2023 NBA picks, Oct. 27 best bets from proven model

TD Garden will host a high-profile Eastern Conference matchup on Friday evening. The Boston Celtics welcome the Miami Heat to town for the first battle since the teams met in the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals. Both teams are 1-0 this season after Boston defeated New York and Miami defeated Detroit on Wednesday. The Heat have injury concerns, as Josh Richardson (foot) and Haywood Highsmith (knee) are out.

For this game, SportsLine consensus lists Boston as 8-point favorites, and tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET. The total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, or the over/under, is 218 in the latest Heat vs. Celtics odds. Before you make any Celtics vs. Heat picks, you need to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine’s advanced computer model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned well over $10,000 in profit for $100 players on its top-rated NBA picks over the past five seasons. The model finished the 2022-23 NBA season on a 72-39 roll on all top-rated NBA picks, returning nearly $2,800. Anyone following it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Heat vs. Celtics and just locked in its picks and NBA predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see the model’s picks. Now, here are several NBA odds and betting lines for Celtics vs. Heat:

Heat vs. Celtics spread: Celtics -8
Heat vs. Celtics over/under: 218 points
Heat vs. Celtics money line: Celtics -345, Heat +269
Miami: The Heat are 24-28-1 against the spread in the last 53 road games
Boston: The Celtics are 29-23 against the spread in the last 52 home games
Heat vs. Celtics picks: See picks at SportsLine
Why the Heat can cover
Miami opened the season in strong fashion on Wednesday with a victory, holding Detroit to 1.06 points per possession in the process. The Pistons posted an ugly 51.7% true shooting mark, and Miami forced a turnover on more than 17% of defensive possessions, including 11 steals. On offense, Miami had only seven turnovers to go along with 16 offensive rebounds, and the Heat have a dynamic defense dating back to last season.

Led by Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, the Heat allowed fewer than 1.13 points per possession in 2022-23, and Miami is elite in key areas. The Heat were in the top three of the NBA in free throw prevention (21.1 attempts per game) and turnover creation (15.7 per game), and Miami dominated the defensive glass with a 73.3% defensive rebound rate and only 12.0 second-chance points allowed. Miami also posted top-four marks in points allowed in the paint (46.2 per game) and fast break points allowed (12.5 per game). See which team to pick here.

Why the Celtics can cover
Boston’s star power shined in the season opener. The Celtics are led by Jayson Tatum, who exploded for 34 points and 11 rebounds in the first game. Tatum also scored 30.1 points per game with 8.8 rebounds per game last season, and he is a three-time All-NBA selection. Jaylen Brown is also a dynamic force, averaging 26.6 points per game last season, and Boston brought in two top-tier players in the offseason.

Former All-Star Kristaps Porzingis produced 30 points, eight rebounds, and four blocked shots in his debut with the Celtics, and he averaged 23.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per game with 62.7% true shooting last season. On the perimeter, Jrue Holiday is a two-time All-Star and five-time All-Defense selection, and he averaged 19.3 points, 7.4 assists, and 5.1 rebounds per game with Milwaukee in 2022-23. He is also highly efficient, shooting 39.5% from 3-point range over the last three seasons combined. See which team to pick here.

How to make Heat vs. Celtics picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning Over on the point total, with seven players projected to score at least 15 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in over 50% of simulations. You can only see the model’s NBA picks at SportsLine.

CJ McCollum’s journey as an NBA dad began with a ‘disgusting’ photoshoot that helped shift his perspective

With his first child, Jacobi, ready for his closeup, CJ McCollum prepared for a classy newborn photoshoot. With he, his wife and his son “twinning” in matching outfits, McCollum lifted Jacobi onto his shoulder to get into a flattering position for the photographer. Suddenly, without warning, the 2016 NBA’s Most Improved Player got a messy introduction to what parenthood would hold in store.

“He just poops through his diaper, all down my shirt and down my back,” McCollum recalled to CBS Sports. “And you know, in the early stages, it’s not a normal poop, right? It’s like a milkshake. Like, all down my shirt. It was disgusting. I think that was when I just realized, he’s just gonna poop on me and just do what he does.”

Moments like that have led McCollum, one of the league’s top-scoring guards, to seek out help in the form of a partnership with Pampers. The company’s newest launch, Swaddlers, features a Blowout Barrier that pledges to prevent up to 100% of leaks — and McCollum said the product has done more than help with logistics. It’s improved his confidence as a first-time father.

“You go through different diapers, you go through different stages of life, and sometimes you think it’s your fault,” McCollum told CBS Sports. “You feel like you didn’t do what you were supposed to do in terms of preparation, in terms of making sure that the diaper was strapped on properly. Especially when you wear nice clothes or nice shirts, you don’t want to have those types of issues in public.”

View this post on Instagram
A post shared by CJMcCollum (@3jmccollum)

McCollum and his wife, Elise, welcomed Jacobi James McCollum on January 10, 2022, and the new unit didn’t have long until the realities of being an NBA family hit them hard. Almost exactly a month later, McCollum was traded from the Portland Trail Blazers — where he spent the first eight seasons of his career — to the New Orleans Pelicans. Just after Jacobi’s four-week appointment, the family now had to organize living arrangements in New Orleans, find a place to work for Elise, a dentist, and everything else that comes along with changing cities.

“Obviously, timing wasn’t great … but we’ve been able to get settled in,” McCollum told CBS Sports. “My wife works here. We like our neighborhood. We like the city. We have our restaurants. … It’s been cool to have to go through hectic situations and really stress, not only in my life but my family’s life. I think it just makes you appreciate things more when you have that change.”

Even after getting settled, balancing the rigors of an NBA schedule — games, practices, training sessions, film, team activities — with being a father is no simple task. Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum recently opened up about the things he misses about his son, Deuce, when the season is in mid-swing.

“There have been a few years when I wasn’t with him for his birthday,” Tatum said. “Also, not being able to go to every school event and or basketball practice because we are on the road. Even though this is my seventh season, it’s still something that’s not easy to deal with because you never want to miss those things. They grow up so fast.”

McCollum credits his support system with helping him keep his attention on his top priorities: Family, basketball and faith. When he ventures into other areas, like his partnership with Pampers, it’s in an effort to leave a lasting legacy and help “make the world a better place.” He also said that being a father has significantly altered his outlook on life.

“I think it’s given me a better perspective and clarity on what really matters,” McCollum told CBS Sports. “I think a lot of times we have these ideas of what our life is supposed to be like, and you have these ideas of things you want to accomplish. I think when you have a kid, it shifts your perspective. It shifts what you think is important and it gives you new reasons, new hopes, new aspirations.

“You want to provide the best life, you want to be there. You want to be a part of the important moments. You want to help mold a special person who does things the right way, and I think we’re in that direction of being supportive of your kid while still having ambitions, dreams and goals of your own.”

One of those ambitions is to have a successful season with the Pelicans, who opened their 2023-24 campaign with a 111-104 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday. The team’s three stars — McCollum, Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram — are healthy and looking to replicate the 18-8 start they had last season before injuries struck.

McCollum feels he’s able to be the “best version” of himself on the floor alongside such talented players, and thinks they can do some “real damage” this season if everyone can stay healthy. The change of scenery may have been jarring amid the new challenges of parenthood, but McCollum and his family appear to be adapting just fine in New Orleans.

“Fluidity is great, but I think it becomes monotonous and you get comfortable,” McCollum told CBS Sports. “Sometimes the uncomfortable brings out the best in you. I think this is a situation that’s doing that.”

Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic delivers a 70-foot alley-oop, from out of bounds, like a shortstop turning two

So routinely does Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic make difficult basketball plays look easy that we hardly pick up on half of them. But there was no way to miss the pass Jokic delivered in Memphis on Friday in his team’s 108-104 victory over the Grizzlies.

It comes at the 5:40 mark of the third quarter. Jokic is inbounding from the backcourt sideline, roughly at the free-throw line extended. The official has barely handed him the ball before he’s already transitioning, like a shortstop turning two, into a 70-foot alley-oop on an absolute dime to Aaron Gordon.

Joker casual half-court baseball pass lob 🤷‍♂️

DEN/MEM – Live now on the NBA App: https://t.co/htyakZeFve pic.twitter.com/NH5HP8n50u

— NBA (@NBA) October 28, 2023
Are you serious? That is a pinpoint pass that happens so quickly that the camera hardly keeps up with it. I’m not usually one for drooling over basketball plays that frankly aren’t as hard as Twitter nerds make them out to be, but landing that ball basically on the rim, after that quick transition from the ref handing it to him, from 70 feet, is certifiably nuts.

And Jokic made it look easy. It’s just a casual flip. I swear, this man’s skill level is off the charts. His hand-eye coordination, spatial awareness and depth perception, his combination of finesse and force, it all honestly deserves more attention than it gets. Just an amazing player.

Trae Young has been embarrassing, and the Hawks are off to a disastrous start

When I made my Bold Predictions for the 2023-24 NBA season, it went against my better judgment to go glass-half-full on the Atlanta Hawks. Deep down, I don’t believe in them as serious team. I have made no secret of my Trae Young doubts over the years.

But it was supposed to be bold predictions, so I took a shot. The 41.5 win total felt low for a team that won 41 last season as something of a mess under Nate McMillan for most of the year, so I called the over a lock with Quin Snyder now calling the shots. Then I got even bolder and picked them to finish as a top-five seed in the Eastern Conference.

Suffice it to say, neither call is looking good so far.

The Hawks are 0-2 with losses to the bad Hornets and so-so Knicks, and Young is off to a disastrous start. The counting stats look OK: 23 points and nine assists in the opener, 18 and 12 on Friday. But don’t be fooled. Young has looked awful with 27 missed shots, 11 turnovers and, as usual, some of the most disinterested defense imaginable.

Honestly, look at this effort:

Somehow, RJ gets around the intense, lockdown defense from Trae Young pic.twitter.com/Wm2zK0NtWQ

— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) October 27, 2023
That is an absolute joke from a guy who tries to wear the face of a franchise player. As long as that is the example being set, the Hawks aren’t going anywhere but back to the play-in. Embarrassing.

And that wasn’t an isolated example. Young was a turnstile all night. He got cooked off the dribble, and he lazily lost track of shooters.

What is this defense by Trae Young? Quin Snyder 👀 pic.twitter.com/z0mbQgKHSq

— DJ (@DJAceNBA) October 28, 2023
At the end of the first half, Young chucked up a brick with five seconds still on the clock, and then, rather than run back on defense, stood bouncing on one leg, holding his errant follow through, as RJ Barrett raced past him for a buzzer-beating dunk on the other end.


— Knicks Lead (@KnicksLead) October 28, 2023
Again, this would be embarrassing effort even if Young were cooking offensively. But when he’s dividing his time fairly evenly between throwing up bricks and throwing it to the other team? It’s entirely unacceptable.

Trae Young went crazy tonight🔥👀 https://t.co/rpW6FN4CVl pic.twitter.com/Zu1J32WxoX

— Teg🚨 (@IQfor3) October 28, 2023
It isn’t helping matters that Young’s backcourt mate, Dejounte Murray, is 11 for 31 to start the season, including 0 for 6 from 3. Snyder wants the Hawks firing more from deep than they did under McMillan; unfortunately they’re at 28% as a team from deep so far.

If you want a silver lining, Jalen Johnson has been awesome. Other than that, this has been a horrific start for the Hawks, and specifically for Young, who at some point is going to need to answer the question as to whether he can lead a serious, contending team.

Come to think of it, maybe he already has answered that.

Doncic caps wild three-minute flurry by banking in game-winner as Mavericks take down Nets

With three minutes remaining, the Dallas Mavericks trailed the Nets by five points, 115-110, on Friday. Then Luka Doncic happened.

Finishing with 49 points, Doncic knocked down four straight 3-pointers, each one more difficult than the last, capped by an impossible bank shot while he was nearly falling out of bounds that proved to be the game-winner.


4 straight threes… each getting progressively more difficult and more clutch… to reach 49 points and give Dallas the win.

Special stuff from a superstar. pic.twitter.com/4uCvy2Qdfe

— NBA (@NBA) October 28, 2023
In his on-court postgame interview, Doncic swore he meant to bank that last shot. You going to question him? I’m sure not. The man is a magician.

In addition to his 49 points, Doncic finished with 10 rebounds and seven assists. He made 16 of his 25 shots, including 9 of 14 from 3 and 8 of 10 from the free-throw line. He didn’t commit a single turnover.

It feels like the discourse is becoming increasingly skeptical of Luka in terms of the style he plays, which is James Harden-like in that he basically hijacks the offense, and the way he’s always whining to the officials. Let me be clear: Throw all that out the window.

Doncic is one of the few special players who can do and say anything he wants on the court, because he’s just that great. His sum of skill and strength might be unmatched anywhere in the world of basketball (only Nikola Jokic and LeBron James would even have an honest case). He does impossible stuff as a matter of routine. He did it again on Friday to lift the Mavericks to a 2-0 start on the season.

Victor Wembanyama showcases full arsenal as Spurs pick up first win

Victor Wembanyama’s NBA debut was, relative to the hype, a little bit of a dud. He still finished 6 for 9 for 15 points and went on a little flurry in the fourth quarter, but he was in foul trouble most of the second half and never really got into an extended rhythm.

Game 2 was the breakout.

In a win over the Rockets on Friday, Wembanyama finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds, three blocks and two steals. The only thing he didn’t do was make a 3-pointer (0 for 6), but we know the shooting skillset is there. Everything else was on full display.

Wemby ran the floor, handled the ball, slammed lobs, scored out of the post, defended the rim, saved what looked to be an impossible loose ball from going out of bounds, pulled off a nasty spin move for a baseline dunk from the opposite side of the restricted area, and finished a tough, face-up bucket through contact to tie the game with 20 seconds to play.

Victor Wembanyama puts on a SHOW and secures his first career NBA win in an OT thriller!

— NBA (@NBA) October 28, 2023
If for some reason you didn’t make it though that full reel, here’s the spin and dunk from the other side of the restricted area:

Are you kidding me Victor Wembanyama?? 😳 pic.twitter.com/64d8NjSoGj

— NBA (@NBA) October 28, 2023
And the game-tying bucket:

Victor Wembanyama goes baseline and finishes STRONG to tie it pic.twitter.com/TIMPh1H3ZR

— Kevin O’Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) October 28, 2023
And his back-to-back blocked shots:

In his second game, Victor Wembanyama had 21 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals in a win over the Rockets. Check out this play where he had back-to-back blocks: pic.twitter.com/SuUWefw1Ut

— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) October 28, 2023
Need I remind you, this man is 7-foot-4 doing all this stuff. In addition, Devin Vassell looks awesome for San Antonio. Keldon Johnson had 20 on Friday. Jeremy Sochan at point guard is a little strange, but interesting. Zach Collins looks good at center. The Spurs have immediately become one of the most entertaining teams to watch in the league, and it all starts with Wembanyama, who gave us all the goods in his second NBA game.

The final 19.8 seconds of regulation between the Bulls and Raptors was a chaotic masterpiece

A very exciting if not exactly polished game of basketball was played in Chicago on Friday between the hometown Bulls and the visiting Toronto Raptors. At various points in the game, both teams managed to overcome deficits of at least 17 points. The Bulls did so in the final five minutes of regulation and snuck away with a 104-103 overtime victory on an Alex Caruso 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds to go.

If you’re looking for the positive elements of that thriller, most highlight packages will offer them. We’re going to take things in a different direction and zoom in on the particularly chaotic sequence that sent the game to overtime. The final 19.8 seconds of regulation saw the Raptors choke away several opportunities to win the game only for the Bulls to blow multiple opportunities of their own to steal this thing in regulation. If you’re here for high-quality basketball played between two contenders, you’ve come to the wrong place. To those who remain, join me as we venture through the most bizarre 20-second sequence of this young NBA season.

Our story begins as so many late-game disasters do — with a frantic inbounds pass. Leading by three at 91-88, the Raptors just needed to get the ball in bounds and get fouled. Make a couple of free throws and they’re walking away with the victory. But with no clear pass available to Pascal Siakam, Scottie Barnes runs into the backcourt to give him an outlet. And this is where things get funky, because for the life of me, I have no idea how Barnes loses this ball.

Alex Caruso definitely makes an aggressive play for the ball, and Torrey Craig is looming in the background, but if you pause at the 18.9-second mark, you can clearly see Barnes has firm control of the ball with Caruso on the ground. Yet when he makes the move to pass the ball to Dennis Schroder, the ball just sort of slips away from him. Chicago comes up with it. DeMar DeRozan makes a layup and gets fouled in the process. DeRozan is an 84% free throw shooter for his career. Surely, he’s about to tie the game, right? Not so fast my friend.

What follows DeRozan’s miss is a somewhat chaotic sequence in itself. Caruso rebounds and gives DeRozan a chance to take the lead with another layup, but he misses and Chris Boucher grabs the rebound. Suddenly the officials whistle the play dead. They call goaltending on Barnes to give Chicago the one-point lead, and then immediately signal for a review. In the end, that goaltending call wound up hurting the Bulls. Not only was it overturned and possession awarded to the Raptors, but because the play was whistled dead, the Bulls wouldn’t have a chance to force a turnover or jump ball against Boucher, who is on the ground fighting for possession with Zach LaVine.

What a relief for the Raptors, you’re probably thinking. They escape the possible three-point play from DeRozan that they never should have allowed and the possible putback generated by their own poor rebounding. Surely they’ll make the most of this gift from the basketball gods? I’m sorry, Toronto readers. This is not that kind of story.

Siakam does his job on the next inbounds play. He is fouled quickly and makes both free throws to restore Toronto’s three-point lead. This is where Toronto’s dominant perimeter defense should come into play to finish off the victory. Instead, we circle back to Boucher, who may not have read the scouting report closely enough before this one, because he falls for DeRozan’s favorite trick. Raptors fans could only look on in horror as DeRozan pump fakes Boucher into the air only to lean in and draw a three-shot foul.

DeRozan has already missed one game-tying free-throw, but folks, I promised you a chaotic masterpiece and I’m going to deliver a chaotic masterpiece, because after making his first two attempts and pulling the Bulls back to within a single point, one of the NBA’s premier free throw merchants misses again, front-rimming what should have been his game-tying bucket. He knew it, too, because as soon as he released the ball, he immediately bolted in for the rebound. He got it, but he clearly left early.

The refs whistle him. Toronto ball with 3.5 seconds left. Man, what an escape for the Raptors. Just pass the ball to a man in a black jersey that is within the white lines and you might be able to run the clock out without even needing to draw a foul. By now you’ve probably realized that isn’t what’s about to happen.

Siakam shoves Caruso to the floor and gets whistled for the offensive foul. The Bulls have life! After blowing two chances to tie the game at the line, they’ll have one winner-take-all shot with 3.5 seconds left in the game. But this is still the vaunted Toronto defense we’re talking about here. One stop in under four seconds? That’s doable. Just as long as they don’t commit another … oh boy.

That’s right loyal reader, the Bulls bit on another DeRozan fake. This time, it’s a desperate Barnes flying in from the top rope to whack DeRozan and give the Bulls a chance to win it. DeRozan is human. He might miss one big free-throw. Even two is realistic. But no six-time All-Star that is widely regarded as one of the most clutch players in the NBA is going to miss three game-changing free throws in under 13 seconds. That would never happen. Except it did.

So let’s recap. In 20 seconds, we witnessed two of the worst turnovers the Raptors will commit all season, a potentially game-changing whistle and review, and three separate missed game-winning free throws from one of the best free throw shooters in the NBA. I defy you to find a more bizarre, mistake-riddled sequence of professional basketball in recent memory. Both teams served the other victory on a silver platter. Both teams rejected the generous offer and decided to play it out the hard way.

Eventually, someone had to win the game. Caruso did so on this 3-pointer.

ALEX CARUSO FOR THE LEAD IN OT.@NBCSChicago | @ACFresh21 pic.twitter.com/UFugs7u70C

— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) October 28, 2023
The Bulls earned their first victory of the year and sidestepped the glorious possibility of two players-only meetings in two games. But that’s not how we’ll remember this game. We’ll remember it for the performance art piece that was the final 20 seconds, perhaps the sloppiest end of a basketball game we’ll see all season.