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.
The Warriors are 14-1 in their last 15 postseason Game 1s. There are a number of possible reasons for that and most of them are sustainable. Golden State typically has home-court advantage. The Warriors do in this series as well. The Warriors have an excellent coaching staff. Steve Kerr just got out of the NBA's COVID protocols. The Warriors almost always have a rest advantage over their opponent. They finished their second-round series two days before Dallas did. The Mavericks are 1-3 in Game 1s during the Luka Doncic era (though, to be fair, he missed Game 1 vs. Utah this season), and while the Mavericks blew the Suns out of Game 7, they lost their three other road games in that series by a combined 57 points. The Mavericks can win this series, but the evidence suggests that Golden State's history of fast starts and protecting its home floor should provide a meaningful advantage. The pick: Warriors -5.5
The last five games of Suns vs. Mavericks went under 214.5 points. Golden State's series with Memphis was a bit more erratic, though it's worth nothing that at least one team was held to double digits in the last three games of that series. The Warriors are a team that runs hot and cold. The Mavericks are a team that likes to play slow, deliberate basketball. That favors defense slightly in the early going here. The pick: Under 214.5
Jordan Poole averaged less than 10 points per game in the last three games of Golden State's series against Memphis, and that seems to have artificially deflated his value a bit in terms of prop bets. Prior to those three games, he was averaging just under 23 points per game in the postseason. This is a somewhat favorable matchup for Poole in that the Mavericks are not an especially athletic team and if Dorian Finney-Smith and Reggie Bullock are occupied guarding Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in Golden State's three-guard lineups (by no means a lock, as Dallas might view Poole as a greater threat than Thompson at this stage), Poole should have easy matchups to exploit. The pick: Poole over 16.5 points