NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Thursday 1/6

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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 Tuesday, January 4th

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

**Lines are opening numbers

*Boston Celtics at New York Knicks (-1, 210.5)

After the loss to San Antonio last night Boston fell to 2-4 SU and ATS in its last six games. The problem for the Celtics has been an offense stuck in neutral, averaging just 108.0 points per 100 possessions. Jayson Tatum’s return should certainly help improve that figure, but last night was not the case as the Spurs held them to just 1.043 points per possession in his return. New York is starting to get healthy as well. Julius Randle is back from COVID protocol, as is Mitchell Robinson. The result was a win and cover for the Knickerbockers and the highest individual game offensive rating (115.6) in nearly two weeks. However, Randle’s return might not be the biggest boost for the Knicks, and it might be why they are now underdogs to the Celtics despite their poor form. With Randle on the floor this season New York has been outscored by 5.6 points per 100 possessions and their 112.3 defensive rating in those possessions ranks in the 31st percentile of qualified lineups. When he is off the floor New York’s net rating is + 13.1 with their defensive and offensive efficiency ranking in the 88th and 93rd percentiles of qualified lineups respectively. New York certainly looked good in a win over Indiana, but the Pacers are thin in the backcourt and reeling. Boston has its star duo back and should only be missing Peyton Pritchard tonight. The Celtics deserve to be favored by my numbers and I agree with this market move.

Play: Celtics (-1.5)

%+%

*Golden State Warriors (-6.5, 220) at New Orleans Pelicans

Steph Curry is likely going to miss this contest with a quad injury that has hampered him lately, and thus this number is down to -2.5 at most shots. Curry has clearly been dealing with something lately, and it might explain his 8-of-41 shooting over the last two contests. Golden State is 1-1 SU and ATS without Curry this season, one of which was a blowout in Toronto in which the team averaged just 0.964 points per possession. The Warriors have a -6.0 net rating in the possessions without Curry on the floor this season, and their offensive rating of 104.4 in those possessions is good for the 16th percentile of qualified lineups. However, there are things to like about Golden State without him out there. When Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole are out there without Curry the team is + 4.4 per 100 possessions and their defense is giving up just 104.1 points per 100 possessions. The offense is going to be the question for the Warriors tonight, but against New Orleans the floor might be raised. On the season the Pelicans are 24th in non-garbage time defensive efficiency (113.2), and since the beginning of December that figure has been slightly worse (114.0). Golden State deserves to be favored without Curry here, but we saw last night just how poor this offense could be and even a defense like the Pelicans could look solid against that unit.

*Detroit Pistons at Memphis Grizzlies (-12.5, 219.5)

Detroit looked less than competitive against Charlotte last night in getting run out 140-111 and now they get to visit the streaking Grizzlies. Since Nov. 28 Memphis leads the league in wins (16), defensive rating (101.7) and net rating. Over the course of those 20 games they are 14-6 ATS and are now one of the best cover teams in the NBA. It’s hard to expect anything less than another cover from Memphis tonight given the quality of play from Detroit last night, and the matchup itself. Frank Jackson and Jerami Grant are still out, Cory Joseph is working his way back from COVID and Isaiah Stewart could return soon but it is unknown when that will be. The Pistons were able to make it work in wins over the Spurs and Bucks, but the Grizzlies have proven to be well-coached and rarely put forth a poor effort. There is something to be said of Memphis’ power rating getting juiced up due to recent results but given the returns of this team over the last month it is hard to get in front of this train with a team like Detroit.

Los Angeles Clippers at Phoenix Suns (-11, 219)

The betting market has been moving strongly in favor of Los Angeles since this morning despite some inconsistent returns over the last week. The Clippers are 2-4 SU/3-3 ATS since losing Paul George to injury but their defense has allowed 112.8 points per 100 possessions and the team has a -4.9 net rating. That defense has kept them in a few of these contests, but with their play on that end of the floor struggling it is somewhat surprising to see the support for them here. Phoenix is still dealing with COVID issues as six players, including Deandre Ayton, JaVale McGee, Jae Crowder and Landry Shamet, are listed as out in protocol. However, Los Angeles does not have a clean bill of health. Luke Kennard is out in protocol still and their center rotation is thin with both Ivicia Zubac and Isaiah Hartenstein still missing. Nicolas Batum and Brandon Boston Jr. could return today, but without Kennard I wonder where the offense, while limited even with Kennard active, is coming from. The Timberwolves held them to a 98.8 offensive rating last time out, and in four of the six games since losing George they have been held to 1.046 points per possession or fewer. 

Best Bets Summary

Celtics (-1.5)

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