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.
Obviously, this is a difficult pick to make without knowing whether or not Ja Morant will play. If he can't go, it's an easy Lakers pick. The one thing that the Lakers struggled with in Game 1 was defending Jaren Jackson Jr., because they preferred using Anthony Davis on Xavier Tillman for the sake of help-defense. LeBron James struggled in that matchup. But if Morant is out, the Lakers could comfortably realign their defense and put Jarred Vanderbilt on Jackson. Even if Morant does play, it's worth noting that Memphis lost his minutes by eight points on Sunday. The Lakers largely succeeded against him defensively, so it stands to reason that a limited version of him would be even less of a threat. The pick: Lakers PK
Game 1 featured 247 total points, including 130 from the Heat. Care to guess how many times the Heat reached 130 points during the regular season? Three times. They're not hitting 60% of their 3-pointers again, and with Tyler Herro sidelined, they've lost their second-best shot-creator. Milwaukee, meanwhile, made 74% of their 2-point shots in Game 1. That's not remotely sustainable either. This line is inflated because of one game. History tells us these are lower-scoring teams. The pick: Under 221.5
Anthony Edwards has made only 17 of his 51 shots in his last three games. He's only gotten to the free-throw line 10 times in total. The Timberwolves aren't listing Edwards on the injury report, but it's getting harder and harder to believe that his shoulder isn't at least in some amount of pain. Factoring in the injuries across Minnesota's roster, Denver should be able to key in on Edwards comfortably. Until he proves he can cross the 20-point threshold, I'm taking his unders. The pick: Edwards Under 23.5 points