NBA playoff picks, best bets: Lakers keep playing Grizzlies; Bucks-Heat low-scoring affair
Now that we’re in the middle of the NBA playoffs, the basketball betting market is hotter than ever. CBS Sports will provide daily selections for the duration of the postseason. Sam Quinn will make at least one pick for every game leading up to the NBA Finals. All lines courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
Los Angeles Lakers +1
Obviously this is a difficult choice not knowing if Ja Morant will play or not. If he can’t go, it’s an easy pick for the Lakers. The only thing the Lakers struggled with in Game 1 was defending Jaren Jackson Jr. because they preferred using Anthony Davis against Xavier Tillman for the sake of an assist defense. LeBron James fought in this matchup. But if Morant is out, the Lakers could conveniently rebalance their defense and put Jarred Vanderbilt on Jackson. Even with Morant playing, it’s worth noting that Memphis dropped their minutes by eight points on Sunday. The Lakers were largely successful against him defensively, so it stands to reason that a limited version of him would pose an even smaller threat. The choice: Lakers PK
Game 1 contained 247 total points, including 130 from the Heat. Guess how many times the Heat hit 130 points in the regular season? 3 times. They’re not hitting 60% of their 3-pointers again, and with Tyler Herro pausing, they’ve lost their second-best shot creator. Milwaukee, on the other hand, made 74% of their 2-pointers in Game 1. That’s not remotely sustainable either. This line is inflated because of a game. History tells us these are lower scoring teams. The selection: Under 221.5
Anthony Edwards has fired just 17 of his 51 shots in his last three games. He has only come to the free-throw line 10 times in total. The Timberwolves don’t list Edwards on the injury report, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to believe his shoulder isn’t at least in pain. Factoring in the injuries in Minnesota’s roster, Denver should be able to comfortably reach Edwards. Until he proves he can break the 20 point threshold, I’ll take his unders. The choice: Edwards below 23.5 points