NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Thursday 3/3

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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 Thursday, March 3rd

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

**Lines are opening numbers

Best Bets

Memphis Grizzlies (-3,224) at Boston Celtics

Boston will not have Jaylen Brown tonight after he suffered that ankle injury against Atlanta on Tuesday. However, even with Brown’s injury accounted for its hard to make the case for the Grizzlies to be favored on the road the way the Celtics have been playing. For those who have been buried under a rock, Boston is 12-2 SU/8-5-1 ATS with a league-leading net rating (+ 15.4) and defensive rating (101.1) during that stretch. They’ve been effective in every area of the floor, and even in a game without Brown they will likely not drop off much given how well Derrick White has played for them since the trade deadline With White on the floor the Celtics are + 15.6 per 100 possessions. He improves their defensive rating by 8.7 points per 100 possessions and he’s an incredible transition defender which goes a long way in a matchup like this. This comes down to the number right now. Homecourt is worth two points this season, and with this number opening at Grizzlies -3 oddsmakers told the market they were five points better on a neutral court which is way to strong. These two teams should be nearly identical from a power rating perspective, so anything under Celtics -2 is worth playing. Right now, bettors can grab PK at Circa.

Play: Celtics (PK)

Best Games

Chicago Bulls (-4.5, 231) at Atlanta Hawks

This number looks somewhat high at first glance, but with Trae Young considered questionable with the ankle sprain he suffered in the loss to Boston on Tuesday. If Young can play this number should drop at least two points given the ability of the Hawks to score against the Bulls’ defense. Atlanta has averaged 113.6 points per 100 possessions against Chicago this season, but Young himself has struggled in the matchup with an average of 23.0 points per game on 33.3% shooting from the floor. Even if he plays it would be hard to consider the home team here. The Hawks have struggled to defend the Bulls and are 0-3 SU and ATS against them this season with a -10.3 net rating. Keep an eye on DeMar DeRozan here, as he has killed Atlanta this season with an average of 30.7 points per game on 62.7% shooting from the floor. 

*Miami Heat (-3, 221) at Brooklyn Nets

Kevin Durant makes his glorious return for Brooklyn tonight after missing the last 21 games with a knee injury. The Nets went 5-16 SU/7-13-1 ATS without Durant, were outscored by 8.9 points every 100 possessions, ranked 19th in offense (111.5) and 29th in defense (120.4). All of those metrics will improve with Durant on the floor, and he will likely have a similar, if not more impactful, effect on this roster than when Irving is running the show. Seth Curry, Patty Mills and Durant on the floor together make a dynamic offensive trio for Miami to have to contend with on the second leg of a back-to-back after a crushing loss in Milwaukee last night. There is no indication Durant will be under a minutes restriction of any sort either. Situationally, it is a spot that seems to be in favor of the Heat’s opponent and that opponent just so happens to be getting one of the best players in basketball back on the floor. Durant’s form is too much of an unknown for me at this point, but I would agree with the market bumping this number down a half-point or further.

Golden State Warriors (-2.5, 218.5) at Dallas Mavericks

On Sunday these two teams met, and the Mavericks used a 26-1 run to overcome a 21-point deficit and win 107-101 in San Francisco. Golden State is now 1-9 ATS in its last 10 games and 15-27 ATS over the course of its last 42 games. Despite overwhelming evidence this team is just above average as opposed to elite, the market refuses to budge. The Warriors opened as a 2.5-point favorite on the overnight line against a team they are power rated similarly as, and bettors have sharpened this market correctly, as Dallas deserves to be favored here at home. Over the same stretch the Mavericks are 27-16 SU/26-17 ATS with the third-best net rating in the league (+ 6.8). That team deserves to be an underdog at home to the former? Not at all. Similar to the Boston game discussed in this column earlier, I would not fault anyone laying the number the homecourt advantage of two, as these two are equals from a power rating standpoint.

Los Angeles Lakers at Los Angeles Clippers (-2.5, 218.5)

Many believe that desperation is a key factor in handicapping some contests, and many believed the desperate Lakers would be live against Dallas on Tuesday. Well, outside of a hot shooting third quarter they had nothing and fell to 1-6 SU/2-4-1 ATS in their last seven games. The Lake Show has been hurting for offensive production during this losing streak, as the team has put up 107.2 points per 100 possessions and now they face a defense playing some of its best basketball right now. The Clippers come in 6-1 SU and ATS in their last seven games with a + 7.6 net rating because of a defense allowing only 103.0 points per 100 possessions. When these two teams met in the first game out of the break the Lakers were limited to 1.0 point per possession in a 105-102 loss. Given the recent form of the Lakers and how well the Clippers have been defending it is hard to build a case for the underdog tonight.

The Others

Detroit Pistons at Toronto Raptors (-8.5, 216)

Detroit is a team bettors should be wary of fading down the stretch. The Pistons are young, talented and have shown no desire to “tank” down the stretch. In fact, the team reportedly had the dreaded team meeting before embarking on this current 3-2 SU/5-0 ATS run that it is currently on. Toronto has plenty to play for, and is in great position after sweeping back-to-back games against Brooklyn on Monday and Tuesday, but the roster has been hit with injury. OG Anunoby is questionable to play and has missed time with a finger injury that caused him to see a specialist, and Fred VanVleet did not play in either game against the Nets. This number might seem right given the opponent, but given the Pistons’ recent form and the injuries the Raptors are dealing with its hard to make the case for laying this many points.

Best Bets Summary

Celtics (PK)

Season Record: 66-57-1

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