NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Tuesday 10/18

By Jonathan Von Tobel  (Senior NBA Analyst) 

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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, and make sure to subscribe the Hardwood Handicappers podcast!

All game lines via the VSiN NBA Odds page.

Daily Recap

The season begins tonight, so instead of a recap let’s take the time to welcome you into our daily market report. As previously mentioned, this is where you will find analysis on the day’s slate of NBA action. There will be best bets, as well as updates on injuries and more. In the recap we will have a quick look back at the prior day of action and take note of any trends or injuries. 

Last season was a profitable one for the column. The record was 100-84-2 (54.3%) which returned 7.0 units of profit for an ROI of 4.94% over the course of the regular season and postseason. The hope is that we can grind out a profit every season, so here’s to a winning year for you and me!

Market Report for Tuesday, October 18th

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

**Lines are opening numbers

Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics (-3.5, 214.5)

The line has steadily been moving toward Philadelphia here tonight and for good reason. Robert Williams is sidelined while he recovers from a knee procedure and that is a massive absence for Boston, both figuratively and literally. Williams improved the team’s net rating by 10.5 points per 100 possessions when he was on the floor and opponent effective field goal percentage dropped by 2.2%. Now, the Celtics will have a center rotation behind Al Horford that consists of Luke Kornet, Blake Griffin and Grant Williams for some smaller lineups. That is a massive disadvantage when facing Joel Embiid and the 76ers.

Philadelphia comes in as a potentially undervalued team, as it does not seem the market has not realized how good this team could be this season. Embiid and James Harden formed one of the best duos in the league last season, averaging 124.1 points per 100 possessions when on the floor together with a + 15.8 net rating. PJ Tucker will improve their defensive rating tremendously and fits well off the ball with those ball-dominant players and they have Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris who are solid catch-and-shoot threats who can score in isolation as well.

William Hill opened this game Boston -6 in the offseason and since it has been nothing but negative news for the defending Eastern Conference champions. This number is now -2.5 across the board and one could still make the argument that the 76ers are still being undervalued. Last season homecourt was valued at 1.7 points, and if you’re coming into this season using a similar figure then 2.5 would tell you that Boston is still a better team than Philadelphia even with the absence of Williams. That is not something I agree with, but with this number too far gone this is going to be a game to attack from an in-game standpoint.

Los Angeles Lakers at Golden State Warriors (-5.5, 227.5)

Injuries are already a small issue for Los Angeles as they get ready to face the defending champions. Thomas Bryant, Troy Brown Jr. and Dennis Schroder are all out tonight The Bryant injury is a damaging one, as he figured to play a prominent role at center for the Lakers this season. Damian Jones should get most of the minutes at the position tonight, but it will be interesting to see if Bryant’s absence forces Anthony Davis into more minutes at the five. If that is the case, then this Lakers team will be in a position to maximize its potential against a Warriors team that loves to play small itself.

Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green and Kevon Looney outscored opponents by 17.1 points per 100 possessions in the playoffs last year, but not a single possession was played by this group in the regular season. Those five figure to take the floor tonight against the Lakers, and Steve Kerr still has his vaunted ‘Poole Party’ lineup at his disposal with the newly paid Jordan Poole coming off the bench. The Warriors are arguably better this season than last, and the betting market is seemingly buying into that narrative. 

This line opened Golden State -5.5 in the offseason and the injury news for Los Angeles has pushed this up to -7 consensus, although there are some 6.5 out there. If you can grab 6.5 or better that would be the way to go tonight. Los Angeles has a lot to figure out with its rotations, and the injury situation is a negative one. There are those who believe that ‘ring night’ for defending champions are distracting, but the NBA Finals winners are 8-2 SU/6-4 ATS the last 10 seasons in their season opener. Don’t buy into narrative trends like that.

Best Bets

None for now. These numbers have been up for a long time, and there are numbers that I have bet that are long gone. Look for in-game opportunities on Philadelphia and Golden State tonight.

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