NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Wednesday 3/2

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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, March 2nd

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

**Lines are opening numbers

Best Bets

New York Knicks at Philadelphia 76ers (-10.5, 223.5)

The two games with James Harden on the floor have worked out spectacularly for Philadelphia. The 76ers are 2-0 SU and ATS with a + 22.2 net rating and an offense that has put up 124.6 points per 100 possessions. Joel Embiid has thrived with the spacing Harden provides for him, consistently getting one-on-one matchups and putting defenders in tough situations that ultimately lead to him standing on the free throw line. Others have also benefitted from Harden’s presence, and it shows in some of the shooting numbers. On the season the 76ers average 22.8 catch-and-shoot 3-point attempts and hit 36.3% of them, but in two games they have totaled 50 of those attempts and shot 42.0% on them. One of the biggest beneficiaries of all this is Tyrese Maxey, who in two games has scored 49 points and shot 5-of-8 from distance. Maxey seems to have the eye of Harden, who has found him multiple times in transition opportunities, and as a result he’s surpassed his season average of attempts in both games. This is where I’m going for this play tonight. Maxey is set to see a surge in his scoring and attempts with Harden on the floor. He fits perfectly as a the two-guard and he is a 40.2% catch-and-shoot 3-point shooter. As far as the matchup itself is concerned, we have yet to see much movement with only the total getting bumped up a point here. When these two met in New York on Sunday morning the 76ers closed -7.5 and a shift to Philadelphia would be in line with this number today. New York does not have much size to deal with Embiid, and with Kemba Walker out of the rotation the youngsters are getting more run. Against a veteran laden team like the 76ers it would not be surprising to see a result like the one over the weekend.

Play: Tyrese Maxey OV PTS (16.5, -110)

Best Games

Miami Heat at Milwaukee Bucks (-5.5, 226.5)

Milwaukee bounced back from its loss at home to Brooklyn over the weekend by steamrolling Charlotte on Monday. The Bucks are now 13-12 SU/10-15 ATS since the beginning of January, and they will need a similar effort tonight against the Heat. Even without Kyle Lowry in the lineup Miami suffocated Chicago, limiting the Bulls to 0.966 in non-garbage time minutes of their 112-99 win on Monday. Miami, just like in the meeting with Chicago, has the personnel here to matchup with their opponent. Giannis Antetokounmpo was on the floor for two of the regular season meetings this season, both losses. In those two games the Heat held him to 30 total points on a combined 8-of-24 shooting from the floor. Bam Adebayo has been playing some of the best defense of his career this seasons and will draw many of those defensive possessions tonight. With him on the floor Miami is giving up just 103.3 points per 100 possessions, and these reasons are likely why the market is so high on the Heat tonight. There is not much separating Milwaukee and Miami from a power rating standpoint, so to make this number 5.5 seemed to be too strong and the market agreed. I lean heavily toward the Heat here tonight, but with the side reflecting my number much more now I will be looking for an in-game opportunity.

Charlotte Hornets at Cleveland Cavaliers (-4, 218.5)

When play resumed after the All-Star break, I had Charlotte pegged as a team to bet on regularly in the final six weeks of the season. However, after a beatdown of the Raptors in the first game back, the Hornets have dropped each of their last two contests both SU and ATS and looked somewhat poor in the process, allowing 120.7 points per possession to Detroit and Milwaukee. The defensive futility was to be expected, but to this degree and to allow it to happen against one of the worst offenses in the league is troubling. Charlotte is now 4-13 SU/5-12-1 ATS since Jan. 23 with a -4.2 net rating which is 20th in the league over that period. They now enter this contest with Cleveland that not only has a significant advantage up front but could also have Darius Garland back on the floor. The betting market has moved in favor of Charlotte here, but after watching them up close each of the last two contests it has me firmly in the camp of Cavaliers or pass, especially if Garland plays. With Garland on the floor Cleveland is + 6.5 per 100 possessions, and their most used lineup is + 12.3 with a 102.3 defensive rating. The Cavaliers are different team with Garland, and the Hornets have been a bet against squad for over a month now.

The Others

Sacramento Kings at New Orleans Pelicans (-4.5, 235.5)

New Orleans might have found something with its new starting lineup, and it has led to a nice 2-0 SU and ATS start to the homestretch of the regular season. With CJ McCollum running the point, along with Brandon Ingram, Herbert Jones, Jaxson Hayes and Jonas Valanciunas on the floor together the Pelicans are + 6.1 and averaging 1.303 points per possession. It’s a small sample size, but as the sample size grows the offensive production remains steady. Today, they host Sacramento which has shown some defensive issues despite covering the last two affairs. This is a massive contest when it comes to the Western Conference play-in tournament. New Orleans holds a 3.0 game lead over Sacramento. If the Kings are to make this push it begins tonight.

Indiana Pacers at Orlando Magic (-3, 232.5)

This one is a rematch from Monday in which the Magic stole a dominant win at home over the Pacers. However, the situation is much different this time around. Indiana was on the second leg of a back-to-back, having upset the red-hot Boston Celtics the night before. Tonight, they have had a night off to stew on a loss that probably should not have happened. The Pacers are now 0-2 SU and ATS against the Magic this season, the earlier loss coming at home in a game which they led by as much as 17 midway through the third quarter. To say Orlando is a point better on a neutral, which is what this line said when it opened, is rich. Indiana does have Chris Duarte and Lance Stephenson on the injury report, but should those two play this should be a good revenge spot for the road team.

Utah Jazz (-13, 232) at Houston Rockets

This is one of three double-digit spreads on the board today, but the line is fitting given the form of both teams. Utah is finally healthy and rolling as a result, coming into this contest on an 8-1 SU/6-2-1 ATS run. They dispatched the Suns over the weekend with a strong second half, and the offense has been rolling with an average of 121.2 points per 100 possessions. It’s hard to make a case for Houston, which is 3-11 ATS in its last 14 games, to cover here tonight. The Rockets are the worst defensive team in the league and have allowed 121.2 points per 100 possessions over the course of those 14 games which has led them to posting a -14.2 net rating.

Oklahoma City Thunder at Denver Nuggets (-13.5, 224.5)

Denver is rolling right now, and Oklahoma City has the unfortunate pleasure of getting in front of this train with a short-handed roster. Luguentz Dort, Josh Giddey, Kenrich Williams and others remain sidelined tonight with injury and the results for one of the better defensive teams in the league have not been good. Over the last five games, all of which have gone Over the total, the Thunder have allowed 114.7 points per 100 possessions. In their last nine games the Nuggets are 8-1 SU/6-2-1 ATS and averaging 116.5 points per 100 possessions. Oklahoma City does not have a single body to throw at Nikola Jokic either, meaning it will likely be another big day for the Denver offense.

Portland Trail Blazers at Phoenix Suns (-12.5, 228.5)

Portland is my candidate for a “fade” team if there is one, and it has come to fruition since returning from the All-Star break. In two games the Trail Blazers are 0-2 SU and ATS with -31.7 net rating! Their offense is abysmal, putting up 92.6 points per 100 possessions, and their defense is just as bad with a 124.3 rating. There is little hope for Portland during the final weeks of the regular season, and it would seem this is a great spot for Phoenix to get back on track. In three games without Chris Paul the Suns are 1-2 SU and ATS with + 1.5 net rating, but most of that positivity comes from a blowout of Oklahoma City. This should be a romp for Phoenix, but bettors are not getting a bargain.

Best Bets Summary

Tyrese Maxey OV PTS (16.5, -110)

Season Record: 65-57-1

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