NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Friday 1/14


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 for Thursday, January 13th

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

**Lines are opening numbers

Orlando Magic at Charlotte Hornets (-10.5, 225)

Charlotte is riding high, coming into this contest on a four-game winning streak that includes two victories over Milwaukee and another over Philadelphia which snapped a 16-game losing streak to the franchise. Since Dec. 1 the Hornets are 15-4 ATS with the fourth-best offense in the league in non-garbage time (115.1). It might seem like this team is firing on all cylinders, but there are some incredible flaws under the surface of this 19-game run. The team is just 10-9 SU over those 19 games and they’ve actually been outscored by 0.4 points per 100 possessions because their defensive rating of 115.5 over that same stretch is sixth-worst in the league. Charlotte also closed as an underdog in 16 of those 19 contests, meaning a situation like this, laying double digits, is a rarity for the Hornets. To be fair, last Wednesday was one of those few times the Hornets closed as a favorite and the team easily covered 10.5 in a blowout of the Detroit Pistons.

Charlotte can blow out bad teams, and we have another one here in Orlando. The Magic have been plucky lately though. They are 7-5 ATS in their last 12 game and much of that is due to a defense that has been playing at an average level, allowing 111.7 points per 100 possessions. Charlotte has delivered this season in the role of favorite, going 8-2 SU/7-2-1 ATS in 10 games, and the offense is playing extremely well. After getting burned by Detroit last week it will keep me away from Orlando here, but I do show some value in backing the underdog tonight, especially after such a massive win for the Hornets.

Toronto Raptors (-7, 214.5) at Detroit Pistons

After a hot streak in which the Raptors went 10-1 ATS over the course of 11 games the team has hit a small lull in the last two contests. However, the team could get both Scottie Barnes and Gary Trent Jr. back in the lineup tonight in what looks to be a ‘get-right’ spot in Detroit. The Pistons had their great start to the month ruined by the Bulls earlier this week when they were blown out 133-87 in Chicago which ruined a rare 4-2 SU and ATS run by the team. Recent form aside, this matchup begins and ends with the task the Pistons’ offense has in scoring efficiently on this Raptors defense. Since Dec. 2 Toronto is fourth in net rating in non-garbage time minutes (+ 6.0) due to a defense that has allowed 108.9 points per 100 possessions. They have been incredible in keeping teams out of the restricted area, ranking 10th in frequency of opponent attempts at the rim (30.1%) and eighth in opponent shooting at the rim (62.8%).

This matters because Detroit lives in that area of the floor. They take 34.3% of their attempts at the rim and they rank 14th in free throw rate, hitting 18.8 free throws per 100 field goal attempts. If the Pistons are not able to have success attack the rim, something that is likely to happen tonight, it is hard to make a case for them to stay inside this number. The betting market has pushed this line to -8 or -8.5 at some shops which is a move I would agree with. Scottie Barnes returned to practice yesterday and Gary Trent Jr. is on the trip with the team, which means the Raptors could be at full strength when tip-off arrives. 

Phoenix Suns (-5.5, 222) at Indiana Pacers

The victories have not been there for the Indiana Pacers, but the team has been covering numbers. Despite a 1-8 SU record over the past nine games the Pacers are 5-4 ATS over the same stretch, and at one point had covered five of six games. Indiana has been subpar both offensively and defensively lately, ranking 21st in both non-garbage time offensive (109.1) and defensive (114.3) efficiency and 22nd in net rating (-5.2). A team can cover numbers when it is regularly catching points though, and that is exactly what Indiana did. Over those nine games they closed as an underdog seven times, catching 5.5 points on average. If Malcolm Brogdon, who returned last time out but only lasted 17 minutes before leaving with injury, plays tonight then there is certainly a chance that trend continues. Phoenix scuffled with Toronto earlier this week and on the surface it seems that its offense is in a bit of a lull after averaging only 105.5 points per 100 possessions over the last three games. However, their last three opponents are all elite defensive teams which Indiana is not.

The betting market has not really budged on the side, but we have seen this total drop two points to 220 which would make sense given the Sun ability to defend a subpar offensive team like the Pacers.

Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers (-3, 211.5)

It was somewhat surprising to see the initial market move here coming so strongly in favor of Philadelphia. The line peaked at -4 before making its way back to the -3.5 which dominates the board now. Yes, the 76ers were on a 7-0 SU/6-1 ATS run before their loss to the Hornets a few nights ago, but there is not much separating these two clubs. They have split the two games in this series thus far, and while Philadelphia does have a + 3.6 net rating in those two contests, they have been held to a 102.1 offensive rating and both were tightly contest affairs. Boston is playing somewhat solid basketball as of late, riding a 5-2 SU run into this affair over which they have posted a + 8.9 net rating. The fourth quarter struggles have persisted, but it’s hard to ignore how much better this team has been on offense overall. Marcus Smart is questionable due to COVID issues, be it close contact or conflicting tests, and I would want him on the floor here. Boston is 1-3 SU and ATS without Smart this season and with him off the floor they have a -0.8 net rating. If Smart plays I will be on Boston here. I have these two teams power rated almost identically, which would mean some value in a line of 3.5 in season that has seen homecourt be worth only two points.

*Golden State Warriors at Chicago Bulls (-3, 222.5)

The offensive struggles continued in a big way last night for Golden State as they were blown off the floor in Milwaukee and held to 0.925 points per possessions. Since the first meeting with the Suns at the end of November this team is now 12-9 SU/8-13 ATS with a + 1.1 net rating. Their offense has managed just 107.1 points per 100 possessions over this span and there has been little sign of it coming to life. However, there is a chance this contest with Chicago could right the ship for Golden State. Some might believe the blowout loss was a blip on the radar for the Bulls defense, but there have been indications of this team’s regression defensively for quite some time. Over the last 14 games Chicago is 23rd in non-garbage time defensive efficiency, allowing 114.9 points per 100 possessions. Their defense has been so poor the team only has a + 0.9 net rating despite having the third-most efficient offense in the league over that span (115.8). Draymond Green is likely to miss this contest his calf injury and Gary Payton left the loss to Milwaukee with back tightness, but this is all about the Warriors’ offense finding its flow against a defense that has clearly regressed.

Play: Warriors (+ 4.5)

Atlanta Hawks at Miami Heat (-3, 222)

Injury and COVID issues aside, the last month-and-a-half has been horrendous for Atlanta. Since Nov. 27 the Hawks are 24th in non-garbage time net rating (-6.3) and they have allowed 118.2 points per 100 possessions which is the third-worst defensive rating over that span. Every night their injury report is an adventure, and tonight it is no different with Clint Capela out and Kevin Huerter questionable to play. This is also the first game since the trade which shipped off Cam Reddish to New York. It’s a tumultuous situation for Atlanta, and they must now face Miami for thee second consecutive game after being throttles two nights ago. The Heat held them to just 0.907 points per possession and 12-of-41 from beyond the arc, and there is not much reason to believe the result will be different today. 

Best Bets Summary

Warriors (+ 4.5)

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