Tuesday, May 28, 2024

NBA picks, odds, best bets for Cavaliers vs. Celtics and Mavericks vs. Thunder: Why Boston’s offense shows up

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The 2024 NBA postseason is well underway, and the basketball betting market is hotter than ever. CBS Sports will provide 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.

Boston has a tendency of pouring it on in series-clinching wins. Since the beginning of the 2022 postseason, they’ve averaged roughly 114 points in their six closeout wins. The notion that the Celtics are front-runners is a bit overstated, but there really is an element of “when it rains, it pours” to their 3-point shooting, and they tend never to be more confident than they are in closeout games. The possibility of garbage time shenanigans or the sort of hot 3-point shooting Cleveland got in Game 4 makes this more of an over pick than a Boston spread pick, but regardless, I’m expecting Boston’s offense to come out hot in Game 5. The Pick: Over 205.5

They’re really going to keep doing this, aren’t they? Alright. We’re making the same pick for the fourth consecutive game: Luka Doncic’s scoring under. He has gone under his pre-game total in all four games this series, with 18, 22, 29 and 19 points in the first four contests between the Mavericks and the Thunder. Obviously his injury plays a part in that, but really, these are just the strategic terms of engagement that both teams have agreed to. Dallas averaged roughly 11 corner 3-pointers per game in the regular season. They’re above 15 per game in this series because the Thunder have committed to throwing help at Doncic and the Mavericks have decided they’re happy to let him pass out of it and into those high-percentage triples. Until we see any sort of strategic shift in this series or a dramatic lowering of Doncic’s scoring line, I’m gonna keep taking these unders. The Pick: Doncic Under 29.5 Points

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