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 Celtics were the second-best road team in the NBA by both record (25-17) and net rating (plus-3.3) this season, so all of the same "Atlanta has no chance" logic we've been riding in this series still applies. Trae Young is shooting 14-of-40 from the field and 3-of-13 from 3-point range in this series, and that's probably not changing with no safe switch-hunting spots and no easy coverages to exploit for free throws or floaters. Atlanta doesn't have the wings to defend Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown, and even if they did, Derrick White is destroying their worst defenders so thoroughly that it would hardly matter. Get your brooms ready. This series is a sweep. The Pick: Celtics -5
RJ Barrett is shooting 6-of-25 in this series. In his only other playoff appearance back in 2021, he shot 38.8% from the field. He lacks obvious defensive utility in this matchup, and the Cavaliers are shooting 9-of-18 from the field with him as their primary defender thus far in this series. Tom Thibodeau isn't going to pull him from the starting lineup, but it's clear that Immanuel Quickley, Quentin Grimes and Josh Hart (provided he's healthy) make more sense against Cleveland's small guards. Considering how he's shooting, any reduction in playing time is going to make hitting the over impossible. The Pick: Barrett Under 15.5 Points
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The Nuggets have had problems at the backup center position all season, so they tried a novel solution in Game 2 against Minnesota on Wednesday: trim the rotation to seven-and-a-half players (Christian Braun was technically No. 8, but he played only seven minutes and change), and use Aaron Gordon as the backup center. That's a risky approach against Minnesota, but Denver won those minutes by three points. More importantly for our purposes, Aaron Gordon finished the game with 10 rebounds. The books haven't adjusted to the reality of his center minutes yet, so let's take advantage. The Pick: Gordon Over 6.5 Rebounds