Bitcoin Betting: NBA Playoffs 2020 Preview

The NBA 2019-2020 regular season is finally over and it’s time for the playoffs. COVID-19 ruined any chance of having a normal season so the NBA authorities had to improvise. A bubble system was introduced and set up in Disney World Orlando. All teams that had a chance to grab a playoff spot were invited to join the bubble and continue the season. After several weeks of play-in games, we have our 16 playoff contestants. Things turned out pretty much as expected based on the performances prior to COVID-19. The only team that fought-off serious challengers and managed to sneak into the last play-off spot of the West is the Portland Trail Blazers. Led by Damian Lillard, they are now a threat for everyone.

2019/2020 Playoff Games
2019/2020 Playoff Games

As per the picture above, the first Playoff match-ups are the following:

The West

  • Los Angeles Lakers (1) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (8)
  • Houston Rockets (4) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (5)
  • Denver Nuggets (3) vs. Utah Jazz (6)
  • Los Angeles Clippers (2) vs. Dallas Mavericks (7)

The East

  • Milwaukee Bucks (1) vs. Orlando Magic (8)
  • Indiana Pacers (4) vs. Miami Heat (5)
  • Boston Celtics (3) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (6)
  • Toronto Raptors (2) vs. Brooklyn Nets (7)

All match-ups have the potential to be amazing. It’s likely that none of them will end in just 4 games. However, we have to wait and see how the NBA will look, without fans cheering for the players. Below, we will share a few thoughts about every team. Additionally, we are going to make predictions on who will go through to the next phase. For more information about the playoffs, check the NBA’s official website.

NBA Playoffs Predictions & Bitcoin Betting Tips

Eastern Conference Playoffs

Milwaukee Bucks (1) vs. Orlando Magic (8)

The Bucks

For a team that’s holding the best record in the season, the Bucks were rather average in the bubble. Injuries to important players were the reason for that. However, their goal is to win a championship, a feat that the club hasn’t managed since 1971. The reigning MVP is still their best player but can he do it alone. Giannis led them through the bubble as well but they won just 3 games. They were leaders in defense before COVID-19 but since the restart, they have been ranked 8th with a defensive efficiency of 110.2. Milwaukee need to improve drastically when it comes to perimeter defense. On a per-game basis, the Bucks gave up the most 3s made and attempted in league history.

The Magic

Orlando are still far from a top-tier team but their quality was enough to grab the 8th position in the East. Walt Disney World has not been the happiest place on earth for the hometown Magic. Jonathan Isaac tore his left ACL — changing the franchise’s present and future in the process. They’ve dealt with several injuries in the bubble and struggled to find any rhythm after a hot start. Nikola Vucevic stepped up for them since the restart but he is not going to be enough to stop the Bucks. The Magic do play hard but they don’t have the firepower to outscore Milwaukee.


Orlando are the only team that feels like playing at home at the moment. Maybe some Disney magic will help them against the Bucks. However, their best case scenario is to lose to Milwaukee in 6 games. Without Jonathan Isaac, they stand no chance of surprising Giannis and his entourage.

Toronto Raptors (2) vs. Brooklyn Nets (7)

The Raptors

Back at the start off the season, the Raptors were written off because they lost Kawhi Leonard to the Clippers. However, the holding champions have been adamant to challenge for the title once again. Boasting the best defensive record since the restart, Toronto look extremely strong at the moment. But, where the Raptors can run into trouble is at the other end, particularly when teams can take away their elite transition game. Toronto can get stagnant in the half court, which leads to it needing some 3-pointers to fall. Still, their team is completely healthy and in great shape. Their defensive approach could be enough to get them to the finals once again.

The Nets

Arriving with little hope after losing virtually all their starters, the Nets shocked everyone by going 5-3 in seeding games to lock up the No. 7 seed in the East. With Kyrie Irving out to injury, Caris LeVert stepped up and led the team to a 5-3 record in the bubble. However, can the Nets pull off an upset against a motivated opponent? Brooklyn did beat both the Bucks and LA Clippers in seeding games, but those teams were sitting key players and had nothing to play for from a seeding standpoint. Their offensive record has been fantastic but it’s unlikely they can keep it up against the best defense in the league.


Jamal Crawford will return for the Nets and he will be their trump-card. Still, Toronto’s defense will overwhelm them eventually. If they can keep up their offensive rating of 115, the Nets might be able to win a couple of games against Toronto. Nevertheless, we believe the maximum Brooklyn can do is win 2 games against the holding Champions.

Boston Celtics (3) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (6)

The Celtics

Boston entered the bubble hoping to get All-Star guard Kemba Walker healthy and be properly prepared for the playoffs when they began. They have gone 2-for-2. Kemba returned healthy after the lock-down and it seems his issues with the left knee have been taken care of. However, he won’t be enough if the Celtics hope to get far in the tournament. They are lacking size this year with Horford out of the picture. Daniel Theis has been filling that spot but he won’t be enough to stop Joel Embiid. The Celtics hope Robert Williams will be the key to double-teaming Embiid and defeating the 76ers.

The 76ers

It seems Philadelphia can’t catch a break when it comes to the playoffs. I can’t remember the last time they entered the final stages of the tournament with a healthy squad. Ben Simmons is out for the season after knee surgery, Joel Embiid has left multiple games with injuries, and the Sixers enter the playoffs less than the sum of their parts. For them to have a chance against the Celtics, Embiid has to remain healthy throughout the whole match-up. Al Horford is now playing for them and he will be their secret weapon on the wing. If he can stop his former team-mates while Embiid dominates the paint, Philadelphia might have a chance to progress.


Philadelphia’s chances are sitting on the hopes that Embiid and Horford will play perfect games during the whole match-up. The Celtics, on the other hand, have a full squad led by Kemba Walker and they can beat anyone on a good day. With that being said, we expect the Celtics to come out on top in 6 games.

Indiana Pacers (4) vs. Miami Heat (5)

The Pacers

The bubble experience has been good to Indiana. Guard Victor Oladipo is in the lineup after initially opting out to continue rehab on his quadriceps. The Pacers won enough to avoid a first-round meeting with the Celtics, and they agreed to a contract extension with coach Nate McMillan on Wednesday. However, these news are all secondary because Indiana’s best asset at the moment is the explosion of T.J. Warren. He kicked things off with a 53-point explosion against Philly, averaging 39.7 points through the first three games on 65.3% shooting. If he can continue this streak against the Heat, Indiana will be in real trouble.

The Heat

The Heat have been up and down in the bubble because of injuries — but they are convinced they are ready to come all the way out of the East. Jimmy Butler has fit seamlessly into the role of team leader and Bam Adebayo is coming into his own as an All-Star. This team is deep, talented and confident it can win in the postseason. They are probably the only team that’s being strongly backed to win the first match-up even though they rank worse on the table standings. Their only issue is who can carry the torch if teams manage to lock Jimmy Butler. If Kendrick Nunn and Duncan Robinson shoot well in the playoffs then maybe Miami do have a chance to go all the way in the Eastern Conference.


As we mentioned above, even though Miami are ranked 5th, they are favorites to come out of this match-up against the Pacers. It’s highly likely that Butler can stop T.J. Warren and if that happens, Indiana will lose the majority of their firepower. It might go to 6 or even 7 games but the Heat will be the team that goes to the next phase.

Western Conference Playoffs

Los Angeles Lakers (1) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (8)

The Lakers

The Lakers looked flat in the seeding round, going 3-5 and appearing absolutely abysmal at times on the offensive end, but they did what they needed to do: secure the No. 1 seed and stay healthy. Kuzma has been the start of the team in the bubble and the Lakers will need him to continue playing that way if they are to challenge for the championship. With Bradley and Rondo out of the squad, the Lakers are not among the best defensively anymore. They will need  Dion Waiters, Talen Horton-Tucker, Markieff Morris, and JR Smith all to step up, especially against the Blazers and Damian Lillard.

The Trail Blazers

All Damian Lillard wanted was a chance. And given one, he and the Trail Blazers did exactly what he thought they could do. Before the shutdown, the Blazers were slogging through a disappointing season filled with injuries and bad breaks, along with sloppy, inconsistent play. But with the time off and a boost in health with the returns of Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins, the Blazers look like the team they thought they would be. Even though they are the 8th seed, with their form as it is, the Blazers will be a huge problem for the Lakers. We could have a huge upset on our hands if “Dame” continues with his 50+ points games.


Before the lock-down, this match-up would have been an easy victory for the Lakers. However, if we compare these teams based on their performances in the bubble, then the Lakers are at a huge disadvantage. One could argue that they have been keeping their strength since they needed just 2 victories to secure the 1st seed. Regardless of that, we believe that the Blazers could drag this match-up to 7 games.

Los Angeles Clippers (2) vs. Dallas Mavericks (7)

The Clippers

The Clippers might’ve led the bubble in quarantine time. There were late arrivals and key players who left and returned with heavy hearts. Coach Doc Rivers is still waiting to see what they can do at full strength. The Clippers’ biggest issues followed them into the bubble. They still haven’t been whole due to late arrivals, players leaving and getting injured. Harrell has yet to play in a game and will have to get his timing and conditioning back during the first round. Their fans will just have to hope that the chemistry between Kawhi Leonard and Paul George is at the highest level. They will also need to be at their best when it comes to defense because Luka Doncic will create all kinds of trouble in the match-up.

The Mavericks

The Mavs’ clutch-offense misery, a season-long problem, reared its ugly head in a double-overtime loss to the Rockets in their restart opener. But was the OT victory over the Bucks a breakthrough? Doncic consistently put up the kinds of stat lines that make you laugh and shake your head. He averaged a 32-point triple-double in the seeding games. He posted the fourth 30-20-10 night since the ABA-NBA merger, and that wasn’t even his best performance, placing second to a 36-14-19 beauty vs. the Bucks. Porzingis needs to step up, especially in clutch moments, if the Mavericks hope to go past the Clippers. They will also need Luka to keep up his crazy numbers in every playoff game.


The biggest advantage the Clippers have is experience. Their players know how to win playoff games. On the other hand, Doncic is still very young and the team from LA will outplay them in clutch moments. Still, the Mavs’ are going to put up a fight and the most likely outcome will be Clippers winning the match-up in 6 games.

Denver Nuggets (3) vs. Utah Jazz (6)

The Nuggets

It has been a roller-coaster of emotions for the Nuggets as they both gained and lost something in the bubble. With Gary Harris and Will Burton out, it seemed that the Nuggets will be heading for another early exit. However, Bol Bol and Michael Porter Jr. emerged in perfect form. Combined with the “Joker” who is an absolute beast on the court, the Nuggets can defeat just about anyone. At the moment, consistency is their only problem and we all know it’s consistency that wins playoff match-ups. Jamal Murray will get the job to try and stop Donovan Mitchell while still scoring on the other end. The winner of that match-up will probably decide this tie.

The Jazz

Utah’s primary goal of the seeding schedule seemed to be avoiding a first-round matchup with the Rockets, who have eliminated the Jazz the past two seasons. It was a mission the Jazz accomplished by selectively sitting starters. Donovan Mitchell is the face of the franchise, but Rudy Gobert remains the Jazz’s most impactful player. That was the case again during the seeding schedule, when Gobert averaged 15.3 points, 11.0 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game. However, with injured Bojan Bogdanovic out of the picture, Utah are unlikely to get past the first round. Their team just doesn’t have the necessary depth because the bench players are not scoring enough.


We all know that Mitchell will explode in the match-up and he will score 30+ points each game. However, if he doesn’t receive enough support from the 2nd cast, the Nuggets will outscore them regardless of what Mitchell does on the field. It will come to Gobert vs Jokic and the “Joker” is expected to win that match-up. His performances against the Jazz this year have yielded an average of 29.3 points, 12.0 rebounds and 9.0 assists. With that being said, Nuggets in 6 is the most likely outcome.

Houston Rockets (4) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (5)

The Rockets

So much for establishing some continuity heading into the playoffs. The Rockets didn’t have their full starting five for any of the seeding games — and Russell Westbrook is sidelined to start the playoffs due to a strained right quadriceps. The big question is can the Rockets make a deep run if they consistently get dominated on the glass. This is a risk they took when they decided to scrap the center position and play small all the time. Harden looked fatigued before the season was stopped but he has been excellent in the bubble. If he can keep that up, Houston might go all the way this time around.

The Thunder

The Thunder had become one of the most dangerous teams in the league before the break. Dennis Schroder’s paternity leave and some minor injuries have slightly disrupted the progress they’ve made in regaining their chemistry, but winning a first-round series — against franchise legend Russell Westbrook, no less — would mark a successful season .CP3 has been the steady heartbeat for the Thunder all season. He’s reestablished himself as the Point God, taking control of the Thunder in his first season in OKC. And maybe most important: He’s been healthy. Paul has been leading the NBA in clutch-time points — by a wide margin.


In a regular season, this would have been the best match-up of the 1st round. Both teams have players that were traded by the other side recently. Westbrook went to Houston while CP3 transferred to Oklahoma. Facing each other in home games with fans on the stands would have been fantastic. However, we get to watch a toned-down version that should still be very exciting. Houston’s game depends on all their players getting a high-scoring percentage. Thunder on the other hand have performed really well in clutch moments during the whole season, especially in over-time games. With a little luck, they could take the Rockets to a 7-games show and even go past them to the next round.

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