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Top NBA Betting Picks for Wednesday, September 30th

by September 30, 2020
LeBron James

We’ve finally arrived at the NBA Finals, and if you had the Miami Heat versus Los Angeles Lakers, you are probably a wealthy person right now. The Finals’ surprise team is the Heat, and they will have to go through a LeBron-led team, like most eventual champions or runner-ups over the last decade.

The King will play in his ninth NBA Finals over the last 10 years, and his revenge tour in 2019-20 is four wins away from the conclusion. I love LeBron tonight and another play for Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

Here are my top NBA betting plays for September 30th, 2020. You can also check out our daily NBA consensus game odds here.

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LeBron James to double-double and Lakers to win (+122) 

  • LeBron has double-doubled in 10-of-15 postseason games.
  • LeBron averages 19.3 points, 11.6 assists, and 10.3 rebounds in three Game 1’s with L.A.
  • LeBron averages 26.5 points, 9.0 assists, and 6.5 rebounds in two meetings with Miami.
  • LeBron has double-doubled in six of his last seven overall games.

LeBron has been remarkable during the Lakers’ postseason run. The 35-year-old legend has averaged 26.7 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 8.9 assists throughout 15 games. He has doubled-doubled in 10-of-15 games during the playoffs, and his team has gone 8-2 straight-up in those performances.

The two losses came in Game 1 of the first round versus the Portland Trail Blazers and Game 3 of the WCF versus the Denver Nuggets. Those were the only wins for either team in the series, and LeBron has averaged 24.3 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 11.3 assists in the Lakers’ three losses, compared to 27.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 8.2 assists in 12 wins.

In his last NBA Finals (2017-18), LeBron double-doubled in one game and triple-doubled in another, losing in four games to the Warriors. In 2016-17, he double-doubled in all five games triple-doubled in two, while in his last winning series and Larry O’Brien Trophy (2015-16), he double-doubled in six-of-seven games and triple-doubled in one.

History says that LeBron will do what he does best and take over the game in more than one way. LeBron already double-doubled in one of two games with the Heat this season, and with the importance of Game 1 on the line, I’m expecting LeBron to have a night to remember.

Lakers 1H -2 (-118)

The jitters of playing in their first NBA Finals will come for many players, and we could see a few of them struggle to find the bottom of the net in the first quarter or half, but you can back a LeBron-led team to bring it. 

The Lakers have been the most dominant first-half team in the NBA over the postseason, and they’re averaging an NBA-best 61.3 points per game. They also allowed 54.7 (sixth), which gave them a league-best -6.6 point differential in the half. The Heat trail with 55.1 first-half points per game (eighth) compared to 53.7 (third) allowed. 

L.A. is also the only team to average over 30 points in the first quarter over the course of the postseason. The Lakers average 31.6 points per game while Miami is ranked 12th with 25.7 per contest. Most of Miami’s roster will be playing in the biggest game of their life and making their first Finals appearances, which makes me feel even more confident in the Lakers’ early scoring ability.

The Lakers have beaten the Heat twice this season, leading at halftime by two in the first meeting and trailing by eight in the second. L.A. has led 10-of-15 postseason games at halftime and eight of the last 10 overall. I’ll happily ride that streak in Game 1 and take the two points over the ML price of -167.

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Vaughn Dalzell is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Vaughn, check out his archive or follow him @VaughnDalzell.

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