NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Tuesday 4/5

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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, April 5th

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

**Lines are opening numbers

Best Bets

Atlanta Hawks at Toronto Raptors (-4, 226)

Toronto’s incredible run was ruined over the weekend when it allowed Miami to score 69 points in the second half and lost 114-109 at home. Still, the Raptors are 11-3 SU/10-4 ATS in their last 14 games with the second-best defensive rating in the league (108.3) and a + 8.5 net rating. They’re not the only team that comes in on a hot streak though, as the Hawks has won and covered five straight, and is 7-2 SU and ATS in its last nine games. Having said that, this is going to be the best team Atlanta has faced during this run. Of the seven teams the Hawks beat during this run only three rank higher than 17th on the season in net rating, and all three of them – Cleveland, Memphis, Golden State – were missing either their best player or key personnel that day. Toronto has OG Anunoby on the injury report tonight, but he is the only person of note that could miss this contest. Defensively, I believe the Raptors have the personnel to slow Trae Young and the Hawks who have averaged 119.6 points per 100 possessions during this run. They have limited their 14 opponents to 109.4 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time minutes, rank first in transition defense and have multiple defensive stoppers to throw at Young. If Anunoby plays it’s a bonus for Toronto, but I believe this team matches up well with a Hawks team that might be somewhat overvalued by the market because of a run against a soft schedule.

Play: Raptors (-3.5)

Houston Rockets at Brooklyn Nets (-18.5, 244)

Could the Brooklyn Nets cover this massive number against Houston tonight? Sure, it’s possible, but what have they shown us lately that would lead a bettor to believe it would happen? Brooklyn has failed to cover its last four games and the team is 2-6 ATS in its last eight with a + 0.7 net rating because of a defense that has allowed 115.2 points per 100 possessions. Just over two weeks ago this team was laying 14.5 against Portland at home and squeaked by 128-123 in a failed cover. Now, they host the Rockets which are amid a 6-3-1 ATS run and playing some decent basketball. The usual suspects are out for Houston but Jalen Green is playing some incredible basketball and this team should not be slept on to stay inside a number like this.

Play: Rockets (+ 17.5)

Best Games

Charlotte Hornets at Miami Heat (-5, 225.5)

The injury report is lengthy for Miami which makes handicapping this game nearly impossible this early in the day. Six players are questionable for the Heat tonight, and among them are Kyle Lowry, P.J. Tucker, Markieff Morris and Caleb Martin. It seems that Lowry’s status is closer to out, as the reports state that Erik Spoelstra is opting to give him a night off. We know that Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo will play, and with those two on the floor the Heat allow 104.4 points per 100 possessions which will come in handy against the high-flying Hornets. Charlotte continues to thrive after the All-Star break, posting a 119.3 offensive rating with an 11-7 SU/10-8 ATS record. However, their defense has been inconsistent as usual, allowing 115.9 points per 100 possessions, which is the likely path toward a win and cover for Miami here. On Saturday it’s how the 76ers won and covered against the Hornets, averaging 1.385 points per possession in a 144-114 blowout. The Heat’s offense has been much better recently with an average of 115.8 points per 100 possessions, and they should be able to exploit one of the worst defenses in the league. It could lead to a cover but given the massive number of questionable players for Miami, and the potential volatility of this number due to that, it leaves me on the sidelines.

Milwaukee Bucks (-3.5, 232.5) at Chicago Bulls

In three games Chicago has not seemed to have a real answer for the problems Milwaukee presents them on the floor, and there is little reason to believe that changes tonight with Giannis Antetokounmpo expected to play. The Bucks are 3-0 SU and ATS in three games against the Bulls with a + 12.4 net rating. Antetokounmpo has averaged 29.7 points and 15.0 rebounds per game on 56.1% shooting from the floor and Milwaukee has averaged 113.4 points per 100 possessions as a result. The inherent matchup advantages that the Bucks possess are why they are laying this number on the road, and they are why the market has pushed this number up to 5.5 at most shops. If Chicago is to stay inside that number and potentially win tonight it would be through its offense. Milwaukee has been very inconsistent on the defensive end of the floor lately, allowing its last five opponents to put up 124.4 points per 100 possessions, and the team has a -11.7 net rating in those games. The Bucks have been working Brook Lopez back in the rotation for a while now, but this defense does not have the identity it once did. Should Chicago pull this off, it is down the road of a stellar offensive performance and that is possible with Zach LaVine set to play tonight.

Memphis Grizzlies at Utah Jazz (-5.5, 224)

When we last saw Utah they blew a 21-point lead in San Francisco, losing to Golden State and falling to 1-6 SU/0-7 ATS in its last seven games. Defensively the Jazz have been a nightmare. Over the course of these seven games they have a 123.2 defensive rating, and that is with Rudy Gobert playing in six of the seven games. Their offense has become a perimeter-oriented slog, which favors contested jumpers over mismatches down low, and as a result they have averaged just 1.006 points per possession in the fourth quarter during this losing streak. The casual viewer cannot wait to dunk on Gobert as the problem, but the fault lies squarely in the laps of Donovan Mitchell and Quin Snyder. Now, this team has to put this together and face Memphis all while trying to keep themselves from falling into the play-in which they now only lead by 1.5 games. The Grizzlies are still playing without Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks is dobtful to play today, so the upstart second-teamers will be on the floor again today and I would expect that the betting market will fancy itself a play against Utah tonight. There is some value on that side by numbers, as I made this just about Jazz -4 but with nothing to play for we could see a fourth quarter of fringe bench guys from Memphis that would allow Utah to ultimately take this.

The Others

San Antonio Spurs at Denver Nuggets (-6, 234.5)

Given what is at stake for both teams in the final week this game would usually make the cut for best games, but it does not seem San Antonio is entirely too interested in grabbing the final play-in seed. Dejounte Murray and Doug McDermott will not play and Romeo Langford is questionable. The team was able to overcome the absences on Sunday against Portland to extend its run to 6-1 SU and ATS, but it’s a different task tonight against Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets. Jokic dropped 38 points on 15-of-22 shooting on Sunday against the Lakers and he could likely have a big game again tonight against the Spurs. Given the short-handed nature the Spurs bettors will likely be tempted to lay it with Denver, but remember that this team is 5-10 ATS in its last 15 because of a defense that has allowed 118.9 points per 100 possessions.

Philadelphia 76ers (-12.5, 233.5) at Indiana Pacers

Philadelphia took both side of a back-to-back over the weekend from Charlotte and Cleveland, but I have no idea how to handicap this team’s effort on a given night. Tonight, they should surely be able to throttle the Pacers. Indiana has been one of the worst defensive teams in basketball for a while now, ranking last in non-garbage time defensive efficiency (121.0) since the start of the calendar year and posting a -6.6 net rating over that same span. Having said that, I would not lay 11.5 on the road with this 76ers team with your money.

Cleveland Cavaliers (-8.5, 217.5) at Orlando Magic

Cleveland got off to a hot start against Philadelphia over the weekend, but ultimately fell short. The team is now 7-9 SU/5-10-1 ATS in the 16 games since losing Jarrett Allen to injury with a -2.7 net rating. The recent loss of Evan Mobley has not helped matters either, and now the betting market is asking you to lay 8.5 on the road with this team. No thanks. Orlando is just 2-8 ATS in its last 10 games, but one of those covers came against the Cavaliers on the road. I do not want to sweat out a Magic ticket tonight, but its painfully obvious the market has not adjusted its rating on Cleveland yet.

Washington Wizards at Minnesota Timberwolves (-11.5, 235.5)

Although they are officially eliminated the Wizards are playing solid ball right now, coming into this game 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games. In fact, their defensive rating over the course of those 10 games (114.8) is better than that of Minnesota (118.1) which is the double-digit favorite here tonight. Having said that, the Timberwolves have still outscored their opponents by 2.3 points per 100 possessions because of their high-paced offensive attack which is putting up 120.4 points per game. The Timberwolves will be plenty motivated as well, as only 1.5 games separate them and Utah which is now sixth in the Western Conference. This number is up to 12.5 which is understandable, but that is slightly higher than what I made it (-11).

New Orleans Pelicans (-7.5, 225) at Sacramento Kings

New Orleans is a game ahead of San Antonio for the 10th seed and two games up on Los Angeles which is 11th right now. All that matters for the Pelicans is winning and maintaining its spot in the ninth seed so it can host either the Spurs or Lakers in the play-in tournament. I have greatly upgraded the Pelicans in these recent weeks as this new starting lineup has solidified itself and the team deserves to be every bit of a 7.5 or 8-point favorite on the road against Sacramento. The Kings have been competitive in recent spots, and they had a stretch in which they posted an 8-3 ATS record over 11 games in March. However, their absences have caught up with them recently, as they enter this game 1-3 ATS with a -7.7 net rating and an atrocious 67.7% defensive rebounding rate which will burn them tonight.

Los Angeles Lakers at Phoenix Suns (-11.5, 231.5)

Both Anthony Davis and LeBron James are questionable to play tonight, but even if they do what are we to expect at this point? Davis and Russell Westbrook did everything they could on Sunday against Denver, combining for 55 points on 22-of-40 shooting, but the team’s poor defensive play ultimately led to their downfall. Now, they have to face Phoenix tonight with what is essentially the season on the line. The Suns might not have a single thing to play for, but given the contentious nature of this rivalry in recent months I would suspect that nothing would make Phoenix happier than putting the nail in the coffin of the Los Angeles Lakers. 

Best Bets Summary

Raptors (-3.5)

Rockets (+ 17)

Season Record: 80-63-2

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