NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Wednesday 3/30

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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 30th

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

**Lines are opening numbers

Best Bets

*Dallas Mavericks (-3.5, 214) at Cleveland Cavaliers

It’s the second leg of a back-to-back for Dallas, but it should not be a tough turnaround for the team that blew out Los Angeles last night. Luka Doncic only played 30 minutes and sat the entire fourth quarter with the Mavericks up 29 entering the final period. The Mavericks still have the third seed in their sights as well, so I would expect a fully focused effort tonight against the Cavaliers. Cleveland snapped its three-game slide against Orlando on Monday, but the team is on an 0-5 ATS slide and since losing Jarrett Allen they are 2-7-1 ATS. Over the course of those 10 games opponents have averaged 115.4 points per 100 possessions and the Cavaliers have a -3.8 net rating. Making matters worse is the absence of Evan Mobley, who had been starting at center in the absence of Allen. The betting market is doing its usual thing of playing against the team on a back-to-back and pushing this number down to -3 but for me the Mavericks are the side here. 

Play: Mavericks (-3)

Best Games

Miami Heat at Boston Celtics (-5, 214.5)

Miami busted out of its 0-4 SU and 1-8 ATS slump with a beatdown of Sacramento on Monday, but Boston provides a different challenge even without Robert Williams on the floor. The Celtics have dominated the season series thus far, going 2-0 SU and ATS against the Heat while posting a + 24.0 net rating in the two contests. Sure, the Heat were not at full strength for one of those meetings, but they were in November when they got smoked at home. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are going to play tonight, but hopefully the output from this group is better than what the season-long metrics are. When Brown, Tatum and Smart are on the floor without Williams they have a -9.5 net rating and their defense allows 115.1 points per 100 possessions. However, they could still get some productive minutes at center with Al Horford and Daniel Theis. With Theis at center they are + 13.8 with a defensive rating of 104.5 and with Horford they are + 3.2 with a 109.3 defensive rating. No Williams means no lob threat on offense either, but this team should be able to make do in the big picture despite the poor season-long metrics. The matter of covering this number is different though. Miami is going to be relatively healthy tonight, with only Caleb Martin, Duncan Robinson and Gabe Vincent listed as questionable. The line has moved toward Miami here in a few spots and that makes sense given the absence of Williams and the motivation of a Heat team that is still looking to string together some positive performance. Had Williams been active I had already circled Boston as the play here, but with him out I want to see how this team plays without him.

Minnesota Timberwolves at Toronto Raptors (-4, 229.5)

Toronto improved their run to 9-2 SU/8-3 ATS with the overtime win over Boston on Monday. One could argue needing overtime to beat the Celtics’ backups is a less than impressive feat, but a win is a win and the Raptors need every one of them to keep themselves out of the play-in picture. Tonight’s challenge will be much tougher despite Minnesota coming into this game 1-3 SU/2-2 ATS in its last four games. The Timberwolves will run with the Raptors, as both teams are inside the top six in frequency of transition possessions on offense. Both teams are elite offensive rebounding and second chance teams as well, with Toronto generating a good chunk of its halfcourt success on a 31.2% offensive rebounding rate and 24.1 points per 100 putback plays. These two teams are so statistically similar that its hard to find a key difference, but one that could decide the game is turnovers. Both defenses are great at forcing mistakes, ranking first and second in defensive turnover rate, but it is the Timberwolves that turn it over on 14.1% of their offensive possessions. Something tells me the one that loses the turnover battle will lost this game. The betting market is squarely on the side of the visitor here and from a number perspective I understand it. There is next to nothing separating these teams, so a -4 line which says the Raptors are two points better is too high.

Phoenix Suns (-6.5, 224.5) at Golden State Warriors

Golden State is 1-6 SU and ATS in the seven games since Stephen Curry suffered his injury and things are falling apart on both ends of the floor. As expected the Warriors are flailing without Curry on offense, averaging 107.3 points per 100 possessions in these seven games. What is surprising is how poorly they have played defensively, posting a 116.0 defensive rating and subsequently getting outscored by 8.7 points per 100 possessions. It’s likely that those issues will not correct themselves against Phoenix tonight. The Suns are rolling in March with a 12-2 SU/9-5 ATS record, outscoring opponents by 11.5 points per 100 possessions. The matchup to watch here is going to be Golden State’s offense against Phoenix’s defense. We already mentioned the struggles of that unit without Curry, but now they must crack a defense that has allowed 109.9 points per 100 possessions this month. The Warriors have done well against the Suns defense this season, putting up a 113.4 offensive rating in three games, but all of those had Curry on the floor. This is one of those games where I must see it to believe because I sure have not seen it from Golden State over the last two weeks. The line is down to 4.5 here and I get the support, but you won’t catch me relying on the Warriors to cover this number.

The Others

Charlotte Hornets at New York Knicks (PK, 225)

The Hornets had their 7-1 SU/6-2 ATS run ruined by the Nuggets on Monday night, but this team is still playing some of its best basketball of the season heading into this meeting with the Knicks. However, the same could be said of New York, which is on a 4-0 SU/3-1 ATS win streak and 9-5 SU/10-4 ATS in its last 14 games. Over the course of those 14 games the Knickerbockers have outscored the opposition by 7.5 points per 100 possessions while posting a 108.6 defensive rating. That higher level of defensive play will be needed against Charlotte which has the fifth-best offensive rating since the All-Star break (119.6) but has struggled in three games against the Knicks this season (109.3). It’s no surprise that the market has moved toward the road team here given the way they have been playing, but I would not sleep on New York which has been in equally great form for most of March.

Memphis Grizzlies (-6.5, 231) at San Antonio Spurs

This game matters for both sides here. Memphis can clinch the second seed in the Western Conference with a win and San Antonio can solidify its hold on the 10th seed over Los Angeles. However, a desire to win can only do so much for the Spurs who could be up against it tonight. The Grizzlies have limited their five opponents since Morant’s injury to 101.4 points per 100 possessions and posted a + 23.0 net rating as a result. The betting market is on the side of the home team here which is understandable because it does seem that Memphis’ power rating is at or near it peak, but I won’t be getting in front of that train.

Denver Nuggets (-9.5, 232) at Indiana Pacers

Indiana has failed to cover its last four games and their last three opponents have all scored 131 or more points. In March opponents are averaging 121.1 points per 100 possessions against the Pacers and now they must find a way to limit Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets. It might seem like a tall task, no pun intended, but I wouldn’t be running to lay it with Denver. The Nuggets have allowed 116.5 points per 100 possessions this month and are just 4-8 ATS in their last 12 games. Poor defense makes it hard to lay inflated numbers and that is clearly the case here tonight.

Orlando Magic at *Washington Wizards (-4, 222)

Washington looked abysmal in the fourth quarter against Chicago last night, posting a -56.9 net rating in the loss. The Wizards are 4-8 ATS in their last 12 games and their defense has been among the worst in the league with 117.7 rating. It’s not a team worth laying anything with at all, even against Orlando. The Magic have been much better on the road this season anyway, going 22-17 ATS on the road.

Sacramento Kings (-2.5, 233.5) at Houston Rockets

De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis and Richaun Holmes are all still out today, and Jeremy Lamb, Alex Len and Josh Jackson are questionable to play. Should Houston really be a home underdog here? The Rockets covered last time out against the Spurs in a spot where the market massively undervalued them and it seems to be a similar situation tonight. Eric Gordon, Christian Wood and Dennis Schroeder are all out though, so bettors would need another hot shooting night from the youngsters here.

Best Bets Summary

Mavericks (-3)

Season Record: 76-63-2

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