NBA picks for today
The Clippers looked a little rusty in their opening 12 minutes of basketball inside the bubble.
They managed just 22 points on 7-for-18 shooting in the first quarter of Thursday’s loss to the Lakers, but it didn’t take long for the Clippers stars to find their form. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George heated up in the second quarter and combined for 58 points on the night.
The Pelicans put together a solid opening frame versus the Utah Jazz and finished with 60 points in the first half. New Orleans’ frenetic pace was a touch slower than its season average, which was to be expected, but this is still an offense that looks to push the tempo.
The Clippers and Pelicans rank fifth (59) and seventh (58.8) in first-half points per game on the year and with the rust and jitters of the restart behind them, we like an exciting opening 24 minutes of action Saturday.
PREDICTION: First-half Over 116.5 (-110)
There were some things that worked and others that didn’t for the Jazz in their restart-opening win over New Orleans. Utah struggled mightily from outside – finishing 8 for 34 from 3-point range – but it did find success with its pick-and-roll attack.
The Jazz are one of the better pick-and-roll teams in the NBA and showed it vs. the Pelicans, with some terrific finishes from Rudy Gobert. On the season, Utah averages 32.1 points per game off pick-and-roll situations.
Oklahoma City has trouble defending the pick-and-roll, opting to play a much tighter pressure defense rather than give a cushion on the ball handler. The Thunder have watched ball handlers connect at a 43-percent clip in pick-and-roll situations and now match up with Donovan Mitchell and Gobert – one of the better pick-and-roll combos in the league – who got to work the rust off on Thursday.
PREDICTION: Utah +1
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Serge Ibaka came to play at Disney World. The Raptors’ versatile 7-footer was outstanding during Toronto’s scrimmages, scoring 18 points and 19 points in the first two exhibition games before scoring eight points along with nine rebounds in 20 minutes in the final tune-up tilt.
Ibaka has a daunting task against the Lakers Saturday, sharing defensive duties on Anthony Davis and LeBron James. He missed the earlier meeting with Los Angeles back in November, as well as a March 2019 showdown, but scored 34 points and pulled in 10 boards in his most recent game against L.A. back in November 2018.
We like his intensity against a Lakers' frontcourt feeling a little sore after playing Thursday night.
PREDICTION: Serge Ibaka Over 15.5 points (-117)
Friday's NBA picks: 2-1
Season NBA picks: 5-1
Top NBA consensus for today
Want to know who today's biggest NBA betting and consensus bets are right now? Check out our top NBA consensus picks.
NBA betting card for August 1
- Pelicans-Clippers first half Over 116.5 (-110)
- Utah +1 (-110)
- Serge Ibaka Over 15.5 points (-117)
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