NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Wednesday 3/16

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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, March 16th

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

**Lines are opening numbers

Best Bets

Atlanta Hawks at Charlotte Hornets (-2, 237)

When the Hawks failed to cover a 13.5-point spread against the Trail Blazer on Monday they fell to 0-6 ATS in their last six game. The betting market loves this team but they fail to deliver on a nightly basis, and tonight the market’s first move was in their direction again. Over the course of these six games Atlanta has allowed 117.9 points per 100 possessions and they are now 26th in non-garbage time defensive efficiency (114.8) on the season. Poor defensive play is not what you want when facing Charlotte, which has finally started to figure things out on offense. Since the All-Star break the Hornets are third in offensive efficiency (120.7) and in March they 4-2 SU and ATS while averaging 124.0 points per 100 possessions. The Hawks have the edge in the regular season series, but given recent form and the market’s overvaluing of Atlanta I’ll take a point with the home team.

Play: Hornets (+ 1)

Toronto Raptors (-2.5, 218) at Los Angeles Clippers

Toronto surpassed its win total with a win over the Lakers on Monday, but their game here against the Clippers will be a slightly tougher test. Los Angeles had its 2-1 SU/3-0 ATS spurt ruined by an overtime loss to Cleveland on Monday, but since Feb. 12 the team is 9-5 SU/10-4 ATS with a defense that has allowed 108.2 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time minutes. Toronto is still dealing with injuries to OG Anunoby and Fred VanVleet who are doubtful and questionable to play tonight respectively. The betting market has been steadily moving toward the home team here and I do not disagree with that sentiment. The Clippers have been playing good basketball for about a month now and should get some more respect when playing at home against a similarly rated team. They are also getting Robert Covington back on the floor tonight, which is a massive addition for this team’s rotation. 

Play: Clippers (+ 1.5)

Best Games

Philadelphia 76ers (-3.5, 217.5) at Cleveland Cavaliers

After the loss to the Nuggets on Monday the 76ers fell to 3-3 SU/1-5 ATS in their last six games. Their defense has been tested over the course of this six-game stretch, and it has failed that test by allowing 115.2 points per 100 possessions. As a result, Philadelphia has -4.2 net rating over the course of these six games but has closed as a favorite in all but one of these contests laying an average of 6.6 points per game. One of those contests was against this Cleveland team at home, where they closed as a 7.5-point favorite but won by six. Today, the market has bet them up to -4 which would translate to an eight-point spread in Philadelphia. Should the 76ers really be upgraded by a half-point against a team that they did not cover against that now has a key piece in Caris LeVert back in the lineup? They should not. In their last contest the Cavaliers needed overtime to dispatch the Clippers, but they still averaged 1.212 points per possession in the win. The market really believes in Philadelphia, but the defense has struggled and they have shown an overvalued nature which is something worth looking to play against.

Dallas Mavericks (-1.5, 220.5) at Brooklyn Nets

Brooklyn improved to 7-0-2 ATS in their last nine road games after dismantling Orlando last night, but they return to Barclays Center where they are 1-8 ATS in their last nine. Kevin Durant has only been on the floor for two of those games, so there is certainly a chance they bust out of that slump tonight against Dallas if Durant is going to be on the floor. He has played in all six games since his return from injury, but this is the first back-to-back situation the Nets have been faced with since his return to the lineup. Neither Durant nor Nash gave an indication that he would miss the game tonight, but it’s always something to be aware of in situations like this. Should Durant play this is going to be an incredible matchup. The Mavericks come into this game sixth in non-garbage time defensive efficiency and they will face a version of Brooklyn hurting for guard play. Irving will be unavailable, Seth Curry is questionable at best after missing the last two games with an ankle injury and Cam Thomas is as well with a back issue. Dallas deserves to be slightly favored here, but if this line continues to move in that direction and Curry comes back I wouldn’t sleep on the Nets tonight.

Chicago Bulls at Utah Jazz (-6, 224.5)

Chicago is stuck in its worst stretch of basketball this season, and this west coast swing is not helping matters. The Bulls are 2-6 SU/1-7 ATS in their last eight games and have been outscored by 4.6 points per 100 possessions over this stretch. Their defense has been subpar, giving up 113.9 points per 100 possessions, but shockingly it’s been their offense that has let them down. Chicago has a 109.3 offensive rating during this eight-game slump and even against a poor defensive team like Sacramento the other night it managed just 1.04 points per possession in a 112-103 loss. Their offense likely won’t get on track here against Utah with Rudy Gobert back in the fold either. This isn’t to say Utah has been in any great form either. The Jazz are 1-7 ATS in the month of March themselves and blew a fourth quarter lead to lose outright to Milwaukee at home on Monday.

Boston Celtics at Golden State Warriors (-4, 221.5)

Draymond Green returned to the floor for Golden State and the Warriors beat up on the Wizards to win their fourth straight and improve to 5-0 ATS in their last five games. Green clearly makes a difference on the floor for Golden State, but Boston will be a true test of those improvements. The Celtics lost on Sunday to the Mavericks for its second consecutive failed cover, but this team is still 15-3 SU in its last 18 games with the best net rating (+ 13.3) and defensive rating (103.9). Boston’s ability to defend and throw multiple defensive wings at Steph Curry is going to be the key to the Celtics staying inside this number, as Golden State tends to get stagnant on that end of the floor at times. Andrew Wiggins, who missed the win over Washington, is questionable to play as he continues to deal with an illness.

The Others

Denver Nuggets (-5.5, 228) at Washington Wizards

The Nuggets snapped a losing streak with their comeback win in Philadelphia on Monday night, and tonight they face the helpless Wizards. Washington is 0-4 ATS in its last four games and in the month of March has allowed an abysmal 123.2 points per 100 possessions. This poor defensive play has led to a 7-0 run to the Over in the last seven games and a 9-1 run over the last 10 contests. Aaron Gordon and Zeke Nnaji are questionable to play for Denver here, so I would be cautious in laying an inflated number on the road. The Nuggets are up to -6.5 but this team has been busy, playing its seventh game in 11 days and coming off a big primetime showdown with the 76ers.

Los Angeles Lakers at Minnesota Timberwolves (-8, 238.5)

Just fade the Los Angeles Lakers, right? Los Angeles was smoked yet again on Monday, this time by Toronto who won 114-103 in a game that was much more lopsided than the final score indicates. LeBron James seems to have had enough, being caught on microphones cursing and yelling at teammates in the second quarter of that affair. Los Angeles is now 2-8 SU/3-7 ATS since the All-Star break with a -8.5 net rating and a defensive which is allowing 116.7 points per 100 possessions. Now that defense must contain the Timberwolves which come in 8-1 SU and ATS with a league-best + 17.1 net rating over that span. Patrick Beverley and three others are questionable to play for Minnesota, but there’s no way you will find me making a case for the Lakers here.

Milwaukee Bucks (-9, 240.5) at Sacramento Kings

The win over Chicago on Monday improved Sacramento’s record to 7-2 ATS over the last nine games. The Kings are only 3-6 SU over that span, but they have clearly been much more competitive which explains the market support for them this morning. However, the Bucks seems to have finally woken up from their championship malaise and are 7-1 SU/6-2 ATS over their last eight games. Milwaukee also got Brook Lopez back on the floor in the win over Utah on Monday, which can only make this team better as the season goes along. There is certainly a chance the Bucks overlook Sacramento tonight as they have a date in Minnesota on the other side, but that game is two days after this one. Milwaukee should be fully focused and that is a team capable of covering this number tonight.

Portland Trail Blazers at New York Knicks (-10, 225)

It speaks to how poor the Trail Blazers are when the betting market is willing to lay up 12.5 with the New York Knick against them. The Knicks have been playing much better basketball and come into this contest on a 6-0 ATS run, but all six of those games came as an underdog of 6.7 points. Yes, Portland is 1-7 SU and ATS with a -23.7 net rating since the All-Star break, but it’s hard to swallow these many points with New York who will be missing Quentin Grimes, Cam Reddish and Nerlens Noel tonight.

Best Bets Summary

Hornets (+ 1)

Clippers (+ 1.5)

Season Record: 72-59-2

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