NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Tuesday 2/1


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, February 1st

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

**Lines are opening numbers

*New Orleans Pelicans @ Detroit Pistons (-2, 215.5)

It’s a tough scheduling spot for New Orleans tonight which is playing on the second leg of a back-to-back and fourth game in five nights. The Pelicans offense continues to struggle without Brandon Ingram who missed his fifth consecutive game with ankle injury last night. Cleveland held New Orleans to 1.0 point per possession and over the course of the last three games the Pelicans are averaging just 101.1 points per 100 possessions. It seems like it’s the perfect spot for Detroit to extend its current 5-1 ATS run. However, betting the NBA is not that simple. The Pistons’ offense begins and ends with dribble-penetration. They rank fifth in both drives per game (50.9) and frequency of attempts at the rim (29.7%), but the Pelicans rank eighth in frequency of opponent attempts at the rim (29.7%). Jonas Valanciunas, who returned on Monday from illness, is a great deterrent at the hoop defensively. With him on the floor opponent rim frequency drops by 5.2% and their rim shooting by 3.3%. New Orleans is also a fantastic rebounding team, ranking sixth in overall rebounding rate (51.5%), second in defensive rebounding (75.1%) and fifth in offensive rebounding (29.6%). Detroit is the worst rebounding team in the league, ranking 30th in overall rebounding rate (47.5%). Ingram or not, there is certainly a scenario in which the Pistons struggle to keep the Pelicans off the glass and fail to cover tonight.

Washington Wizards @ Milwaukee Bucks (-11.5, 226)

Milwaukee has problems. The Bucks were housed by Denver at home over the weekend, losing 136-100 as a 6.5-point favorite and dropping them to 5-10 ATS in January. Perhaps a new month will bring new results, but bettors have seen nothing from Milwaukee to indicate that the team cares enough to cover numbers like this. In those 15 games the Bucks were + 1.1 per 100 possessions, ranking 15th in both non-garbage time offensive and defensive efficiency. Tonight, they get a reeling opponent in Washington which has lost five straight, is an abysmal 1-11 ATS in its last 12 games and missing Bradley Beal. The Wizards are also reportedly dealing with some internal strife, as it has been reported the players do not want Spencer Dinwiddie on the team anymore. Milwaukee takes a third of its attempts at the rim and shoots 69.9% within four feet when Giannis Antetokounmpo is on the floor, and that matters here against Washington which ranks 29th in opponent rim shooting (68.2%). The Bucks recent failings have me off the side here for the game, but a first half wager on Milwaukee against this reeling Wizards team is not out of the question.

*Miami Heat @ *Toronto Raptors (-2.5, 210.5)

Toronto bested Miami on Saturday in a triple-overtime classic, and now these two teams run it back in less than ideal situations for both clubs which are playing on the second leg of back-to-backs and for the third time in four nights. Both Jimmy Butler and P.J. Tucker got the night off in Boston on Monday, but I would expect that these two will be available tonight in Toronto and it seems like a better situation for the Heat here. Toronto’s rotation is a thin, eight-man group which relies heavily on its starters. Their starting five all played at least 54 minutes against Miami in that triple-overtime win and the trio of Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr. and Pascal Siakam all played 39+  minutes last night in Atlanta. With Butler and Tucker getting the night off and Bam Adebayo being pulled halfway through the fourth last night I would expect a much more rested, and motivated, Heat team taking the floor tonight. I will gamble on the status of Butler tonight and take the points with the underdog before official injury news.

Play: Heat (+ 3)

Orlando Magic @ Chicago Bulls (-10, 220)

Chicago is working its way through a soft portion of its schedule and they enter this contest on a 3-1 SU spurt over the last four games. The injury report remains the same for Chicago, with Javonte Green as the lone surprise on the report, but he is listed as probable to play here against Orlando. The Magic dropped the Bulls 114-95 in Orlando just over a week ago, so one would expect a fully focused effort from Chicago here, but trying hard can only go so far in masking inherent flaws. In their last two outings the Bulls allowed 1.242 and 1.323 points per possession Portland and San Antonio respectively. They clearly miss Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso along the perimeter on defense and that is not changing, even against an opponent like Orlando. Those defensive shortcomings are why the market has come off the overnight of -10 to a more reasonable -8.5 which is at most spots. The Bulls are still elite offensively, averaging 116.7 points per 100 possessions without Caruso and Ball on the floor and 127.5 when DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine are on the floor together.

Denver Nuggets @ Minnesota Timberwolves (-2.5, 225.5)

As mentioned in my interview on Follow The Money this morning, this game is all about the injury report for both teams. Denver has Nikola Jokic listed as questionable to play with soreness in his right foot, and if he cannot play the Nuggets are hopeless. The team is outscored by 15.4 points every 100 possessions when Jokic is off the floor this season They are averaging 101.8 points per 100 possessions on offense while giving up 117.2 on defense. Their most frequently used lineup without Jokic has a -24.8 net rating which is good for the 2nd percentile of qualified lineups. Minnesota has its own injury issues with D’Angelo Russell listed as questionable with the shin injury that knocked him out of the loss to Golden State on Thursday, but if Jokic is playing the injuries for Minnesota seem inconsequential given how inept the Nuggets have been without their best player.

*Golden State Warriors (-3.5, 227.5) @ San Antonio Spurs

Is Steve Kerr going to rest anyone of consequence tonight for Golden State? The Warriors are playing on the second leg of a back-to-back after getting a win and cover in Houston last night, and Kerr has rested players in these situations before. Klay Thompson, Steph Curry or any of the other veterans are candidates for a night, but no official word has come down yet. If that’s not the case one has to wonder what type of effort the Spurs are going to have on defense. Since the beginning of January opponents are averaging 114.9 points per 100 possessions, the 22nd defensive rating in the league over that span. While the Warriors have struggled offensively, they can still take advantage of poor defenses, as evidenced by their 125.8 offensive rating last night against Houston. 

Brooklyn Nets @ Phoenix Suns (-7, 225.5)

It’s not entirely surprising that the market is moving toward Brooklyn here given the potential of James Harden’s return from a hand injury that has kept him out the last two games. The Nets power rating is the lowest it has been all season long, but Harden and Kyrie Irving still form a dynamic offensive duo when on the floor together. Brooklyn is averaging 124.7 points per 100 possessions on offense with those two as its backcourt without Kevin Durant on the floor and with Patty Mills in the mix they outscore opponents by 8.7 points per 100 possessions. Phoenix is playing incredible basketball and has won 10 straight, and is 13-1 SU in its last 14 games, but Brooklyn with Irving and Harden are being severely underrated if they are catching seven here, especially with the absences of Jae Crowder and Deandre Ayton for the home team.

Best Bets Summary

Heat (+ 3)

Season Record: 58-46-1

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