NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Wednesday 2/2

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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 Wednesday, February 2nd

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

**Lines are opening numbers

*Washington Wizards @ Philadelphia 76ers (-8, 216)

The Wizards’ futility continued last night in Milwaukee with a 112-98 loss that sent them to 1-12 ATS in their last 13 games. The team’s net -2.3 net rating over this stretch of 13 games is not overwhelmingly poor, but the recent results seem to indicate the wheels have come off. In three of the last four games Washington has been held to less than a point per possession and under 100 points, and in the game they scored over 100 points they blew a 35-point lead and lost to Los Angeles. It’s easy to ride the slide here as the Wizards head into a game with the 76ers, but they have shown an ability to match up well with their opponent tonight. Their lone cover in the last 13 games against Philadelphia on Jan. 17 when Washington won outright at home as a two-point underdog. Bradley Beal won’t play tonight, but the Wizards have a better net rating with him off the floor (-1.3) than when he is on the floor (-3.0). They still rely on scoring in the paint and at the rim, something that has bothered Philadelphia in two meetings with Washington going a combined 31-of-40 (77.5%) with 12 shooting fouls drawn at the rim in the two games. Having said that, the Wizards still have to defend and that is easier said than done against Joel Embiid who has scored 68 points on 22-of-37 (59.5%) shooting from the floor in two games against the Wizards. In that game on Jan. 17 Philadelphia closed -2 in Washington, so a flip to homecourt would make the line -6 but the market is up to 10.5 this morning. You could say that Beal’s absence is pushing this line up further, but is a player who makes a team 1.7 points worse over the course of 100 possessions worth 4.5 points?

*Orlando Magic @ Indiana Pacers (-5, 219.5)

Myles Turner played his last game for Indiana on Jan. 14 before suffering an injury and missing every game since. The Pacers have played nine games since Turner last took the court, and in those nine contests they have allowed 121.4 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time minutes, the third-worst defensive rating in the league over that stretch, and the Over is 7-2 and has cashed in five straight contests. For this reason, bettors have seen these Pacers totals climb pre-flop and today is no different as we are up to 221 at most shops this morning. Not only is Indiana much worse defensively without Turner, but the offense is surprisingly efficient and is averaging 115.3 points per 100 possessions during this nine-game stretch. With Domantas Sabonis out in COVID protocol this game has the potential to be another high-scoring affair. Orlando has come alive offensively lately and has put up an offensive rating of 114.0 or better in four of the last five game, but more than that is what the Magic do on offense. Orlando takes 32.1% of its attempts at the rim for the season, but in four of the last five games that rate is up to 37.0% or higher which shows if the ability to get inside is there they will take it, and it will be there against Indiana.

Play: Magic (+ 4.5)

Charlotte Hornets @ Boston Celtics (-4.5, 223)

This recent play on defense from Boston has been stupendous. The Celtics are 4-1 SU and ATS in their last five games due in large part to a defense that has limited those five opponents to 96.2 points per 100 possessions. This surge on defense is nothing new for Boston, as the team is now fourth on the season in non-garbage time defensive efficiency (107.0), but the play on offense during this run is. The Celtics have a 117.2 offensive rating in non-garbage time over the course of these five games which is a far cry from their season-long 110.3 rating. That surge on offense is surely due to four of their five opponents ranking 21st or lower in defensive efficiency, but Charlotte is not much better. The Hornets have allowed 112.8 points per 100 possessions to opponents this season, and their defensive play recently reflected that much more accurately than that month-long stretch from the end of December to the end of January did. Charlotte is 1-4 ATS in its last five and has allowed those opponents to put up 119.0 points per 100 possessions. We’ve seen this total drop to 220 at most shops which would lend itself to a game that Boston wants to play tonight. While Kelly Oubre is expected to play Gordon Hayward is still out which hurts the Hornets on both ends of the floor. 

Play: Celtics (-4.5)

Memphis Grizzlies (-3.5, 217) @ New York Knicks

On Monday the Memphis Grizzlies were handed a gift when Joel Embiid was given a night off, but they did not take advantage and lost to Philadelphia in overtime. They will try to bounce back against the inconsistent Knickerbockers tonight, but they might have to do so without Steven Adams who is questionable to play with an ankle sprain. It’s an intriguing matchup because New York matches up somewhat well with Memphis on paper. The Grizzlies want to attack the painted area of the floor and score from 4-to-14 feet, but the Knicks allow the least amount of attempts from 4-to-14 feet and rank 13th in opponent shooting from short mid-range (41.7%). They also have the fourth-best rim defense in the league, allowing just 61.8% at the hoop to opponents, and Memphis takes 34.4% of their attempts within four feet. The Grizzlies have a distinct advantage in transition, but they must be able to get the Knickerbockers to run, and that has been tough to do for a slow-paced team that ranks eighth in opponent transition frequency. On the other end, New York has been reliant on its perimeter offense, but Memphis has a penchant for allowing success along the perimeter with its defensive scheme. Opponents take 37.2% of their shots from deep against the Grizzlies and shoot 36.5% which is 25th defensively, a flaw that plays into the hands of the Knicks’ offense. 

Play: Knicks (+ 3.5)

Cleveland Cavaliers (-1, 218.5) @ Houston Rockets

Darius Garland will not play for Cleveland tonight due to lower back soreness and that should be a real concern for the Cavaliers’ offense. Without Garland on the floor Cleveland is really hurting for ball-handlers, and their offense is limited to just 108.8 points per 100 possessions in those minutes. That was the case against New Orleans when Garland did not play and the Cavaliers averaged just 1.033 points per possession. It’s not surprising to see Cleveland laying points on the road given the opponent, but to see this get up to 4.5 is somewhat surprising. Having said that, the Rockets don’t seem to be in the best space as a team. They were routed in the fourth quarter by Golden State on Monday for their third consecutive loss by double-digits and have a -18.6 net rating in those contests due to a defense giving up 124.9 points per 100 possessions. It’s certainly not an ideal opponent to expect offensive futility against, but with Garland out Cleveland is down its top four guards from the beginning of the season. The offensive numbers have already suffered because of those losses, so one would assume that continues.

Oklahoma City Thunder @ Dallas Mavericks (-11.5, 207)

The theory that Oklahoma City’s offense would suffer greatly without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander paid dividends in their win over Portland, as the Thunder managed just 1.043 points per possession on Monday. Their defense still showed an overall effectiveness by limiting the Trail Blazers to an 86.2 offensive rating in that contest, and for those reasons we have this total of 209 at most shops today. There’s reason to believe Dallas is not as good defensively as the numbers indicate. Since Dec. 31 the Mavericks lead the league in non-garbage time defensive efficiency at 104.1 points allowed per 100 possessions, but if you adjust opponent shooting to league average on the quality of shots they’ve allowed over this stretch they are much closer to 16th in defense. The Mavericks have shown some of those cracks recently by allowing three of the last four opponents to put up an offensive rating of 114.0 or better, but it’s hard to see the Thunder with production to that level here tonight. It does not mean that I would be looking to lay 11.5 points with Dallas though.

Best Bets Summary

Magic (+ 4.5)

Celtics (-4.5)

Knicks (+ 3.5)

Season Record: 58-47-1

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