NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Monday 1/3


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, January 3rd

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

**Lines are opening numbers

Houston Rockets at Philadelphia 76ers (-13, 220.5)

Philadelphia has not played since last year, so the long layoff could be a factor tonight against Houston. In all seriousness, the role of the favorite has not treated the 76ers well recently. Since Joel Embiid’s nine-game absence Philadelphia is 1-9 ATS as a favorite, laying on average 6.75 points in those contests. It’s very clear the market has not really adjusted its perception of the 76ers, and that is to be expected after a big win over Brooklyn and the opponent tonight. Since that surprising 8-2 SU/8-1-1 ATS run at the end of November the Rockets are 1-8 SU and ATS with a league-worst -11.7 net rating. The problem has been their defense which is allowing 123.2 points per 100 possessions and the 76ers could be rounding into form on that end of the floor. While Philadelphia has a 108.3 offensive rating in its last 15 games the last three have been much better with a 120.1 offensive efficiency mark. Matisse Thybulle could also be back from COVID protocol, making this an even more favorable situation for Philadelphia. Three games is hardly a large enough sample size to trust what we’ve seen from the 76ers offense, but this number is understandable given everything we know about these two teams right now.

*Charlotte Hornets at Washington Wizards (-1, 228.5)

Charlotte’s horrendous defense burned them last night against a Phoenix team looking to get right after a New Year’s Eve blowout in Beantown. The Hornets were blasted for 133 points and 1.267 per possession. Charlotte being a poor defensive team is no surprise, so the question here becomes whether Washington can take advantage. Eight players are in COVID protocol for the Wizards, among them is Spencer Dinwiddie and Montrezl Harrell. Despite the roster issue the team has covered three straight and is 5-1 ATS in the last six contests thanks to an offense putting up 114.7 points per 100 possessions. However, Washington has outscored the opposition by just 0.2 points per 100 possessions during this six-game run due to a defense that has a 114.6 efficiency rating. Opponents have been killing the Wizards at the rim and from the perimeter, something the Hornets love to do. It might be tough backing Charlotte after that loss last night, but this is a much more favorable situation.

Play: Hornets (+ 2)

Memphis Grizzlies at Brooklyn Nets (-6, 227.5)

Are the Memphis Grizzlies seven points better on a neutral court than the Los Angeles Clippers? That’s what this number is telling us. On New Year’s Day the Nets were hosting the Clippers which were on the second leg of a back-to-back. Brooklyn lost the game as 13-point favorites, and tonight they lay just six against Memphis. The Grizzlies continue to deliver for bettors and come into this meeting on a 4-0 SU/3-1 ATS run and + 11.4 net rating. Their offense has averaged 117.5 points per 100 possessions during this streak and it will be a test for a Brooklyn defense that has suddenly given up 115.6 points per 100 possessions to its last two opponents. Keep in mind, the Grizzlies are still dealing with COVID issues. Dillon Brooks and De’Anthony Melton are still out and Kyle Anderson was added to the list on Saturday. There is some line value here by my numbers, so the Nets will be a play tonight.

Play: Nets (-6)

Detroit Pistons at Milwaukee Bucks (-15.5, 226.5)

Hopefully you all saw my favorite young player, Saddiq Bey, in action on New Year’s Day when he slayed San Antonio with a corner 3-pointer in overtime with two dudes, one of them being Jakob Poeltl, in his grill. Bey has been incredible in the last eight game, averaging 23.9 points, 8.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game, but his play has been the only positive for Detroit lately. The Pistons come into today with just two wins in its last 20 contests and a -9.5 net rating over that stretch. COVID and injuries have laid waste this roster as well. Six players, including Jerami Grant and Isaiah Stewart, are out due to injury or protocol, but one name not on the list today is rookie Cade Cunningham which is a positive for the Pistons. However, even Cunningham being back is likely not enough a Bucks team that is on a 6-0 SU/5-1 ATS run. Khris Middleton is questionable to play, but if Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday are available the Bucks can roll. In those possessions Milwaukee outscores opponents by 13.6 points per 100 possessions and has a 104.7 defensive rating. It’s understandable that this number is as high as it is, but this is pushing it for me by my numbers. It does not seem wise to ask Detroit to cover here, but equally foolish would be to lay an inflated number like this.

*Orlando Magic at Chicago Bulls (-11.5, 220.5)

Chicago continues to win, but the covers have not been there the previous two contests. DeMar DeRozan bailed out the Bulls with not one but two buzzer-beating buckets to beat the Pacers and Wizards on back-to-back nights over the weekend. Chicago’s defense has not been as consistent in recent weeks which has led to some tight affairs. Over the last 13 games the Bulls are 23rd in defensive efficiency, allowing 113.8 points per 100 possessions. Their net rating of + 3.2 is ninth-best in the league though, as their offense has put up a 117.0 rating over that same stretch. A team like Orlando might not be the most attractive, but its hard to lay these many points with a defense playing at that level. The Magic have been somewhat plucky recently in covering four of seven contests in which they were catching an average of 9.7 points per game. Last night, they took Boston to overtime and covered as a 10-point underdog. It could plausible they do it again today against a Bulls team that has been getting by with a poor defense, especially since the market has pushed this to -14 almost everywhere, but do you really want to sweat a bet on the Magic?

Utah Jazz (-10, 224.5) at New Orleans Pelicans

Utah lost a wild affair on Saturday to Golden State to snap a 6-0 SU streak, but from an ATS standpoint it was more of the same for the Jazz. Utah fell to 1-8 ATS in its last nine games despite a 6-3 SU record over the same span due its extremely high power rating. The betting market has not really moved off its stance of rating Utah this highly, but there has been a slight move to the home team here. New Orleans has suddenly found some consistency and enters tonight on a 6-3 SU/4-5 ATS “run” that includes wins over Oklahoma City, Milwaukee and Cleveland. The Pelicans have improved on the defensive end of the floor, and through these nine games have allowed 109.6 points per 100 possessions to post a + 0.2 net rating. For a team that was one of the worst in the NBA at one point these are tremendous improvements. Jonas Valanciunas and Brandon Ingram are questionable to play tonight, so the line move seems to be assuming some good news on that front. If neither plays I would expect this to get back to -10 at most shops.

Denver Nuggets at *Dallas Mavericks (-2, 210.5)

Luka Doncic returned to the floor for Dallas last night and led the Mavericks to their third win in four contests. Doncic was not overly effective from a scoring standpoint and Dallas put up only 1.011 points per possession against the Thunder. It would seem the market is bumping up the rating on Dallas due to Doncic’s return, but it might be too much too soon given what we saw from them last night. However, their opponent is an extremely team in Denver. The Nuggets are 3-0 SU/2-1 ATS in their last three games, but three games is hardly worth writing home about. They are still outscored by 14.4 points per 100 possessions when Nikola Jokic is off the floor, and key role players like Bones Hyland will not be available tonight. My initial thoughts are to take the points with the underdog due to my own number being closer to -1 as opposed to the -3.5 at almost every shop, but I do not find myself wanting to sweat out Nuggets basketball.

Atlanta Hawks (-3.5, 225.5) at Portland Trail Blazers

This number might seem like a large one for a team that has seven players that are out due to injury or COVID, but the Hawks are in the better situation here. Damian Lillard was ruled out with the abdominal injury he’s been dealing with, and he joins five other Trail Blazers who will not be playing tonight. Among those are CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic. So, while Atlanta might be shorthanded tonight, the team at least has its bet player and Cam Reddish is expected to be available as well. Portland has been on the skids anyway, posting a 2-11 SU/3-10 ATS record in December with a -13.0 net rating that was the worst in the NBA. I would not want any part of either one of these teams here. Atlanta is laying an inflated number that offers little value and Portland is missing three of its best players. There is still some talent out there like Norm Powell and Anfernee Simons, but the returns statistically are brutal (-26.9 net rating with those two on the floor without Lillard). 

*Miami Heat at Golden State Warriors (-9, 218.5)

Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro are finally all together again, but the results have not been what most expected. Since Lowry returned the Heat are just 1-1 SU and ATS but took a loss to Sacramento last night in which the team allowed 1.175 points per possession. It takes time to build continuity for a team that has been as shorthanded as Miami has been but looking at this matchup tonight it is surprising to see the betting market come in so heavy against them. Golden State has won and covered four of five but have hardly been perfect over this stretch. They lost to Denver a few nights ago at home, and that number was Warriors -7.5 at close. Are the Heat as currently constructed four points worse than Denver? If Butler, Herro and Lowry are available this seems like quite the inflated number for Golden State.

*Minnesota Timberwolves at Los Angeles Clippers (-2, 217.5)

Despite attrition with the roster Los Angeles has been playing a solid brand of basketball and is 4-2 ATS in its last six games despite losing Paul George to injury. Over this six-game stretch it should surprise no one to hear the Clippers are one of the best defensive teams in the league, allowing 107.9 points per 100 possessions to opponents. Over these six games Los Angeles has found its stroke as well, hitting 37.2% of its 30.8 3-point attempts per game, but this shift in the market is interesting. They were + 6 and + 7 in Boston and Toronto last week, and on New Year’s Day they were catching 13 points in Brooklyn. After covering two of those, and nearly covering another, they are now up -4 over a Minnesota team that is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 games. This seems like an overreaction by a market that has been burned by undervaluing Los Angeles since the injuries took place.

Best Bets Summary

Hornets (+ 2)

Nets (-6)

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