player to test positive for Covid-19.
The Jazz came back from double digits against the Pelicans in only their second game of the season without Bojan Bogdonavic in the starting lineup. Thought they got the Over, their new-look offense looked stagnant at times, with both the game total and team total going Under.
Again both teams are battling for seeding, but neither are at risk of falling out of the playoffs. As things currently stand, the Jazz and Thunder will be matched in the first round, as the three-seed and four-seed, respectively.
Before the regular season was suspended, the Thunder were one of the hottest teams in the league, winning eight of their last 10 games. In fact, the Thunder have the best record against the spread this season, covering in 40 of their 64 games. Don’t let that sway you one way or the other, though; the Thunder entered the season undervalued after trading Russell Westbook to the Houston Rockets. Oddsmakers have caught on, and the impromptu hiatus brought about by the global coronavirus crisis has allowed the Thunder to add a valuable piece, Andre Roberson, one of the best defenders in the league to their roster.
The totals have moved from 212 to 217.5 after Overs dominated Friday. Oklahoma City’s new addition and the Jazz’s subtraction of Bogdonavic plus a possible overreaction to Friday means my bet will be on the Under.
NBA Picks: Under 216.5
New Orleans vs. Los Angeles Clippers (6PM ET, ESPN)
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Indiana Pacers (7PM ET)
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Toronto Raptors (8:30PM ET, ESPN)
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