NBA Best Bets Today
Welcome to the daily NBA best bets page, your source for analysis on the betting lines for the day in professional hoops. For updates throughout the day follow me on Twitter, and make sure to subscribe to the Hardwood Handicappers podcast!
All game lines via the VSiN NBA odds page
*Indicates team is on the second leg of a back-to-back
**Lines are opening numbers
Record: 24-29 | Units: -5.93 | ROI: -11.60%
Best Bet Recap
This is going to be a great game. Los Angeles comes into this game 8-2 SU/7-2-1 ATS in its last 10 games, but there are certainly questions as to how real this run is. Six of those eight wins have come against teams ranked lower than 17th in non-garbage time net rating. Tonight, they will be tested by Cleveland, which is just 3-3 SU/2-3-1 ATS in its last six, but could be getting Jarrett Allen back on the floor after a five-game absence. Allen’s presence is huge for the Cavaliers. With him on the floor their defensive rating improves by 7.0 points per 100 possessions. Opponents' rim frequency drops by 3.2%, their shooting in that area of the floor worsens by 1.6% and their overall offensive efficiency in the halfcourt is cut to 92.2 points per 100 plays. All of those matter because that is exactly what the Lakers have been doing well during this run.
Over the course of these 10 games Los Angeles is averaging 119.4 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time, and much of that is due to its success at the rim. The Lakers are taking 40.8% of their attempts within four feet and shooting 70.0% on those shots. That pressure has led to more free throw attempts as well, with the team making 25.6 free throws per 100 field goal attempts. It will be interesting to see if Los Angeles can continue to find that success in the restricted area as consistently should Allen return to the floor tonight. Having said that, Allen is not a cure all for Cleveland, which is actually outscored by 4.3 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time with its primary starting lineup on the floor this season.
Usually I spend more time on the games I include as bets, but there is no play on this game for me, I am just extremely excited to watch this game tonight. If Allen plays there might not be much of an adjustment on this number, but I am very interested in seeing how the market handles this game. The more success Los Angeles has the more public it will become, and the more of a discount bettors will get in betting against them. This morning there has not been much movement due to Allen’s status.
Miami is playing on the second leg of a back-to-back so their injury report is going to be vital to handicap this one. Jimmy Butler played in the loss to Memphis last night, but had been on the injury report with knee soreness and is a candidate to rest. If he does not play then this number will dip. Meanwhile, Detroit’s recent run of success is a distant memory, with the team coming into this game 1-3 SU/1-2-1 ATS in the four games since a 6-0-2 ATS run. Neither team has been efficient on offense this season, with Miami ranking 23rd in non-garbage time offensive efficiency and Detroit ranking 24th, so it is not a surprise that the early move we have seen is to the Under. Even if Butler plays he does not move the needle enough on offense for this total to bounce back, and his level of play on defense only helps this go Under.
Dallas has won and covered three of four after the win over Phoenix on Monday night, and not surprisingly it is largely due to the play of Luka Doncic. Over the course of these four games Doncic is putting up 34.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 9.3 assists per game while shooting 53.8% from the floor. This matchup tonight is one in which he could find his usual success, given the many mismatches he will be able to exploit. Denver is 27th in non-garbage time defensive efficiency (115.7) and that poor defense has been exploited in its last two losses where it allowed 1.232 and 1.219 points per possession to Atlanta and New Orleans respectively. This line has not moved yet due to the Mavericks coming in on no rest and no injury being posted, but should Doncic not rest it would make sense that this line heads in Dallas’ direction.