NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Friday 10/21

By Jonathan Von Tobel  (Senior NBA Analyst) 

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Welcome to the daily NBA betting market report, 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 the Hardwood Handicappers podcast!

All game lines via the VSiN NBA Odds page.

Daily Recap

There were only two games last night, and both were low scoring affairs where the road team triumphed.

 

 

On the court there were plenty of highlights, but the moment of the evening came when Patrick Beverley mistook Austin Reaves for the Miami Heat version of LeBron James and tried to throw it up for what would have been the most ridiculous alley-oop in NBA history.

 

 

The Lakers are now 0-2 SU and ATS through two games with an offense that has put up 94.3 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time minutes. It’s unfortunate, as Los Angeles has been solid on defense in the two games we have seen up to this point. It’s also worth pointing out that they had 104 possessions on offense and another transition frequency mark over 20% (22.3%). A fast pace seems to be a calling card of this offense early.

Market Report for Wednesday, October 19th

* Indicates team is on the second leg of a back-to-back

**Lines are opening numbers

Best Bets

Record: 2-1 | Units: + 0.82 | ROI: + 27.33%

New Orleans Pelicans at Charlotte Hornets

The odd line move from Wednesday’s full slate was the rush of support San Antonio received that ultimately closed them as a small favorite in some shops. The Spurs went on to get blown out 129-102 by Charlotte, but I believe the market got it right in betting against the Hornets. Charlotte projects to be a poor defensive team this season, and without LaMelo Ball their offense should take a small hit against competent opponents, something they have tonight in New Orleans. 

The Pelicans were everything we thought they were going to be against the Nets in their season opener. New Orleans grabbed 45.3% of its missed shot attempts, generated a points per 100 misses mark of 56.1 – which is insane – and ultimately put up 1.301 points per possession in non-garbage time. They should be able to do the same thing here against Charlotte which was among the worst rebounding teams in the league a season ago (27.7% offensive rebounding rate allowed).

Overnight lines saw a -5 in favor of the Pelicans but that is now up to -6 and its heading to -7 it would seem, so give me the favorite here in New Orleans. It’s a play on the matchup, but also a play against Charlotte.

Play: Pelicans (-6)

Boston Celtics at Miami Heat

Boston dominated Philadelphia on Tuesday and looked incredible in the process. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined for 70 points, and they put up 1.326 points per possession in non-garbage time on what could be a good defensive team. However, they also allowed 1.198 points per possession which is a subpar defensive rating for a team that is considered to have one of the best defenses in the league. That could be a symptom of a single game, or it could be the absence of Robert Williams being felt by this but being masked in the joy of a high-scoring victory. I am going to bet that it’s the latter.

Miami looked terrible on offense against Chicago on Wednesday night, a team that is much worse defensively than Boston without Williams. The Heat put up just 1.019 points per possession and 0.839 points per play in halfcourt settings, but there were some positives hidden in the wreckage. Tyler Herro looked extremely comfortable as a member of the starting lineup, scoring 23 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the floor and Max Strus put up 22 points while going 7-of-9 in his new sixth man role. Jimmy Butler even got to the free throw line 16 times. If the Heat can cut down on the turnovers (18.1% turnover rate Wednesday) and Bam Adebayo can take advantage of a thin group of opposing centers then Miami should be able to put forth a better offensive game tonight.

All of that is why I am going to look Over the total in this matchup. We are starting to see the market move in that direction, but this is more of a play on a theory that Boston is worse defensively without Williams, but can still put forth good offensive efforts with their star players. Miami’s offense was not as bad at first glance against Chicago, so they should be able to do their part to push this Over.

Play: OVER 218.5

San Antonio Spurs at Indiana Pacers

This one is simple: The Spurs are atrocious. We saw on Wednesday that the betting market attempted to fade Charlotte, but San Antonio had other plans. Against one of the weaker defensive teams in the league the Spurs put up an offensive rating of 97.1 and were thumped by 27 points despite LaMelo Ball not playing. This is a simple stab at the fact the market has not realized how bad San Antonio is going to be. Indiana showed some competence against Washington, averaging 1.471 points per play in transition, and Tyrese Haliburton is going to be the best player on the floor here tonight. I will roll with the home favorite tonight in Indiana.

Play: Pacers (-3)

​Best Games

Toronto Raptors at Brooklyn Nets (-2.5, 226)

This could be another poor matchup for Brooklyn tonight. Toronto is a great rebounding team, and it showed that against Cleveland when it grabbed 30.8% of its missed shot attempts for 25.0 points per 100 missed shots on Wednesday. The Nets were decimated on the glass against the Pelicans, losing the overall rebounding battle 61-39 while giving up 21 offensive rebounds and an offensive rebounding rate of nearly 50%. Brooklyn is going to get Joe Harris back tonight which should help with its offensive output, but he does not do much when it comes to rebounding. I played Toronto on Wednesday as a play against Cleveland, but it might be wise to consider the Raptors tonight given their ability to pounce on one of Brooklyn’s weaknesses. The betting market seems pretty stuck on the open, and I would not expect much movement from where this line opened.

Detroit Pistons at New York Knicks (-6.5, 218)

As I am writing this the screen is lighting up and the line is steadily heading toward New York, and if it goes much further there might be another best bet to add to this column. I was on the Knicks when they faced the Grizzlies on Wednesday, but that play was more about going against Memphis, a team I believe to be somewhat overvalued by the betting market. I also believe that New York might be a tad undervalued, but not against my darling Detroit Pistons. Detroit showed that there is some distance between itself and the other lower tiered teams of the NBA when it took care of Orlando on Wednesday. The Pistons averaged 1.119 points per 100 possessions and 0.989 per play in the halfcourt in the win, showing some better efficiency on offense than it had last season. If we’re continuing with the notion of homecourt being worth only 1.5 points then this current number would tell us that the Knicks are 5.5 points better on a neutral, something I do not believe to be true.

The Others

Denver Nuggets at Golden State Warriors (-5.5, 229.5)

Nikola Jokic popped up on the injury report with a finger injury and Jamal Murray is questionable due to the team’s management of his knee injury. Once he’s officially ruled out, I would expect this number to climb back toward the 5.5 which was hung overnight. However, it’s worth pointing out that Golden State opened as a 5.5-point favorite against Los Angeles the other night and closed -7 at most shops. Is Denver without Murray only 1.5 points better than the Los Angeles Lakers? I’m certain that is not the case.

Memphis Grizzlies (-5.5, 230.5) at Houston Rockets

Houston hung around with Atlanta on Wednesday, but their offense was inefficient in putting up 1.009 points per possession in non-garbage time.  It will be interesting to see if their offense can bounce back against Memphis which put forth a solid defensive effort in their win over New York in overtime by allowing 1.057 points per possession. By my evaluation the Grizzlies are an overvalued team, and the market is still buying into them as this has jumped 1.5 points as I write this. My buy price will be 7.5 so this is game worth monitoring throughout the day. 

Chicago Bulls (-1, 225) at Washington Wizards

Zach LaVine has already been ruled out, but if DeMar DeRozan is going to continue to perform like he did last season then Chicago is going to play above its head. DeRozan dropped 37 points on 22 attempts while dishing 9 assists and grabbing 6 rebounds.  If he is putting out that level of production then the Bulls are going to overachieve again, but the market does not seem to be buying in. Some overnight had Chicago as a favorite, but Washington is now laying 2.5 at some shops, a move I agree with but since I’m so behind it I won’t be involved.

Orlando Magic at Atlanta Hawks (-8.5, 225)

Orlando blew an early lead to Detroit on Wednesday, and most of their issues stemmed from an inefficient offense that averaged 1.069 points per shot attempt. They should likely struggle once more tonight against Atlanta which showed its ability on defense against Houston when it held it to just over a point per possession. The betting market came in on the Hawks here, driving it up from 8.5 to 9.5 which is the consensus price right now. Cole Anthony is questionable to play for Orlando.

Utah Jazz at Minnesota Timberwolves (-8.5, 228.5)

The betting market knocked it out of the park with its support of Utah on Wednesday night against Denver, and its back at it again today. This number is down to 7.5 at Circa and Westgate which is a good indication of where the respected support is coming early on this game. Minnesota looked like a team figuring out how new role should play out, but something to monitor will be Rudy Gobert’s points. He scored 21 on 14 attempts and it’s clear that the Timberwolves want to get him involved. His point total prop is 15.5 at most shops.

Phoenix Suns (-4, 224.5) at Portland Trail Blazers

Portland put forth a strong effort in Sacramento on Wednesday, but I have yet to get a read on this team. They figure to be a somewhat poor defense, but they limited the Kings to a respectable 1.08 points per possession in the win. Tonight, their defense will be tested yet again by Phoenix which put forth a better effort than initially thought against Dallas. Yes, the Suns had to overcome a 22-point deficit, but some of that was due to foul trouble for Deandre Ayton in the first half. If he stays on the floor I would expect a better overall effort from Phoenix. This number is up a point as of now, and I would expect it doesn’t head back to the open.

Best Bet Recap

Pelicans (-6)

Celtics/Heat OV 218.5

Pacers (-3)

 

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