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 Monday, October 25th
It’s a deep card today with some great games and some sell-high opportunities. We won’t waste your time here, so let’s get started.
*Indicates team is on second leg of a back-to-back
**Lines listed are opening numbers
Milwaukee Bucks (-3, 229) at Indiana Pacers
The season has just begun but the Milwaukee Bucks are already hampered by a rash of injuries. Jrue Holiday, Brook Lopez and Donte DiVincenzo are all expected to miss this game today with a variety of injuries and as a result the Bucks -2 now across the board. Bobby Portis is back from injury, which helps offset some of the personnel losses. The Bucks are thin but if the Pacers are going to continue with this lackadaisical brand of defense than Milwaukee could be live here despite the injuries. Indiana was cooked by Charlotte and Washington for 1.160 and 1.298 points per possession and 258 total points in the first two games of the season. Their defense looked much better on Saturday in the win over Miami, but which of these performances is the legitimate version of the Pacers? At this point there is no value in either side by my ratings and the injury question marks leave this too murky a situation to be involved in.
Boston Celtics* (-1, 224.5) at Charlotte Hornets*
Both teams are coming off massive wins on Sunday, but it is the Hornets that could be near the peak of their power rating after a win in Brooklyn. Despite not having Terry Rozier in the lineup for the third consecutive game Charlotte was great, putting up 1.112 points per possession and dropping 56 points in the paint. On the other side, Boston got on track with a win over Houston but their offense continues to be a challenge. The Celtics averaged just 1.083 points per possession, and through three games their offensive rating of 99.4 is troubling. Injuries are a concern for Boston as well with Jaylen Brown not playing yesterday due to tendonitis in his knee, and his status is murky for today as well. Should Brown play the market should move toward the Celtics here, and my first inclination is to sell high on Charlotte off a big win in Brooklyn yesterday. However, I need to see more from the Celtics to feel comfortable playing against a solid young team like the Hornets. Total has not budged yet either, but it will once Brown’s status is announced.
Orlando Magic* at Miami Heat (-14, 214)
There was magic at the Mecca last night, but it was not the kind that had New Yorkers screaming into cameras last Wednesday after a win over Boston. Orlando is coming off its first win of the season, defeating the Knicks 110-104 at Madison Square Garden, but now they must do it again in South Beach. Miami has been on opposite sides of the spectrum on offense through two games, dropping a 123.2 offensive rating to open the season against Milwaukee, only to follow that up with an 87.5 at Indiana. Obviously the answer is somewhere between, but bettors are not getting a discount in this number here. As mentioned in our market report on Friday, there is almost always going to be line value for the Magic as the market is so low on them, but you have to ask yourself if sweating out Orlando is going to be good for your mental health. The market has responded to that theory, dropping this line down to Heat -13 and the total is as low as 210.5 at some shops, two moves I agree with.
Chicago Bulls (-2.5, 213) at Toronto Raptors
Everyone’s darling, the Chicago Bulls, are a perfect 3-0 SU and ATS entering Monday, but the level of competition is hardly something to write home about. The Bulls have played the Pistons twice and the Pelicans, the 25th and 28th ranked teams in net rating at this point of the season. Toronto is much better competition, especially on defense. The Raptors have held their three opponents to 94.7 points every 100 possessions, the 6th-best defensive rating in the league. Chicago, despite taking on two of the worst teams in the league, has struggled on offense to the tune of just 105.3 points per 100 possessions. Their market rating is near its peak at this point, and I will be playing against that. The Raptors definitely need help on the offensive end, as their halfcourt offense is one of the worst in the NBA, but their defense is real and they should be able to limit a Bulls offense that will not have Coby White and is still trying to find its identity. I played the overnight line but 1.5 is still worth playing by numbers as I made this Raptors -1 personally.
Pick: Raptors + 1.5
Detroit Pistons at Atlanta Hawks (-10.5, 213.5)
The NBA is a difficult beast to predict, and the Hawks are a perfect example of that. Atlanta came out in its season opener and squashed Dallas by 26 points only to follow it up with a loss in Cleveland two days later. Today, they return home to face Detroit as a big favorite, and that loss does not matter to the market as this number has already been bumped up Hawks -11.5 at every shop. Detroit has played only two games, both losses to Chicago, and posted a -9.6 net rating in those contests. Cade Cunningham is still sidelined with an ankle injury and will be out at least another five days. Until he makes his debut it will be difficult to make a solid case for the Pistons. That is not to say that we should run to lay points with an inflated favorite like Atlanta. The market has dropped this total a point and I agree with that move, as the Pistons will struggle for defense without Cunningham, as evidenced by their start to the season in which they have posted a 85.9 offensive rating.
Washington Wizards at Brooklyn Nets* (-8.5, 234)
Brooklyn showed its ability in a win and cover over Philadelphia on Friday night, but its defense fell flat in a loss to Charlotte yesterday. The Hornets got to the painted area at will, dropping 56 points in the paint and shooting 51.6% inside the arc. The Nets’ interior defense was going to be a question this season, and that will persist after what transpired on Sunday. Brooklyn has the look of a fragile favorite, and the market has reacted as such driving this number from -8.5 to -7 as of this morning. That move was made even with the questionable designation for Bradley Beal, who missed the Wizards’ win on Friday over the Pacers. That move with the potential absence of Beal seems like an overreaction to the loss on Sunday, especially when you consider the total drop of six points to 228 at most shops. Beal’s status is worth six fewer points but the Nets are less likely to cover 8.5? Those two moves do not jive.
New Orleans Pelicans at Minnesota Timberwolves (-5.5, 224.5)
On Saturday the Timberwolves faced the Pelicans at home and opened -6 before closing -7.5 almost everywhere. A foul on Devonte Graham when attempting a 3-point shot in the waning seconds made bettors like myself who laid the opening number sweat, but the game fell on seven and the Timbewolves walked away with a win and cover by the opening number. Today, with no injury concerns for Minnesota, the line has opened a half-point shorter at Timberwolves -5.5. How does that make sense? Power ratings should not change on a day-to-day basis, and Minnesota did not get a half-point worse in the day off in between contests. This is a play for me strictly on the number, as Minnesota should be -6.5 or -7 by my ratings. As mentioned, I am going to be on the Timberwolves regularly until the market makes a real adjustment on their rating.
Play: Timberwolves -5.5
Cleveland Cavaliers at Denver Nuggets (-10.5, 219.5)
Cleveland turned heads with its win over Atlanta on Saturday, but this is a team that is missing a key piece in Darius Garland and hardly worth consistently betting on until fully healthy. Denver has some concerns with its bench, as pointed out in our Friday piece, and that showed in their failed cover against San Antonio on Friday night. As of today, the Nuggets are 24th in bench scoring and I do not expect that to get better as the season progresses. Their starting lineup is elite though, so the strategy here could be to play against the Nuggets in-game when they build up a massive lead before turning to the reserves. Until then, there is no value in either side for me here.
Portland Trail Blazers at Los Angeles Clippers (-3, 234.5)
This is quite the nightcap tonight, and it involves a desperate Clippers team that is struggling on defense. Los Angeles has a -4.5 net rating through two games despite owning the 7th-best offensive rating in the league due to a defense that has failed at every level. That offensive rating is also due to Paul George carrying quite the load on his shoulders. Through two games George is averaged 35.0 points, 10.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists on 56.3% shooting. In the loss to Memphis the Clippers not named Paul George combined to shoot 37.8% from the floor and 29.6% from deep. George needs some help and he might get it tonight against a lowly Trail Blazers defense that is giving up 1.101 points per possession. No play for me here yet, but there are indicators this number will get under -3 and that will be my buy price on the Los Angeles Clippers who will face Portland without Norm Powell tonight.
Best Bets Summary
Raptors + 1.5