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 Sunday, April 17th
*Lines are opening numbers
Atlanta Hawks at Miami Heat (-6.5, 215.5)
In the four games we saw in the regular season this number did not close any higher than -4.5 and that was in favor of Miami at home back in January. However, it is hard to take anything from the regular season series given the revolving door of personnel from Miami which did not have its complete starting group in any of the meetings with Atlanta this season. Atlanta is also coming into this game shorthanded, as Clint Capela will be sidelined for early portion of this series with that hyperextended knee suffered in the play-in win over Cleveland. The absence of Capela coupled with the potential availability of the Heat’s entire starting group would probably get this number to the 6.5 that is up right now at most shops, but it seems strong. For starters, the Hawks have handled the minutes without Capela very well. Onykea Okongwu has been a great option at center, and Atlanta is + 4.9 per 100 possessions when he is at the five. Add to that the news that John Collins is also expected to make his return from injury today and you get an interesting scenario for Atlanta today. Homecourt is certainly worth more in the postseason, but by how much? Miami closed -1.5 in the final meeting between these two teams nine days ago and it was a 113-109 final that came down to free throws, and the only unavailable member of consequence for the Heat was PJ Tucker. Not only has the betting market bumped this up to 6.5 at the open, but some shops are a half-point higher. The real move here has come on the total which is up four points to 219.5 across the board. These two teams were below average in terms of pace this season, but Miami is an efficient transition team which can exploit Atlanta’s 29th-ranked transition defense, and the Hawks will consistently hunt the weak link in the Heat’s starting five like they did to Lauri Markkanen on Friday.
Play: Hawks (+ 7)
Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics (-4, 226.5)
We are early in the postseason, but the betting market is clearly valuing homecourt more than it did in the regular season. However, this is one game where that seemingly does not apply. When these two teams met at the beginning of March the Celtics closed -6 in a game that fell right on the number when Boston pulled away for the 126-120 victory. The obvious factor to point to here is the absence of Robert Williams, but Al Horford and Daniel Theis have been fine options at center this season. With Horford at the five the Celtics are + 3.7 per 100 possessions with a 109.4 defensive rating, and with Theis they are + 16.2 with a 107.0 defensive rating. There is certainly some noise in those numbers, but it shows that Boston should have confidence in the center position despite the injury to Williams. I am somewhat surprised that the market has moved toward the under here despite little evidence that either team can contain the other’s offense. The number is down to 224 but I would expect that number to tick up with more bettors getting involved. The thing to watch this afternoon is going to be the minutes in which Kevin Durant hits the bench. He and Kyrie Irving needed to play 42 minutes on Tuesday to get by Cleveland and in the time Durant sat the Nets were outscored by nine points. Boston has enough depth to take advantage of those minutes and those could present some interesting in-game opportunities for bettors, especially when he leaves with Nets leading.
Chicago Bulls at Milwaukee Bucks (-9, 229.5)
The betting market is all in on Milwaukee in this series against Chicago and that shows in this Game 1 line which is up to 10.5 at most shops. On the surface it’s a number that is far off from the regular season series in which the Bucks closed as the favorite in every meeting but laid an average of 7.5 points per game. However, the bump in the rating for Milwaukee is deserved. It covered each of the final three meetings with Chicago and won the final two games by 21 or more points. At this point the value has been sucked out of the number for the Bucks, but with an 11 on the board its clear the market does not care. There has not been a real move on the total, but if this meeting is as lopsided as the market believes then it would put me on the Under here. Chicago averaged just 102.0 points per 100 possessions against Milwaukee in the regular season and its hard to see them finding much offensive success unless DeMar DeRozan or Zach LaVine are going nuclear.
New Orleans Pelicans at Phoenix Suns (-10.5, 226.5)
New Orleans is now 9-2 SU/8-3 ATS in the games that their premier starting five take the floor after a win over Los Angeles on Friday night. However, Willie Green opted to take Jaxson Hayes out of the game in the second half on Friday in favor of a smaller lineup that matched up much better than the massive front that usually takes the floor. Phoenix does not have an effective small-ball like Los Angles that will spread out New Orleans and make them pay for playing such a big frontcourt, and bettors could see the effectiveness of this new Pelicans group again tonight. These teams met in the first game out of the All-Star break and New Orleans dominated the glass on the way to a victory, but Phoenix showed this team how large the gap was in a win on the road in the middle of March. The Suns closed -4.5 on the road but the market was clearly too high on the Pelicans then and has since adjusted. New Orleans might be an intriguing first quarter bet with its massive frontcourt, but Chris Paul was not in either of the two meetings after the break and no player thrives more when bringing a big out in space like Paul. He’s got two to pick on in this matchup.
Best Bet Summary
Hawks (+ 7)
Season Record: 84-66-2