Wednesday, March 29, 2023

NBA picks, best bets: Heat have rest advantage vs. Celtics in Game 1; lean on over in conference finals opener

NBA picks, best bets: Heat have rest advantage vs. Celtics in Game 1; lean on over in conference finals opener

Lean Miami in Game 1 against the Celtics

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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.

Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics

Featured Game | Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics

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  • I’m going to start this pick by saying that I picked Boston to win the series … but I don’t think the Celtics will win Game 1. They’re playing this game 48 hours after a grueling Game 7 against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Heat haven’t played since Thursday. Do not underestimate the power of a rest advantage in the playoffs. The Heat started preparing for this series while the Celtics were still playing in their last one. They’re going to be fresh in Game 1. The Celtics won’t be. The better team will ultimately win the series, but rest is a major factor in Game 1 and it favors the Heat. The pick: Heat -2
  • I fully expect this to be a low-scoring series, but the point total line for this game is lower than Celtics-Bucks Game 7. Considering how good the Bucks are on defense, that just feels like too much value to pass up here. Game 7s tend to be lower scoring because of tired stars, intense nerves and defenses that have learned the tendencies of opposing offenses. Those factors aren’t as prevalent in Game 1, so considering the relatively low line here, I’m leaning over. The pick: Over 204
  • The line here is inflated slightly because bettors so vividly remember Tyler Herro hanging 37 points on the Celtics in the Orlando bubble, but this season? Herro has really struggled against the Celtics. He’s shot just 13 of 43 from the field and hasn’t topped 13 points. You’re always rolling the dice when it comes to point totals from a sixth man, but it’s worth noting that Herro played only around 38 minutes in the final two games of the Philadelphia series. Some of that was due to the margin, but the Heat have also gained a ton of trust in Max Strus and Gabe Vincent. Herro’s minutes and shot attempts are going to fluctuate a bit in this series. The pick: Herro under 14.5 points

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