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.
- Dallas was really well-suited for defending Phoenix because, as masterfully as the Suns execute their pick-and-roll offense, it relies overwhelmingly on two ball-handlers. Dorian Finney-Smith and Reggie Bullock can make life miserable for those two ball-handlers, and head coach Jason Kidd did his part with some very aggressive adjustments that boiled down to forcing Chris Paul and Devin Booker into making bad passes. But the Warriors don't rely on two ball-handlers. In Golden State, everyone is a ball-handler and the biggest threat on the floor is a four-way tie between every one who doesn't have the ball. As Game 1 proved, this is going to be a very stark adjustment for the Mavs, and it's one that puts their lesser defenders on display in a way that the Phoenix series, aside from the Game 2 switch-hunting display Paul and Booker put on Luka Doncic, really didn't. Kidd has earned the benefit of the doubt in the long run. His adjustments in the first two rounds have been quite strong. But the gap between these teams was vast in Game 1. I don't expect Dallas to close it in Game 2. Remember, it took the Mavericks until Game 3 to earn a win against Phoenix. The pick: Warriors -6.5
- Dallas shot 40 percent from behind the arc in the Phoenix series. That's not a crazy number, but it's fairly unsustainable for basically any team, and it made just 35 percent of its 3s in the regular season. The way Dallas plays offense is powered almost entirely by role players making 3s, because when they aren't, defenses can key in on Luka Doncic without consequences. Well … the Mavs shot 22.9 percent on 3s in Game 1. They lost big. They aren't a 40 percent team, but they're not a 22.9 percent team either. Some positive regression should get us to the over line. The pick: Over 214
- The line on Luka Doncic's scoring is 31.5 points. He's reached that total in half of his career playoff games, 12 of 24. Two of the games in which he came up short were with an ankle injury in the Orlando bubble and two more were in the Utah series when he was recovering from a calf injury. Healthy Doncic is generally a safe bet to hit this over. Now, in Game 1, Golden State did a great job of containing him. The also had a two-day rest advantage over the Mavericks. Expect better shooting from Doncic on a leveler playing field, and a closer game should force higher volume. The pick: Doncic over 31.5 points