NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Tuesday 10/26

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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 Monday, October 25th

It was a chalky day in the NBA yesterday, with favorites posting a 7-2 SU and ATS record with outright upsets by the Pelicans and Cavaliers. The most shocking upset of the season to date belongs to Cleveland, which closed + 400 on the moneyline in their 99-87 win over Denver. The Cavaliers gave up nothing along the perimeter, limiting the Nuggets to 8-of-35 shooting from beyond the arc, and this is the second straight game in which they have given up 1.0 point per possession or fewer. Remember, Cleveland started last season 3-0 SU and ATS before finishing with just 22 wins, but consecutive wins over Atlanta and Denver are good signs for a young team.

Brooklyn also bounced back from a loss to Charlotte on Sunday by defeating Washington 104-90 at home. This was a great example of the market overreacting to a single result, as the Nets went from -8.5 at open to -6 at close but the result was never in doubt. Having said that, the emerging storyline is of James Harden’s struggles early. Harden scored 14 points on 5-of-17 shooting from the floor on Monday and took just three trips to the free throw line. Brooklyn has been forthcoming in what they believe the new rules have done to Harden’s game and through four games Harden has struggled to adjust. 

Market Report for Tuesday, October 26th

It is the usual short slate on Tuesday with two primetime games on the schedule. The most fascinating of which will be in Utah where the Jazz will host a struggling Nuggets team.

Let’s begin:

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

**Lines listed are opening numbers

Philadelphia 76ers at New York Knicks (-1, 218.5)

For the third consecutive game Joel Embiid is on the injury report for Philadelphia with knee soreness, which is probably why this was the last game hung for the day. Embiid has played each of the last two games despite being listed as ‘questionable’ and there has been no development that should make bettors believe tonight will be any different. Once Embiid is announced the market will likely move toward Philadelphia, as we usually see in these instances. New York is coming off a loss to Orlando on Sunday in which the offense disappeared and averaged just 1.020 points per possession. That poor showing can be attributed to a poor shooting night in which the Knicks went 13-of-48 from the perimeter. New York has really steered into the 3-point shot being a massive part of its offense this season, and through three games 45.5% of their attempts come from deep. If that continues that is going to lead to some high variance with its offense, and they are going to have performances like that one. Philadelphia has done a good job defending the 3-point line, allowing just 33.3% shooting to opponents so far this season while also being tied for the highest rate of very tightly contested 3-point attempts. Embiid’s status always makes these games murky, but the 76ers should go off as the favorite when he is announced. I have a slight lean toward Philadelphia here, as I make them -1 over New York with Embiid on the floor, but nothing official with the chance Embiid is sidelined.

Golden State Warriors (-9, 224) at Oklahoma City Thunder

How impressive has this start been for Golden State? Beyond the 3-0 SU/2-1 ATS record is the fact that the Warriors have a + 2.8 net rating in the possessions without Stephen Curry on the floor. Their defense has been incredible in those minutes, giving up just 0.944 points per possession, and while that might not be sustainable in the long term, it might not matter in a game like this. Oklahoma City has shown next to nothing on both ends of the floor to start the season. Their offense is putting up just 95.3 points every 100 possessions in non-garbage time minutes, according to Cleaning The Glass, and they’ve been outscored by an incredible 25.2 points per 100 possessions. With Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Luguentz Dort on the floor, their two best players, the Thunder are still -26.8 per 100 possessions! The betting market is going to make its way toward Warriors -10 at some point, but the real intriguing side here is the total. Golden State is a sound defensive team with the ability to limit a young team like Oklahoma City that has struggled offensively. The Warriors are also going to get out and run, but they rank just 26th in offensive efficiency in transition. Oklahoma City runs the fourth-highest rate of halfcourt possessions so far this season and are 29th in offensive efficiency in those situations. This leads me to playing the total under 223.5 which is still available at the time of publication. 

Play: Under 223.5

Houston Rockets at Dallas Mavericks (-11, 220.5)

Dallas bounced back from an embarrassing loss to Atlanta in the season opener to take care of business in Toronto over the weekend. The team will play its first home game against the lowly Rockets, but I have questions about the power rating of Dallas. As conveyed in this column last week, I do not have faith in Jason Kidd as a coach. Through two games the rate of long mid-range attempts is up to 14.9% from last season’s 11.0% mark, and their rate of post-ups is up but they are shooting just 14.3% on those possessions. As a result their halfcourt offense is averaging just 90.0 points every 100 plays, a massive drop-off from the 102.2 offensive rating they posted in halfcourt situations last season. Houston has also shown a much better defensive ability in the halfcourt this season, limiting opponents to just 86.1 points per 100 plays and that includes holding Minnesota to an offensive rating of 88.6 in that blowout loss to start the year. The market is heading toward the Rockets here and I would agree with that play.

Los Angeles Lakers (-4, 220.5) at San Antonio Spurs

It is early but there has already been quite the move here on this line today. The initial support in the market came for the Los Angeles Lakers, moving them up to -5 at quite a few shops but the buyback has come and the Lakers are down to as low as -3.5 as of this morning. Los Angeles is 0-3 ATS on the season and has clearly been overvalued by the market and might be again here against a Spurs team which has shown some quality in a 2-1 ATS start. The real matchup will be in transition between these two clubs, as this game pits the 8th-ranked transition defense in San Antonio, against the 7th-most efficient offense in transition in Los Angeles. The Lakers put up their best offensive rating of the season on Sunday in a win over Memphis, but their defense struggled yet again and they find themselves 24th in non-garbage time defensive rating (112.2). As noted in our NBA Guide, this team sacrificed defensive play for the personnel it added and that has shown itself early on. Los Angeles has allowed opponents to take 38.4% of their attempts at the rim, and that failure to keep opponents out of the paint has led to a 48.1% shooting mark from the corners for Lakers opponents. Soft interior defense leads to kick-outs to open shooters and we have seen that. Until the Lakers show something of substance it is hard to make a case for laying points on the road.

Denver Nuggets at Utah Jazz (-7.5, 219)

The Denver Nuggets have a problem on offense, and it begins with the role players around Nikola Jokic. When Jokic leaves the floor the Nuggets have posted a -38.2 net rating and on offense they have averaged just 89.5 points every 100 possessions in those minutes. In our preseason analysis in the NBA Guide I wrote about my dislike for this bench, but these struggles have eclipsed my wildest dreams. Denver is getting just 27.7 points per game from its bench on 41.8% shooting from the floor and 27.9% shooting from the perimeter. It’s a problem that is not going away anytime soon and it is why they are such massive underdogs on the road in Utah. The Nuggets are currently averaging 99.3 points every 100 possessions on offense and now they face a Jazz team allowing 92.6 on defense. Denver got a massive win against the Suns to open the season but it’s clear the Suns have their own issues. I would expect the market move toward Denver here, and I show value by my own numbers, but its clear the Nuggets are worse than previously thought and it is hard to take the line value given what we know about this team.

Best Bet Summary

Warriors/Thunder UN 223.5 

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