NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Tuesday 3/1

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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, March 1st

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

**Lines are opening numbers

Best Bets

Atlanta Hawks at Boston Celtics (-4.5, 224.5)

The market has certainly bought into the Boston Celtics, and its been apparent over the course of their last four games. After dispatching Philadelphia on Feb. 15 by 48 points Boston closed as a favorite in the next four contests, laying an average of 10.8 points per game. However, the Celtics have gone just 2-2 SU/1-3 ATS in those games, showing us that the market might be somewhat over its skis when it comes to the rating of this team. Today, we see the market jumping all over Boston yet again, driving this line up two points from the open to -6.5 at almost every shop. One would argue that these two teams met prior to the break in a game that the Celtics closed -7.5 and covered, but that contests was much closer than the final score indicated. Boston needed a 42-point third quarter to cover, and it was held to 18 points or fewer in two other quarters of play. These two teams are much closer from a power rating perspective by my own numbers, so I will grab the points with the underdog tonight. Atlanta showed it’s still a deadly offensive team without John Collins in the win over Toronto, averaging 1.283 points per possession in a blowout win over the Raptors on Saturday. The Hawks also hold the series lead this season 2-1 and have outscored the Celtics by 5.5 points per 100 possessions.  A number like 6.5 indicates that Boston is 4.5 points better than Atlanta on a neutral court and would be 2.5-point favorites on the road, and that is not a number I agree with.

Play: Hawks (+ 6.5)​

Best Games

Golden State Warriors (-2, 232.5) at *Minnesota Timberwolves

Minnesota overcame a slow start in the first quarter last night to eventually win and cover against the short-handed Cavaliers. However, it was the eighth consecutive game in which the Timberwolves found themselves down by 10 or more points, a troubling trend that will get them in hot water against a team like the Warriors. Golden State is coming off that blown game against Dallas in which it led by 21 points in the third quarter only to lose by six points. Injuries continue to effect the Warriors as well, with Klay Thompson set to miss yet another game tonight with a non-COVID illness. The betting market has shown some early support here for the Timberwolves and I would agree with that support. Minnesota has played Golden State well this season, and while they failed to cover in a 124-115 loss in San Francisco on Jan. 27 it was an injury to D’Angelo Russell that made the difference and allowed the Warriors to pull away in the second half. Minnesota has added to its defensive gameplan over the last few weeks, shying away from blitzing Karl-Anthony Towns when he is engaged on pick-and-roll and showing more drop coverage. However, they still have that aggressive style of defense which could give a Warriors team which is 29th in turnover rate (15.4%) some problems.

Dallas Mavericks (-4.5, 217.5) at Los Angeles Lakers

It’s been a pathetic start to the final six weeks of the regular season for Los Angeles, and at this point there is no reason to believe that it is turning around anytime soon. In two games back from the break the Lakers have averaged 95.2 points per 100 possessions and failed to cover both contests. In the loss to New Orleans they were held to a meager 0.888 points per possession by league’s 19th-ranked defense. What are we supposed to expect against Dallas? The Mavericks have limited opponents to 108.6 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time minutes this season, and rank fourth in opponent points added per 100 plays through transition (+ 1.6). They locked up Golden State and limited them to 0.565 points per possession in their comeback win on Sunday, and could likely dominate Los Angeles on that end of the floor as well. It’s no surprise to see the market overwhelmingly support Dallas and push the line to -5.5 at most shops. Personally, I want no piece of the Lakers going forward, but I do not want to bet into inflated lines to “fade” them either.

The Others

Detroit Pistons at Washington Wizards (-5.5, 221.5)

Detroit deserves the support here and has rightfully received it. The Pistons are showing a youthful exuberance that has them on a 3-1 SU/4-0 ATS run right now, and the Wizards are in a freefall. Since Jan. 5 Washington is one of the worst, if not the worst, cover team in the league with a 5-17-1 ATS record (22.7%). The betting market has some odd respect for them despite a -4.4 net rating over that stretch, but it seems that bettors are finally waking up. Detroit does have some key role players on the report today in Hamidou Diallo, Frank Jackson and Marvin Bagley, but as long as the dynamic duo of Cade Cunningham and Saddiq Bey are active the Pistons are pesky.

Brooklyn Nets at Toronto Raptors (-6, 218.5)

Remember, the mandates in Toronto are the same as in New York, so that means no Kyrie Irving tonight despite the road venue. This means we view the Nets are the version that plays at home, and that version is 1-6 SU and ATS in its last seven with a -15.3 net rating and an offense that averages only 103.5 points per 100 possessions. Last night, it was more of the same with the Nets putting up just 0.944 points per possession while allowing 1.389 in non-garbage time minutes. The number is very inflated, so keep that in mind if playing the home team but there is nothing to indicate a play on Brooklyn is worth making.

Los Angeles Clippers (-6.5, 229) at Houston Rockets

Los Angeles’ comeback win over Houston snapped a 5-0 ATS run, but the Clippers are still 5-1 SU in their last six games and playing some incredible defense yet again. In those six contests Los Angeles has allowed 103.7 points per 100 possessions, and they have clawed their way to 1.5 games back of the seventh seed in the Western Conference. Houston’s cover on Sunday was just the third in the month of February and since Jan. 21 so it’s not exactly a team worth backing consistently. Having said that, they were catching this exact number in Los Angeles and now are at home which shows some inflation on the road favorite.

Best Bets Summary

Hawks (+ 6.5)

Season Record: 65-56-1

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