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NBA And NHL Playoff Preview And Picks For April 20

There are some heavy prices tonight in the NHL and some strange lines in the NBA. 

I break down the NBA game by game in the vid above, while bettors might be looking at some parlay strategies in puck. I don’t think it’s a bad way to go with faves at 21-11 so far in the playoffs for a tidy profit and 60 percent win rate in the first round going back to 2000. 

The one fave I’d caution parlaying is the biggest one – Nashville – and I explain why below and in today’s Periscope. 

Here’s a look at how my picks have performed since we started picking every game on Monday: 

  • Now 8-5 in the NHL after a 1-1 night last night. Up $320 (based on $100/gm bets)
  • NBA 5-6 ATS after an 0-3 night last night.  

One other note to keep in mind is the Game 3 factor in the NBA when teams are leading 2-0 in a series. Teams almost always go on to win the series (94 percent) while they only win Game 3 44 percent of the time. 

Teams down 2-0 are also 28-5 ATS in the first half over the last four seasons including this year. 

One more big stat to share on the NBA playoffs: the team with the better three-point shooting percentage vs its opponent is 16-3 against the spread this postseason. 


Cavs vs Pacers -1, 209 

  • Kevin Love partially torn thumb ligament from Game 2. Says he’ll play. 
  • I feel Love is way more valuable to Cavs than he gets credit for. Worth 3 to 4 points for me. 
  • Besides LeBron, 3-point shooting was a big difference in Game 2. Pacers shot 27% vs Cavs 39%
  • Can Kyle Korver stay hot from 3-point range? I think the Cavs need him to in order to win
  • Pacers now 5-1 ATS against the Cavs this year. Reminder the Cavs are the worst bet in the NBA at 32-51-1 this season. 

Pick: Pacers 

Raptors at Wizards -1, 218

  • No. 1 seeds have never lost in the playoffs after going up 2-0. That stat makes Raps -1600 seem low. 
  • Raptors 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven games. Wizards 4-10 ATS in their last 14 and 3-11 straight up. 
  • Raptors are just the far better team in terms of depth and give way more effort for 48 minutes 
  • Reasons Wiz could possibly, maybe steal one? Raps 5-26 SU on the road in playoffs as a franchise. Sloppy D from the Raps has allowed the Wizards to shoot 48% from the field through two games. Get a top effort all around from the team and a few calls their way at home. 
  • I think we’ll see tougher D from both sides this game. 

Pick: UNDER 

Celtics at Bucks -5, 205.5 

  • This line definitely feels strange. I said before Game 2 that I really don’t think these teams are that close matchup-wise so this number feels big to me. Celtics have covered five straight against the Bucks.
  • Reasons for the line? Public perception these teams are close. I also expect the Bucks to get the benefit of the calls. This franchise hasn’t won a series since 2001 and it needs a home playoff win with a new arena on the horizon. Don’t read that as me saying this game is fixed. Bucks still need a huge game.   
  • Celtics so much better on the perimeter on D and offense. Celtics best 3-point defense in the NBA and Bucks rank 22nd from 3-point range and 25th at defending 3s.
  • Bucks have 35 turnovers in the series. 20 percent of Boston’s scoring has come off turnovers this series.  
  • Celtics now 16-7 against the spread without Kyrie Irving. 

Pick: Celtics, but Bucks first half might be worth a go.


Flyers at Penguins -235, 6 

  • Couturier game-time decision. Most important player for the Flyers imo, as I said before Game 4 
  • This price seems low to me. With so-so goaltending and defensive play, I’m having a tough time finding reasons the Flyers can slow the Penguins. This price ain’t that bad considering. 

Pick: Penguins -1.5 (+110) 

Wild at Jets -210, 5.5 

  • Zach Parise is a huge absence for the Wild. Scored in the first three games of the series and Minny generated so much less offense without him.
  • No. 2 Jets defenseman Tyler Myers says he’s playing tonight after missing a game with a leg injury. 
  • Jets have won seven of last nine against the Wild. Jets won $1,297 at home this season if you bet $100 per game. That’s second-best in the NHL. 
  • Five of the last six Jets games played UNDER the total. 

Pick: Jets, UNDER 

Avalanche at Predators -335, 6 

  • This is the game I’m most concerned with if you’re looking at parlaying faves in the NHL tonight with these big price tags.
  • Pekka Rinne not playing the best we’ve seen him and defense for Nashville is allowing some chances. Avs have also had five power plays every game this series. 
  • Avs also starting Andrew Hammond in place of Bernier. Wild-card factor. So is defenseman Sam Girard for Colorado. Could return for the Avs from an upper-body injury, which would be a huge lift for them. 

Pick: Avalanche +1.5 (even)