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.
The Heat might have crossed the point of no return when it comes to injuries now that Gabe Vincent has a sprained ankle. They are now so thin that Haywood Highsmith, who had played 81 total, mostly garbage-time, minutes in the playoffs before Thursday, got 36 minutes in Game 5. It's not as though the depth they had was thriving either. They're getting killed whenever Bam Adebayo is off of the floor. They're relying on Caleb Martin, who has never averaged double-digit points in a regular season, to average nearly 18 per game in this matchup. Yes, it's a one-game sample, but right now, the Heat are simply running out of healthy bodies. It would be irresponsible to pick them at this stage. The Pick: Celtics -2.5
Game 5 came under the Game 6 total despite a scorching first half of shooting out of Boston and 20-point games out of four Celtic starters. Given their roster limitations at the moment, it's unrealistic to expect the Heat to win a shootout. This has to be a slow, ugly game for them to survive. Unless you're expecting Derrick White and Marcus Smart to combine to hit 10 of their 16 3-pointers again, you'll likely get your wish. The Pick: Under 210
The Heat may have scoring limitations, but Jimmy Butler? He thrives in these situations. He closed the Bucks out with 98 points in the last two games of their first-round series. He had 82 in the last two games of the Eastern Conference finals a year ago as Miami dealt with similarly poor injury luck. Right now, the Heat need Butler to score with volume as much as efficiency. If he doesn't take a bunch of shots, there simply aren't reliable alternatives on the roster to soak up those looks. Expect Butler to have a big game whether the Heat win or lose. The Pick: Butler Over 28.5 Points