NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Wednesday 12/1


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 Wednesday, December 1st

There are some fantastic contests on tonight's card, and hopefully some winners too!

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

**Lines are opening numbers

Minnesota Timberwolves at Washington Wizards (-3, 214.5)

The slide for Washington continued Monday with its loss to San Antonio, and the Wizards are now 3-5 SU/2-6 ATS in their last eight games with a -7.8 net rating. Opponents have killed Washington from the perimeter during this slump, connecting on 36.9% of all 3-point attempts and 37.7% of non-corner attempts, and there is a chance those issues could continue against Minnesota. The Timberwolves are a high-volume shooting team that takes 43.2% of their attempts from the perimeter but shoots just 34.0%. According to the NBA tracking data the Wizards have allowed the lowest rate of wide-open 3-point attempts in the league over the last eight games, so the opponent shooting is probably just a bit of bad luck over the course of a long season. The offensive issues for Washington are not though. During these eight games they are putting up just 105.5 points per 100 possessions which is right in line with their season-long rating of 107.2 in non-garbage time minutes. Minnesota has quietly put together a great defensive season so far, limiting opponents to 105.4 points per 100 possessions while ranking second in halfcourt defense (86.3). The Wizards could certainly struggle again tonight, but their strength is the lone weakness of this Timberwolves defense. Washington ranks 11th in frequency of attempts inside four feet and fourth in shooting (69.0%). Minnesota allows opponents to take 33.7% of their attempts at the rim and has had issues keeping good rim teams outside of the restricted area. The market has moved in the direction of Washington by a half-point, and this due to a flu bug making its way around the Timberwolves locker room. Anthony Edwards is questionable to play as a result, so keep an eye on the reports throughout the day. 

Atlanta Hawks at Indiana Pacers (-1, 217.5)

The Hawks had their 7-0 SU/6-1 ATS run snapped by the Knicks over the weekend and in the process, they lost both Bogdan Bogdanovic and Cam Reddish to injury. Bogdanovic will miss the next two weeks, and Reddish is day-to-day with a questionable designation tonight. If Reddish is not available that is three wing players on the sideline for Atlanta, as De’Andre Hunter is still out recovering from wrist surgery. Indiana is not in perfect health either though, as Myles Turner is on the injury report with a non-COVID illness and is questionable to play. The Pacers’ offense has disappeared over the last two games, averaging just 99.0 points per 100 possessions, and shooting 26.0% from deep, and should Turner be unavailable their defense will suffer as well. In the minutes without him on the floor they allow 111.2 points per 100 possessions which is a defensive rating 6.1 points higher than when he is on the floor. The Hawks averaged just 0.978 points per possession in the loss to the Knicks without Bogdanovic and Reddish on the floor, so the Pacers could be able to defend this team at high level regardless of Turner’s status. But, with so much injury noise around this game it is easy to leave it alone.

Denver Nuggets (-7.5, 206) at Orlando Magic

Nikola Jokic returned for the Nuggets in their game against Miami and all the sudden Denver looked like a competent team. They dropped 1.319 points per possession, went 16-of-19 at the rim and 18-of-35 from deep in a win over the Heat that snapped an 0-6 SU and ATS slide. Situationally, it seems like a poor spot given Jokic’s celebrations in the clubs playing the Serbian national anthem after the victory, but the market has come all the way around on Denver now that Jokic, and Nah’Shon ‘Bones’ Hyland, is back in the fold. Even with better health 7.5 is a lot to lay on the road with the Nuggets when they have a -18.2 net rating in possessions without Jokic on the floor. Orlando is 3-12 SU/6-8-1 ATS this month with a league-worst -10.5 net rating, but Denver has been spotty as a favorite this season with a 3-7 ATS record which is a good indicator of being overvalued by the betting market.

Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics (-2, 210.5)

The betting line this morning reached as high as 4.5 this morning which was frankly astonishing, but that jump was corrected quickly, and we are now at Celtics -3 across the board. Both injury reports are clean with the lone key player being Jaylen Brown with his regular questionable designation that he has carried for about a week now. Joel Embiid has been back for two games now, but the betting market was somewhat overzealous in improving the power rating on the 76ers which are 0-2 ATS in those two contests. It is hard to just plug personnel into the flow of a game, even a great one like Embiid, and Philadelphia has averaged just 103.3 points per 100 possessions on offense since his return. However, their defense has snapped back in a big way and limited Minnesota and Orlando to just 100.5 points per 100 possessions. Bettors should expect that defensive effort to continue tonight, but will they be able to score against Boston? The Celtics limited both the Raptors and Spurs to 1.0 point per possession, but their defense is far from perfect. The Nets drilled them for 1.274 per possession last week, and each of the Thunder, Lakers and Hawks put up 1.129 per possession or more. The 76ers have had two games to integrate their missing personnel and in the first two games they were laying large point totals. This time around they’re catching points against a team they power rate higher than. I would expect them to stay inside this number with Embiid and the assortment of defensive options all back on the floor.

Play: 76ers (+ 3)

Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat (-7.5, 203.5)

The betting market is a funny thing. Two days ago the line would not stop moving toward Dallas and Cleveland won outright 114-96 for its second consecutive win and fourth straight cover. Today this line opened Miami -7.5 and is down to -6 at almost every shop. To be fair, the Heat do have a lengthy injury report that is likely impacting this line, as Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Dewayne Dedmon are all questionable to play tonight. Butler missed the loss to Denver as he deals with a tailbone injury, so his status is truly in question here. Adebayo played 35 minutes in that contest and there is no real indication he is in danger of missing this contest. Cleveland showed out defensively against Dallas on Monday by limiting the Mavericks to 0.88 points per possession, their second straight game limiting an opponent to less than a point per possession with Evan Mobley back in the lineup. If Butler and Adebayo play tonight we can obviously expect this line to come back toward the opening price, but do not sell this Cavaliers team short with Mobley back. It is somewhat surprising to see this total jump three points despite the potential absence of Miami’s two stars. Where does the offense come from outside of Tyler Herro should those two not play?

Dallas Mavericks (-4, 214) at New Orleans Pelicans

Kristaps Porzingis is questionable to play with an ankle sprain he suffered in the loss to Cleveland, and this is likely why we’ve seen a small shift to New Orleans this morning. The Pelican have shown some more fight lately, winning and covering three of four games and blowing out the Clippers last time out. Their offense has suddenly come to life with 114.4 points per 100 possessions during this run, but we could consider this an aberration for a team that is 26th in offensive rating. The Mavericks have been inefficient this season, putting up just 107.6 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time minutes, and that includes the possessions with Luka Doncic where they have a 106.9 offensive rating. Even if Porzingis plays it would not be surprising to see Dallas fail to cover as a road favorite considering their overvalued nature this season, but why ask bad teams like the Pelicans to do good things for you?

Houston Rockets at Oklahoma City Thunder (-3, 211.5)

On Monday the Thunder had an abhorrent 7-of-40 shooting performance and as a result their offense averaged just 0.876 points per possession against one of the worst defenses in the league. Their defense showed up though, limiting the Rockets to 1.031 points per possession, so there is certainly a chance a better shooting performance leads to a win and cover tonight. Derrick Favors and Kenrich Williams remain out for Oklahoma City and Mike Muscala is questionable to play once more, but if the core of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Lou Dort are on the floor this Thunder team is better than Houston. To give the Rockets credit, they have won and covered three straight and are 4-1 ATS in their last five due to an offense that has been much better, but they will likely struggle once again tonight on that end of the floor. 

Charlotte Hornets at Milwaukee Bucks (-8, 230)

Milwaukee is whole again and as result they are winning again. The Bucks have covered their last four games and won seven straight as they head into this meeting with the Hornets tonight. During this dominant run of covers Milwaukee is outscoring opponents by 20.2 points per 100 possessions and thriving on both sides of the ball which is not great for a Hornets team reeling on defense. Charlotte has allowed over 1.3 points per possession to its last two opponents, and their 19th-ranked rim defense has been torched for 71.6% shooting in those losses. Struggling to defend the rim and the perimeter are not areas to struggle in when facing the Milwaukee Bucks. To make matters worse, the Hornets are still very small with the injury to Mason Plumlee and one of their top on-ball defensive options Cody Martin is questionable to play. I like this Hornets team a lot, but this matchup is a nightmare on paper for them and I am willing to lay this number with a Bucks team that is healthy and peaking.

Play: Bucks (-8.5)

Best Bets Summary

76ers (+ 3)

Bucks (-8.5)

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