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.
I'm going to confess, I had some preconceived notions about teams falling down 3-0. I expected almost all of them to get swept because anecdotally, it's easy to remember teams getting demoralized by such deficits. But in NBA history, a total of 146 teams have fallen behind 3-0 in a series. Of those 146, 56 managed to win Game 4. That's a win rate of 38.4 percent. Is that number particularly big? No… until you remember that those teams combined to win literally zero games to that point in the series. If anything, it seems as if finishing a sweep is a harder task than we previously believed, and remember, the Warriors have a pretty maddening tendency of playing with their food before they eat it. Remember when they built a 3-1 lead over the Memphis Grizzlies only to lose by 39 in Game 5? They failed to complete a sweep of Denver in the second round as well, and if you exclude any series Kevin Durant participated in, the Warriors have actually only completed two sweeps during the Stephen Curry era. Now, the Warriors are the better team. If you want to bet on the sweep on that alone? You're more than justified in doing so. But the Mavericks are at home, have arguably the best player in the series and their role players are shooting only slightly better than 30 percent from 3. The Warriors will win this series. I'm willing to bet that the Mavericks still have a bit of fight left in them. The pick: Mavericks -1.5
All of the same logic that went into my Game 3 over pick still applies even if the under wound up hitting. Dallas is really struggling to defend the Warriors, and the difference between their free-flowing motion and Phoenix's more rigid structure isn't something that can be solved over the course of seven games if the roster isn't suited for both tasks. As well as Andrew Wiggins has defended him, Luka Doncic still had back-to-back 40-point games. The poor 3-point shooting was the primary reason this game went under. I'm betting on it to regress to average. The pick: Over 215.5
Spencer Dinwiddie's 3-point line is inflated by his best performances. He's made four or more 3-pointers four times this postseason… but he's been at two or below in 10 playoff games. This is also a 32.2 percent 3-point shooter for his career, and his tendencies have been on full display in the postseason. When Dinwiddie gets hot? He's unstoppable. But there are more bad games than good ones and this line skews a bit too far in the direction of good games being the norm. The pick: Dinwiddie under 2.5 made 3-pointers