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Tuesday NBA Betting Picks: Our Favorite Bets for Heat vs. Celtics, Clippers vs. Nuggets

Tuesday NBA Betting Picks: Our Favorite Bets for Heat vs. Celtics, Clippers vs. Nuggets article feature image

Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets, Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers.

  • Looking for some quick-hitting bets for Tuesday's NBA games -- featuring a Game 7 between the Nuggets and Clippers and Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Heat and Celtics? Look no further.
  • Our staff has you covered with two plays on the total, and a pregame second-half play.
  • Get our best NBA bets for Tuesday below.

We’ve got a Game 1 and a Game 7 on Tuesday’s NBA playoffs slate. The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat are starting their Eastern Conference finals series while the Los Angeles Clippers and Denver Nuggets are looking to move on to the West finals.

So, where’s the value today? Our staff is here to break down their favorite NBA bets for today’s slate and has found angles in both matchups:

  • 6:30 p.m. ET: Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics
  • 9 p.m. ET: Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Clippers

Tuesday NBA Betting Picks

Odds via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.

Brandon Anderson: Heat vs. Celtics

Heat odds +1.5 [BET NOW]
Celtics odds -1.5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline +102/-120 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 209 [BET NOW]
Time 6:30 p.m. ET

The Miami Heat ranked second in the NBA in 3-point percentage this season at 37.9%. They’re shooting 38% in the playoffs, with five of their six top rotation players (everyone except Bam Adebayo) at or above that mark. They made 13.4 threes per game in the regular season and increased that to 14.1 so far these playoffs.

That was a different story against the Celtics. In three games against the Celtics, the Heat shot 30.6% on 3s and made just 7.7 per game. And sure, you can chalk that up to a variety of things. Shooting variance obviously comes to mind, but the Heat didn’t have Jae Crowder those first two games.

But dig a little deeper and you’ll see that drop in 3-point production against the Celtics might not be a mistake. The Cs ranked second in the NBA in opponent 3-point percentage at 34.0%.

And before you point out that 3-point percentage is largely random, you should know that the Celtics have ranked top-six in opponent 3-point percentage since 2008, including the past seven seasons under Brad Stevens. Not a typo.

As Keith Smith reports, that 3-point defense is anything but random. The Celtics build their defense around throwing off opponent 3-pointers, which happens to be the lifeblood of this Heat offense. Remember, the Milwaukee Bucks defense was built specifically to give up opponent 3s. The Celtics defense is built to take them away.

I don’t buy the Heat scoring in this series. I’m not sure if Boston will score either, so this could be a slow, defensive battle. Unders are 9-2 in Celtics playoff games so far. One of those two losses was that classic double-overtime Game 6 against the Raptors, and that’s the only time all postseason the Celtics have allowed more than 106 points. I like the overall under here but trust the Miami team under more at 104.5. I’d play it down to 103.5.

The Pick: Heat under 104.5

[Bet now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 sign-up bonus.]

Reed Wallach: Heat vs. Celtics

The Celtics just went seven games with the Raptors in a grind of a series. Toronto forced Boston to play its game as the Raptors lacked the half-court offense to turn games into high-scoring affairs. However, the playoffs are about matchups, and the Heat are much more dangerous offensively than the Raptors.

The Heat shot the lights out against the Bucks, consistently attacking the their drop coverage. The Celtics will be able to adapt better than the Bucks did on defense, but this Heat offense is no fluke.

I expect after a slugfest in the second round, the Celtics (particularly the backcourt) will welcome Spoelstra’s defense. The Celtics will be able to deploy Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown to attack some of Miami’s weak defenders at guard such as Goran Dragic and rookie Tyler Herro to generate some easy points.

Don’t forget about free throws, the easiest way to push a total over. Jimmy Butler and the Heat generate 28.4 free throws per game in the postseason, up from its top four mark in the regular season. The Celtics rank in the bottom third of playoff teams in opponent free throw attempts with 24.4 per game, which is right on line with its season average.

I’m in wait and see mode on a side in this series, but I think points come easy before both team’s make adjustments.

The PICK: Over 209, play up to 210.5

[Bet now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 sign-up bonus.]

Check out our free NBA odds page, which automatically surfaces the best line for every game. Subscribe to our new NBA Insiders tool at FantasyLabs to beat the market with our cutting edge player projections, injury news and betting thresholds.

Malik Smith: Nuggets vs. Clippers

Nuggets odds +7.5 [BET NOW]
Clippers odds -7.5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline +265/-335 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 208.5 [BET NOW]
Time 9 p.m. ET

Here we go again. The Denver Nuggets have forced another Game 7 in this postseason and are a win away from making history against the LA Clippers after falling behind 3-1 in the series.

The Nuggets appear to be a different team when they are facing elimination. Five of their seven wins this postseason have come in elimination games.

The Nuggets force a Game 7… again!

– 1st team in NBA history to play a Game 7 in 4 straight series.
– 1st team since play-by-play began (1997) with three 15-point comebacks facing elimination in a postseason.
– 5th team to win 5 elimination games in a single postseason.

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 13, 2020

The theme in these elimination games has been similar, especially against the Clippers: Nuggets fall behind at the half, then storm back in the final two quarters. The Nuggets are 4-1 against the spread in the second half of their five elimination games this postseason.

The Nuggets have the worst first half Offensive Rating among the five teams left in the postseason (110.2) and the second-best Offensive Rating in the second half of games (113.7) among that same group. I’m going to bet that we’ll see this game play out in a similar fashion with the Nuggets pushing the Clippers to the final minute.

You can bet the second half pregame at DraftKings.

The Pick: Nuggets +3.5 2H (-122)

[Bet now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 sign-up bonus.]

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