We finally lost an underdog play on Friday as the Magic couldn’t quite hold on to a second half lead against the Sixers. Either way, we’re 3-1 picking underdogs so far this bubble season and I’m looking to bounce back in a big way on Saturday’s five game slate with the best sportsbooks.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Portland Trail Blazers
Saturday, August 08, 2020 – 01:00 PM EDT
This may be one of the trendier underdog NBA picks of the Saturday slate, but at even money, I’m finding very little reason not to like the Clippers in this spot.
The Blazers have been playing excellent basketball and it’s not a surprise to see them have the success they have been having in the bubble. However, even without a fully healthy roster, the Clippers bring a lot to the table here.
One reason for the Clippers being underdogs is their injuries. The Clippers will still be without Patrick Beverley in this game and Montrezl Harrell is not ready to play yet. Also, early morning news has Kawhi Leonard sitting this one out, which is another huge blow.
However, over their last four bubble games, the Clippers rank sixth-best defensively in the league giving up 108.2 points per 100 possessions, and I figure that number is only going to come down the more games are played and the more in shape the Clippers get.
On the other side of things, the Blazers won’t have the same depth in their frontcourt for this afternoon’s game. Hassan Whiteside is not going to play and if Jusuf Nurkic gets into foul trouble or gets tired, there is very little behind Nurkic to slow down the Clippers’ frontcourt.
Simply put, I think the Blazers are a little overvalued here and this might be one of the last times you’ll see the Clippers are pure underdogs for some time in this bubble. I’m not missing an opportunity on the Clippers at +130 with Bovada. Even with Leonard not playing, I think LA can get it done. (Read our Bovada Review)
Utah Jazz vs. Denver Nuggets
Saturday, August 08, 2020 - 03:30 PM EDT
The Nuggets are still dealing with a rash of different injuries and no one is quite sure who they will play in this game. They didn’t release an injury report for today’s game, so we’ll just have to keep an eye on the prize (Twitter) in order to tell if anything has changed for the Nuggets,
If Gary Harris, Will Barton, and Jamal Murray are all still out for Denver, the Jazz have some nice value coming off a game where they rested almost all of their important players.
Like the Nuggets, Utah hasn’t released an injury report either, but assuming most or all of the guys who rested the other night are back, the Jazz have some nice value here against Denver.
If Denver’s guards are all out, Utah has a distinct advantage in that area and on defense. Denver may still have Michael Porter Jr., but teams are getting more tape on him and are going to start to figure out how to defend him better.
Assuming Utah can hold Porter Jr. to less than 25 points, I see the Jazz winning this game. They will have to be at full health, but assuming that’s the case, I like the Jazz as small dogs here as well.