NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Thursday 10/21

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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 Recap for Tuesday, Oct. 19th

A celebration is appropriate for those of you, and I know there were many of you, who bet Chicago last night. A buzzer-beating putback attempt by Detroit at the end of the game that would have put the Pistons inside the number was waived off, and the Bulls cover as the biggest public side of the day. 

Portland was one of the biggest head-scratchers of the day. The Trail Blazers opened -5 and went to -6 when, according to oddsmakers around Las Vegas, a group went in and played Portland. That caused the line to suddenly shift to Trail Blazers -7 before closing at -6.5 almost everywhere. Portland did not come close to the cover. Their poor defense showed up yet again, allowing the Kings to average 1.192 points per 100 possessions and shoot 41.5% from deep. Sacramento won outright, but not for lack of trying to give it away. The Kings led by 14 with less than 10 minutes in the fourth quarter, but a late Tyrese Haliburton turnover and free throws gave Damian Lillard a chance to tie it at the end. 

Can’t forget to mention the magical environment at the alleged Mecca of basketball, where the Knickerbockers won an insane double-overtime contest over the Boston Celtics. Overall, it was a great night of hoops and we are just getting started.

Market Report for Wednesday, Oct. 20th

It’s a short primetime slate as the NBA moves aside for the NFL tonight. However, the three games are all fantastic contests.

*Lines listed are opening numbers

Dallas Mavericks at Atlanta Hawks (-2.5, 225.5)

This line has been up for almost two weeks now and we have yet to see a move of consequence on either the side or total. Atlanta flashed to -3 at FanDuel a couple of times, but some buyback immediately brought this back to the opening number. The Hawks have some injury concerns with both Danilo Gallinari and Lou Williams as questionable to play, but it is the side I would prefer of the two. Dallas did not do much in retooling this roster around Luka Doncic. Reggie Bullock is their biggest offseason addition, and the plan remains to surround Doncic with shooters and let him work. Their best lineup a season ago outscored opponent by just 1.2 points every 100 possessions due to a defense that allowed a defensive rating of 121.2. Atlanta has defensive options for Doncic in De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish, as well as a deep frontcourt with Clint Capela and John Collins. The Hawks look to be the stronger side with a deeper stable of talent, even if Gallinari and Williams don’t play tonight, and the better head coach in Nate McMillan who led them to a 27-11 record once he took over last season.

Play: Hawks -2.5

Milwaukee Bucks (-1.5, 223.5) at Miami Heat

It seems that a splashy offseason has not swayed the public in favor of the Heat, as Miami found itself + 3 in some spots early this morning. The market has evened out to Bucks -2.5 as of my writing this, so it seems we have found our ceiling on this line. Milwaukee served the market well on Thursday, going from + 1.5 to -2 and covering with ease over Brooklyn and it seems that bettors are coming back for seconds. Personally, I can’t blame them. Miami will likely be a work in progress at the beginning of the season. Their defensive personnel in the starting lineup is legitimate and Tyler Herro is coming off a strong preseason. However, their bench behind Herro is thin and Jimmer Ferdette once led the league in preseason scoring. The Heat will have to answer questions about their offense this season, which dipped dramatically last year. Having said that, I am not rushing to bet this game in any form. Bobby Portis and Donte DiVincenzo are still out for Milwaukee tonight, as is Victor Oladipo for Miami. This is a game to watch and observe, to see if the Heat really have something with this retooled lineup.  

Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State Warriors (-3, 226)

It was not surprising to see the market add the hook to the Golden State side here once they won on opening night against Los Angeles, but this morning the market is correcting itself a bit and the Warriors are now -3 almost everywhere. Golden State showed some real depth in its win, but they still managed just 1.071 points per possession in that game against the Lakers. The Warriors did fail to hit some open 3-point attempts, but the offense without Steph Curry was a worry for me this offseason and a poor offensive rating in an off-night for him does nothing to dispel those concerns. However, the Clippers enter this game a complete enigma. What will they look like without Kawhi Leonard? The postseason run gave us a team that used small-ball, dribble-penetration and 3-point shooting to win games. Will that be the case this regular season? It is likely, but those lineups took a hit when Nic Batum was ruled out for personal reasons, and Serge Ibaka continues to recover from a serious back injury. No official play for me here, but do lean toward Golden State and the under despite a point move toward the over at 227.5.

Best Bets Summary

Hawks -2.5

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