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, April 19th
*Lines are opening numbers
Minnesota Timberwolves at Memphis Grizzlies (-7.5, 242)
Game 2: Timberwolves lead 1-0
I’m going back to the well here in this series. The betting market is too high on Memphis from power rating standpoint, and I will continue to play this angle until and adjustment is made, or the Grizzlies prove me wrong.
The gap between these two is not as wide as the market is saying it is, and Memphis has some questions to answer on the defensive end of the floor. Karl-Anthony Towns proved to be a matchup problem for them, scoring 29 points on 11-of-18 shooting from the floor. Anthony Edwards was a problem in every facet of the game, scoring 36 points on 12-of-23 shooting while hitting 3-of-4 attempts in the restricted area and 4-of-6 in the paint. Memphis usually employs a drop coverage scheme on defense, but in Game 1 they pressured ball screens often. It allowed Towns to get Morant on him multiple times and opened the floor for guys like Edwards.
The Grizzlies will likely change that strategy tonight, but it opens the door then for D’Angelo Russell who carved that defense up in the regular season for 31.0 points per game. Do not get it twisted: Memphis is a very good team. They destroyed Minnesota in transition in Game 1 by adding 4.2 points per 100 possessions and averaging 1.231 points per play in the break, but the play here is all about the number. This should be a number much closer to 4.5 as opposed to the -7 that is up across the board. Give me the underdog once more tonight.
Play: Timberwolves (+ 7)
Atlanta Hawks at Miami Heat (-7, 217)
Game 2: Heat lead 1-0
Is the first quarter going to be any better for Atlanta in this second contest? The Hawks were awful in the first quarter on Sunday and put up just 0.654 points per possession while looking sluggish in getting into their offensive sets. Trae Young did not hunt Max Strus as much as I thought he would and Atlanta refused to capitalize on the open 3-point looks Miami allowed them. While I expect a better effort from them tonight, I will admit some trepidation on my part in backing them.
The Heat demolished the Hawks’ shoddy perimeter defense that finished 26th in opponent 3-point shooting in the regular season by going 18-of-38 from beyond the arc. Atlanta refused to put a body on guys like Duncan Robinson, allowing him to get clean looks off screens, something that has been an issue for them all season. Miami also tested the league’s 26th-ranked defense by getting penetration and moving the ball which forced some pretty bad defensive rotations by Atlanta and resulted in 35 assists on 43 made shots! I adjusted my numbers after the first game and made this line 7.5 so there is no real value in either side for me. I will say that I tend to believe that this series is going to be a higher scoring one and for the second straight game we are seeing this number rise in the market which is a move I agree with.
New Orleans Pelicans at Phoenix Suns (-10, 221.5)
Game 2: Suns lead 1-0
The Pelicans’ massive starting lineup has been figured out, and the results have not been pretty. Jaxson Hayes got the start once more for Willie Green on Sunday but played only 11 minutes due to issues New Orleans faced. In the 11 minutes with both Hayes and Valanciunas on the floor Phoenix outscored them by 11 points and Hayes did not see the floor again from beyond the 7:56 mark of the third quarter. Green opted for a smaller lineup in the second half, and the results were much better. With Larry Nance at center the Pelicans were able to cut into the Suns’ lead and with a 16-2 run over the course of the final 5:37 of the third quarter. Those lineups will be critical in this series once more.
On Sunday I was on Phoenix -3 in the first quarter, playing against that giant starting lineup that Green had constructed, and I will do it once more if those five begin the game again. If that’s the case, when Nance hits the floor without either Hayes or Valanciunas it could provide an interesting in-game angle for bettors. Having said that, I am somewhat surprised by the market’s support for New Orleans early in this series. In Game 1 we saw the line plummet before tip to 9.5 and the Suns covered that line. Now we see the open of -10 down to 9.5 yet again with no indication that it is heading in Phoenix’s direction. I am big fan of New Orleans and the job Willie Green is done, but I am a bigger fan of the Suns and Monty Williams. Would not be shocked to see another cover tonight for the home team here.
Best Bet Summary
Timberwolves (+ 7)
Season Record: 85-67-2