Daily Sports Betting Preview 8/24/2020: NHL Playoffs, NBA Playoffs, Murray vs. Zverev

  • The Philadelphia Flyers have -115 odds to defeat the New York Islanders today.
  • The Colorado Avalanche are -141 favorites over the Dallas Stars in Game 2 of their playoff series.
  • The Los Angeles Lakers are back in the saddle, at -350 to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers.

LAS VEGAS - Welcome to today’s Daily Sports Betting Preview, which focuses on some playoff action.

First, in the NHL, the first round of the playoffs is over and the matchups for the next round are set.

Then, in the NBA, the Los Angeles Lakers face off against the Portland Trail Blazers. Finally, in the ATP’s Cincinnati open, Andy Murray takes on Alexander Zverev.

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

NHL Betting

The NHL’s first round is over, as is the preliminary tournament that took up the majority of early time after the restart.

This has left only a few teams standing, and four of them are set to play tonight. Normally, this column covers one matchup, but today, it will cover both hockey matchups.

New York Islanders vs. Philadelphia Flyers

  • New York Islanders +104
  • Philadelphia Flyers -115

The New York Islanders made it through a tough challenge from the Washington Capitals in the first round.

The Islanders played great team hockey, and sent the Capitals packing, in a dose of revenge for Islanders (and former Capitals) coach Barry Trotz.

The Islanders were mild underdogs entering that series, and they’re mild underdogs in this matchup as well.

Their +104 odds put them as the slightest of underdogs today to the powerful Philadelphia Flyers.

That said, both teams have similar Over/Under lines for scoring: 2.5 goals each. This isn’t a huge mismatch, and could generally go either way, despite the moneyline slightly favoring Philadelphia.

Dallas Stars vs. Colorado Avalanche

  • Dallas Stars +128
  • Colorado Avalanche -141

This matchup, on the other hand, is a fair bit more lopsided than the first one.

The Dallas Stars are already up a game in the matchup, and Game 1 caused another blow to the Avalanche in the form of an injury to goalie Philipp Grubauer.

This injury will keep Grubauer off of the ice for Game 2, which kicks off at 9:45 p.m. today.

Despite this, the Avalanche is regarded as the better team at the major online sportsbooks.

Their odds of -141 put them as significant favorites, and NHL bettors would be wise to take notice not just of the first game, but of the series as a whole.

This one could end up being very interesting regardless of the result that happens today.

NBA Betting

The Los Angeles Lakers were in trouble - facing off against a dangerous eight seed in the Portland Trail Blazers, and down a game.

Odds boards had them as only around -210 favorites to win the series leading up to Game 2, a reflection of how dangerous Portland looked.

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How times have changed!

The Lakers blew the doors off of the Trailblazers in two straight games, and in the second of those games, Lebron James finally woke up. Now, with the Lakers up 2-1, they are -350 favorites in this game, let alone the series as a whole.

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trail Blazers

  • Los Angeles Lakers -350
  • Portland Trail Blazers +280

Things are looking rough for the Blazers, who have had to scratch and claw just to be here.

The Blazers fought their way to the NBA’s Play-In Game and beat the Grizzlies in that game in order to advance to this round.

They’re a good team who underperformed outside of the NBA Bubble, but good teams lose to great ones. The Lakers are certainly chasing greatness, if they aren’t there - that’s what any team with Lebron James on it is doing.

James was dominant in Game 3, scoring 38 points to go along with 12 rebounds and eight assists.

Playoff Lebron is back, and the Blazers show no signs of being able to deal with him in the slightest. The odds for this matchup certainly reflect this - the days of getting easy money on the Lakers because they faltered in Game 1 appear to be well over.

Alexander Zverev vs. Andy Murray

Andy Murray is returning to competitive tennis, in the wake of COVID-19. The British star defeated Frances Tiafoe in three sets, and now faces off against Alexander Zverev.

Murray is not, perhaps, the player that many lapsed tennis fans know him as anymore, but he can still compete - in theory.

In practice, it’s been relatively rough going. He is ranked 134th in the world by the ATP, and went 11-7 in 2019, though this ranking is heavily affected by his retirement talks and back injury.

This matchup will be his second after returning to action post COVID-19, which means he’s had nearly ten months off of playing.

It makes sense, then, that he’s not favored over Alexander Zverev.

Alexander Zverev vs. Andy Murray

  • Alexander Zverev -215
  • Andy Murray +175

Zverev is one of the very best players in the world, currently ranked seventh by the ATP.

He has not peaked as high as Murray has, however, with a peak ranking of 3rd.

That said, on paper, the seventh ranked player in the world is facing off against the 134th ranked player in the world. While a win over Tiafoe is a good thing, and Murray played well to earn it, the gap between Tiafoe (81st in the world) and Zverev is vast.

This matchup promises to be an interesting one for tennis bettors, and kicks off at 2:15 p.m. EST.

Happy Betting!