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 offense in this series has been miserable, but I'm leaning towards the over in Game 4 for two reasons. First, the Knicks tried something they virtually never do on Saturday: they played Julius Randle and Obi Toppin together. Whether or not that particularly pairing sticks is immaterial. The point was that the Knicks were desperate enough for offense that they were willing to try any lineup combination to get it. That suggests that they are going to tilt their lineups more towards scoring in Game 4, which should boost both offenses. Second, the Knicks are due for an uptick in shooting. They've made just 36.5% of their wide-open 3's in this series, and more importantly, they're shooting a dreadful 20.8% on open 3's. There's regression coming. It might not swing the game outcome, but it should boost the scoring in Game 4 by a few points. The Pick: Over 207
Anthony Davis is having one of the stranger postseasons you'll ever see. In odd-numbered games, Davis is averaging 27.8 points. In even-numbered games? He's averaging 13. His rebounds are down as well, and while the Lakers are 4-1 in odd-numbered games, they are just 2-3 in even-numbered games. Now, there is a ton of randomness that goes into those numbers. They shouldn't be treated as gospel. But they point to a larger trend. The Lakers are incredibly reliant on Davis. Asking him to be superhuman every single night is unrealistic. He's going to have down games. If you presume he has an off-night after his incredible Game 3, that should give the Warriors the boost they need to win this thing and tie the series at two games apiece. The Pick: Warriors +3