NBA playoffs picks, best bets: Why Celtics can take Game 2 vs. Nets, even if Kevin Durant bounces back

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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.

Featured Game | Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets

Lost in the disappointment of Kevin Durant’s 9-for-24 shooting night in Game 1 were the several other unsustainable factors that led to Brooklyn’s near-upset in Game 1. Kyrie Irving probably isn’t going to score 39 against the Defensive Player of the Year again. Brooklyn’s supporting cast probably isn’t going to shoot 21 of 34 on the road again. These two teams were relatively even from behind the arc during the regular season, so it would be hard for Brooklyn to rely on shooting nearly 10 percentage points better from 3 than Boston on a game-by-game basis. Even if Durant plays his normal, excellent basketball in Game 2, there are just so many areas in which Boston can make up that difference and still win. The pick: Celtics -3.5

Featured Game | Toronto Raptors vs. philadelphia 76ers

Before the series, Philadelphia missing Matisse Thybulle for road games in Canada looked like it was going to be a major issue. Yet in the first two games of this series, Thybulle played only 29 minutes. Philly looked just fine without him in two blowouts. Toronto, on the other hand, is really struggling to work through its own injury issues. Gary Trent Jr. may be over the illness that knocked him out of Game 2, but unless Scottie Barnes is healthy, Toronto is going to have to again rely on reserves it hasn’t trusted all season. With the Sixers humming, that’s a recipe for yet another loss. The pick: Sixers -1.5

Featured Game | Milwaukee Bucks vs. Chicago Bulls

Game 1 produced a laughable 179 points, but the conditions for offense here are ripe. The Bulls are a jump-shooting team. The Bucks happily surrender jumpers to protect the paint. The Bucks have maybe the best interior scorer in the NBA. The Bulls have no rim protection. Call me crazy, but I doubt these two teams are going to combine to shoot 22.6 percent on 3’s again. I don’t think three recent All-Stars in Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic will combine to go 21 of 71 again, nor do I think Milwaukee’s two non-Giannis stars in Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday shoot 10 of 29 again. The pick: Over 225

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