NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Monday 1/31

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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, January 31st

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

**Lines are opening numbers

New Orleans Pelicans @ Cleveland Cavaliers (-9.5, 212.5)

The opening number has been all over the place from the overnight, but the consensus between most shops was 8.5 for Cleveland. The Cavaliers fell last night in Detroit as 7.5-point favorites which ruined an 8-1 SU run from the team, but the covers have not come regularly for Cleveland. In the last five games the team is 1-4 ATS and dating back to Dec. 28 they are 5-11-1 ATS over the span of 17 games. It’s wildly obvious that the betting market has overvalued Cleveland, and while this might be another opportunity to jump in and bet against them the injury report is vital for New Orleans. Brandon Ingram has missed the four games and is questionable to play. Jonas Valanciunas has missed the last three and is questionable to play. Josh Hart is on the report with a knee contusion and is questionable to play as well. The Pelicans have lost their last three by double-digits and need both Ingram and Valanciunas back on the floor in a big way. The fact that both were upgraded to questionable is a positive sign, but if I were to back New Orleans here I would need those two on the floor.

Memphis Grizzlies @ Philadelphia 76ers (-3.5, 219.5)

When we saw them on Saturday the Grizzlies tore apart the Washington Wizards 115-95 to improve to 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games. Given the strengths and weaknesses of these two teams it seems that Monday will be a great opportunity for Memphis to extend its cover streak. The Grizzlies lead the league in points in the paint per game (56.4), take the highest frequency of shots from 4-to-14 feet (27.4%) and are sixth in frequency of shots at the rim (34.3%). The 76ers rank 17th in both frequency of attempts allowed at the rim (33.1%) and from 4-to-14 feet (20.8%) which is potentially a problem, but not as big of a problem as Memphis’ transition offense could present. The Grizzlies lead the league in transition frequency and add 3.8 points per 100 possessions on offense through transition play which is the fifth-highest rate in the league. Philadelphia has had some real trouble with opponents in transition this season, as the team ranks 22nd in opponent points added on offense through transition (3.0) and 24th in defensive efficiency (127.8). The 76ers do have the personnel to take advantage of the Grizzlies’ defensive scheme which frequently drops the big on pick-and-rolls and tends to allow perimeter shots – Memphis ranks 27th in frequency of non-corner 3-point attempts allowed – but they tend to play their offense out of the post and only 33.7% of their attempt come from deep. This number has not moved from the overnight opener, but I would think it is the underdog who gets the support here tonight. I also expect this total to close higher. Memphis should speed this game up and Philadelphia still has Joel Embiid which no team has an answer for.

Play: Grizzlies (+ 3.5)

*Los Angeles Clippers @ Indiana Pacers (-1.5, 217.5)

This will be the final game of an eight-game road trip that began 12 days ago for Los Angeles, and it’s the fifth game in seven days. If there was ever a time for the Clippers to look off it would be here against Indiana. Having said that, it’s been foolhardy to expect that of Los Angeles recently. The team enters 6-1 ATS on this road trip and 7-1 ATS in its last eight overall. In those eight games they have three double-digit comebacks for victory and yesterday their defense looked wildly impressive limiting the Hornets to 0.865 points per possession despite not having Nicolas Batum. Meanwhile, Indiana continues to put forth uninspiring defensive efforts with its best defensive players out and is coming off a 132-105 loss to Dallas in which it gave up 1.395 points per possession. The total is 5-1 to the Over in the last six Pacers games and the market has caught on, pushing this number up to 220.5 at most shops. Opponents have been torching Indiana inside, scoring an average of 61.0 points in the paint per game over the last six contests, but consistently attacking that area of the floor is not this Clippers team’s identity, as they rank 27th in points in the paint per game (42.4). To be honest, I really want to play against Los Angeles here given the situation the team is in. However, I’ve been so impressed with the way this team has played during this road trip that it has scared me away from the Pacers side. The situation is also heavily baked into this number as I expected this to be Clippers -1.5 or so and not the other way around.

Sacramento Kings @ New York Knicks (-4.5, 214.5)

The poor play for New York continued Friday in the loss to Milwaukee which dropped the team to 1-6 SU/3-4 ATS in its last seven games. Yet again, Tom Thibodeau started his lineup of Julius Randle, RJ Barrett, Evan Fournier, Kemba Walker and Mitchell Robinson and yet again the Knicks got off to a poor start and lost the first quarter to fall to 19-30-1 ATS in first quarters on the season. After the most recent dud that starting five is -15.3 per 100 possessions despite have the fourth-most possessions played together this season, and should we see it again there is no reason to believe a poor first quarter isn’t in store. For the game, it’s not surprising to see the market behind the Knicks here given the opponent. Marvin Bagley is out, De’Aaron Fox is questionable and the Kings are on the last game of a five-game east coast trip in which it is winless. The team is not hopeless though. It took the 76ers outscoring them 53-40 in the second half on Friday to win by two, and they covered in a high-scoring affair last week in Milwaukee. Should Fox play this number will move back toward the open of 4.5 but keep an eye on those starting lineups. New York is one of the worst first quarter ATS teams in the league for a reason, and should Thibodeau roll out the usual suspects once again it would be beneficial to play against them in the first quarter.

Miami Heat @ Boston Celtics (-2, 212)

Is there any hangover from Miami’s marathon loss to Toronto on Saturday? The Heat fell to the Raptors in a triple-overtime thriller and are coming back tonight to play their third game in four days. Jimmy Butler is questionable to play with an ankle injury and Kyle Lowry will miss his seventh game due to personal reasons. It’s clearly not the best situation for Miami here, and Boston could be in position to take advantage. The Celtics have allowed 102.2 points per 100 possessions over the last seven games which is the best defensive rating in the league over that span, and the team is now fourth on the season as a result. Six of their last seven games have gone Under the total as a result, and it would make sense that Boston is able to limit a short-handed and potentially taxed opponent like Miami. The betting market seems to buy into this theory, as the Celtics are up to -3.5 and this total is down to 208.5 at most shops. Boston has already done that to Miami this season anyway. These two teams met back in November, when the Heat were 6-1 and the hottest team in the league, and the Celtics won 95-78 by limiting them to 0.867 points per possession. 

Golden State Warriors (-11, 230.5) @ Houston Rockets

Golden State extended its winning streak to 5-0 SU when it beat Brooklyn on Saturday night, but the issues against the number continued as it fell to 6-11 ATS since Christmas. Houston is an abysmal 0-9-1 ATS in its last 10 home games, and Kevin Porter Jr. is questionable to play, so bettors likely think a cover should be in the cards for the Warriors but it’s never that easy. Otto Porter Jr. will not play due to a foot injury and Nemanja Bjelica is questionable as well leaving this Golden State frontcourt very thin. There are a few shops that have come off the 11 and are now 10.5 on the Warriors and that move makes the most sense to me. Golden State has been one of the poorest cover teams in the league over the last two months, and bettors have received little value in betting on them. Until a consistent ability to cover big numbers shows up, why would anyone swallow this many points?

Portland Trail Blazers (-3, 217.5) @ Oklahoma City Thunder

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is sidelined until after the All-Star Break and things look somewhat bleak for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Without Gilgeous-Alexander on the floor the Thunder are outscored by 13.1 points every 100 possessions and have a 95.7 offensive rating. It’s why Portland is laying these points on the road on the second leg of a back-to-back, but I would be hesitant to jump in right away. Robert Covington, Norm Powell and Dennis Smith Jr. were all questionable to play yesterday in Chicago, but eventually were made active and played in the loss. On the second leg of a back-to-back it is certainly possible that one or more of those three are inactive for rest tonight. Bettors should confirm their status before laying the points here, but I do believe the Thunder are a bet against team without their best player on the floor.

Best Bets Summary

Grizzlies (+ 3.5)

Season Record: 57-46-1

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