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.
It was a relatively quiet night in the NBA with no nationally televised games and only four total contests on the card. Brooklyn and Dallas went to overtime but seeing as we spent some time on Brooklyn yesterday there’s no need to rehash the issues this team faces (1.217 points per possession allowed last night).
Instead, let’s just move on to a very deep card on a Friday night. Before we get there, watch Steph Curry ruthlessly cook Tyler Herro in the fourth quarter of the Warriors' win over the Heat last night.
Market Report for Friday, October 28th
* Indicates team is on the second leg of a back-to-back
**Lines are opening numbers
Record: 7-6 | Units: + 0.37 | ROI: + 2.85%
Charlotte Hornets (-3, 226.5) at Orlando Magic
Cole Anthony was just lost for an indefinite amount of time with an oblique injury, which means that Orlando is without three of its projected top four guards. It might seem like the time to come in and fade the Magic, but this matchup provides some opportunity for the beleaguered squad out of the Magic City. Charlotte is injured as well. LaMelo Ball is still out with his ankle injury, and both Cody Martin and Terry Rozier are considered doubtful. That would mean too that the Hornets are going to be without three of their top four options at guard tonight, and Charlotte does not have a frontcourt to lean on like Orlando does.
Paolo Banchero has been stupendous in his first five games, scoring 20 or more in each contest on 44.8% shooting from the floor, and he still has Franz Wagner and Wendell Carter flanking him in the frontcourt. Charlotte’s frontcourt lacks size and scoring options. Both Gordon Hayward and PJ Washington will be at quite the size disadvantage when matching with either one. The number is moving as I type so grab 3 before it disappears completely, and it is still playable at 2.5
Play: Magic (+ 3)
New York Knicks at Milwaukee Bucks (-6, 224.5)
New York had its perfect ATS record ruined by Charlotte on Wednesday, but the team was still impressive in its overtime win over the Hornets. The Knicks dropped 1.198 points per possession and the bench provided 45 points and 7 made 3-point attempts to help seal the victory. New York’s bench is now fourth in scoring at 45.0 points per game, second in rebounding at 22.8 per game and fourth in assists at 10.3 per contest. In short, this reserve unit has been the strength we expected it to be, and now they face a team which has been overly reliant on its super star to provide offense.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has been incredible and could very well be on his way to another MVP. He’s averaging 36.0 points, 13.0 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game and he’s dropped 40 or more points in his last two games. However, once he leaves the court the Bucks’ offense grinds to a halt. Milwaukee has averaged 0.988 points per possession and 0.829 per play in halfcourt settings. Their small forward spot is still decimated with injury as well. New York does not have a true matchup for Giannis, but most teams do not. The Knicks do have a bench capable of taking advantage of the minutes in which he is off the floor though, and that is what I am banking on happening tonight. There is a small chance this moves against me like the Rockets game did a couple of nights ago, so sit back and wait but I do have 6.5 as a playable number.
Play: Knickerbockers (+ 6.5)
Cleveland Cavaliers at Boston Celtics (-5.5, 220.5)
This is a game which I had an opinion on, but after diving into some of the numbers and watching the market move the way it has I have decided to sit out. On the surface it seems Boston is truly missing Robert Williams on defense. They have allowed 117.8 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time minutes and 101.4 points per 100 plays in halfcourt settings, both marks ranking in low 20s right now. However, most of the damage by opponents has been done along the perimeter. Opponents are shooting 41.1% from deep and 57.9% from the corners against the Celtics. Even long mid-range shots are falling at a 48.9% clip against Boston, rates which will not sustain themselves. Cleaning The Glass’ location effective field goal percentage metric has them at 52.6% allowed which is fourth best in the league and better than the 54.4% they have actually given up. Then there is the actual matchup on the court, where Cleveland does not have true wings to throw at Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown defensively. This would all actually steer me toward Boston and the market has done just that. BetRivers, Caesars and FOXBet have been somewhat slow on the trigger in adjusting to the market this season, so if you so choose 5.5 is still available on the screen.
Philadelphia 76ers at Toronto Raptors (-1, 213.5)
Philadelphia’s defense failed to show up when these two teams met on Wednesday, and at some point, the 76ers must show some consistency on that end of the floor for me to consider them. Through five games Philadelphia has allowed 118.6 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time minutes, and their transition defense is the worst in the NBA at 1.592 points per play allowed and 9.3 points added per 100 possessions by opponents. Joel Embiid is out of shape, and both James Harden and Tyrese Maxey are not good defenders. Struggling on defense – specifically in transition defense – is not a recipe for success against this Raptors team which leads the league in points added per 100 possessions through transition offense (+ 9.3) and transition frequency (21.4%). Circa has Philadelphia -1 but everywhere else is as high as -1.5 which is a more accurate number considering the matchup.
New Orleans Pelicans at Phoenix Suns (-6, 225.5)
This should be one of the best games on the board, but the Pelicans’ injury issues have dropped it down to ‘The Others’ category. Zion Williamson, Herb Jones, CJ McCollum, Jose Alvarado and Dyson Daniels are all questionable to play for New Orleans, and Brandon Ingram is still out with a concussion. It is very easy to cross this game off the list considering all the variables, but it’s not surprising to see the market push this up to Suns -7.5 and the total down to 224 consensus given what the Pelicans could be missing tonight.
Atlanta Hawks (-6, 227.5) at Detroit Pistons
Detroit has shown signs of getting better on offense, and that was apparent in their cover against Atlanta on Wednesday when it put up 1.121 points per possession. However, their overall offensive rating is still well below average, and their defense absolutely stinks. The Pistons have allowed 120.2 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time which is just 0.3 points worse than the Nets which are last in the NBA. Until that gets better it’s hard to back my darling Pistons, and my confidence is waning in Over 26.5 wins.
Los Angeles Lakers at Minnesota Timberwolves (-7, 227.5)
This has the potential to be a great game, but until the Lakers start showing life on offense, they get relegated to this category, no matter which team they play. Without Russell Westbrook – who is to blame for all of the issues surrounding this team – Los Angeles went to Denver and averaged 0.97 points per possession while going 8-of-30 from deep in a 110-99 loss (Wait, it’s not all Westbrook!). Sorry partner, but this isn’t getting better against Minnesota, and the market agrees in driving this up to Timberwolves -7.5 consensus as of this morning.
Indiana Pacers at Washington Wizards (-6, 230.5)
Shockingly, I do not care for the ESPN primetime game (How do they pass up on Hornets/Magic?!). There has been a good move toward Indiana here, as the Wizards are as low as -4.5 at Circa and BetMGM. Delon Wright was lost to injury for the Wizards which is not worth a power rating adjustment, but it is a blow for their bench to which he contributed to defensively in the early portion of this season. The total was bet down from the open as well.
Chicago Bulls (-5.5, 229) at San Antonio Spurs
Don’t look now, but Chicago might be doing it again. The Bulls are 4-1 ATS on the season and 10th in defensive efficiency at 109.7 points per 100 possessions allowed in non-garbage time. I would not expect that to sustain itself for a long period of time, and the market would seem to agree as this is now Bulls -4.5 consensus. San Antonio has been a market darling early, and the 3-point shooting has carried them in the early portion of the season.
Utah Jazz at Denver Nuggets (-8.5, 229.5)
Utah blew a 19-point lead against Houston on Wednesday, but held on for dear life and the cover, depending on what number you were sitting on. In the two games against the Rockets it became painfully obvious the Jazz lack a true rim deterrent on defense, as evidenced by the 56 attempts at the rim they allowed. They probably won’t have to worry about that against Denver, but they have no option to throw at Nikola Jokic who has been excellent so far this season. Having said that, this number is down to -8 at most shops with no real move on the total.
Houston Rockets at Portland Trail Blazers (-5, 228.5)
This should be up in the best bets section, but I missed the boat on the number by a mile. Damian Lillard will not play tonight, and without him on the floor the Trail Blazers have averaged just 99.2 points per 100 possessions. He is obviously a massive piece for them, and I doubt what they can do offensively without him. The line is down to -4 so this will be relegated to an in-game opportunity while I sit at a Halloween party at a local bar tonight.
Best Bet Recap
Magic (+ 3)
Knickerbockers (+ 6.5)