Spooky Express Sports Betting News & More

NBA Playoffs Preview for Saturday, April 20, 2024

April 20, 2024

The NBA's Play in games are over and today, we get started with the real NBA Postseason!  We are treated with four games today, with games spaced out nicely throughout the day.  We think all four of these games are playable in some way, shape or form, with lines all being somewhat fair.  Let's take a quick look at each game for today.


#4 Cleveland Cavaliers vs. #5 Orlando Magic

The Cleveland Cavaliers are set to host game 1 of the postseason against the Orlando Magic in what is anticipated to be an intense match-up between two evenly-matched teams. Both teams had close season records, with the Cavaliers at 48-34 and Orlando closely following at 47-35.

However, the scenario has been quite different when it comes to sports betting, specifically playing against the point spread (ATS). Here, the Magic held a significant statistical advantage over the Cavaliers, rendering 51 wins and 31 losses compared to Cleveland's 38-44 ATS record.

For sports betting enthusiasts keenly observing this season's statistics, the teams have faced off four times, tying the series at 2-2. Notably, over 75% of these games exceeded the posted over/under total.

One key highlight for the Orlando Magic going into this game is their return to the postseason, a feat they have not achieved since 2020.

Despite losing four of their last six games, the Magic finished on a high note, spectacularly defeating Milwaukee 113-88 in the previous game of the season.

On the other hand, the Cavaliers have had a rough landing towards the end of the season—their straight-up (SU) record in their last ten games stands at 4-6, and they managed to cover the spread in only three out of those games.


#3 Minnesota Timberwolves vs. #6 Phoenix Suns

One of the most anticipated first-round games is set to take place at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with the Minnesota Timberwolves hosting the Phoenix Suns. This match-up is considered one of the most exciting of the early playoffs.

The Timberwolves, who finished the regular season with an impressive 56-26 win-loss record, boast the third-best record in the Western Conference. They match that performance with 41-41 Against The Spread (ATS).

However, their season closed on a sour note, with a 1-2 run and a closing loss to the Suns.

The Suns, on the other hand, come in with a 48-33 Straight Up (SU) and a 35-42-2 ATS record. Though their overall record may not match the Timberwolves, they proved to be a formidable road team with a 24-17 record away from home.

The Suns also enter this clash with a hot hand, having concluded their season with a hat trick of consecutive road victories.

The Suns’ dominating performance against the Timberwolves in the regular season amplifies the stakes for this anticipated match-up.

In a series of three contests, Phoenix won each game by a double-digit margin.


#2 New York Knicks vs. #7 Philadelphia 76ers

The New York Knicks will be hosting the Philadelphia 76ers in what promises to be an electrifying clash at the world-renowned Madison Square Garden. This will be the day's third game, and we can expect the venue to be brimming with excited fans.

The Knicks command respect on their home turf, with a solid record of 50-32 SU and 43-36-3 ATS. The team, known for its tenacity, has been exceptionally tough on home grounds with an impressive 27-14 record in front of the New York home crowd.

But let's not underestimate the visitors. The Sixers, showcasing incredible resilience throughout the season, have a respectable record, too—48-35 SU and an impressive 48-33-1 ATS. Although their road performance has been modest, with a 22-19 record, this team sure has the power to spring a surprise with Joel Embiid on the court.

Looking back at their matchups in the regular season, the Knicks have had the upper hand, having pocketed 3 out of 4 games, both SU and ATS. Notably, all four games played have fallen under the posted number. Does this suggest an ongoing trend, or will we see a thrilling overturn? 


#2 Denver Nuggets vs. #7 Los Angeles Lakers

The spotlight shifts to the Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado, where the titanic clash between the Denver Nuggets and the LA Lakers will take place.

An undeniable force this season, the Denver Nuggets proudly close their regular season with a hard-earned record of 57-25 SU and 38-43-1 ATS. Their home turf has proven a formidable fortress, boasting one of the finest records in the NBA at a stunning 33-8.

This incredible achievement is a testament to their dominance and puts them at par with Oklahoma City for the best record in the Western Conference.

The Nuggets' recent performance further validates their strength, with victories in four of their most recent five games and an impressive six of their last eight games.

In contrast, the LA Lakers have ended their season with a record of 49-35 SU and 38-44 ATS. The season has been particularly challenging for them away from the cozy confines of LA, as they landed a disappointing one game under .500 on the road this year with a 20-21 record.

They are forging a resurgence, winning their last three games overall, including two victories against New Orleans and one against Memphis.

However, as we delve into the history between these two teams, the Nuggets have proven to be the Lakers' kryptonite. The Nuggets have maintained a stranglehold on this rivalry for the past two seasons, sweeping all three games in 2024, and amassing an impressive eight straight wins against the Lakers.

Daily Free Play

Cleveland Cavaliers-2 (1st H) (-114) - In 3 of the 4 games this year between Cleveland and Orlando, the Cavaliers had the lead at halftime. On Dec 6, they led 65-52 at half.  On Dec 11, they led 54-51 at half. On Jan 22, they led 72-47.  The only game they didn't was on Feb 22, where they fell behind and lost the game overall.  Look for Cleveland to set the tone early against this inexperienced and young Orlando team.  Taking Cleveland on the 1st half.