NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Tuesday 1/11

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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 Monday, January 10th

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

**Lines are opening numbers

Oklahoma City Thunder @ Washington Wizards (-9.5, 216.5)

The betting market has a respect for Washington that I cannot quite figure out. Yes, the team did go on a 6-1 ATS run from Dec. 18 to Jan. 1 but it closed as an underdog in five of those contests. The Wizard also just barely got by in those contests, outscoring the opposition by 0.2 points every 100 possessions. Over the last four games the team is 2-2 SU/1-3 ATS and has been outscored by 0.9 points every 100 possessions. Against Houston and Orlando, the Wizards closed -7 and -7.5 and failed to cover both, losing the game to the Rockets outright. Here today, they open as 9.5-point favorites at home over a Thunder team that it, at worst, power rated the same as the Rockets. Washington is a below average defensive team that allows 111.1 points per 100 possessions and gives up 68.7% at the rim. Oklahoma City’s offensive philosophy begins with dribble penetration and shots within four feet. They lead the league in drives (63.9) and are 14th in frequency of attempts at the rim (32.4%). It stands to reason that the Wizards would have trouble limiting attempts inside, and when these two met in November the Thunder took 32 shots at the rim and drew five shooting fouls. On the flip side, Oklahoma City prioritizes rim defense and it shows, as the team is sixth in rim attempts allowed and seventh in opponent rim shooting (63.0%). This philosophy has led to some poor perimeter defense, but Washington is 28th in 3-point shooting (32.9%). Not only is this matchup that could work in the the Thunder’s favor, but it’s a number that is inflated by my own ratings, so give me the underdog here.

Play: Thunder (+ 9.5)

Phoenix Suns (-3.5, 223.5) @ Toronto Raptors

Toronto’s improved health has led to an impressive run of wins. The Raptors come into this contest on a 6-0 SU winning streak, and since Dec. 1 the team is 11-4 SU/12-3 ATS with a + 5.0 net rating. There are injury concerns tonight, as both Gary Trent Jr. and Scottie Barnes are questionable to play, but there seems to be some positivity around Trent’s availability. The influx of health has allowed the Raptors to put forth a much better effort on defense, and their defensive rating over these 15 games (109.1) is much better than what we saw the 37 games prior (110.8). That improved defensive play will be important against a Phoenix team finally navigating its way out of a COVID outbreak. Deandre Ayton, JaVale McGee and Jae Crowder are back from COVID protocol, as is head coach Monty Williams. The first game back for the trio resulted in a 23-point loss at home to Miami, but with two days off to get acclimated the effort from Phoenix tonight should be much better. The matchup to watch here is going to be how Toronto defends Chris Paul and the Suns’ mid-range game. Phoenix takes the most mid-range attempts of any team in the league and shoots 45.4% on those shots, and as a result it is sixth in halfcourt offensive efficiency (97.1). During this 15-game run for Toronto the Raptors have limited opponents to 37.3% on mid-range attempts, but they have been somewhat average in defending halfcourt sets (94.8). Should they be able to hold up on that end of the floor Toronto’s transition offense, which has been great during this run, can really bother the Suns which are allowing 119.4 points per 100 plays in transition this season. No play for me in this one. It is not surprising that the overnight move was toward Phoenix, but 4.5 seems to be the peak as it disappeared early this morning. As for the total, the perfect run of Overs without fans in the stands was snapped on Sunday, but there has been a slight move toward the Over tonight at a few shops.

Golden State Warriors (-1.5, 218.5) @ Memphis Grizzlies

Can anyone stop the Memphis Grizzlies? They take a 9-0 SU/8-1 ATS win streak into tonight’s meeting with Golden State, and dating back to Nov. 28 the team is 19-4 SU/17-6 ATS with a + 13.1 net rating. The biggest difference for the Grizzlies has been a defense that has limited opponents to just 101.8 points per 100 possessions and they face a Warriors team that has been looking for consistency on that end of the floor. Stephen Curry’s night off in New Orleans seemed to work wonders, as he came back on Sunday to score 28 points on 10-of-21 shooting from the floor, but Golden State still only managed 1.055 points per possession against Cleveland. It seems plausible this unit will continue to struggle against the Grizzlies given the way they have been playing defensively, even with Klay Thompson back in the mix. Thompson was good in season debut, but in the limited time we saw him in action Golden State posted a -11.4 net rating and averaged just 1.0 point per possession. It’s not breaking news to say it will be a work in progress for the Warriors to integrate Thompson back into the lineup, but it’s worth stressing to bettors reading this column not to overvalue his presence. This number opened -1.5 on the overnight and currently sits at -2.5 at most shops, but aren’t we at the point with Memphis now that they deserve to be favored at home even against Golden State? Draymond Green is not going to play, and both Gary Payton II and Otto Porter Jr. are questionable. Memphis is without Dillon Brooks but the rest of this roster is intact, so the health situation is clearly in favor of the home team. 

Phoenix Suns (-3.5, 223.5) @ Toronto Raptors

Toronto’s improved health has led to an impressive run of wins. The Raptors come into this contest on a 6-0 SU winning streak, and since Dec. 1 the team is 11-4 SU/12-3 ATS with a + 5.0 net rating. There are injury concerns tonight, as both Gary Trent Jr. and Scottie Barnes are questionable to play, but there seems to be some positivity around Trent’s availability. The influx of health has allowed the Raptors to put forth a much better effort on defense, and their defensive rating over these 15 games (109.1) is much better than what we saw the 37 games prior (110.8). That improved defensive play will be important against a Phoenix team finally navigating its way out of a COVID outbreak. Deandre Ayton, JaVale McGee and Jae Crowder are back from COVID protocol, as is head coach Monty Williams. The first game back for the trio resulted in a 23-point loss at home to Miami, but with two days off to get acclimated the effort from Phoenix tonight should be much better. The matchup to watch here is going to be how Toronto defends Chris Paul and the Suns’ mid-range game. Phoenix takes the most mid-range attempts of any team in the league and shoots 45.4% on those shots, and as a result it is sixth in halfcourt offensive efficiency (97.1). During this 15-game run for Toronto the Raptors have limited opponents to 37.3% on mid-range attempts, but they have been somewhat average in defending halfcourt sets (94.8). Should they be able to hold up on that end of the floor Toronto’s transition offense, which has been great during this run, can really bother the Suns which are allowing 119.4 points per 100 plays in transition this season. No play for me in this one. It is not surprising that the overnight move was toward Phoenix, but 4.5 seems to be the peak as it disappeared early this morning. As for the total, the perfect run of Overs without fans in the stands was snapped on Sunday, but there has been a slight move toward the Over tonight at a few shops.

Golden State Warriors (-1.5, 218.5) @ Memphis Grizzlies

Can anyone stop the Memphis Grizzlies? They take a 9-0 SU/8-1 ATS win streak into tonight’s meeting with Golden State, and dating back to Nov. 28 the team is 19-4 SU/17-6 ATS with a + 13.1 net rating. The biggest difference for the Grizzlies has been a defense that has limited opponents to just 101.8 points per 100 possessions and they face a Warriors team that has been looking for consistency on that end of the floor. Stephen Curry’s night off in New Orleans seemed to work wonders, as he came back on Sunday to score 28 points on 10-of-21 shooting from the floor, but Golden State still only managed 1.055 points per possession against Cleveland. It seems plausible this unit will continue to struggle against the Grizzlies given the way they have been playing defensively, even with Klay Thompson back in the mix. Thompson was good in season debut, but in the limited time we saw him in action Golden State posted a -11.4 net rating and averaged just 1.0 point per possession. It’s not breaking news to say it will be a work in progress for the Warriors to integrate Thompson back into the lineup, but it’s worth stressing to bettors reading this column not to overvalue his presence. This number opened -1.5 on the overnight and currently sits at -2.5 at most shops, but aren’t we at the point with Memphis now that they deserve to be favored at home even against Golden State? Draymond Green is not going to play, and both Gary Payton II and Otto Porter Jr. are questionable. Memphis is without Dillon Brooks but the rest of this roster is intact, so the health situation is clearly in favor of the home team. 

Minnesota Timberwolves (-3.5, 227.5) @ New Orleans Pelicans

Since Dec. 12 the Minnesota Timberwolves have been one of the best teams in basketball. They are 9-5 SU/11-3 ATS with a + 5.9 net rating in non-garbage time minutes over that span, and they enter this contest on a 4-0 SU run. The surprising factor in this winning streak has been Minnesota’s defense which has allowed 108.4 points per 100 possessions during this run and forced turnovers on 16.7% of opponent possessions. Those turnovers have led to scoring opportunities for the Timberwolves which means limiting turnovers is going to be a priority for New Orleans today. However, that is easier said than done for the Pelicans which are 25th in turnover rate (15.2%) this season. If they can limit the mistakes there are plenty of ways New Orleans can stay inside this number. The Pelicans take the third-highest rate of attempts inside four feet, and they face a Timberwolves defense which allows opponents to shoot 65.5% at the rim. They also are one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the league, grabbing 28.6% of their misses, and Minnesota struggles to keep opponents off the offensive glass. They are 30th in opponent offensive rebounding rate (28.5%), 28th in opponent offensive rebounding rate in halfcourt sets (28.7%) and 29th in opponent putback points per 100 misses (23.1), according to Cleaning The Glass. It might seem like an extremely specific edge for New Orleans, but its proven to be an important one. In three games against the Timberwolves they have a 38.0% offensive rebounding rate and have grabbed 54.4% of available rebounds. As a result, the Pelicans are 2-1 ATS against them this season despite putting up just 95.7 points per 100 possessions.

Play: Pelicans (+ 3.5)

Denver Nuggets (-1) @ Los Angeles Clippers

A matchup between two injury riddled teams offers little intrigue on my end. Los Angeles is 3-6 SU/4-5 ATS with a -5.5 net rating since losing Paul George to an elbow injury, and Denver is 5-4 SU/3-6 ATS with -1.0 net rating in its previous nine contests. The Clippers will not have Isaiah Hartenstein, Luke Kennard or Justise Winslow as well tonight, and the Nuggets just added Will Barton to the COVID protocol list. The noise around these rosters makes for a frankly challenging handicap, and one I do not wish to get involved with. It is worth mentioning that Los Angeles has shown some fight in a few spots in which the market had undervalued them, the latest example coming Sunday. The Clippers closed + 4 against the Hawks and won outright behind a brilliant 12-of-28 shooting performance by the team. Being able to replicate that would go a long way, but it’s easier said than done against a Nuggets team that ranks sixth in perimeter defense this season despite the personnel issues. There’s also the issue of defending Nikola Jokic. Hartenstein’s injury leaves a massive hole at center behind Ivica Zubac, and there is not many options for Los Angeles to defend Jokic who comes into tonight averaging 25.6 points, 14.6 rebounds and 7.4 assists on 53.4% shooting from the floor since the start of December. 

*Detroit Pistons @ Chicago Bulls (-13.5, 220.5)

How does Detroit follow up that performance? Last night, the Pistons took advantage of Rudy Gobert’s absence and smoked Utah’s defense for 1.273 points per possession and 126 total points in a 10-point win. Cade Cunningham and Saddiq Bey combined for 57 points on 20-of-31 shooting from the floor to improve the Pistons’ record to 4-2 SU and ATS in the month of January. This is by far the best stretch of basketball for Detroit, but its telling the team still has -5.0 net rating over the span of those six games. It might seem unlikely the Pistons can continue this run against the red-hot Chicago Bulls tonight, but there is certainly a scenario in which it happens. The Bulls might be 9-1 SU in their last 10 games, but they are just 5-4 ATS in those nine games and their defense has waned. According to Cleaning the Glass, Chicago is giving up 114.0 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time minutes which is 22nd in the NBA over that stretch. Alex Caruso is still sidelined as well, which means these defensive issues are not likely to correct themselves. However, the Bulls have been brilliant on offense with a 118.9 offensive rating in these nine games, meaning Detroit must defend at a high-level if it is to stay within a number like this. The market is bouncing around between 13.5 and 14 but given the way Chicago has defended recently it is tough to willingly lay such a large spread.

Best Bets Summary

Thunder (+ 9.5)

Pelicans (+ 3.5)

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