Sunday, May 22, 2022

NBA picks, best bets: Why Suns will bounce back in Game 4; 76ers have the advantage vs. Heat

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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.

Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers

Featured Game | Philadelphia 76ers vs. Miami Heat

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Yes, I know, virtually every pick I’ve made in this series has in same way boiled down to DeAndre Jordan, but bear with me. Through three games, the 76ers have now outscored the Heat by 21 points in the minutes DeAndre Jordan hasn’t played. That’s good for a net rating of plus-9.4 without him compared to minus-54.2 with him. Granted, the Sixers can’t expect Miami to shoot 7-of-30 from 3 in every game, but we now have a pretty meaningful sample here suggesting that as long as Jordan isn’t in the game, this is a fairly competitive series. Philly’s Game 3 victory suggests that the 76ers should at least be favored with Embiid on the floor and at home. Miami no longer has the worst center in the NBA around to pick on. The pick: 76ers -1.5

Phoenix Suns at Dallas Mavericks

Latest Odds: Phoenix Suns -2

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The broad look of Game 2 was fairly replicable. Phoenix should be able to hunt Luka Doncic in pick-and-roll. Chris Paul should be able to thrive against a somewhat stylistically limited defense. The broad look of Game 3 was more of an outlier. Chris Paul isn’t going to commit seven turnovers again. Jae Crowder isn’t going to lead the Suns in scoring again. Jalen Brunson probably isn’t going to score 28 again after being held to just 22 total points in the first two games. It’s just far easier to envision this series looking like Game 2, a game Phoenix won handily, than Game 3, in which a lot of things went right for Dallas that likely won’t again. The pick: Suns -1.5

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