NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Thursday 10/20

By Jonathan Von Tobel  (Senior NBA Analyst) 


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, and make sure to subscribe the Hardwood Handicappers podcast!

All game lines via the VSiN NBA Odds page.

Daily Recap

Best bets on Wednesday eked out a profit but needed to endure overtime in Memphis and the foul game in Toronto. It was only the first full day of NBA action, but it was a grind from a betting perspective. For a quick look at the betting results, we go to our colleague, Dave Tuley:



The basketball was great too. One of the eye-opening finals was New Orleans’ comfortable win over Brooklyn. Zion Williamson looked as incredible as ever, dropping 25 points on 50% shooting from the floor with 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals. He showed a ton of energy on the offensive glass, something that will be a staple for this Pelicans team.



Market Report for Wednesday, October 19th

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

**Lines are opening numbers

Milwaukee Bucks at Philadelphia 76ers (-3, 225)

If Philadelphia is going to eventually win the top seed in the Eastern Conference – something I believe they can do – their defensive effort is going to have to be much better than it was on Tuesday night. The 76ers allowed 1.326 points per possession to the Celtics and it came via halfcourt possessions (120.2 defensive rating) and transition (169.2). That obviously must be better going forward, as does its bench production. Doc Rivers got just 11 points out of his bench, and prized offseason acquisition De’Anthony contributed just 5 points in 21 minutes. How Rivers distributes those minutes will be something to monitor tonight, as Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey and James Harden all played at least 37 minutes while Tobias Harris and P.J. Tucker played 34 and 33 minutes respectively. 

Milwaukee is dealing with cluster injuries at small forward. Khris Middleton, Pat Connaughton and Joe Ingles are all going to miss this game with various injuries which is obviously a massive blow for the Bucks. Milwaukee still has Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday available, and when those two were on the floor without Middleton they outscored opponents by 7.1 points per 100 possessions. However, with both Middleton and Connaughton not available it does mean this team could lack for some consistent shooting. The Bucks’ most used lineup without Middleton shot just 33.3% from deep, something that killed them last season, especially in the postseason.

The betting market has moved in Philadelphia’s favor and it’s not hard to see why considering the injury situation for Milwaukee. This total has also dropped 1.5 points, also a move instigated by the injuries and potential lack of shooting for the Bucks. I can’t say I disagree with either. I came into the season wanting to support Philadelphia early, but their defensive performance on Tuesday and being behind the market has me off this game preflop. 

Los Angeles Clippers (-3.5, 220.5) at Los Angeles Lakers

The betting market clearly saw enough in the Lakers’ loss on Tuesday to downgrade them by about two points, and it’s hard to argue against it. Los Angeles averaged just 0.944 points per possession in non-garbage time, put up an offensive rating of 108.3 in transition and shot 9-of-38 on 3-point attempts. The team is also still dealing with injuries to Thomas Bryant, Troy Brown Jr. and Dennis Schroder, all of whom will miss the game tonight against the Clippers.

The Clippers are being rated by some – including myself – as the best team in the NBA, and that also explains some of the lopsided support here for the road team.  Los Angeles also comes in with a clean bill of health. Reggie Jackson popped up on the injury report with a sore groin, but he is probable and then there is the return of Kawhi Leonard after a year off recovering from an ACL injury.

There is not much to go off here other than one game for the Lakers and my preseason evaluation of the Clippers and using those I would say the market it right in driving this number up, but the ship has sailed on a preflop play. Instead, the strategy here should be to grab a cheap in-game price on the Clippers. It’s worth pointing out how this total jumped to 225.5 at most shops. The Lakers played at a frenetic pace on Tuesday, starting 23.1% of their possessions with a transition play and totaling 102 possessions before garbage time. If that persists this will be an Over team.

Best Bet Recap


Record: 2-1 | Units: + 0.82 | ROI: + 27.33

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