NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Sunday 4/24

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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 Sunday, April 24th

*Lines are opening numbers

Golden State Warriors (-3.5, 224) at Denver Nuggets

Game 4: Warriors lead 3-0

The betting market has made yet another adjustment on the power rating for Golden State, and it is going to get me on the Denver side today. The Warriors are now as high as -5 on the screen at South Point, a line that 3.5 points higher than the one I laid in Game 3 and would translate to an 11-point spread back in San Francisco. Some might believe that adjustment to apt, but that’s a near 4.5-point adjustment from Game 1 of the series to today and that is just somewhat much. Last time out the Warriors trailed the Nuggets by a bucket with just under three minutes left in the game. A late run gave them the win and cover, but Denver is clearly much comfortable at home and there is value in a number this high. Personally, I thought the opener of Warriors -3 was perfect, as it was right in line with what I made it and it still accounted for an adjustment that needed to be made as the initial gap between these two at the start of the series was too small. However, making it -3 would mean a five-point gap on a neutral, not the 7.5- or 8-point gap the market has up right now. If the betting market is going ratchet up the number this high I have no choice but to back the underdog here.

Play: Nuggets (+ 5)

Miami Heat (-1.5, 221) at Atlanta Hawks

Game 4: Heat lead 2-1

In the third quarter of Game 3 it seemed that Miami was primed to take a stranglehold on the series with a 21-0 run that put them up 16 points. However, the fourth quarter was very out of character for the Heat, allowing 34 points and 1.7 per possession along with a Trae Young winner with 4.4 seconds left. Given how consistent Miami has been on that end of the floor I would expect a better effort defensively and 3-1 series lead for them by the time this game ends. Through three games the Heat are exploiting the Hawks’ atrocious defense for 119.1 points per 100 possessions overall and 100.8 points per 100 plays in the halfcourt which has led to a + 14.0 net rating. Atlanta has shown zero ability to contain Miami’s offense for more than one quarter at a time and there is no reason to believe that it will suddenly find its footing today. On the other end, the Hawks might have broken out in Game 3 but for the series they still have the fourth worst halfcourt offensive rating in the postseason (94.8) and it has been a slog when the Heat force them into those settings. The betting market has been stubborn here, not moving off the -1.5 that has been up since open, but I believe this to be the spot to lay it with Miami. 

Play: Heat (-1.5)

Phoenix Suns (-3, 217) at New Orleans Pelicans

Game 4: Suns lead 2-1

Phoenix has a problem on defense and they have shown little ability to fix that problem in this series with New Orleans. Through three games the Pelicans are averaging 144.0 points per 100 plays in overall transition play and 147.4 off live rebounds. Those small lineups with just one big on the floor have caused problems for the Suns, but they seemed to adjust by taking advantage of the lack of size New Orleans had by exploiting them on the defensive end of the floor. Deandre Ayton dropped 28 points on 13-of-20 shooting and JaVale McGee worked the smaller frontcourt for 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting. It seems that Phoenix is not going to be able to shut down the small-ball lineups with their defense, so they are content with picking on it through their offense. It is unlikely Willie Green abandons a lineup that got them to this point, so those weak links will be there for the Suns to pick on once again tonight. The betting number opening higher at -3 was surprising here so I agree with the market driving this back down to the 2.5 that is dominating the board now. I believe Phoenix will win this series and I have them favored by just over 2.5 myself, but there will be no play here tonight. Phoenix needed an incredible fourth quarter from Chris Paul to get by in Game 3 and I do not need to be laying a number in a game that will likely be within five in the final minutes of play.

Best Bet Summary

Nuggets (+ 5)

Heat (-1.5)

Season Record: 88-68-2

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