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, December 6th
As usual we get a solid Monday card with a ton of depth. Monday Night Football and the NBA, is there a better night during the week?
A quick note before we dive into the card: If you’re in a state that offers WynnBet and bets the NBA daily I would highly recommend opening an account. WynnBet and DraftKings have been making efforts to be first to market overnight with these NBA lines and it gives people like us some tremendous opportunities. You will see in the column today the opening lines that 3.5+ points off market. These openers were hung by WynnBet yesterday, and if you attack them early you can find yourself with some tremendous CLV and middle opportunities by the time we arrive at tip-off.
*Indicates team is on the second leg of a back-to-back
**Lines are opening numbers
Philadelphia 76ers (-3.5, 219) at *Charlotte Hornets
Charlotte grabbed a fantastic win on Sunday over Atlanta, but COVID ravaged this roster. LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier, Jalen McDaniels and Mason Plumlee are all out for the next week as they deal with the virus, and as a result the power rating has shifted quite a bit on the Hornets. They were catching eight last night against the Hawks, and tonight they are + 7 at home against a 76ers team has covered it last two, albeit as underdogs. This is quite the role reversal for a team still trying to find its footing on offense with everyone back on the floor. Since Joel Embiid’s return from injury the 76ers are putting up just 101.8 points per 100 possessions, an offensive rating that is 28th in the NBA over that four-game span. Embiid has not looked entirely comfortable either, shooting 36.7% from the floor in the four games since his return. Having said that, the 76ers do look much better defensively. In these four games they’re allowing 1.0 point per possession and their last three opponents have failed to break 100 points. There is certainly a possibility they limit Charlotte like they have their previous foes, but Sunday showed us that despite the absences this Hornets team still has plenty to work with. Given that, and the recent offensive struggles of Philadelphia, it is hard to swallow these many points on the road.
Oklahoma City Thunder at Detroit Pistons (-2.5, 204)
Oklahoma City was one of the best ATS teams in November, but the team failed to cover its last three games and their most recent loss was an embarrassment. For those who do not remember, the Thunder set a record for biggest blowout loss in NBA history, falling to the Grizzlies by 73 points on Thursday. The Thunder have not played since that loss, but the days of rest have not helped as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is listed as out with a concussion still. However, the Thunder are much healthier than they were last week. Josh Giddey is expected to be available tonight, and both Kenrich Williams and Derrick Favors are not on the injury report. Those three will come in handy against a Pistons squad showing some real fight with a 9-5 ATS record over its last 14 games. It would seem Detroit is in the best form, but it’s a different animal covering a number as a favorite, as opposed to getting in the backdoor of double-digit spreads. The Pistons have a net rating of -11.3 or worse in the first three quarters this season, but a + 3.0 net rating in the fourth as they face less engaged foes bleeding out the clock. This will obviously not be the case tonight. Cory Joseph is doubtful to play tonight as well which is a solid blow for Detroit’s backcourt. It’s an ugly underdog but give me the undervalued Thunder tonight.
Play: Thunder (+ 5)
*Washington Wizards at Indiana Pacers (-5.5, 211)
As predicted in this column, the Wizards are paying for their brand of basketball. Since Nov. 17 Washington is 4-7 SU/3-8 ATS with a -7.5 net rating. Their once suffocating defense has been exposed and opponents are putting up 113.3 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time minutes during this slide, torching their soft rim defense for 66.3% shooting. On offense they continue to be inefficient, putting up a 105.1 rating over these 11 games while shooting an abysmal 30.2% from 3-point range. If they are going to right the ship on either end tonight it comes without Spencer Dinwiddie who will be taking the night off to rest his knee. Indiana is not in the best form either, as it comes into tonight 0-4 SU/1-3 ATS in its four with a similarly poor -8.8 net rating. Simply put, this is not a game I want to touch. By my number there is some value in Washington, and I would expect that this numbers go in the direction of the home team.
Memphis Grizzlies at Miami Heat (-5.5, 216)
Jimmy Butler has not played in the last four games for Miami, so it is not surprising to see this team 1-3 SU and ATS in those contests. Butler is questionable with that tailbone contusion, but reports indicate he should be available tonight. His presence is much needed for the Heat which have allowed their last four opponents to average 122.7 points per 100 possessions. With Butler on the floor the Heat have a 107.9 defensive rating and outscore opponents by 3.4 points every 100 possessions so we can obviously expect a much better effort from Miami tonight. The market might be willing to play Memphis given the last two results and a 4-0 SU and ATS run, but we must realize who the opponents were. Dallas without Luka Doncic, Oklahoma City and Toronto which were missing multiple starters and Sacramento. Every shop on the board went to 4.5 this morning, and should it continue to head in this direction I will be fading some of the steam on Memphis.
Denver Nuggets at Chicago Bulls (-4, 214)
It is truly impressive how Chicago continues to deliver on a nightly basis. For those who were consumed by Championship Weekend, the Bulls dropped 32 points in the fourth quarter against the Nets on Saturday and left Brooklyn with a 111-107 win. The victory extended their current run to 4-1 SU and ATS over the last five games, but this is quite the challenge tonight against Denver. Nikola Jokic has been back in the fold for the last three games, and the results have been much better for the Nuggets. They are averaging 120.0 points per 100 possessions and Jokic is putting up 24.7 points, 13.7 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game. He has a clear mismatch against Nikola Vucevic tonight, and it makes Denver somewhat live which is why this number has come off the open and is down to 3.5 in multiple spots. The Nuggets are obviously better with Jokic, but the bench production is still a problem. Speaking of the bench, that could be an issue for Chicago tonight with Coby White still out and Alex Caruso doubtful to play. I have taken my fair share of failed shots at the Bulls, but why give up now? There is value in this line by my handicap, so I will give it a go one last time.
Play: Nuggets (+ 4)
*Atlanta Hawks at Minnesota Timberwolves (-2.5, 221)
The flaws in Atlanta’s defense showed up yesterday against Charlotte, and those same flaws will likely get exposed again tonight by Minnesota. In the 130-127 loss to the Hornets the Hawks’ defense was torched in transition, giving up 1.5 points per play overall and 1.417 points per play off live rebounds. Charlotte got out and ran on the league’s 21st-ranked transition defense and Minnesota will do plenty of that tonight. The Timberwolves rank eighth in transition frequency, and they average 124.8 points per 100 plays in transition on the season. Off live rebounds they begin 31.2% of their possessions with a transition play and are 13th in offensive efficiency on those plays. However, bettors will need the Timberwolves to be healthy to feel confident here. Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell and Patrick Beverley are all questionable to play tonight which takes me away from what looks like a great matchup for the home team on paper.
*Cleveland Cavaliers at Milwaukee Bucks (-10.5, 215)
Is it as simple as riding the train until derails? Cleveland is now 7-0 ATS in its last seven games, and for the season has covered at an insane 77.3% rate. Betting markets have yet to make substantial changes to this team’s power rating and they covered with a strong fourth quarter yesterday against Utah. Giannis Antetokounmpo, George Hill and Grayson Allen are questionable to play tonight as well, and if Antetokounmpo is not available this line should plummet more than it already has. Cleveland is an elite defensive team with Evan Mobley on the floor, limiting opponents to 103.4 points per 100 possessions and 56.2% at the rim, an area of the floor the Bucks would love to get to. If Antetokounmpo plays tonight bettors should expect this number to jump back up, but even then the Cavaliers are a tempting side.
San Antonio Spurs at Phoenix Suns (-9.5, 218.5)
Phoenix finally saw its win streak end in Golden State on Friday night, but it is hardly anything to get upset about. Devin Booker did not play, Mikal Bridges was lost for an extended period of time and it was the second leg of a back-to-back against a motivated opponent. They look to begin a new winning streak tonight against a Spurs team that gave them trouble two weeks ago in a 115-111 win. San Antonio has been on a solid run as well, coming into tonight on a 4-0 SU and ATS winning streak that includes a victory over Golden State last time out. The Spurs are playing a solid brand of basketball on defense, limiting opponents to 107.3 points per 100 possessions on defense and their defensive rating over this winning streak is in line with that at 97.7 per 100 possessions. It’s not surprising that this market moved as much as it did from the open of 9.5 give what we have seen from the Spurs, but also what we have seen from Phoenix. Yes, the Suns won 17 straight before losing on Friday night, but they are 4-7 ATS over the last 11 due to the market overvaluing them.
Los Angeles Clippers (-1.5, 221.5) at Portland Trail Blazers
Los Angeles got a great win against the Lakers on Friday night, but followed that up with a dud in Sacramento. The loss drops them to 2-8 ATS in the last 10 games which would give me pause laying a number like this on the road. Yes, Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons are out due to injury, but CJ McCollum is probable and the rest of Portland’s cast will be out there. Over this 10-game slump the Clippers have been in they are putting up 105.1 points per 100 possessions, the fifth-worst offensive rating over that span. Even against a short-handed opponent, is that a team capable of covering three points?
Orlando Magic at Golden State Warriors (-16.5, 215)
It would not have been surprising to see Golden State fail to cover on Saturday when they took on San Antonio on the second leg of a back-to-back after beating Phoenix, but to lose is another matter. One would expect that this team is hyper-focused tonight despite it being the lowly Magic making the visit. To give Orlando credit, the team is 3-0 ATS in its last three games, and that includes a close loss to Philadelphia and win over Denver, but those were some solid situations for the Magic. Tonight, against a Warriors team that is 12-2 SU/11-3 ATS at home this season and 3-0 SU and ATS after a SU loss with an average margin of victory of 20.3 points, the situation is not as kind.
Best Bets Summary
Thunder (+ 5)
Nuggets (+ 4)