NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Tuesday 1/25


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 Tuesday, January 25th

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

**Lines are opening numbers

Los Angeles Clippers @ Washington Wizards (-4, 218.5)

Washington comes in on an 0-3 SU and ATS slide, but the poor play stretches well beyond that short stint. Since Jan. 5 the Wizards are 4-6 SU/1-9 ATS with a dead-even net rating and a 113.2 defensive rating in non-garbage time minutes. The problem seems to be a market that has overvalued Washington. In seven of those 10 games they closed as a favorite, laying an average of 5.0 points per contest, and they failed to cover each. Los Angeles is on an eight-game road trip and last played Sunday in New York. The loss to the Knicks snapped a 3-0 ATS run for the Clippers and for the third time in four games the defense failed to show up, as New York put up a 115.8 offensive rating and shot 45.7% from beyond the arc. Los Angeles is a perimeter-oriented offense that is reliant on 3-point shots falling to have success. It’s unlikely the Clippers, which rank 28th in frequency of attempts at the rim, are going to challenge the league’s second-worst rim defense (68.4%). On the other end, Washington must find success inside against the fifth-best rim defense (62.1% allowed), and it might. Each of the Clippers’ last four opponents have been getting to the rim, taking an average of 32 attempts per game within four feet. If Los Angeles is going to allow Washington a path to the basket it’s in for a rough night. The market moved a half-point in favor of the home team here, but the move of consequence is to the Under with the total down two points. These are two below average teams in terms of pace, and both can defend the other’s strength relatively well which makes sense as to why this total would get played Under.

Denver Nuggets (-10, 218) @ Detroit Pistons

These two teams meet for the second consecutive contest after Denver won, but failed to cover, at home against Detroit on Saturday. The difference in the 117-111 loss for the Pistons was the 22 turnovers and subsequent 28 points allowed off those turnovers. It would stand to reason that cutting into those turnovers would allow Detroit to challenge Denver for an outright win tonight, especially given the recent defensive play of the Nuggets. Over the last four contests Denver has allowed 120.8 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time minutes and opponents have shot 39.2% from beyond the arc. The shot quality data would suggest a run of great shot making on low quality shots for the Nuggets’ opponents, so there is certainly a chance this defense reverts to form tonight against Detroit. Nikola Jokic ate Isaiah Stewart alive with a 34 point, 9 rebound and 8 assist night on 12-of-19 shooting and that mismatch will be there yet again for Denver. The Nuggets also took advantage of a defense that ranks 23rd in shots allowed at the rim by going 23-of-27 within four feet, and that mismatch will remain as well considering Denver takes 32.4% of its attempts inside and shoots 69.3% within four feet on the season. DraftKings opened this extremely high on the overnight, but its found its way back down to 6.5 which is right around where most shops opened this game. That is nearly a six-point swing from the -12 which was the closing number when these two met in Denver on Saturday. Homecourt is worth only two points this season, which would make this an over adjustment by the market on a team that has some real on-court advantages.

Play: Nuggets (-6.5)

Charlotte Hornets @ Toronto Raptors (-1, 221.5)

Charlotte ran into an adequate offensive team on Sunday and was subsequently handed a 113-91 loss at home by Atlanta. The Hawks took advantage of the Hornets defense in multiple facets of the game, shooting 38.9% on 36 attempts, averaging 1.034 points per play in the halfcourt and 1.5 points per play in transition. In theory, Toronto has the profile of a team that could exploit the weaknesses of Charlotte’s defense as well, but their offensive play of late has been poor. Over the last seven games the Raptors have averaged 106.4 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time minutes, and as a result they have a -4.7 net rating with a 2-5 SU and ATS record. Gary Trent Jr. did miss five of those contests with an ankle injury and he is a massive piece of their offense. With him on the floor their offensive rating improves by 7.1 points every 100 possessions, and it’s no coincidence they posted their best offensive rating in nearly two weeks when he returned against Washington on Friday. The Raptors thrive in transition on offense. They rank second in frequency of possessions started with a transition play and first in percentage of live ball rebounds leading to a transition play. They rank sixth and seventh respectively in points added per 100 possessions on offense in both of those categories. Charlotte ranks 21st and 23rd in defensive efficiency in both of those categories. The Hornets will have to contain the Raptors in transition, something they have not done well defensively all season, and they might have to do it without Gordon Hayward who is questionable with a foot injury. Given Hayward’s injury it’s not surprising to see this number move off the open toward Toronto, but expect buyback on the Hornets who are still 11-4 ATS in their last 15 games.

Los Angeles Lakers (-3.5, 226) @ Brooklyn Nets

For the first time since losing Kevin Durant to a knee injury the Brooklyn Nets return home. It was an uneven road trip for the Nets which went 2-2 SU and ATS and lost to Minnesota in a high-scoring affair on Saturday, but this will be a different team taking the floor tonight. Kyrie Irving is not available due to COVID restrictions in Brooklyn, and it will James Harden on his own facing Los Angeles. When Harden is on the floor without either Irving or Durant the Nets are + 0.9 per 100 possessions with a 112.9 offensive rating. It’s not poor, but its nothing incredible either. The lineups with he and Patty Mills are the real difference makers, as Brooklyn is + 5.7 in those possessions and average 114.5 points per 100 possessions. This is still an above average offensive team as currently constructed, and it’s hard to believe that Los Angeles deserves to be a road favorite over this team. The Lakers are expected to get Anthony Davis back on the floor for the first time in over a month, but it’s likely not going to be the boon the market expects. Los Angeles is -2.9 in the possessions with him on the floor, and betting markets tend to overreact to the return of a star.  There are still quite a few shops with 3.5 on the board, but others have moved to 2.5 and that is correct direction. Davis’ presence should improve the Lakers’ defense, but he’s been an inefficient offensive player who has brought down their offensive rating by 5.7 points every 100 possessions. His presence seems to be inflating this line, so this is a buy-low spot on the home team for me.

Play: Nets (+ 3.5)

Sacramento Kings @ Boston Celtics (-8, 219)

The win over Washington on Saturday snapped an 0-2 SU and ATS slide for Boston, but the month of January has been pretty hit-or-miss for the Celtics. They are 7-5 SU/4-8 ATS in 12 games this month with an inefficient offense that has averaged only 112.0 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time minutes. The floor of this offense will likely be higher tonight against Sacramento though. The Kings have allowed 133 points to each of their last two opponents and in January they have allowed 118.4 points per 100 possessions. It is the offense that has allowed Sacramento to cover four of its last six games, and it makes this matchup tonight fascinating. Boston has maintained an extremely efficient level of play on defense throughout the season and come into this fifth on the season (107.8). The Celtics are second in frequency of attempts allowed within four feet (27.7%) and third in opponent shooting on short mid-range attempts. That second category is important because the Kings live in that area of the floor on offense. They take 24.4% of their attempts from 4-to-14 feet which is the fourth-highest rate among NBA teams. Sacramento also runs quite a bit. The team ranks 11th in transition frequency on offense and sixth in offensive efficiency in transition (129.1). If the Celtics have struggled in one area defensively it is defending the fastbreak, where they rank 17th in defensive efficiency (122.5). For that reason, it’s not surprising that the market has bumped up the total to 221 at most shops, as both teams should be able find success on offense.

San Antonio Spurs (-5.5, 219) @ Houston Rockets

San Antonio’s slide continued against Philadelphia on Sunday when it fell 115-109 on the road. In January the Spurs are 3-10 SU/4-9 ATS with a -6.4 net rating. The failings have come on both ends of the floor for San Antonio, but the real downfall has been on offense. In December, the Spurs were third in non-garbage time offensive efficiency with an average of 116.0 points per 100 possessions, but in January they are putting up 7.4 points fewer. However, a perfect remedy for an ailing offense should be playing the worst defense in the league, and that is exactly what Houston is. The Spurs could take advantage of a defense that is allowing opponents to shoot 43.1% from mid-range and 67.0% within four feet, two areas of the floor San Antonio frequents on offense. Given those reasons it’s not surprising that the market is supporting the Spurs here, but I would caution anyone laying this number on the road given the Spurs’ inefficient defensive play that has them 20th in non-garbage time defensive efficiency.

Dallas Mavericks @ Golden State Warriors (-5, 212)

It is painfully obvious these offensive issues are going nowhere for the Golden State Warriors, and now they must face what has been the best defense in the NBA for nearly a month. Since Dec. 31 the Mavericks are allowing only 100.3 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time minutes and as a result are a staggering 13-1 to the Under over that stretch. Over the last two months the Warriors are 27th in offensive efficiency (108.1) and fourth in defensive efficiency (105.4) which makes it seem that bettors are destined to see a low-scoring defensive affair tonight in San Francisco. Klay Thompson is also questionable to play with knee soreness and Draymond Green remains out with back and calf issues leaving Golden State’s offense extremely short-handed. Surprisingly, we have not seen much movement on this total as it is 211.5 at most shops, but there is not much evidence to support a higher scoring affair. There was some support for Dallas on the overnight, but the line is starting to creep back toward Golden State despite a 4-10 ATS slide over the last 14 games.

Best Bets Summary

Nuggets (-6.5)

Nets (+ 3.5)

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