Best bets, odds, spread, NBA playoff picks: Trae Young-led Hawks to cover Game 2 vs. Heat;  no slowing suns

Best bets, odds, spread, NBA playoff picks: Trae Young-led Hawks to cover Game 2 vs. Heat; no slowing suns

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With the 2021-22 NBA regular season now on the books, the basketball betting market is hotter than ever. CBS Sports will provide daily picks for the duration of the playoffs. Sam Quinn will make at least one pick every game between now and the NBA Finals. All lines courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.

Featured Game | Miami Heat vs. Atlanta Hawks

Everything that could have gone wrong for the Hawks in Game 1 happened. Trae Young will no longer shoot 1 of 12 from the field. Duncan Robinson will no longer make eight 3s. Just as Miami defended the Hawks in Game 1, it’s worth noting that Young managed to solve Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Matisse Thybulle a season ago. That doesn’t mean the Hawks are going to win this series or even the game. But the Game 1 smackdown they endured probably slightly exaggerated the difference between these teams. Some baseline shooting spreads probably bring these teams closer, and in that case, I want the points. Pick: Hawks +7

Featured Game | Memphis Grizzlies vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

Avoid the spread in this game. Minnesota won Game 1, but the spread somehow moved further in the direction of Memphis because the books know you want to bet on them to even the series. Instead, look at the gargantuan line of 241 total points. The Grizzlies had the No. 6 defense in the NBA last season. I’m going to go ahead and treat Minnesota’s 130-point outburst as an outlier, no matter how good they are on offense. There were 70 combined free throw attempts in that game. Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns combined for 65 points. Malik Beasley scored 23 points for just the sixth time this season. All of that combined and the Game 1 total was just 247, just six points above the Game 2 line. It could be a high-scoring streak, but that line is out of kilter. The pick: Less than 241

Featured Game | Phoenix Suns vs. New Orleans Pelicans

New Orleans looked good for parts of Game 1. What should terrify the Pelicans is how dominant the Suns looked for the rest of the game. Chris Paul completely gutted them in the fourth quarter and it only took a few minutes. The Suns limited the Pelicans to just 34 points in the first quarter. Even when New Orleans gave Phoenix their best shot, the Suns just shrugged, responded with a flurry from Paul, and covered the 10.5-point gap in Game 1. It’s quite demoralizing. With such a talent gap, it would be irresponsible to pick the Pelicans after what the Suns just did. The pick: Suns -9.5

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