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NBA picks: Pacers vs. Heat, Lakers vs. Trail Blazers

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August 24th, 2020

The Miami Heat look to sweep the Indiana Pacers and the Los Angeles Lakers hope to take the Portland Trail Blazers in deep waters in Monday’s NBA showdowns.

At 12:30 p.m. ET, Jimmy Butler and the Heat ready the broom against T.J. Warren and the Indiana Pacers. At 3:30 p.m. EST, LeBron James and Anthony Davis look to go up 3-1 against Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers. We have betting odds and picks for both highly anticipated matches.

Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat

Mon, August 24 2020, 10:35 PM

Miami Heat

Spread

-6

Moneyline

-265

Total

O 216.5

Indiana Pacers

Spread

+6

Moneyline

+210

Total

U 216.5

The Miami Heat have proven to be a nightmare match-up for the Indiana Pacers, and they are looking like a legitimate contender to reach the finals. Miami has torched the Pacers' defense time and again throughout this series, including making 11 three-pointers in the first half, and never allowed the Pacers to battle back.

A big part of Miami’s Game 3 win was Indiana’s lack of composure, leading to an unprecedented 52 free-throw attempts for the Heat. With Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo playing as well as they are, the Pacers are going to have a hard time avoiding the sweep.

Try as they might, the Pacers can’t seem to close the gap with the Heat. T.J. Warren has been contained, and neither Malcolm Brogdon nor Victor Oladipo can give them the push they need to stay alive.

The Pacers will look to overachieve one last time, as they have all season, but Miami is too good right now and will complete the sweep.

NBA free pick: Heat -6

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trail Blazers

Tue, August 25 2020, 1:05 AM

Portland Trail Blazers

Spread

+7.5

Moneyline

+285

Total

O 224.5

LA Lakers

Spread

-7.5

Moneyline

-370

Total

U 224.5

It is absolutely imperative for the Lakers to end this series with the Trail Blazers as soon as possible, and to do that, Los Angeles is going to hope they get the same dominant performance from LeBron James in Game 3 instead of "Old Man LeBron" we saw in Game 2.

That might not be necessary if Anthony Davis continues to terrorize Portland, keeping the game out of reach despite Damian Lillard’s best efforts. James and Davis combined for 61 points in Game 3, and that same brilliance will be needed to take firm control of the series.

Speaking of Lillard, there isn’t much else he can do at this point. The Blazers are so defensively inept that they cannot buy Lillard enough time to bail them out of sizeable holes. With Lillard going cold in the fourth quarter of Game 3, and Carmelo Anthony only just now putting in an effort worth mentioning in this series, they won’t have a shot at winning this game unless they can go into the fourth with a lead.

The Blazers’ furious finish to the eighth seed was a great story, but their playoff journey will soon be coming to an abrupt end. Take the Lakers tonight. 

NBA free pick: Lakers -7.5 

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