NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Friday 10/29

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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, 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 28th

It was a relatively quiet night in the NBA on Thursday, but we did get some solid contests and big comebacks. Chicago scored the last 12 points in their loss to New York and had a chance to win after missed free throws by Julius Randle. The questions about the legitimacy of the Bulls’ defense were proven to be warranted as they allowed 1.118 points per possession to the Knicks and struggled to stymie their offense inside as New York went 19-of-28 at the rim. Chicago is going to be thoroughly tested going forward as they have a home game against Utah on Saturday. 

It was another big day for Unders last night, so for the time being there seems to be some life in that trend as well.

Market Report for Friday, October 29th

It’s a nice seven-game slate today so let’s get right to it, shall we?

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

**Lines listed are opening numbers

Orlando Magic at Toronto Raptors (-7, 211)

The Raptors are now as a high as -8 in every shop and I have a hard time buying that given that they have been home underdogs in two of the four games they have played to this point. This is quite the role reversal for a team that is 2-3 SU and ATS at this point of the season. Toronto’s offense has looked much better the last two games, averaging 115.9 points per 100 possessions against Chicago and Indiana, but the Bulls are not a great defensive team and Indiana is one of the worst in the league right now. There is certainly a chance the Raptors can exploit another bad defense here in the Magic, but the problem is that bettors are laying number that is clearly not giving them any discount. Matt Youmans always says to not ask bad teams to do good things for you, and I certainly won’t do that here but that does not mean this is a game worth going against that bad team as well.

Charlotte Hornets at Miami Heat (-6, 221.5)

Miami grabbed everyone’s attention with wins over Milwaukee and Brooklyn this season. Now, this defense must do it again against the high-flying Hornets offense. Charlotte comes into Friday night with the 2nd-ranked offense in non-garbage time, averaging 116.4 points per 100 possessions according to Cleaning The Glass. Almost all of their offense is generated from the perimeter, where they take just 32.7% of their attempts but shoot 41.3% and average 13.8 makes per game. Miami does a great job of limiting dribble penetration and forcing teams into contested 3-point attempts. They have allowed opponents to take just 30.1% of their attempts at the rim and have the highest frequency of tightly contested 3-point attempts this season. That seems like a poor matchup for a Hornets team that gets those 3-point looks off of dribble penetration. The Hornets could still be without P.J. Washington and Terry Rozier here, so I completely agree with the market move on Miami. The Heat matchup well with the Hornets offense and Charlotte’s defense, which is allowing 110.8 points per 100 possessions and 73.0% at the rim, will raise the floor of an offense that is having trouble with consistency in Miami. 

Indiana Pacers at Brooklyn Nets (-7.5, 224)

All five games for Brooklyn have gone Under and their offense is managing just 103.1 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time. They have gone the 5th-best free throw rate last season to 20th through the first five games of this season. Clearly the way the game is being called now has hampered the Nets and their star James Harden. However, if there is a breakout performance in the cards for this offense it might here against the Pacers and the market agrees. Indiana has been poor defensively, allowing 113.3 points per 100 possessions and 40.0% to opposing shooters. There was no bigger sign this defense had problems than their last contest when the Raptors dropped 1.22 points per possession on them. To make matters worse Malcolm Brogdon is questionable with a hamstring injury, and even if Caris LeVert returns tonight bettors should not expect big minutes. The market was all over Brooklyn early and it was right to be given the situation for Indiana. There is something to monitor here with the total as well. The average total for Brooklyn through five games has been 228 and the Nets have gone under the total in all of them. Here against a lesser defensive opponent the total is down to 222.5 which just five points higher than their meeting with Miami. The Unders have been coming in at a high rate but its clear adjustments are being made and bettors could start to find some value in playing these games over the total. 

Sacramento Kings (-1, 221) at New Orleans Pelicans

A couple of nights ago we spotted some good value on Sacramento in Phoenix where they were catching eight points against a struggling Suns team. Now, they have a massive role reversal as a road favorite over New Orleans and the number is heading in their direction as they are now -2 across the board. Teams coming off of upset wins like that tend to be overvalued in their next contest and it seems that way here. Two nights ago the Pelicans were + 5 at home to the Hawks and ended up losing by a single possession. Now a Kings team that has allowed 112.0 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time minutes and has a -3.1 net rating is favored on their court? Sacramento is going to be a good play as undervalued underdog this season, and that is supported by their outright wins in Portland and Phoenix, but they still have some flaws. In both of those wins they held double-digit leads in the fourth quarter that were ultimately blown and they needed a buzzer-beating heave from Harrison Barnes to avoid overtime with the Suns. New Orleans does looks like it will be short-handed here with Garrett Temple listed as doubtful and Josh Hart questionable but the Kings are clearly an inflated favorite on the road and I am willing to take my shot against them.

Play: Pelicans (+ 2)

Los Angeles Clippers at Portland Trail Blazers (-2.5, 226.5)

Los Angeles is coming off its worst offensive performance of the season, averaging just 0.833 points per possession and scoring 79 points in a loss to Cleveland at home. The defensive opposition is much less stout in Portland so bettors can assume the Clippers will put up a much better effort on that end of the floor. This will be Portland’s fourth home game and their offense is clearly comfortable playing in its own venue. They dropped 116 points and 1.23 points per possession on Memphis last time out and blitzed Phoenix when they made the trip to the Pacific Northwest with 134 points and 1.432 per possessions. We should likely expect that the Trail Blazers are also very focused on this contest after they went to Los Angeles on Monday and were handed a 30-point loss. Norm Powell is still questionable with a knee injury and that will be key for Portland here as they face a Clippers perimeter defense which has allowed opponents to shoot 34.5% from deep. The spot here screams Portland and given how much this offense has been struggling for Los Angeles it is the home team that should be worth backing here.

Play: Trail Blazers (-2.5)

Dallas Mavericks* at Denver Nuggets (-1, 220.5)

One must wonder what Dallas will give early in this contest after a wild comeback win over San Antonio last night. The Mavericks’ offense scuffled yet again, averaging just 1.083 points per possession while shooting just 45.8% at the rim, but their 3-point shooting continues to carry them. It is a fascinating matchup as the Nuggets have thrived along the perimeter defensively, allowing just 31.7% to opponents through four games, but are currently 29th in rim defense (72.0%). However, all matchups could be for not if Nikola Jokic does not play. Denver has been abhorrent on offense through the early part of the season and losing their best offensive player will clearly not help. With Jokic on the court the Nuggets average 109.1 points per 100 possessions and have a + 13.5 net rating. Without him their offensive rating drops 88.8 and they are outscored by 33.3 points per 100 possessions. At this point, there is no more valuable player to the point spread in the league than Jokic and if he does not play it merits a massive swing in favor of the Mavericks.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Los Angeles Lakers (-9, 220)

Los Angeles has a lengthy injury report yet again on Friday, and the status of LeBron James is a question after he missed the team’s last two contests. Wayne Ellington and Rajon Rondo are questionable as well and as a result bettors have seen this number drop to -7 across the board. The move makes sense given the Cavaliers were in Los Angeles two nights ago as 8-point underdogs and got the outright win over the Clippers. Cleveland is in good form right now, riding a 3-0 SU and ATS run into tonight. Their defense has been tremendous, holding the Hawks, Nuggets and Clippers to 89.7 points per 100 possessions during this win streak. J.B. Bickerstaff’s starting lineup has been incredible, limiting opponents to 91.2 points per 100 possessions so far this season, and one would assume that defensive ability would be on display against a Lakers team struggling to find its footing on that end of the floor. Los Angeles would really like LeBron back, as these solo Russell Westbrook lineups are not really doing it. With just Westbrook on the floor the Lakers have a -11.5 net rating and are averaging just 105.5 points per 100 possessions. Not great figures when taking on a team with the size up front like Cleveland has. It’s not surprising to see the total drop here given the recent trend of Unders and offensive limitations of both teams, but LeBron’s status will change both the side and total should he be announced. 

Best Bets Summary

Pelicans (+ 2)

Trail Blazers (-2.5)

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