NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Friday 4/8

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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, April 8th

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

**Lines are opening numbers

Best Games

Cleveland Cavaliers at Brooklyn Nets (-8.5, 228.5)

Of all the games played tonight, this is the one that carries the most weight. Cleveland sits seventh in the Eastern Conference with homecourt throughout the play-in tournament, and Brooklyn trails by just a game. A win for the Cavaliers would give them a stranglehold on the seventh seed with a game left, and a Nets victory would give them a 3-1 record against Cleveland with control of the top play-in seed. The Cavaliers could be getting some reinforcements tonight as well, with Evan Mobley listed as questionable to play after missing the last five games. However, Mobley might not be the positive addition that most think he will be. With Mobley back on the floor he slots back in at center, and those lineups have not been as effective for Cleveland. The Cavaliers give up 113.7 points per 100 possessions and opponents shoot 38.5% from beyond the arc in those lineups, as Mobley is stuck down low with the duties of a five and unable to contest 3-point attempts. The betting market has not adjusted the power rating for this team well enough, and that fact is represented by Cleveland’s 4-10-1 ATS record since losing Jarrett Allen to injury. Brooklyn will have the ability to exploit the Cavaliers’ poor perimeter defense tonight, and while the Nets have been an atrocious 4-25-1 ATS as a home favorite this season the number is now back up to 8.5 which is a move I agree with.

Atlanta Hawks at Miami Heat (-4.5, 229.5)

Miami clinched homecourt throughout the Eastern Conference last night with losses by Boston and Philadelphia, so how this team approaches a meaningless game against the Hawks tonight becomes the focus. As of this morning the injury report lists no one of consequence outside of P.J. Tucker, but that could change in the hours leading up to tip-off. Meanwhile, the Hawks have plenty of motivation to win this game. Atlanta sits in a tie with Brooklyn for the eighth seed in the East, but due to tiebreakers they are ninth right now. A win tonight, coupled with a Nets win over the Cavaliers, would put the Hawks in control of the eighth seed with a game to play. The market has moved in their direction as a result and with no reason to play tonight I am going to guess that Miami rests some key players like a Jimmy Butler who has been dealing with toe and ankle injuries throughout the season. This line should take a similar shape as the one in the Suns loss to the Clippers on Wednesday night when it flipped to Los Angeles laying 6.5 in most shops.

The Others

Charlotte Hornets at Chicago Bulls (-2, 227.5)

According to Basketball-Reference’s projected standings the Bulls only have a 1.3% chance of grabbing the fifth seed in the East, and there is a 69.2% chance that the Hornets are the 10th seed.  With not much on the line for either team, how they each handle today is a mystery. Charlotte clearly has more upward mobility here, so this could be one where the underdog shows some more fight but the market is moving ever so slightly in the direction of Chicago. Zach LaVine is probable, but with Alex Caruso questionable the Bulls defense takes a blow in a matchup with a Hornets team that has been inside the top seven since the All-Star break.

*Milwaukee Bucks (-10.5, 228.5) at Detroit Pistons

This line is steadily heading in the direction of the home team, and rightfully so. Milwaukee has essentially nothing to play for tonight and they can attempt to grab the third seed by throwing this game by resting their starting group. It seems the Bucks will decide on that at some point later today, but for now the betting market believes that they will be resting their starting group tonight. Detroit’s injury report is pretty long with three guys listed as out (Marvin Bagley, Hamidou Diallo, Jerami Grant) and Cory Joseph as questionable, but as long as Cade Cunningham and Saddiq Bey are active this team will be dangerous tonight. 

New York Knicks at Washington Wizards (-1, 218.5)

Two eliminated teams face off in our nation’s capital which should lead to some high-scoring shenanigans and the market has responded as such. This total opened 218.5 and is as high as 224.5 as of this morning. Anecdotally, end of season contests take the form of an AAU game where players exchange shots with little effort on defense with the offseason on the horizon. Expect that here tonight. Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson won’t play tonight and Quentin Grimes is questionable for New York. 

Houston Rockets at *Toronto Raptors (-15, 228.5)

The cover run for Houston is now 7-3-1 ATS in the last 11 games after the team stayed inside 17.5 points against Brooklyn on Wednesday. On any given night the Rockets would be up against it in a contest like this, but it is hard to believe that the Raptors care about this game. Toronto showed its hand by sitting Fred VanVleet yesterday against Philadelphia, but the 76ers are so inept they lost that game anyway. The Raptors are all but locked into the fifth seed in the East, so it seems likely more guys get some time off today. As a result, Houston is down to + 11.5 in most shops.

Portland Trail Blazers at Dallas Mavericks (-18.5, 221.5)

Dallas still has something to play for over the final two games of the season, but that does not necessarily mean they are a lock to cover massive numbers like this. The Mavericks can surpass the Warriors for the third seed if they end up with the same record, so winning the final two games will be huge for Dallas. However, one could see a scenario in which the Mavericks hold a massive lead tonight and sit their guys in the fourth quarter. No numbers or analytics in this one. The handicap is purely situational and it leaves me on the sidelines.

Phoenix Suns at Utah Jazz (-2, 226)

Phoenix only has Dario Saric listed on its injury report, but with two games left and the top overall seed in the league locked up its hard to believe you get a full 48 minutes from the Suns top guns. Meanwhile, the Jazz have an interesting dilemma in front of them. One would think that Utah wants to win to improve its seeding, but would a sixth seed and a potential meeting with Golden State be more beneficial? Yes, they are 1-3 SU and ATS against the Warriors this season, but the team has a + 4.4 net rating in the series despite a losing record and their latest loss included a blown 21-point lead. It might seem crazy, but part of me believes the Utah might want the sixth seed. Pure speculation on my part though.

Oklahoma City Thunder at *Los Angeles Lakers (-9, 227.5)

What is the status of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook tonight? It matters in where this number will end up closing. James still needs to appear in two games to qualify for the scoring title, but the optics of sitting out elimination games only to return for a shot at individual accolades are very poor. If he or the others play this line gets back to the opener of -9 or higher, but there is no way to know at this point of the day.

Best Bets Summary

None

Season Record: 83-63-2

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