NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Monday 3/14

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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, March 14th

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

**Lines are opening numbers

Best Bets

Milwaukee Bucks (-1.5, 234.5) at Utah Jazz

Milwaukee should not be laying points on the road against Utah, but Rudy Gobert is questionable to play with a foot injury that caused him to miss the last game for the Jazz so the market is somewhat skewed here. The Bucks are coming off a loss at Golden State in which their perimeter defense was cooked to the tune of an 18-of-43 night by the Warriors. Milwaukee’s penchant for allowing 3-point attempts has been burning them since the beginning of the calendar year, as opponents have shot 37.2% from deep against them while taking 40.0% of their attempts from that area of the floor. That is not an area to be struggling in defensively when facing a team like Utah which leads the league in 3-point frequency (43.4%) and is sixth shooting (36.9%). Gobert told the media this morning that he would play today and that his foot was feeling better, so on that news I will be taking the 1.5 with Utah tonight.

Play: Jazz (+ 1.5)

Best Games

Denver Nuggets at *Philadelphia 76ers (-5, 221.5)

Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid meet for the first time since 2019 in what some would call a showdown for the MVP award. The overnight line had Philadelphia laying five, but the 76ers had to overcome the Magic in overtime on Sunday which meant 44 minutes for James Harden who has already rested in situations like this. Harden is questionable at best, which is why we’ve seen this dip in the line to -2 at almost every shop. The luster has certainly worn off the new dynamic duo, and the weaknesses for this 76ers team have started to appear over the course of the last five games. Philadelphia is 3-2 SU/1-4 ATS and allowing 115.5 points per 100 possessions, which is a very subpar defensive rating. Denver has hit its own lull though, coming into this game on an 0-4 ATS slide, and off back-to-back losses to Toronto and Golden State. However, some of this can be attributed to fatigue, as the Nuggets just finished a stretch that saw them play five games in seven nights. It’s hard to get a read on a contest like this given the potential absence of Harden looming, as well as the questionable status of Aaron Gordon for Denver. It’s easy to stay away from a betting perspective until the personnel situation clears up, but this is a must watch game tonight without a doubt.

Toronto Raptors (-5 ,224.5) at *Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles was absolutely smoked by Phoenix last night. The Suns dropped 48 points in the first quarter, averaged 1.488 points per possession in non-garbage time and won 140-111 which sent the Lakers to 2-7 SU/3-6 ATS in their last nine games. Over the course of those contests Los Angeles has been outscored by 8.4 points per 100 possessions – a net rating that ranks ahead of just Portland and Oklahoma City over that span – and their defensive rating of 117.5 is fifth-worst in the league since the All-Star break. LeBron James has clearly quit putting forth any effort on defense, focusing solely on capturing a scoring title as opposed to winning games and it has made the Lakers an untouchable team. Yet, here they are getting money tonight against Toronto. The Raptors have won and covered three straight, but OG Anunoby is still out with a finger injury and Fred VanVleet is questionable after missing the win over Denver. For the life of me, I cannot understand anyone who would want to back the Lakers on a given night. There is little effort on defense and the team is clearly done trying to win a title this season.

The Others

Chicago Bulls (-4.5, 235) at Sacramento Kings

Alex Caruso made his return from injury on Saturday against Cleveland and the Chicago Bulls held their opponent to under a point per possession for just the second time since Jan. 21! Now, the opponent was the Cavaliers which are clearly hurting for consistency on offense at this point, so a meeting with Sacramento will be a somewhat better test of this defense with one its best perimeter defenders back on the floor. The Kings have not been winning lately, as they are 2-9 SU in their last 11 games, but the team is 6-2 ATS in its last eight which shows an ability to stay inside some inflated numbers. Chicago does have Zach LaVine listed a questionable, so keep that in mind here when getting involved.

*Los Angeles Clippers at Cleveland Cavaliers (-5.5, 211.5)

Los Angeles staged another comeback on Sunday, this one being an 18-point resurgence to beat the Detroit Pistons. Today, they face Cleveland and could do so without Reggie Jackson who is likely taking the night off for rest. Even without Jackson in the lineup the Clippers could be pretty live here given how poorly the Cavaliers have played on offense recently, averaging 1.0 point per possession in losses to Chicago and Miami. The injury report is lengthy for the Cavaliers as well. Caris LeVert, Lauri Markkanen and Dean Wade are questionable to play and Rajon Rondo is doubtful. It seems that LeVert will be returning today, so the number is up to -6 at quite a few shops right now. Should Jackson be officially ruled out it wouldn’t be a shock to see this get to -7 by close.

Portland Trail Blazers at *Atlanta Hawks (-12, 233.5)

Why does the betting market continue to believe in Atlanta? The Hawks are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games, closing as a favorite in four of those contests and laying an average of eight points. This is despite allowing 120.4 points per 100 possessions during this seven-game stretch and now ranking 27th on the season in non-garbage time defensive efficiency (115.0). Yes, Portland is the worst team in the league since the All-Star break with a -25.5 net rating, and they needed 44 points from Josh Hart to overcome the Wizards the other day, but the Hawk shown me that they are worth laying a number like this against any opponent. 

Charlotte Hornets (-7, 231) at *Oklahoma City Thunder

The tank is officially on in Oklahoma City. The Thunder are 3-13 SU in their last 16 games and they bring an 0-5 SU slide into this game with Charlotte. Once 12th in defensive efficiency, since Feb. 5 the Thunder are 21st in defensive efficiency, allowing 117.0 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time minutes. Josh Giddey, Kenrich Williams, Lu Dort and others populate the injury report every day and there is no return in sight for any of the key youngsters. They are 4-5 ATS in the last nine, but gauging when this team will show up on a night-to-night basis.  

Best Bets Summary

Jazz (+ 1.5)

Season Record: 72-58-2

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