Sunday, May 22, 2022

NBA picks, best bets: Why Warriors will close out Grizzlies; the Al Horford prop to take in Celtics vs. Bucks

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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.

Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics

Featured Game | Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks

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The Celtics scored 48 points in the paint in Game 4. That’s not a gargantuan number by NBA standards… but it follows totals of 20, 24 and 32 in the first three games. One of the most interesting tactical wars being fought in this series is taking place between Al Horford and Brook Lopez. The Bucks have built a defense around keeping Lopez tethered to the rim, surrendering 3’s to maximize his strength as a rim protector. They held firm on those principles for almost four games… but finally conceded in the fourth quarter of Game 4 because Horford kept making the 3’s he was given. He made nine 3’s in the two games these teams just played in Milwaukee. He made just 89 in the entire regular season. Al Horford is not usually Dirk Nowitzki. Milwaukee’s defensive game plan allowed him to look like it for a couple of nights, but expect Lopez to respect Horford’s jumper more in Game 5. Boston will make up those points in the paint, but as bettors, this creates an opportunity to short Horford’s hot shooting. The pick: Horford under 2.5 3’s.

Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies

Featured Game | Memphis Grizzlies vs. Golden State Warriors

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We played the under in Game 4 and won easily. It was a very safe play considering how well Memphis has defended without Ja Morant all year and how poorly they’ve scored without him all playoffs. Well, Vegas caught on and trimmed several points off of the line. So let’s pivot slightly here into a Golden State clincher. This is, admittedly, a pick based more on feel than hard evidence. The Grizzlies have been resilient all year, but Game 4 was their moment to take a stand. They aren’t going to get another shooting night that poor out of the Warriors, and Golden State smells blood with a trip to the Western Conference Finals on the line. Expect the veterans to take care of business in Game 5 as the youngsters learn a lesson that will serve them well in next year’s rematch. The pick: Warriors -4

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