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, April 22nd
*Lines are opening numbers
Miami Heat (-3, 220) at Atlanta Hawks
Game 3: Heat lead 2-0
Atlanta has a lot of questions to answer if it is going to find its way back into this series. The absence of Clint Capela is being felt by the Hawks and in two game they’ve started two different players at the five with little success. Trae Young has no lob threat and through two games they are 21-of-32 (65.6%) within four feet of the basket while averaging only 36.0 points in the paint per game. Young himself needs to be better, specifically from distance where he is shooting 2-of-17 in the series. The onus is on their offense to improve because their defense is not going to be much better given its limitations. Through two games Miami is averaging 120.8 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time minutes, and 109.6 points per 100 plays in the halfcourt. Considering Atlanta finished the regular season 26th in overall defensive efficiency this was to be expected to a certain extent. The betting market is buying in on the Hawks coming back home down two games and this number is down to Heat -1 at almost every shop. We have also seen this total jump up to 221.5 which correlates with the supported side. If the Hawks are covering or winning this game the score is going to have to be higher than what we’ve seen in the first two games, because it is likely they are not containing Miami’s offense.
Milwaukee Bucks (-1.5, 223.5) at Chicago Bulls
Game 3: Series tied 1-1
Through two games the Milwaukee Bucks have not lived up to their massive power rating, and now they hit the road after losing homecourt and Khris Middleton with an 0-2 ATS record in the series. If the Bucks are going to take back homecourt tonight the effort must be better on the defensive end of the floor. Mike Budenholzer stubbornly stuck with his patented drop coverage in Game 2 and Chicago picked it apart. DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic ran the same pick-and-pop over and over, with DeRozan walking into mid-range jumpers which ultimately led to the Bulls going 16-of-32 on long mid-range attempts. Even with Giannis Antetokounmpo at center they played drop coverage which defeats the purpose of even having him at the position on defense. If the Bucks can adjust their play on defense there are still plenty of strengths they can rely on to take this game and cover this number. Through two games Milwaukee has abused Chicago’s rim defense by going 34-of-45 (75.5%) and they’ve run well in transition, adding 2.5 points per 100 possessions, and averaging 1.292 per play. Those advantages will still be there for the Bucks even without Middleton on the floor for the remainder of the series. Milwaukee has yet to show up for a complete game in this series, but I believe they will tonight.
Play: Bucks (-2.5)
Phoenix Suns (PK, 219.5) at New Orleans Pelicans
Game 3: Series tied 1-1
Devin Booker’s absence is a huge issue for Phoenix as it moves forward in this series, but I am more concerned about how they are going to handle the lineup adjustments Willie Green and New Orleans have made. The Pelicans have shifted from using two bigs at once to just one, and one of the most effective strategies has been using Larry Nance Jr. at center. According to the NBA tracking data, when Nance is on the floor with Brandon Ingram, Devonte Graham, Naji Marshall and Trey Murphy the team is + 33.3 in eight minutes and averaging 1.222 points per possession. Put CJ McCollum and Herb Jones in for Marshall and Graham and that offensive rating improves to 1.7 per possession. These are all very miniscule sample sizes, but the Suns have had trouble nonetheless and it is something they must address here in Game 3 on the road. I tend to believe that the market is getting somewhat ahead of itself here with this number being so low. Yes Booker is out and Phoenix lost the second game, but they were laying 10.5 in Game 1 which they covered. If the betting market pushes this line through to New Orleans -1 or so I will be on Phoenix tonight in a buy-low opportunity.
Best Bet Summary
Season Record: 86-68-2