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, or check out The Edge daily at 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT.
All game lines via VSiN NBA Odds page.
Market Report Recap for Thursday, October 21st
It was a somewhat chalky day in the Association on Thursday with favorites going 3-0 SU/2-1 ATS while winning by a combined 70 points courtesy of blowout victories by Atlanta and Miami. There is not much to take from the third day of regular season action but let me just say this: Jason Kidd is one of the lowest rated coaches in the league in my book and last night could be a sign of things to come for Dallas.
Kidd had a career 139-152 record in his four seasons as Bucks’ head coach, and Milwaukee never finished better than 14th in net rating and was 18th or lower in defensive efficiency in three of those seasons. Last night, the Mavericks looked abysmal on both ends of the floor. A team that thrived from the perimeter last season took almost as many mid-range shots (30) as 3-pointers (37). Their defense was horrendous, giving up 1.051 points per play in halfcourt situations and allowing the Hawks to shoot 42.9% from deep. Again, we should not overreact to a single game, but with Kidd’s track record as a head coach this is not the start Dallas likes to see.
Market Report for Friday, Oct. 22nd
With Thursday behind us NBA bettors can now strap up for a solid card on Friday. We have 10 games tonight and the market is in full support of some these clubs coming off of big wins in their season openers.
Let’s get started:
*Lines listed are opening numbers
New York Knicks (-6, 212) at Orlando Magic
This is a simple handicap here. In games involving Orlando bettors are not going to get any value in betting against them, especially with a public team like New York on the other side. The Knicks are up to -8.5 in most shops and it is not surprising as the Magic are my lowest power rated team which just got blasted by the San Antonio Spurs. New York showed some small issues in the win over Boston, but the Magic are hardly the team to take advantage. The line value will be with Orlando, as it probably will almost all season, but do you want to ask them to win money for you?
Charlotte Hornets (-2.5, 225.5) at Cleveland Cavaliers
On Wednesday the market came in strong against Charlotte, pounding Indiana to the point the Hornets went from -2 to + 1 by the time the market closed. The Hornets burned bettors with a massive third quarter in which it outscored the Pacers 33-13 and then held on to win 123-122 at home. Charlotte now finds itself in the role of road favorite against a Cleveland team coming off a 132-121 loss to Memphis on Wednesday. Darius Garland is questionable tonight with an ankle injury and his presence is vital if the Cavaliers are going to be live here. Garland was not efficient in the loss to the Grizzlies, but he was one of three Cavaliers to not post a negative plus-minus and he is an electric shooter that can take advantage of Charlotte’s perimeter defense. The Hornets’ defense allowed the Pacers to attempt 24 3-point attempts in which they were wide-open (Defender six feet or further away) and 1.151 points per possession. Charlotte is not the team I would love to lay points with on the road, but Garland’s status is key if Cleveland is going to be live here. Keep in mind as well that Terry Rozier is still dealing with an ankle injury that kept him sidelined on Wednesday.
Indiana Pacers at Washington Wizards (-2.5, 228.5)
For the second game in a row the market is showing support for the Indiana Pacers. Indiana closed as a road favorite in Charlotte on Wednesday, but ultimately fell 123-122 after getting smoked in the third quarter. Not surprising to see the support again after the Wizards’ offensive performance against Toronto on Wednesday in which they scored 0.915 points per possession. However, Indiana is not Toronto from a defensive standpoint, and there is certainly a universe in which the Wizards show a much better effort on that ed of the floor. Bettors should expect the Pacers to go off as the road favorite yet again here, and a strong enough move in that direction will tempt me, but as of now there is no value in either side.
Toronto Raptors at Boston Celtics (-6.5, 219.5)
Toronto disappointed plenty of bettors in their loss to Washington on Wednesday, but there were plenty of positives to take from the result. The Raptors were fantastic on defense, allowing just 0.915 points per possession and 0.783 per play in halfcourt situations. They held the Wizards to 5-of-27 from the perimeter, reinforcing the idea that this team will be a force on that end of the floor. However, an offense that averaged just 0.760 points itself is going to be a problem if it does not improve. Those shortcomings are likely why the market is so high on Boston here, but the Celtics’ defense did not exactly impress in their double-overtime loss to the Knicks. New York averaged 1.122 points per possession and shot a combined 55.0% at the rim and from 3-point range. The Celtics generated most of their offense in transition, averaging 1.526 points per play, but struggled with a halfcourt offense of 0.825 per play. Toronto should be able to defend just as well as New York did, leaving me to believe there might be some value with the road underdog here.
Play: Raptors + 6.5
Brooklyn Nets (-1.5, 230.5) at Philadelphia 76ers
On Thursday’s episode of Hardwood Handicappers I mentioned the value there was in the early line of Brooklyn -1.5 that opened at DraftKings. Those of you in a DraftKings market, which I am not unfortunately, had a great opportunity that is now gone. The market has shifted to Nets -3 and that is the correct number. Philadelphia struggled in the first half against New Orleans, losing the second quarter and eventually going into the break in a 53-53 tie. This is going to be a different beast for the 76ers which are weaker on defense without Ben Simmons. In Simmons’ place is Tyrese Maxey, a clear downgrade on that end of the floor, giving the Nets two weak links to target on that end of the floor (Seth Curry being the other). Joel Embiid has popped up on the injury report with knee soreness as well, and Shake Milton is still out with an ankle sprain. If Embiid plays this line will surely move back in the direction of Philadelphia, but given the current number as of this morning there is little value to be found here. By the way, Embiid’s absence explains the four point dip in the total here as well.
Oklahoma City at Houston Rockets (-1.5, 224)
The ugliest game on the board, but I cannot help but be intrigued by it. My power ratings have Oklahoma City as the slightly better team of the two, but the market is slowly moving in the direction of Houston. Both teams looked atrocious in double-digit losses on Wednesday night, but the Thunder do at least have the deeper stable of young talent here. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is going to be the best player on the court and they also have the best defender in Luguentz Dort. Oklahoma City also did an adequate job at times against Utah on Wednesday, holding them to 14-of-45 on 3-points attempts and 0.90 points per play in transition. They also showed some decent rebounding prowess, grabbing 28.6% of their own misses and getting three more offensive boards than Utah. Houston deserves to be slightly favored here due to playing at home, but if we get to Rockets -3 that will be my buy price on the Thunder today. As far as the total is concerned, we have seen this drop from 224 to 221 which is not surprising. However, the Rockets were so bad on defense on Wednesday I would not be surprised to see the market buy back on the over at some point.
New Orleans Pelicans at Chicago Bulls (-7, 224)
The public darling on Wednesday was Chicago and they got there by the skin of their teeth when a Cory Joseph putback attempt at the buzzer was waved off by officials. What was supposed to be a dynamic offensive team averaged only 0.979 points per possession, turned the ball over 17 times and shot 31.8% from the perimeter. The Bulls are going to be a work in progress, something the market has yet to realize and now they find themselves as a strong home favorite over the Pelicans. The intial move was toward New Orleans here, as the Pelicans are + 6 almost everywhere as of this morning, and I agree with the move. Coby White is still injured, which hurts a weak bench that managed only 10 points against Detroit. New Orleans is a weak team without Zion Williamson, but they can at least shoot and did so by connecting on 10-of-24 shots from deep against the 76ers. Remember, they were also tied with Philadelphia at halftime. This figures to be another tight game for the Bulls and with the offensive struggle for both of these teams bettors have seen a total drop to 221 or 220.5 at almost every shop.
San Antonio Spurs at Denver Nuggets (-7, 219)
San Antonio was one of the more undervalued teams in the preseason market and it showed that by bludgeoning Orlando in the season-opener by 26 points. The Spurs might be a below average team, but they are much better than the dregs of the league. Now, they face a Nuggets team coming off a big primetime win over the team that eliminated them in the postseason. Most might be impressed with a 12-point win for Denver over the defending Western Conference champions, but there were some massive signs of concern in that contest. All five of the Nuggets’ starters posted a plus-minus of + 18 or better, showing just how good this starting lineup could be. However, their bench was throttled with every reserve posting a plus-minus of -6 or worse. It is not surprising to see the market come in on Denver once again after bettors were treated well on Wednesday night, but we have what seems to be an undervalued team taking on a team that is loved by the market. The line here has been bumped to Nuggets -7.5 which is not surprising, but I am willing to go against perception and take my shot with another underdog.
Pick: Spurs + 7.5
Phoenix Suns at Los Angeles Lakers (-3.5, 227.5)
Also mentioned in the latest episode of Hardwood Handicappers on Thursday was the potential value in Phoenix as a 3.5-point underdog against Los Angeles. Yet again, the market moved where we believed it would and this game is now at PK across the board. Wayne Ellington and Kendrick Nunn are still sidelined for the Lakers so it is not surprising to see the shift off of 3.5 here but at some point there will be some value on the home team. However, I am not sure the value will be enough to wager on a team that is a clear work in progress. Los Angeles managed just 1.027 points per possession against Golden State on Tuesday, and their halfcourt offense mustered just 0.863 points per play. Phoenix loves to slow games down and play in the halfcourt, something that will greatly hurt the Lakers here. Not all is lost for Los Angeles though. They thrived in transition against the Warriors, putting up 1.381 points per play in those situations and the Suns were the worst transition defense in the league last season. It would be Lakers or pass here for me now that the market has shifted but it would take an even stronger move toward Phoenix to actually get me involved.
Utah Jazz (-5.5, 225.5) at Sacramento Kings
Sacramento is going to be a feisty team this season, and if you read our NBA guide you know that this is a team that I was relatively high on coming into the campaign. They showed their ability on offense by getting an outright win on Wednesday in Portland as a 6.5-point underdog, but they also showed their warts by almost blowing the game down the stretch. Sacramento is a quality offensive team, and that was apparent when they exploited Portland’s shoddy defense for 1.192 points per possession. Wagering on them here today is a tempt proposition given their undervalued nature but the coaching mismatch and execution have turned me off. The market will be on Utah here and the Jazz are already up to -6 at most shops. Bettors will be able to get a strong number with the home underdog, but an offense that thrives inside the arc against a team like Utah might not be the matchup that benefits Sacramento.
Best Bets Summary
Raptors + 6.5
Spurs + 7.5