NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Monday 11/29

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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 Monday, November 29th

After a wild weekend of football we get a quality NBA card tonight. Let's get started.

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

**Lines are opening numbers

Orlando Magic at Philadelphia 76ers (-16, 208.5)

Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris and Danny Green were all back in action on Saturday, but the result was a double-overtime loss to Minnesota. Their offense looked somewhat disjointed and they managed just 1.081 points per possession. When impact player return to the court after long absences the betting market tends to overreact, assuming they slot right in and their impact will be the same. We saw a glimpse that this weekend, as the 76ers closed -7 in a game it lost outright. Bettors are seeing a similar phenomenon here with Philadelphia opening as high as -16 at one shop. The number is down to -15 at most shops and that is the correct adjustment. Orlando is still without Cole Anthony, and Mo Bamba is questionable, but Embiid has played one game since Nov. 27 and while his individual performance this weekend was great (42 points, 14 rebounds) it’s clear the team has to find some continuity playing together on offense for them to be worth laying this many points.

Denver Nuggets at Miami Heat (-7.5, 207.5)

Nikola Jokic is questionable to play yet again for Denver, and if he cannot go bettors should expect this 0-6 SU and ATS slide to continue. Jokic has missed the last four contests with this wrist injury and it has been brutal for the Nuggets. Not only is the team winless in those games, but they have been outscored by 17.2 points per 100 possessions. Their defense is giving up 124.4 points per 100 possessions without Jokic on the floor which is the worst defensive rating in the NBA over that span. Miami bounced back from its loss to Minnesota by beating Chicago on Saturday, which snapped an 0-3 ATS slide. Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro are both questionable to play tonight, but should they be available and Jokic not be able to play this handicap is simple. Expect this line to get to as high as 10 if Jokic is announced as out. 

Oklahoma City Thunder at Houston Rockets (-2, 214)

Is Houston showing improvement, or have they benefitted from facing the right teams at the right time? The Rockets have won and covered their last two games, and the team is 3-1 ATS in its last four contests. Tonight, they must cool down the hottest team in the league. Oklahoma City is an insane 11-2 ATS in November and is riding a 6-0 ATS run into tonight. The Thunder’s -3.7 net rating for the month is on par with the Lakers’ net rating for the season and is 1.5 points better than the Grizzlies’ -5.2 rating, but they continue to get priced among the league’s worst. Oklahoma City has been getting it done on defense this month, ranking sixth in defensive efficiency at 105.0 points per 100 possessions allowed, and when it faced Houston two weeks ago it held the team to just 1.0 point per possession. Despite offensive outburst against the Hornets over the weekend I expect the same performance from the Thunder defense tonight. They have consistently shown to be an undervalued, quality defense that can keep themselves in contests. Their offense has struggled, but against a Rockets team that is giving up 111.2 points per 100 possessions their floor should be raised. I’m willing to take a risk with the better team catching points, even on the road.

Play: Thunder (+ 2.5)

*Indiana Pacers at Minnesota Timberwolves (-4, 217.5)

Indiana was pulverized by Milwaukee last night, but this is still a team showing improvement with better health and the market seems to understand that by driving this number down from the open to -3 at almost every shop. The Timberwolves have been on a tremendous run, posting a 7-3 SU/8-2 ATS record over the last eight games, but the clear flaw with this team on defense is something the Pacers can exploit. Minnesota gives up a high frequency of shots within four feet, ranking 19th in that category on defense. Charlotte exposed that by taking 30 attempts at the rim in their win three days ago, and Indiana can do just that. The Pacers take 32.7% of their attempts inside four feet and shoot 65.3% on those attempts. Indiana also defends transition very well this season, allowing just 1.149 points per play in those situations. Minnesota thrives in the fastbreak, ranking fifth in frequency of plays starting with a transition play and eighth in efficiency (127.2). They will have their hands full trying to have success on the run here. The Pacers are a team to play against similar competition, and this seems like a spot to support them in.

Play: Pacers (+ 3)

Charlotte Hornets at Chicago Bulls (-5, 224.5)

It is no surprise to see this total bet up to 225 at most shops given the level of defensive play we have seen from both teams. Charlotte was cooked for 1.355 points per possession on Saturday by Houston and ranks 18th in non-garbage time defensive efficiency at 110.2 points. Chicago has started to show some regression on defense, allowing 1.116 per possession to Miami, 1.103 to Houston and 1.254 to Indiana recently. The Bulls have had trouble defending the perimeter, allowing opponents to shoot 36.3% on 3-point attempts, and the Hornets come in as the second-best shooting team in the league at 38.1%. Charlotte ranks 19th in opponent shooting at the rim and is 25th in opponent mid-range shooting. Chicago takes 33.7% of its attempts at the rim and shoot 43.3% from mid-range. This all comes together for a potentially high-scoring affair between two teams that rank in the top half of the league in pace. The side has been bumped to Bulls -5.5 and that is not surprising considering the Hornets’ most recent performance, but I would not run to lay it. There is not much separating these two teams, and in a potentially high-scoring affair swallowing 5.5 points is a tough ask.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Dallas Mavericks (-5.5, 207.5)

It is no coincidence that Cleveland got Evan Mobley back on the floor Saturday and proceed to post its best defensive rating in two weeks while snapping an 0-5 SU/2-2-1 ATS slide. When Mobley is on the floor the Cavaliers have a + 1.8 net rating, but when he is off they are outscored by 3.9 points every 100 possessions. The biggest difference is a defense that has a rating of 111.8 without Mobley compared to a 102.4 rating with him. Despite that, the market has pushed this line up to -6.5 at almost every shop which is surprising given Mobley’s return and Jalen Brunson’s questionable status. Dallas has better with Luka Doncic back from injury, averaging 114.7 points per 100 possessions, but their defense has been just as poor allowing 114.3 points. It would not be surprising to see this line start to head in the direction of the road team as we get closer to tip-off.

Washington Wizards (-2, 214) at San Antonio Spurs

Washington broke out of its 1-5 ATS slide with a win and cover over Dallas on Saturday, but its clear that their offensive performance that day was an outlier. The league’s 21st-ranked offense broke out for 1.277 points per possession on 9-of-24 shooting from deep, two figures that have been hard to attain all season long. There is certainly a chance the Wizards can replicate a similar performance tonight against the Spurs, which had struggled before their win over Boston on Friday. San Antonio had allowed 116.0 points per 100 possessions in an 0-6 SU and ATS slide prior to that victory, but it was a perimeter defense that had allowed 41.7% to opposing shooters over that stretch. Is Washington, which is shooting 32.5% on the season, capable of exploiting that weakness? The Wizards are an overvalued team by the betting market, and I have played against them often, but I would rather do it with better teams and a few more points. 

Portland Trail Blazers at Utah Jazz (-7.5, 223)

Trends are not something that I like to play on consistently, but those who have continued to fade Portland on the road have profited immensely. The Trail Blazers are now 1-9 SU and ATS away from home this season and their -11.5 net rating in those contests is better than only Memphis, New Orleans and Houston. Their defensive rating of 117.5 on the road is the worst in the NBA. Until there is a glimpse of average play from this team how can one get behind them? To make matters worse, Norm Powell has already been ruled out with a quad injury. Utah is always going to be laying big numbers at home, and this number is apt given the struggles of Portland on the road. The Jazz have shown some flaws recently, losing to the Pelicans and Grizzlies at home in the last week, but the Trail Blazers are in a tail spin right now. 

New Orleans Pelicans at *Los Angeles Clippers (-8.5, 213)

Los Angeles’ offense was absolutely suffocated by Golden State yesterday, putting up just 0.89 points per possession while turning it over on 25.0% of its possessions. One would expect a better performance from this offense against the 27th-ranked defense, but the Clippers lost to this team just 10 days ago and averaged 0.871 points per possession in that contest. Los Angeles continues to be an incredible defensive team, but they are paying for their sins due to an anemic offense that has averaged 98.7 points per 100 possessions over the last eight games. As a result, the Clippers are 3-5 SU/2-6 ATS with a -3.5 net rating. It does not matter who the opponent is, bettors cannot be laying points with an offense that poor.

Best Bets Summary

Thunder (+ 2.5)

Pacers (+ 3)

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A Numbers Game: Pay attention to stats and trends that are completely lopsided. For example, Matt Rhule and the Panthers are 1-25 straight up when allowing their opponent to score 17 or more points.

Follow The Money: Be aware of Miami's backloaded schedule when betting either side of their 11.5 win total. In December: at SF, at LAC, at BUF, vs GB.

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Adam Burke: Washington -2.5 vs UCLA

Pauly Howard: Golden Knights Under 97 points for the season.

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Betting Splits: Percentage of handle & tickets from DraftKings, updated every 10 minutes. GO HERE.

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CFB Power Ratings: 3 sets of numbers from Steve Makinen. GO HERE.

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