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 Thursday, March 24th
*Indicates team is on the second leg of a back-to-back
**Lines are opening numbers
Cleveland Cavaliers at Toronto Raptors (-3, 214.5)
The last meeting between these two teams is a massive one. Cleveland holds a one game lead over Toronto for the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. A win for the Raptors means the night ends with these two tied with nine games left in the season, but a win for the Cavaliers gives them a two-game lead. Outside of the matchups on the floor, the injury report is the most important factor tonight. OG Anunoby has missed the last 15 games with a finger injury but returned to practice yesterday and was upgraded to questionable for this contest. Gary Trent Jr. did not practice but x-rays came back negative, and he has a shot of getting on the floor tonight as well. If both can play it would be the first time in over a month that Toronto would be fully healthy. A win would also be the first time the Raptors would achieve a victory over the Cavaliers this season. Cleveland is 3-0 SU and ATS against Toronto this season, dominating the Raptors and posting a + 18.6 net rating through those three games. However, this will be the first meeting between the two teams in which Jarrett Allen will not be present. Since losing Allen to injury the defense for the Cavaliers has not been anywhere near the same. Opponents have averaged 117.9 points per 100 possessions in the eight games since and Cleveland has a -2.6 net rating with a 4-4 SU/2-4-2 ATS record as a result. All these factors are why the Raptors are up to 5.5-point favorites at most shops.
Chicago Bulls (-1.5, 228.5) at New Orleans Pelicans
The betting market is out on Chicago it seems. After the Bulls opened as 1.5-point favorites on the road bettors pushed this toward the Pelicans which are now -1.5 at most shops. New Orleans will still be without Brandon Ingram who is inching his way toward a return but considered doubtful to play tonight. Regardless of Ingram’s status, the Pelicans have the benefit of hosting a Bulls team that cannot break out of this losing slump. Chicago is 3-9 SU/2-10 ATS in its last 12 games with -8.2 net rating and a defense that is allowing 116.8 points per 100 possessions. To make matters worse, DeMar DeRozan is questionable to play with an adductor strain. The Pelicans have an incredible advantage in the frontcourt here. During this losing slump the Bulls are in they have been atrocious on the glass. Chicago has grabbed just 47.2% of available rebounds and 72.0% of defensive rebounds. These are two categories a team cannot struggle in when facing New Orleans. Given how poorly the Bulls have been playing, and the advantages the Pelicans have here, it makes sense that the home team is the favorite in this contest. Should DeRozan be made available this will move back toward Chicago, but this is not the matchup I would expect them to right the ship with.
*Phoenix Suns at Denver Nuggets (-3, 231)
The Suns’ comeback victory in Minnesota last night extended their winning streak to 6-0 SU/5-1 ATS and they bring that into this contest against the Nuggets tonight. Phoenix has plenty on the line tonight as well, as the team can clinch the top seed in the Western Conference with a victory here. If the Nuggets are going to ruin the party tonight they have to be much better defensively. Over the course of the last nine games Denver is 5-4 SU/3-6 ATS with a 117.8 defensive rating. It will certainly be a challenge for the Nuggets to contain a Suns offense that has put up 128.9 points per 100 possessions during this winning streak, and 119.2 since the All-Star break. The market has moved in the direction of Denver here, but more than likely the move is due to the Suns coming in on the second leg of a back-to-back. Given how poorly the Nuggets have played on defense, and how bad this bench is for Denver, it would be underdog or pass here for me.
*Indiana Pacers at *Memphis Grizzlies (-12, 235.5)
At this point, who cares if Ja Morant is going to play or not? Memphis is now 15-2 SU/14-2 ATS without Morant on the floor and they have outscored opponents by 7.9 points per 100 possessions. Indiana will likely have trouble scoring against a defense that gives up 105.9 points every 100 possessions without Morant on the floor. Indiana fell to 3-5-1 ATS in its last nine games after the loss to Sacramento last night and is not in a backable position right now.
Washington Wizards at Milwaukee Bucks (-12, 233.5)
Washington is officially in Cancun mode and enters this game with a 1-7 SU/2-6 ATS record in its last eight games. Over the course of the eight games the Wizards are allowing 121.0 points per 100 possessions and have a -9.4 net rating. This is a matchup nightmare for Washington, which does not have a single answer for Giannis Antetokounmpo on this roster. Khris Middleton is still out with injury, but there is not a chance I would want a Wizards ticket tonight.
Best Bets Summary
Season Record: 75-62-2