NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Friday 12/31

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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 for Friday, December 31st

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

**Lines are opening numbers

Phoenix Suns (-3.5, 214.5) at Boston Celtics

Hopefully the new year brings some good tidings for Boston, because this team is in a bad place to end 2021. The Celtics come in off two poor losses against the Timberwolves and Clippers, both of which were missing key pieces and extremely short-handed. That brought Boston to 5-9 SU in the month of December, but an 8-7 ATS record over the same span means things were not all bad for Beantown. However, the betting market seems to have seen enough. After closing -5.5 at Minnesota and -6 at home against Los Angeles the Celtics are now 4.5-point home underdogs to the Suns. Phoenix is a quality team with a high power rating, but this smacks of a market overreaction, especially once you consider the personnel issues for the Suns. JaVale McGee, who had a brilliant game against Oklahoma City the other night, was added to the COVID protocol yesterday. That makes it five players, including Deandre Ayton and Jae Crowder, and head coach Monty Williams who will not be available for the Suns tonight. The loss of McGee makes the Suns extremely small, and second-year pro Jalen Smith will likely get the start at center. In an extremely small sample size Smith has been a fine option at center, but given the losses of personnel it’s hard to swallow these many points on the road. Boston is still a solid defensive team, and with Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart on the floor without Jayson Tatum they have a + 12.7 net rating and opponents put up just 0.984 points per possession. The Celtics are in poor form, but this is a buy-low spot worth getting involved in.

Play: Celtics (+ 4.5)

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