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All game lines via the VSiN NBA Odds page.
Market Report for Wednesday, November 2nd
* Indicates team is on the second leg of a back-to-back
**Lines are opening numbers
Record: 11-10 | Units: + 0.56 | ROI: + 2.85%
Memphis Grizzlies (-4.5, 227) at Portland Trail Blazers
Memphis is coming off consecutive losses to Utah, and in those losses the team continues to look like one missing some of its best defenders from last season. The Grizzlies have allowed 120.5 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time this season, which is the second worst defensive rating in the league. Specifically, their halfcourt defense has been picked apart for 1.0 point per play, and opponents are grabbing 31.2% of their missed attempts against the Grizzlies. Those are problems against the Trail Blazers which have shown the ability to offensive rebound and score in the halfcourt. Portland is fourth in halfcourt offensive rating (100.2), second in points per 100 misses (24.4) and 13th in offensive rebounding rate (27.5%).
Damian Lillard is still out with a calf injury and Josh Hart is questionable after entering concussion protocol on Friday, but it seems Hart is making some quick progress on a return. Even if he does not play I am willing to take the points with the home underdog tonight. Memphis is now 2-4-1 ATS on the season, but here it is laying 4.5 on the road against Portland after closing -3.5 and -2 against Utah its last two games and losing those both outright. This team clearly has some issues on defense, but the market still wants to believe it is the team from last season. I do not believe that to be the case.
Play: Trail Blazers (+ 4.5)
Los Angeles Clippers (-4.5, 223.5) at Houston Rockets
The most disappointing aspect of both these teams’ season so far are the struggles on offense. Houston was supposed to be somewhat effective on that end of the floor with Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. but that has not been the case and the team has averaged just 105.7 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time this season. Los Angeles has been even worse, putting up an offensive rating of 100.9 through seven games while failing to top 100 points four times this season. When these two teams met on Halloween those disappointing offenses combined for 188 total points in an ugly game which the Rockets lost, but covered in. The closing total in that contest was 224.5 and there has not been much of an adjustment in this total tonight.
Los Angeles is 1-6 to the Under this season due to its terrible offense, but also due its defense which has allowed the sixth fewest points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time (108.2) and its pace (99.71 possessions per game). When these two teams met on Monday the pace was dictated by the Clippers, as there were only 98 possessions for each team. Even with better efficiency a similarly paced game would have some trouble getting Over 224 and Los Angeles is good enough on defense that I would not expect a much better offensive showing from Houston, even with the change of venue.
Play: UNDER 224
Best Bet Recap
Trail Blazers (+4.5)
Clippers/Rockets UN (224)
Boston Celtics (-2, 222) at Cleveland Cavaliers
Darius Garland practiced for the first time since he suffered his eye injury in the first game of the season, and he is listed as questionable to play tonight. It remains to be seen if he will have any sort of restriction, but his presence is huge for a Cleveland team which has exceeded expectations early. The Cavaliers have won and covered five straight, and they are second in defensive efficiency (106.1) and first in net rating (+ 11.5). There is an argument to be made that their schedule has not been among the best in the league, but they did beat this Boston team on Friday and averaged 1.234 points per possession in the process. The Celtics bounced back from that loss with a win over Washington which was its best defensive effort of the season. Boston ranks 21st in defensive efficiency this season (115.1) and until that starts to show some consistency it’s hard to back them at their current market rating.
Utah Jazz at Dallas Mavericks (-7.5, 222)
Utah continues to deliver, and the market is buying in at every turn. This opened Dallas -7.5 but is now -6 consensus on the screen, and it is not likely heading back toward the home team. The Jazz are now 6-2 SU/5-2-1 ATS on the season so it’s easy to see why the market is on the bandwagon, but there are a few things we can point to that show the flaws with this team. Defensively they have allowed only 110.9 points per 100 possession in non-garbage time minutes, but some of the shot quality data would suggest they’ve received some luck on that end of the floor. Their defensive location effective field goal percentage of 54.0% ranks 16th as opposed to the 10th place ranking of their actual allowed effective field goal percentage (52.3%), and their opponents are just shooting 33.9% on wide-open 3-point attempts through eight games. There is not a terrible plunge down the standings coming for this team, but they are worse defensively than their numbers suggest and with an average offense this team is going to find its way back down to earth.
Washington Wizards at Philadelphia 76ers (-8, 220)
Joel Embiid did not play against Washington on Halloween, and he is questionable to play again tonight. Philadelphia’s offense took care of business in winning 118-111 and averaging 1.204 points per possessions, but some of their weaknesses were still apparent. The Wizards started 21.4% of their possessions with a transition play, and off live rebounds they added 4.8 points to their offensive rating, something that has been an issue all season for the 76ers. Embiid has obviously had some conditioning issues this season, and that has shown when he is on the floor and I could make the argument his presence hurts Philadelphia in this matchup. When he is on the floor the 76ers’ transition defensive rating jumps by a staggering 29.1 points per 100 plays and opponents add 8.6 points per 100 possessions through transition play with Embiid out there. Despite the potential of Embiid’s return this number is down to -6.5 consensus which does speak to the market’s lack of trust in Philadelphia.
New Orleans Pelicans (-3, 229) at Los Angeles Lakers
Anthony Davis is questionable to play and that is what kept me away from supporting Los Angeles tonight. The Lakers have the size to matchup with the Pelicans up front if Davis is available, but with him potentially out I will have to wait for clarity on his status. Russell Westbrook moving to the bench has helped this team’s offensive production, and it is no coincidence that Los Angeles put up its best individual offensive rating of the season in his second game in that role. If Davis plays I will look for a good in-game opportunity on them tonight. The side and total have been stuck on the opening numbers, so there is no real hunger from the market to get involved now either.
Charlotte Hornets at *Chicago Bulls (-5.5, 228.5)
Chicago dispatched a reeling Brooklyn Nets team last night and it would seem they should be able to do the same tonight against an arguably worse – although maybe not – Charlotte team. However, I would monitor the injury report tonight. The Bulls have been cautious with Zach LaVine’s recovery from knee surgery, and he was questionable yesterday before playing. The same could be said for Ayo Dosunmu who was dealing with injury before yesterday’s game. The market has barley budged from the open of Chicago -5.5 but we have seen a real move to the Under as the consensus number is 223.5 right now.
Sacramento Kings at *Miami Heat (-7.5, 223.5)
Miami outscored Golden State 30-15 last night to snap its 1-3 SU and ATS slide, but the market loves Sacramento and we’re seeing support for the Kings in this spot tonight. The love for the Kings that the market has this season is not something I have understood entirely, but the team is 4-1 ATS in its last five games, so those supporters have been on the right track. De’Aaron Fox is out tonight with a bone bruise in (On?) his knee as well which really turns me off the road team here.
Atlanta Hawks at New York Knicks (-2.5, 229.5)
Atlanta’s defense has really crumbled since the first two games of the season in which they faced two of the worst offensive teams in the league. The Hawks have allowed 115.5 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time, and over the last five game they are the second worst defensive team in the league with a 122.1 rating. On Halloween they were blown out by Toronto without Fred VanVleet and now they have to go New York to face the Knicks it what will always be a charged atmosphere for Trae Young. The market has held firm on the side, but not surprisingly we’ve seen this total get bet up to 234.5 consensus.
Toronto Raptors (-7.5, 225.5) at San Antonio Spurs
Fred VanVleet is questionable once more and San Antonio is one of the best cover teams in the league right now, so of course we’ve seen the line head toward the home underdog. Shot quality data would suggest that the Spurs’ offense is probably due for some regression, and a quality defensive team that has a bunch of 6-foot-7 wings that can defend is likely going to help spur (Get it?) that process along.
Detroit Pistons at Milwaukee Bucks (-12, 225)
Milwaukee might have failed to cover its first game of the season when it faced Detroit on Halloween, but the Pistons had no answer for Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Greek Freak put up 31 points on 12-of-23 shooting from the floor for his fifth 30-point game of the season. The Bucks closed as 13-point favorites on Monday and are now 11.5-points favorites tonight, showing a slight market adjustment from their first meeting.