NFL SEASON/NBA PLAY-OFFS

Sport

NFL SEASON/NBA PLAY-OFFS

BY MARK ARCHER
Contributor

Friday, September 18, 2020

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The National Basketball Association (NBA) Conference contenders have been decided and those series are already underway. And while fans were thinking that the ousting of the league-leading Milwaukee Bucks by the fifth-seeded Miami Heat was the stunner of the semi-finals, the Denver Nuggets outpaced and embarrassed the Los Angeles Clippers in their Game 7 on Tuesday night for added shock value.

The Nuggets were down 1-3 in the series and had to fight off three-straight elimination games to earn their place in the Western Conference Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers.

The previous JustBet favourite, Clippers, were thoroughly outplayed in the second half of the last three games of the series and their prized gladiators, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, combined for a meagre 24 points on 10-for-28 shooting in Game 7 (including missing all 11 of their combined shots in the fourth quarter).

Denver, led by 40-points from Jamal Murray, have now become the first team in NBA history to come back from consecutive 3-1 series deficits, having also trailed in the prior series against the Utah Jazz.

They are in the Conference Finals for the first time since 2009 when they pushed the eventual champions (Los Angeles Lakers) to six games.

Prior to this year, the Clippers last won a play-off series in 2006 (breaking a 30-year drought) but have never been to a Western Conference Finals in their 50-year history. The pairing of Leonard and George last year was made in the hope that the Clippers could shed their reputation for being LA's second-best basketball team. Now, that plan will be put on hold as they lick their wounds and watch LA's best basketball team play on.

In the midst of this basketball drama (and undoubtedly the greatest sporting blitz ever), the National Football League (NFL) had amazing Week 1 action amid the COVID-19 pandemic protocols and the Black Lives Matter protests — both pros and cons.

Outside of the fact that there were little-to-no spectators at the games, the Raiders now call Las Vegas home (originally based in Oakland, California since 1960), Tom Brady is now the quarterback (QB) for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (played for New England Patriots since 2000) and Cam Newton is now the QB for the Patriots, everything else was fairly normal.

From the offensive explosion by the Kansas City Chiefs in the first game last Thursday to the bruising defensive struggle in the second Monday night game between the Denver Broncos and the Tennessee Titans, the first week of gridiron battle did not disappoint.

The Chiefs didn't miss a beat in the opening game and picked up exactly where they left off in the Super Bowl.

The Houston Texans scored the first touchdown of the season then Kansas City reeled off 31 unanswered points that put the game way beyond the last-minute heroics of QB Deshaun Watson and the rest of the Texans.

But beyond any doubt, the most anticipated game took place on Sunday afternoon between the Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints. The game featured the two oldest QBs currently in the league, Tom Brady (43) and Drew Brees (41)— only surpassed by George Blanda who retired at age 48.

Additionally, Brees and Brady are the most accomplished QBs to ever play in the NFL, holding first and second spots, respectively, in pass completion, pass yards and touchdowns. Plus, a slew of other records that would need paragraphs to list.

Brady ended his first drive as a Buccaneer with a 2-yard rushing touchdown but had two interceptions in the game which were due to part rust and part poor communication with his receivers — a product of limited off season practice and no pre-season games.

Along with the interceptions, Tampa Bay was guilty of several other miscues and sloppy plays that allowed New Orleans to rack up 24 unanswered points en route to a dominant 34-23 victory that left questions surrounding Brady's grit.

Brady finished the day with fairly good numbers (23 of 36 for 239 yards with two passing touchdowns and one running in himself) and with enough offensive weapons at his disposal, he should rebound against the Carolina Panthers this weekend.

The must-see NFL games for Week 2 are the Houston Texans (0-1) vs the Baltimore Ravens (1-0) and the Seattle Seahawks (1-0) vs. the New England Patriots (1-0). The Ravens, with reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson, along with the Seahawks are the JustBet favourites in both matchups but their opponents are more than capable to make these both close and exciting encounters.

JustBet continues to offer attractive betting options on all popular sports and events (including eSports and virtual games) as soon as they become available. Please visit one of the over 100 locations (or visit mobile.justbetja.com) for details and place your bets on the prediction of your choice for maximum winnings... Get in the GAME!

NBA Winner
Team Odds
Los Angeles Lakers 1.50
Miami Heat 5.00
Boston Celtics 6.20
Denver Nuggets 9.20
*Odds are subject to change
Super Bowl Winner


Team Odds
Kansas City Chiefs 6.20
Baltimore Ravens 6.40
New Orleans Saints 10.00
San Francisco 49ers 13.00
Seattle Seahawks 15.00
*Only Top 5 odds shown (see
website for full list)
*Odds are subject to change


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