NBA Picks, Best Bets: Luka Doncic should recover, but the Warriors still have an advantage over the Mavericks in Game 2

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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 provide daily selections for the duration of the postseason. Sam Quinn will make at least one pick for every game leading up to the NBA Finals. All lines courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.

Featured Game | Golden State Warriors vs. Dallas Mavericks

  • Dallas was really well-placed to defend Phoenix because, as masterfully as the Suns are on their pick-and-roll offense, they rely overwhelmingly on two ball handlers. Dorian Finney-Smith and Reggie Bullock can make life difficult for those two ball carriers, and head coach Jason Kidd did his part with some very aggressive adjustments that ended up forcing Chris Paul and Devin Booker to miss passes. But the Warriors don’t rely on two ball handlers. in the golden state anyone is a ball handler and the biggest threat on the floor is a four-way tie between anyone who doesn’t have the ball. As Game 1 proved, this is going to be a very strong adjustment for the Mavs, and it’s one that flaunts their lesser defenders in a way the Phoenix series does, save for Game 2’s Switch hunt meter who showed Paul and Booker Luka Doncic, really not. Kidd has earned the benefit of the doubt in the long run. His adjustments in the first two rounds were pretty strong. But the gap between these teams was huge in Game 1. I don’t expect Dallas to shut them down in Game 2. Remember, it took the Mavericks until Game 3 to get a win over Phoenix. The Choice: Warrior -6.5
  • Dallas shot 40 percent from behind the arc in the Phoenix series. That’s not a crazy number, but it’s pretty unsustainable for virtually any team, and it’s only made 35 percent of its 3s in the regular season. The way Dallas plays offense is driven almost entirely by roleplayers making 3s, because if they don’t, defense can turn on Luka Doncic with no repercussions. Well…the Mavs shot 22.9 percent on 3s in Game 1. You lost big. They’re not a 40 percent team, but they’re not a 22.9 percent team either. Some positive regression should bring us to the overline. The choice: Over 214
  • The line of Luka Doncic’s rating is 31.5 points. He’s reached that total in half his career playoff games, 12 of 24. Two of the games he came up short in were in the Orlando bladder with an ankle injury and two others were in the Utah series when he was recovering from a calf injury. Healthy Doncic is generally a safe bet to overcome this. Now in Game 1, Golden State did a great job containing him. They also had a two-day rest advantage over the Mavericks. Expect better shooting from Doncic on a more balanced pitch, and closer play should force higher volume. The choice: Doncic over 31.5 points NBA Picks, Best Bets: Luka Doncic should recover, but the Warriors still have an advantage over the Mavericks in Game 2

Justin Scacco

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