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Top 3 NBA Betting Picks for Monday, September 7th

by September 7, 2020

The NBA playoffs have been quite the treat. Sunday reminded us that number one seeds are number one for a reason and that they should not be counted out. Milwaukee was able to force a Game 5 despite losing Giannis early in the second half. The Los Angeles Lakers started Game 2 scorching, lost their massive lead in the third, and then found a way to dig deep and pull off the victory. They did well to make getting in the paint a priority and chose to play Lakers basketball instead of Rockets basketball. Sunday was a tough day for our picks, and we now sit 27-17 on the season. Here is to bouncing back. 

Here are my top NBA betting plays for September 7th, 2020. You can also check out our daily NBA consensus game odds here.

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Kawhi Leonard over 30.5 points (-105)

  • Averaged 27.1 points per game during the season 
  • Averaging 29.9 points per game during playoffs 
  • Over in five of his last seven contests 
  • Under in two straight contests

Kawhi Leonard had a horrible night from the field in Game 2 but should bounce back in a major way in Game 3. His playoff scoring average dipped from 32.3 points per game to 29.9 following his disastrous night from the field. He has now fallen under 31 points in two straight contests (29 points in Game 1) but managed to hit the mark in five straight contests prior to that. His .235 shooting from the field was his lowest mark of the last two seasons, so one thing we can count on tonight is that he will be more efficient from the field. Despite the poor night from the field, Kawhi’s postseason field goal percentage of .528 is still a better mark than the .470 he shot from the field during the season. Expect Leonard to put his foot back on the gas in this contest, as the Clippers look to stomp out the sliver of hope the Nuggets may feel after their Game 2 victory. The juice is on the under for this prop due to him falling under the number in his last two contests, so we will be keeping this to a one-unit play at BetMGM.

Kawhi Leonard over 5.5 assists (+120)

  • Averaged 4.9 assists on the season
  • Averaging 5.5 assists in this series
  • Averaging 5.3 assists during playoffs 
  • Over in two of his last three contests 

Kawhi Leonard should be on the ball more often in Game 3. He was terrific setting up his teammates in Game 2 and should play the role of facilitator when he cannot find his own shot. Kawhi has averaged 5.3 assists per game in the playoffs and has 11 total assists (5.5 average) in the first two games of this series. Kawhi may actually see his playoff assist average drop below his season average of 4.9 assists at some point of the playoffs, but his play in the last few contests has made it clear that setting up his teammates and getting them ready for the Conference Finals, and hopefully the NBA Finals, remains a priority. Denver played well enough in Game 2 to force Kawhi to be aggressive from the floor to get his team the win, but his ability to pass while creating off the dribble, or when being double-teamed should get him in the four to seven assist range for this evening’s contest. 

Kawhi Leonard over 12.5 assists + rebounds (-118)

  • Averaged 12 assists plus rebounds during the season
  • Averaging 14.4 assists plus rebounds during playoffs
  • Averaging 11.5 assists plus rebounds this series
  • Over in four of his last six contests

I thought about going with the Clippers full game or halftime line here, but the win probability didn’t jump off the screen in the same way it did for this prop. As you can see above, I am in on Kawhi at five or more assists, this means this prop comes down to whether or not Kawhi gets the seven to nine rebounds needed for this prop to click. The rebounds are what gives this prop its appeal, as Kawhi has posted 10 or more rebounds in two of his last three games. He averaged 12 assists plus rebounds during the season but boosted his average in ‘Playoff Kawhi’ mode to a robust 14.4 combined assists plus rebounds. He is only at an 11.5 average for this series due to managing just three assists and two rebounds in Game 1 but should be able to easily surpass this number in a Game 3 in which Leonard and his teammates will all be locked in. 

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Raju Byfield is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Raju, check out his archive and follow him @FantasyContext.