Daily Sports Betting Preview 8/19/2020: NBA Playoffs, NHL Playoffs, Champions League

  • The Utah Jazz are +4.5 underdogs against the Denver Nuggets.
  • The Tampa Bay Lightning are -171 favorites to close out their series against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
  • Bayern Munich have -425 favored odds against Olympique Lyonnais in the Champions League.

LAS VEGAS - Today’s edition of the Daily Sports Betting Preview covers three of the best sporting events of the day.

First, in the NBA, the Utah Jazz face off against the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference’s first round.

Then, in the NHL, the Columbus Blue Jackets look to gain an advantage over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Finally, in the Champions League, Lyon, fresh off a victory against Manchester City, take on Bayern Munich.

There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started!

NBA Playoff Betting

The Utah Jazz are faced with a tough task in overcoming the Denver Nuggets. The Jazz enter this game down 0-1 in the series, although Game 1 was close.

Game 1 of the series was an overtime thriller right up until it wasn’t, as the Nuggets took a 10-point win in overtime.

The Jazz put up a serious fight, however, with Donovan Mitchell scoring 57 points in the tough loss. The problem for the Jazz is that Mitchell managed to perform this herculean feat and they still lost the game.

This does not bode well for future wins if they can’t figure out how to stop Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, both of whom were dominant in game one.

Utah Jazz vs. Denver Nuggets Spread

  • Utah Jazz +4.5
  • Denver Nuggets -4.5

The spread for the game is 4.5 points, which is an interesting one. The Jazz and Nuggets were tied after regulation in game one, and yet the Nuggets still ended up winning by 10 points.

The big question for the Nuggets is if Jamal Murray can replicate his excellent Game 1 performance. Murray is a talented player, but he can be a bit hit-or-miss at times, and he might not be able to consistently provide 30+ point games.

If he can, that would be a new level for him, and it would unlock a new level for the Nuggets. It doesn’t seem particularly likely, however. Murray’s over/under for points this game is set at 21.5.

Similarly, Donovan Mitchell is a great player for the Jazz, but he’s not going to be scoring 57 points every game.

Mitchell’s points over/under line is set at 29.5.

There’s a lot of ways to wager on this matchup, and a lot of different aspects of the game to consider - it should be a good one.

NHL Playoff Betting

The Tampa Bay Lightning are one game away from getting the monkey off of their back. The monkey, in this analogy, is the Columbus Blue Jackets, who dominated the Lightning last year in the playoffs.

The Jackets swept the Lightning right out of the playoffs, and now, the Lightning have a chance for revenge. They’ve dropped one game to the Jackets so far, but a Gentleman’s Sweep is certainly still on the table.

Up 3-1, the Lightning have a chance to end this series early, and they look to take it today.

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Moneyline

  • Columbus Blue Jackets +154
  • Tampa Bay Lightning -171

The Lightning are -171 favorites on the moneyline entering this game, which, given their performance in both this series and in the regular season, is a fair assessment.

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The Lightning were the second best team in the regular season by record, and have continued that form in this series.

It’s worth noting that the Jackets are a bit of a ghost of the team that they were last year, which does raise some questions for the Lightning moving forward. The Jackets are a team built on defensive grit, while the Lightning are a team built on absolutely elite talent.

Sometimes, grit just can’t make up for the talent deficit when it’s this significant. It’s become clear over the course of the series that the Lightning are elite, and the Blue Jackets are not.

This has allowed the Lightning’s odds to reach this point - they are serious favorites in this matchup. The only team that is more favored than them today is the Colorado Avalanche against the Arizona Coyotes.

This should be a good game simply due to the will of the Jackets to never count themselves out, however, so NHL bettors should not write them off just yet.

Champions League Betting

Lyon accomplished the unthinkable (yet predictable) feat of defeating Manchester City only a few days ago.

Manchester City, while immensely talented, is at this point known for losing in the Champions League more than anything else. Lyon’s prize for defeating this titan of a team? A matchup with Bayern Munich, an arguably more titanic team.

Bayern Munich, on the other hand, are coming off of a dominating victory over Barcelona conceding only two goals. The icing on that cake? That match could very well be Leo Messi’s last with Barcelona.

You 8…2 see it.

Bayern are clearly the more talented team here, and they’re in the form of their life right now.

Bayern Munich vs. Olympique Lyonnais Spread

  • Bayern Munich -1.5,-2
  • Lyon +1.5, +2

Bayern Munich are favored by -1.5, -2 on the major sportsbooks, which means that a bet will be split between -1.5 and -2.

In other words, if Bayern win by three, both bets cash, if Bayern win by two, one bet is a push and one bet cashes.

This is a way for soccer sportsbooks to effectively split the difference between -1.5 and -2. In other words, this puts Bayern as just under a two-goal favorite. The moneyline, however, tells a different story.

Bayern Munich vs. Olympique Lyonnais Moneyline

  • Bayern Munich -425
  • Lyon +900
  • Draw +600

The online sportsbooks seem virtually certain that Bayern will win the matchup, which means that the real question is the spread. -425 odds are honestly not awful in terms of return when betting on a team as good as Bayern is, and they are clear favorites here.

This should be a compelling matchup, and Bayern Munich are likely to win it. A bet on them carries a 23.5% return at those odds, and is well worth considering.

Happy Betting!