Saturday, April 1, 2023

NBA playoffs best bets, odds, spread, picks: Trae Young-led Hawks to cover in Game 2 vs. Heat; no slowing Suns

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With the 2021-22 NBA regular season now in the books, 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.

Atlanta Hawks at Miami Heat

Featured Game | Miami Heat vs. Atlanta Hawks

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Everything that could have gone wrong for the Hawks in Game 1 did. Trae Young is not going to shoot 1 for 12 from the field again. Duncan Robinson isn’t going to make eight 3s again. As well as Miami defended the Hawks in Game 1, it’s worth noting that Young managed to solve Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Matisse Thybulle a season ago. That doesn’t mean the Hawks are going to win this series or even the game. But the Game 1 smackdown they endured probably overstated the difference between these teams slightly. Some basic shooting variance probably pushes these teams closer together, and in that case, I want the points. The pick: Hawks +7

Minnesota Timberwolves at Memphis Grizzlies

Featured Game | Memphis Grizzlies vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

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Steer clear of the spread in this game. Minnesota won Game 1, but the spread has somehow moved further in Memphis’ direction because the books know you want to bet on them to tie the series. Instead, look to the gargantuan 241 point-total line. The Grizzlies had the No. 6 defense in the NBA last season. I’m gonna go ahead and treat a 130-point Minnesota outburst as an outlier no matter how much offensive talent they have. There were 70 combined free throw attempts in this game. Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns combined for 65 points. Malik Beasley scored 23 points for just the sixth time all season. All of that combined and the Game 1 total was just 247, only six points above Game 2’s line. This might be a high-scoring series, but that line is out of whack. The pick: Under 241

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Phoenix Suns

Featured Game | Phoenix Suns vs. New Orleans Pelicans

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New Orleans looked good for portions of Game 1. What should terrify the Pelicans is how dominant the Suns looked for the rest of the game. Chris Paul completely eviscerated them in the fourth quarter and it only took a matter of minutes. The Suns held the Pelicans to just 34 first-quarter points. Even when New Orleans gave Phoenix its best shot, the Suns just shrugged, responded back with a Paul-flurry, and proceeded to cover Game 1’s 10.5-point spread. That’s fairly demoralizing. With a talent gap this big, it would be irresponsible to pick the Pelicans after what the Suns just did. The pick: Suns -9.5

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