Best NBA Bets: Expect a low score in both games at 7 on Sunday

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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 picks for the duration of the post-season. Sam Quinn will make at least one pick for every game from now to the NBA Finals. All lines courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.

Latest odds:

Below 207

Much of this information will apply to both matches on Sunday. Spoiler Alert: We are collecting the below in each of them. Here are the combined point totals in the last 12 7-a-side games:

  • Hawks-76ers 2021: 199
  • Bucks-Nets 2021: 216 (OT)
  • Clippers-Mavericks 2021: 237
  • Nuggets-Clippers 2020: 193
  • Celtics-Raptors 2020: 179
  • Rockets-Thunder 2020: 206
  • Nuggets-Jazz 2020: 156
  • Raptors-76ers 2019: 182
  • Blazer-Nuggets 2019: 196
  • Nuggets-Spurs 2019: 176
  • Warriors-Rockets 2018: 193
  • Cavs-Celtics 2018: 166

The total average points here are 191.6 points. Only three of these games achieved 200 points. Go back and extend the sample if you wish. Throughout history, 7 matches have tended to have very, very low scores.

There are a number of plausible explanations for this. I offer a few. Tension at the beginning and end of matches tends to limit the score in the first and last minutes. Both defenses have spent six games learning about the opponent’s attack, so it’s very difficult to throw plays against them that they haven’t already seen. Spins tend to be reduced to ridiculous levels, with top players often playing the full 48 minutes as needed. These are the players who create most of their team’s shots. If they are too tired to generate attack, their entire team will struggle to score.

Now let’s consider this in the context of Bucks-Celtics, in particular. The total of the midpoints in the series is 205.5. The point total line is set at 207 and this does not take into account the typical Game 7 drop. It does not take into account the exhaustion these teams will face playing Sunday afternoon after fighting Friday night in another city. Giannis Antetokounmpo is expected to continue carrying an unrealistic burden. The Bucks star has attempted 27 or more field goals in seven career playoff games. Five have been in this series alone. Sooner or later, these teams will run out of gas. Expect a low scoring match 7 as a result. The choice: Under 207

Latest odds:

Under 205

This series had a slightly different trend than the Bucks-Celtics. He started with an incredibly high score, but his last four games have averaged just 199.5 points. The Suns are pulling 41 percent from 3 and the Mavericks aren’t far behind with 38.5 percent. If we expect a drop in shooting due to Game 7 nerves, especially from Dallas as an away team, it doesn’t seem likely this game will be played in the 1910s unless Luka Doncic goes absolutely nuclear. The choice: Under 205

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