The 2020 NBA Finals gets going with the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat in Game 1 on Wednesday night at 9:00 p.m. ET on ABC. We’ve got a ton of player props for Game 1 and one of the markets we like to look to is the head-to-head player matchups. This market basically pits two players against each other in terms of total points scored in the game. We’re going to go over each matchup and give our best pick.
LeBron James (-250) vs. Jimmy Butler (+200)
James is my pick here because of volume. The Lakers superstar is averaging more than 17 shot attempts per game. Butler has only taken at least 17 shots three times in 15 playoff games. Butler’s free throw shooting helped boost his scoring in the first two rounds of the playoffs, but he’s gotten to the charity stripe a lot less frequently lately. While James and Anthony Davis are sure to lead Los Angeles in scoring, Butler could defer to Goran Dragic, Tyler Herro, and Bam Adebayo.
Kyle Kuzma (-105) vs. Duncan Robinson (-117)
Kuzma did not play well against the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals and will likely come off the bench in Game 1 as the Lakers look to utilize their size advantage against the Heat. Robinson is a starter with a perennial green light. If Robinson doesn’t get into foul trouble, I like his chances to outscore ice cold Kuzma.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (+110) vs. Jae Crowder (-134)
This is a difficult choice, but I have to go with Crowder here. While KCP strung together a streak of six straight games with at least 10 points between the second and third rounds, the Heat share the sugar more and let Crowder shoot more than 10 shots in seven of their 15 playoff games. KCP combined for six points in his first two Game 1s of the playoffs, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get off to another bad start.
LeBron James (-110) vs. Anthony Davis (-110)
James or Davis will likely have a game-high in points, and I’m leaning toward “The Brow” here. Davis led the Lakers in scoring both times they played the Heat during the regular season and averaged 29.5 points per game in the two meetings. James will likely use this as a feel out game, and I expect him to pass the torch to Davis. Davis should have a field day in the post if Miami continues to pair Crowder with Adebayo in the frontcourt.
Goran Dragic (-159) vs. Bam Adebayo (+130)
Adebayo hasn’t scored the ball well against the Lakers this season, and the undersized center will likely have a tough time getting good looks against the likes of Davis, Dwight Howard, and JaVale McGee. Dragic has emerged as Miami’s leading scorer in the bubble, so I like his odds against KCP and Danny Green more than Adebayo’s odds against a trio of bigs that includes an All-NBA defender.
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