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.
Miami Heat at Boston Celtics
As a matter of principle, I refuse to lay eight-and-a-half points on a team that lost its first two home games against this same opponent. The spreads for Games 1 and 2 were similarly lopsided and look what happened? Boston has outplayed Miami for roughly a quarter and a half in this series. The rest of the series, at best, has been relatively close or heavily in Miami's favor. Boston might win this game, but if it does, we shouldn't expect it to be a blowout. The Pick: Heat +8.5
We've had two games come within a half-point of this total (216 in Game 2 and 215 in Game 4), but the other two have been heavy overs. That should be the expectation so long as Boston continues to start a small-ball lineup. If Boston's 3-point shooting regression continues as it did in Game 4, this should be a comfortable over. The lone fear here would be that Gabe Vincent's injury hurts the Heat offensively, but remember, the players they'd likely emphasize more if Vincent is scratched (Duncan Robinson and Kyle Lowry) are both capable offensive players. The Pick: Over 215.5
The Athletic reported on Wednesday that Malcolm Brogdon is playing with a torn tendon in his right arm. That has limited him to just two points in his past two games, and more importantly, he played only 35 minutes in those games. If he can't truly contribute for the Celtics right now, Boston's guard minutes will be devoted entirely to Marcus Smart and Derrick White, as Payton Pritchard struggled mightily during his Game 1 stint. Smart has a history of jacking up shots in big games, so couple that with the added opportunity Brogdon's injury provides, and he should put up numbers in Game 5. The Pick: Marcus Smart over 12.5 Points