NBA Best Bets: Expect Low Scores in Both Games 7 on Sunday

NBA Best Bets: Expect Low Scores in Both Games 7 on Sunday

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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 during the postseason. Sam Quinn will make at least one pick for every game between now and the NBA Finals. All lines are courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.

Latest odds:

below 207

Much of this information will apply to both Sunday’s games. Spoiler alert: we’re getting the bottom of each of them. Here are the combined point totals for the last 12 games 7:

  • 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
  • Blazers-Nuggets 2019: 196
  • Nuggets-Spurs 2019: 176
  • Warriors-Rockets 2018: 193
  • Cavs-Celtics 2018: 166

The average point total here is 191.6 points. Only three of those games reached 200 points. Go back and extend the sample if desired. Throughout history, games 7 tend to have very, very low scores.

There are several plausible explanations for this. I will offer some. Tension at the beginning and end of games tends to limit scoring in the first and last minutes. Both defenses have spent six games knowing the opponent’s offense, so it’s very difficult to make any plays they haven’t already seen. Rotations tend to be reduced to laughable degrees, with top players often playing the full 48 minutes if necessary. These are the players who create most of your team’s shots. If they are too tired to generate offense, your entire team will fight to score.

Now let’s consider this in the context of Bucks-Celtics specifically. The average point total in the series is 205.5. The total points line is set at 207, and that doesn’t account for the typical Game 7 dip. This doesn’t account for the exhaustion these teams will face playing Sunday afternoon after fighting Friday night at a different city. He hopes that Giannis Antetokounmpo will continue to carry 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 fuel. Expect a low-scoring Game 7 as a result. The choice: Under 207

Latest odds:

below 205

This series tended in a slightly different direction than the Bucks-Celtics. It started off with an incredibly high score, but the last four games averaged just 199.5 points. The Suns are shooting 41 percent of 3 and the Mavericks are not far behind at 38.5 percent. If we expect some decline in pitching because of Game 7 nerves, especially outside of Dallas as a road team, it doesn’t seem likely that this game will be played all the way to 100 unless Luka Doncic is absolutely nuclear. The choice: less than 205

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