NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Monday 3/28

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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 28th

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

**Lines are opening numbers

Best Bets

San Antonio Spurs (-5.5, 234.5) at Houston Rockets

This might seem like a large number, but San Antonio took care of business on the road in Portland as a 9.5-point favorite last week and they now have extra motivation after the results of last night. The Spurs are just one game back of Los Angeles for the 10th seed in the Western Conference and they own one of the easiest schedules in the league going forward. They must first take care of business here against Houston which is easier said than done. The Rockets have covered four of six and won their last two, both against Portland on the road. Houston showed an ability to take advantage of a poor defense, averaging 121.8 points per 100 possessions against the Trail Blazers in that two-game sweep. It seems the market might be somewhat overzealous in the support of San Antonio here due the potential for this team to make a playoff push. The Rockets were just laying four in Portland to a team the Spurs were laying nine against, but now they’re catching 7.5 at home against San Antonio? That doesn’t jive from a power rating perspective.

Play: Rockets (+ 7.5)

Best Games

Denver Nuggets (-3.5, 232.5) at *Charlotte Hornets

The Hornets grabbed a massive win in Brooklyn last night and enter this game with the Nuggets on a 7-1 SU/6-2 ATS run, but this successful run goes beyond just the last eight games. Since the All-Star break Charlotte is 10-5 SU/9-6 ATS while ranking fourth in offensive efficiency (120.3) and sixth in net rating (+ 5.6). There is certainly a possibility that the Hornets’ offense continues to operate at a high level considering how poorly the Nuggets have played on defense lately. Over the course of its last 11 games Denver has allowed 118.7 points per 100 possessions, and as a result they are 6-5 SU/3-8 ATS in those contests. Where the Nuggets have struggled specifically during this 11-game stretch, and the season for that matter, is transition defense. Over the course of those 11 games opponents have added 4.1 points per 100 possessions through transition play which is a strength of this Hornets team. Charlotte has no real defensive option for Nikola Jokic, but given the potential injuries for this already poor bench for Denver the betting market is on the side of the home ‘dog here and I do not disagree.

Chicago Bulls (-4.5, 223.5) at *New York Knicks

New York may have won its third consecutive game last night, but a comeback from Detroit took the cover from them. Still, the Knicks are 8-5 SU/9-4 ATS in their last 13 games with a + 7.6 net rating. They have played much better than their opponent tonight which is 4-10 SU/3-11 ATS in its last 14 games with a -8.0 net rating. The Bulls are getting healthier – Lonzo Ball is the only name of note on the injury report – but are they really 5.5 points better than New York on a neutral right now? The Knicks are on the second leg of a back-to-back and there’s a question about whether Julius Randle will play as he’s been dealing with injury, but I do not put much value in his presence to the point spread. Regardless of his status these two teams are much closer to one another than the market says right now, and the Knicks would be the side to back tonight barring anything popping up on the injury report once submitted.

*Boston Celtics (-3, 220.5) at Toronto Raptors

Boston was dealt a massive blow this morning when reports emerged that Robert Williams would likely be done for an extended period due to a knee injury. In the grand scheme of things, it’s an injury that could alter their title chances, and its obviously an absence tonight. Jayson Tatum was likely to sit this game out already, so Boston will be without two starters tonight it seems. Toronto is 8-2 SU and ATS in its last 10 games and much of that is due to an injury report that is finally clean. OG Anunoby returned two games ago, and Fred VanVleet has been back in the starting lineup as well. The lone injury worth noting today for the Raptors is Gary Trent Jr. who is questionable to play. The ship has already sailed on this number, as Toronto is now -4.5 and likely to close higher with the Williams news and once Tatum is officially added to the injury report.

*Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies (-8, 225)

How much worse can this get for Golden State? After falling to Washington last night the Warriors are now 1-4 SU and ATS since losing Stephen Curry to injury, and the shocking part is that it is their defense which has been failing them. In those five games Golden State has allowed 115.0 points per 100 possessions and posted a -2.3 net rating despite having a 112.7 offensive rating. It seems somewhat simple to write them off here against the red-hot Grizzlies, but this might be a case of the pendulum swinging too far in the other direction. Yes, Memphis has won and covered four straight without Morant and they are 16-2 SU/15-3 ATS without him this season, but is Golden State this much worse than them? The Grizzlies closed -11.5 against the Pacers the other day, so a number like this tells us that this version of the Warriors is only 1.5 points better than Indiana which is hard to believe. It is the second leg of a back-to-back and we have no idea if some members of Golden State will be resting tonight, but if it’s a full squad I would assume there will be some buyback on the underdog here.

The Others

Orlando Magic at Cleveland Cavaliers (-10, 215)

After the loss to Chicago on Saturday the Cleveland Cavaliers fell to 4-6 SU/2-7-1 ATS in the 10 games since losing Jarrett Allen to injury. The biggest difference without Allen on the floor is the level of defensive play for Cleveland, which has allowed 118.6 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time minutes in those 10 games. That poor defensive play and recent struggles are likely why the betting market is coming in against the Cavaliers early today. Orlando comes into this game 2-5 SU and ATS in its last seven games, but they were favored in their last two against Oklahoma City and Sacramento. The Magic are getting healthier and the market clearly has some more respect for them after a 5-4 SU/7-2 ATS run at the beginning of the month. Most shops are down to -9 here but a couple of shops like Circa are as low as 8.5 which is a number that I would assume is the floor for this game.

Atlanta Hawks (-6.5, 234.5) at Indiana Pacers

Here we go again with the early support for Atlanta. The Hawks do deserve some credit for a 3-2 SU and ATS stretch given how poorly they played at the beginning of March, but this team is still wildly inconsistent and that is due to their defense. This month Atlanta has allowed 116.7 points per 100 possessions and in the fourth quarter of games this month they are allowing 1.201 points per possession with a -6.2 net rating. This not a team that has been great at closing out games, let alone covering big numbers. Yet, the betting market has pushed this line up to -8.5 at a few shops. Indiana’s injury report is lengthy with Malcolm Brogdon set to miss the game with rest, Chris Duarte still out with a toe injury and Duane Washington listed as questionable. Even still, the Hawks have shown nothing that warrants them laying this number on the road.

Sacramento Kings at Miami Heat (-13.5, 220.5)

Miami comes in 0-4 SU and ATS in its last four games and 1-8 ATS in its previous nine. This game is all about whether or not this team can break out of its current slump, and on the surface it’s setting up nicely for them to do so. De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis and Richaun Holmes are all out for a variety of reasons and the Heat are massive favorites despite having Tyler Herro and P.J. Tucker on the report as questionable. However, do not be so quick to lay the points here with the Heat. The Kings have been shorthanded for some time now, with Fox last playing on March 16 and Sabonis missing the last two games. Still, Sacramento has covered its last three games and overall they’ve shown some fight in going 8-3 ATS in its last 11 contests. 

Best Bets Summary

Rockets (+ 7.5)

Season Record: 75-63-2

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