NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Tuesday 2/8

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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 Tuesday, February 8th

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

**Lines are opening numbers

*Phoenix Suns at Philadelphia 76ers (-2.5, 216.5)

This road trip for Phoenix has been much more challenging than previous road trips this season. The Suns opened their east coast swing with a loss in Atlanta before a bounce back against Washington two nights later. However, last night they fell apart in the fourth quarter and gave up 1.6 points per possession to fall to 1-2 ATS through three games on the trip. The bounce back tonight against Philadelphia is a brutal spot. Phoenix is playing its third game in four nights on the road, and a meeting with the team that beat them in the NBA Finals looms on Thursday. Regardless, from a pure number standpoint this price is incorrect and the market is getting it right in moving it toward Phoenix. Homecourt this season has been worth two points, so an initial open of 76ers -2.5 would indicate Philadelphia is the slightly better team which is not the case. The Suns should be favored here and it would not be a shock to see this flip and close Suns -1 which is a much more accurate price of a matchup like this. 

Boston Celtics (-3.5, 216.5) at Brooklyn Nets

Things are starting to look dire for the Brooklyn Nets. They enter tonight 0-8 SU/1-7 ATS in their last eight games, and the injury report looks bleak for this meeting with Boston. James Harden and Nic Claxton are questionable to play, LaMarcus Aldridge is out and Kyrie Irving is unavailable. If Harden cannot play Steve Nash could be forced to start Patty Mills, DeAndre’ Bembry, Kessler Edwards and James Johnson which is a less than effective lineup which has -20.3 net rating when on the floor. The sample size is small, but it’s clear this group is lacking if it is indeed the group that starts tonight. That is going to be a problem against Boston. The Celtics are 7-1 SU/5-3 ATS in their last eight games, and they’ve limited their eight opponents to 96.2 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time minutes. That brand of defense is par for the course for Boston which is now fourth on the season in defensive efficiency (106.4). It’s surprising to see this number for the Celtics on the road, but its largely due to Harden’s questionable status. 

Play: UNDER 216.5

Indiana Pacers at Atlanta Hawks (-9, 229)

Atlanta is 8-3 SU/7-3-1 ATS in its last 11 games due a largely healthy roster. They have hit a lull over the last four games, but it’s very clear this team is better than its current standing in the Eastern Conference, and the market certainly buys into that notion given the power rating on this club. On the other end we have Indiana which is 2-7 SU/3-6 ATS in its last nine games, a span over which they have allowed 119.1 points per 100 possessions. It seems that this is the mismatch the market perceives it to be, but the Pacers might look quite different on the court tonight if they get some positive injury news. Domantas Sabonis made his return from injury against Cleveland, and Malcolm Brogdon, who has been out since Jan. 19, is on the verge of returning. When those two share the floor Indiana allows just 103.2 points per 100 possessions this season, and they have a + 5.9 net rating. Caris LeVert is no longer a member of the team, but when you factor in his absence the net rating actually improves to + 6.6, according to Cleaning The Glass. Should Brogdon be available tonight this would be a game worth looking at to go Under the total. The market has already started to shift due to his potential return with 226.5 starting to appear. This will not be the same Pacers team that has allowed seven of the last eight games to go Over the total if Sabonis and Brogdon play together.

Houston Rockets at New Orleans Pelicans (-6, 228)

The Pelicans are on a good run of basketball right now, riding a 3-0 SU streak into this contest with the Rockets on top of a 4-0 ATS stretch in their last four. This is one of those home-and-home series that have become more prevalent in NBA scheduling the last couple of years. New Orleans smoked Houston on Sunday 120-107 on its home floor with a great offensive performance. The Pelicans put up 1.237 points per possession and shot a combined 33-of-56 (58.9%) at the rim and from deep. It would be foolhardy to expect the league’s fifth-least efficient offense to replicate the same output, but when faced with a defense like the Rocket’s its hard to project otherwise. Houston has allowed 116.9 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time minutes this season which is the worst defensive rating in the league by 1.8 points. Since Dec. 1 that defensive rating is 121.3 and in those 33 games the Over is 24-8-1 as a result. One of their most impactful defenders in Eric Gordon is questionable to play as well, which makes it seem that we have the case for another game going Over the total in New Orleans.

Los Angeles Clippers at Memphis Grizzlies (-7, 228.5)

On paper this is a mismatch in favor of the home team. Memphis leads the league in defensive efficiency since Nov. 28 with an average of 105.2 points allowed per 100 possessions in non-garbage time minutes. Over that same time frame, Los Angeles is 26th in offensive efficiency with an average of 109.2 points scored every 100 possessions. The Grizzlies have the distinct upper hand here statistically, but lately the Clippers have found their groove on offense. In the last 11 games Los Angeles has averaged 115.6 points per 100 possessions and much of that is due to some fantastic shooting. Over the course of those 11 games the Clippers have hit 39.3% of their 3-point attempts and 42.4% of their corner 3-pointers. Their rate of attempts from 4-to-14 is up slightly during this run, so there is a slight change in their offensive profile, but this surge on offense is largely due to shots going down and that is not something to rely on consistently for a team like Los Angeles. The other problem is that this once dominant defense has slipped during this offensive spike, giving up 115.6 points per 100 possessions over the course of these 11 games and thus causing an 8-2-1 run to the Over for the Clippers. These factors are likely why the market is up to 8.5 on Memphis here. This hot shooting is likely to regress at some point, and when it does Los Angeles needs to have its affairs in order on defense, something that has not been the case recently. 

Detroit Pistons at Dallas Mavericks (-10, 215)

Cade Cunningham has missed the last three games and is questionable to play yet again tonight in Dallas. The Rookie of the Year candidate “got up shots” on Monday, so it seems that his return is imminent which is something the Pistons’ offense will desperately need against the Mavericks. Dallas showed up again on defense against Atlanta on Sunday, limiting the Hawks to 0.989 points per possession and less than 100 points in a win and cover at home. Defending the Pistons without Cunningham should be no problem, but harken back to the Feb. 2 game against Oklahoma City. The Thunder were short-handed and still averaged 1.14 points per possession in a 120-114 win for the Mavericks, but they failed to cover the 12-point spread. Dallas is an above average defensive team, but not elite despite what some of the numbers have shown. Even with the potential absence of Cunningham this seems like too large a number to swallow.

*New York Knicks at Denver Nuggets (-6.5, 217.5)

It’s the second leg of a back-to-back and the third game in four nights for New York and it’s in Denver which is one of the worst scheduling spots a team can be in. The Knicks are also coming off their second consecutive blown double-digit lead after their loss to the Jazz last night, so this is one of the lowest points of the season for New York. All these factors are why this number is up to as high as 8.5 in the market which seems extreme given the advantage the Knicks have when it comes to depth. Take Julius Randle off the court and the Knicks outscore opponents by 11.3 points per 100 possessions. It’s one player, but gives you an idea of how much better New York is when the role players are involved. That is a far cry from the -16.0 net rating for Denver when Nikola Jokic leaves the floor. The current line of 8.5 is too high given the differences between the two benches, but a slow start could be in the cards for the Knicks given the situation they’re in tonight. I’ll be hoping for that to happen so I can jump on New York in-game once Jokic leaves the court for the first time.

Milwaukee Bucks (-4.5, 230.5) at Los Angeles Lakers

Milwaukee brings a 3-0 SU and ATS winning streak into this contest with Los Angeles. I could argue that this is the best stretch of basketball for the Bucks since they went 5-0 SU/4-1 ATS in a five-game stretch at the end of December. This current winning streak comes on the heels of a 36-point loss to Denver last week which seems to have woken up Milwaukee, as the team was just 7-8 SU/5-10 ATS in the month of January. Los Angeles will also have to shore up its poor defense at the point of attack if it wants to limit the damage this Milwaukee offense can do. Opponents are taking 35.7% of their attempts within four feet and shooting 67.1% on those attempts. The Bucks thrive in attacking the rim with Giannis Antetokounmpo on the floor, so limiting dribble penetration will be key for the Lakers tonight. On the other end, one of the Lakers’ biggest shooting threats in Carmelo Anthony will not play tonight which is a massive blow as the Bucks’ defensive scheme allows opponents to shoot from distance. What will be the real matchup to watch is Los Angeles’ transition offense, which is one of the best in the league. They rank fourth in frequency and 10th in points per 100 possessions added through transition offense. That offense will have to find success against Milwaukee, which ranks second in transition defensive efficiency. The market has begun to move toward the Lakers here which is not surprising given the support Los Angeles gets regularly, but if this dips below one bucket count me in on the road team here.

Best Bets Summary

Celtics/Nets UN 216.5

Season Record: 60-51-1

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