NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Monday 2/14


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, February 14th

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

**Lines are opening numbers

Detroit Pistons @ Washington Wizards (-4.5, 218.5)

We’ve seen the new version of Washington for two contests now, and the consistent aspect of their game has been an extremely subpar defense. Their two opponents (Brooklyn, Sacramento) have averaged 1.23 points per possession and the Wizards have a -6.3 net rating and an 0-2 ATS record in those affairs as a result. That net rating is somewhat deceiving due to a poor showing against Sacramento on Saturday, but the poor defense is something that will persist for Washington going forward. The degree of poor play will be something to monitor and bettors will get an answer to that tonight when the Wizards host the Pistons. Detroit got Cade Cunningham back in the lineup on Friday night, but he only played 21 minutes and it was blown out 141-119 by Charlotte. The Pistons 0-7 SU/1-6 ATS in their last seven games with a -17.7 net rating which is, by far, the worst in the NBA over that stretch. Cunningham makes Detroit better in his time on the floor, but this regression on defense since the start of February is extreme. Given the level of play from the Pistons recently, the apparent minutes restriction of Cunningham and the fact that Washington is playing the fourth game of a four-game homestand it makes sense that the Wizards would be favored despite a 2-15-1 ATS record over the last 18 games. Given how poor Detroit has been its hard to make the case for the underdog here but given the poor defense Washington has put on the floor recently this is not a number I would like to lay either.

Oklahoma City Thunder @ New York Knicks (-9.5, 206.5)

Will it be a good thing or a bad thing that New York is back at home after a disastrous west coast road trip? The Knickerbockers went 1-4 SU and ATS in the five games on the opposite coast, blowing late second half leads in three of four losses. In those contests New York had a -9.1 second half net rating, and a -30.7 net rating in the fourth quarters. One might believe that a home in the friendly confines of the Mecca against the short-handed Thunder might be just what the doctor ordered, but I am not entirely sure. Is New York 9.5 points better than anybody right now? Oklahoma City continues to get sold short by the market, and the team is 6-2 ATS in the eight games since losing Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to injury. The Knicks are dealing with their own injury issues as well. RJ Barrett missed the last two games of the road trip and is out tonight with an ankle sprain, and Mitchell Robinson, Nerlens Noel and Cam Reddish are all questionable to play. Robinson’s absence would be impactful, as Oklahoma City is 17th in opponent offensive rebounding rate (26.2%) and has had trouble keeping opponents off the glass. The line here has moved toward the Thunder and that is understandable given the injury picture and recent play of New York. If Robinson is active I would expect a bump in the line for the Knicks as well, but this is not a team worth swallowing that many points with, no matter the opponent.

Sacramento Kings (-4, 224) @ Brooklyn Nets

Yes, this is how bad things have become for the Brooklyn Nets. They are 0-11 SU/2-8-1 ATS over the last 11 games with a -13.3 net rating and a defense that is giving up 123.8 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time. Now, they return home to find themselves as 4.5-point underdogs to Sacramento. Kyrie Irving is still unavailable to play in home games, and now that Harden is no longer with the team Steve Nash will be forced to roll out the dynamic Patty Mills, Bruce Brown, DeAndre’ Bembry, Kessler Edwards and Blake Griffin starting lineup which started the blowout loss to Boston and has a -92.4 net rating on the season. Or Nash could go with anyone of the other lineups available to him, but it likely matters not as Brooklyn is -13.8 this season without Irving, Harden or Durant on the floor. Meanwhile, Sacramento comes into town with its new-look roster that has allowed them to put up over 1.2 points per possession in back-to-back games, both of which were wins and covers. It might seem like an overreaction to make the Kings this big of a road favorite, but where is the defense coming from for Brooklyn? What about the shot creation for a group of players that has a 103.0 offensive rating this season without its three best players available? Sacramento has allowed 1.14 points per possession the last two games, but this group has so little offensive creation it’s hard to see the Nets even take advantage. The market has moved toward the Kings initially and the line is 3.5 at most shops now, but if this made its way under a bucket, I would not hesitate to lay it with the visitors here.

Portland Trail Blazers @ Milwaukee Bucks (-14, 231)

This iteration of Portland has been competitive against some poor competition, but they likely will not find the same level of play in Milwaukee tonight. The Trail Blazers have won and covered their last two games against the Lakers and Knicks, but both games came at home against teams scuffling for play-in seeds. The Bucks are not that. Milwaukee has not played since the 131-107 blowout loss in Phoenix last week, and they will likely be hungry to get the taste of that loss out of their collective mouths. Go back to Feb. 1 when this team hosted Washington after losing to Denver by 36 points. The Bucks throttled the Wizards 112-98 in win and cover, and the same fate could be in store for Portland. Josh Hart made his way into the starting lineup for Portland over the weekend, but that lineup was -17.0 in its time on the floor and struggled for offensive with an average of 1.0 point per possession. That will likely be the challenge here for the Trail Blazers against a mostly healthy Bucks team. I do not really fault the market for driving this number to as high as -16 in a few shops.  

Toronto Raptors (-2, 218.5) @ New Orleans Pelicans

New Orleans took a tough loss to San Antonio over the weekend which, coupled with the comeback win from Portland, knocked them out of the 10th seed in the Western Conference. The Pelicans will be desperate for a win every time out, but so too is Toronto which trails Boston by a half-game for the sixth seed in the East. New Orleans’ loss dropped them to 0-2 SU and ATS following a 4-1 SU/5-0 ATS run, and its going to be hard to get back on track tonight against a Toronto team which was on an 8-0 SU and ATS run before losing to Denver on Saturday. With both teams mostly healthy this comes down to the matchup on the floor, and that is where the Raptors have many advantages. The most important statistic tonight will be turnovers. Toronto leads the league in defensive turnover rate (16.8%) and New Orleans is 25th in that category on offense (15.0%). The Raptors use those turnovers as opportunities for quick offense, and rank sixth in the league in points added per 100 possessions through transition offense off steals (+ 2.0). If the Pelicans can limit the mistakes they can take advantage of one their biggest advantages: rebounding. New Orleans has the fifth-best offensive rebounding rate in the league (28.1%) and Toronto gives up the second-highest rate of offensive rebounds in the NBA (28.4%). The Raptors are playing their best basketball right now, so it’s not shocking to see early support for them in this spot here. However, one shop has moved to -5 and we’re getting close to the point where there is some value on the home ‘dog here.

San Antonio Spurs @ Chicago Bulls (-4, 235.5)

Zach LaVine is dealing with left knee injury that has him away from the team, Javonte Green is questionable to play and yet the market is still bullish on Chicago here. The Bulls have won three straight, but one has to wonder if this team will be able to defend the Spurs. San Antonio has won and covered three of four and dating back to Jan. 25 the team is 6-4 ATS. This surge from the Spurs is due to their offense finally coming around and putting up 118.7 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time. Since Jan. 12 the Bulls have been one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA, allowing 120.0 points per 100 possessions and getting outscored by 4.1 points per 100 possessions. All of that said, its somewhat surprising to see this line as high as 5.5 given the potential that this team could be down four key role players by the time tip-off arrives. The Spurs also showed an ability to match up well with this defense already, dropping 1.31 points per possession in their win over the Bulls just over two weeks ago in San Antonio. Having said that, it’s not the most favorable scheduling situation for the Spurs which are on the fourth-game of their Rodeo Road Trip playing a third game in four nights. However, I would expect that 5.5 is the best number bettors will get here, so I will take a bite.

Play: Spurs (+ 5.5)

Orlando Magic @ Denver Nuggets (-12, 224.5)

Denver has been much more consistent lately and comes into this meeting with Orlando 3-1 SU and ATS in its last four games. The Nuggets cooled off the Raptors on Saturday, and today they catch the Magic which are on the last four-game west coast trip. Ending a west coast trip in Denver is usually a pretty poor situation for east coast teams, but Denver is in a difficult sandwich spot having faced Toronto on Saturday with a trip to Golden State looming on Wednesday. This could be a lookahead spot for the Nuggets, and the market seems to believe that with this number down a point from the overnight opener of -12 bettors saw. Monte Morris is expected to be back in the lineup, as he cleared concussion protocol, so the injury report is no reason for this number to move toward Orlando. The Magic have, for whatever reason, been much more competitive on the road as well, posting an 18-15-1 ATS record away from home this season. 

Houston Rockets @ Utah Jazz (-13.5, 229.5)

Utah only has two games left until the All-Star break, but Rudy Gobert returned to practice on Sunday and is questionable to play tonight against Houston. Will Quin Snyder elect to shut Gobert down for the next two games and get his center some extended rest, or will Utah’s starting five, which is + 15.2 per 100 possessions, be whole again for the first time in a long time. This news, coupled with the Rockets’ 1-8 SU/2-7 ATS slide, is why this number is as high as it is now. The Jazz have also been playing great basketball recently without Gobert, as they ride a 5-0 SU/4-0-1 ATS run into this game. Udoka Azubuike has been a massive part of this run, and has filled Gobert’s spot nicely with 9.6 points and 9.4 rebounds on 22.7 minutes per game during this winning streak. If Gobert cannot play Utah bettors should not be deterred in laying the number if they were willing to do so prior.

Golden State Warriors (-5.5, 222.5) @ Los Angeles Clippers

Golden State might be 12-4 SU in its last 16 games, but the team is 6-10 ATS over the same stretch, 0-5 ATS in its last five, and put together some quizzical performances. On Saturday they needed 33 points from Klay Thompson to barely get by the Los Angeles Lakers, and that was a follow up to a somewhat inexcusable loss to the Knicks on Thursday. Now, they find themselves as 6.5-point favorites on the road with Draymond Green still sidelined, and it seems that the market continues to overvalue them. Los Angeles has not been any great shakes recently, snapping a 1-4 SU/0-5 ATS slide on Saturday in a win over Dallas, but those games were on the road which has been where the Clippers have been for nearly three weeks as 10 of their last 12 have been played away from home. Luke Kennard is questionable to play, and if he cannot go that’s a massive blow to this offense which improves by 5.1 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor. If Kennard can play I would not turn down a wager on the home team catching points here.

Best Bets Summary

Spurs (+ 5.5)

Season: 60-53-1

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