NBA picks, odds, best bets for Mavericks vs. Thunder: Why Game 6 will come down to 3-point shooting

Written by on May 19, 2024

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The 2024 NBA postseason is well underway, and the basketball betting market is hotter than ever. CBS Sports will provide 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.

Dallas Mavericks vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

This series is effectively a test of what kind of bettor you are. What do you trust more, the 82-game regular-season sample, or the five-game in-series sample? Because this series has more or less come down to 3-point shooting. P.J. Washington is shooting 47.7% from deep against the Thunder after hitting just 32% of his regular-season attempts. The Thunder had the best 3-point percentage in the NBA during the regular season. They’re at 32.7% in this series, and 23.4% if you exclude wide-open 3’s. The Mavericks have controlled this series. They’ve done a remarkable job of running the Thunder off of the line without sacrificing their excellent rim protection. But the Thunder are shooting worse than you’d expect and the Mavericks are shooting better. That’s either going to regress or it isn’t. I’m betting it will. I’ve been wrong three times in this series, and I may well be wrong a fourth time, but I’m a sample bettor more than a feel bettor. The Pick: Thunder +3.5

The last three games in this series came in under this 208-point total. The defense-oriented style of play in this series has largely come at the rim. The Thunder and Mavericks have combined to average 15.9 fewer points in the paint than they did in the regular season across those three games. Even with jump-shooting regression, that lack of easy rim points is sustainable enough to make the under the right pick. The Pick: Under 208

If I’m making a game pick reliant on shooting regression, I’m gonna make my prop pick on that same logic as well. Washington is only averaging 6.4 2-point attempts per game in this series. He’s only attempted five total free throws. If the 3’s aren’t falling, his points line just looks a bit too high. Washington has had a spectacular series, and he may well keep it up, but I’m taking an off-shooting night here. The Pick: Washington Under 15.5 Points

The post NBA picks, odds, best bets for Mavericks vs. Thunder: Why Game 6 will come down to 3-point shooting first appeared on CBS Sports.

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