Now that we're in the thick of the NBA playoffs, the basketball betting market is hotter than ever. CBS Sports will be providing daily picks for the duration of the postseason. Sam Quinn will make at least one pick for every game between now and the NBA Finals. All lines courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
Trae Young's 5-of-18 performance in Game 1 was instructive. He can't score consistently against a defense with no safe defenders for him to switch-hunt, big men that can take away his floater without sacrificing the rim and the discipline not to foul him. If Young can't score, the Hawks can't score. That's going to make this an extremely difficult matchup for Atlanta, because Boston can score pretty easily against them. The Hawks don't have one high-end wing defender. The Celtics have two All-NBA wing scorers. If you can find sweep odds that you like, grab them. Until then, I'm going to take Boston game-by-game until they give me a reason not to. The pick: Celtics -10
This is going to be a series defined by defense, but Game 1 featured an inordinate amount of outlier shooting performances and easy misses. RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley combined to shoot 2-of-17 from the field. Jalen Brunson got into early foul trouble. Darius Garland somehow earned only a single assist despite finishing the game with 13 potential assists. Players on both sides simply missed shots they probably should have made. If Cleveland sticks with Cedi Osman over Isaac Okoro in their small forward slot, this series is going to drift towards offense. The two teams are probably going to combine to shoot better than 30% from deep. If these offenses regress to the mean, this point total is going to look relatively low. The pick: Over 214.5
There were outliers on both ends of this game. The odds of the Clippers holding the Suns to 19 3-point attempts again, for instance, is quite low. But the Suns were roughly a league-average 3-point volume team during the season. To some extent, what happened on Sunday made sense. But these two teams, who almost never get to the rim, almost certainly won't combine to shoot 62 free throws in Game 2 either. If they needed that many to reach 225 points in Game 1, odds are, we'll see a lower-scoring Game 2 when they regress to the mean. The pick: Under 225.5