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, April 20th
*Lines are opening numbers
Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics (-4, 228.5)
Game 2: Celtics lead 1-0
There is not much separating these two teams as currently constructed, and it’s why I do not think I’ll be laying any numbers in these individual games. Boston put forth an incredible effort on Sunday and looked like it would run away with it after opening an 11-point lead after the third quarter, but they still needed a ridiculous spinning finish from Jayson Tatum at the gun to win. It’s going to be nearly impossible to put this Nets team away given the talent of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, but we did see that the Celtics have some advantages they can rely on throughout the series. Brooklyn is hurting for some size with its current rotation, and that showed when Boston grabbed 39.1% of its missed shot attempts and scored 18 second chance points. The Celtics also abused the Nets’ poor perimeter for 36 attempts at the rim and five drawn shooting fouls, but they only 24 of those attempts which is a figure that should be better when getting that volume of shots within four feet. Having said that, Durant and Irving still exist. Durant had an extremely poor showing of 23 points on 24 attempts with six turnovers which is something he is not likely to repeat, and despite having the Defensive Player of the Year it seems Boston will not have an answer for Irving. The betting market did the right thing here is supporting the underdog, but the total being dropped 2.5 points is curious. I believe neither team has an answer for the other when it comes to defending, and with a slightly smoother game not consistently interrupted by whistles like Sunday we could be in for a quicker affair than the 97-possession contest we saw Sunday.
Philadelphia 76ers (-2, 214.5) at Toronto Raptors
Game 3: 76ers lead 2-0
If you came here looking for confirmation that betting Toronto in the first quarter or first half is the way to go you came to the wrong article. Laying a point in the first quarter or firsts half with a team that is an underdog is a fool’s errand and it is one of the worst things you could do as a bettor considering the lack of value. You would also be doing it with a potentially short-handed underdog at that. Scottie Barnes is doubtful to play yet again and Gary Trent Jr. is questionable with the illness that took him out of Game 2 on Monday. Philadelphia is short-handed as well with Matisse Thybulle unavailable due to the vaccine mandate in Canada which gives the home team a fighting chance, but they first have to figure out what is happening on defense. The 76ers have put up 1.358 points per possession through two games and the Raptors seemingly have no answer for Tyrese Maxey who averaged 30.5 points on 69.7% shooting in the two contests in Philadelphia. Toronto’s elite transition defense has been cooked for 1.85 points per play off live rebounds by a team that ranked 18th in that category during the regular season. The Raptors have to find a way to slow things down for the 76ers, but that would help with made shots and the ability to set their defense on the other end, which brings us back to the absence of Thybulle. Toronto has also been losing the minutes in which Joel Embiid sits, getting outscored by 13 points through two games in those possessions. If that continues to happen then there is not much hope for the Raptors tonight or in this series. The total has been bumped up here to 216.5 which makes some sense given the absence of Thybulle, but if the Raptors can make some shots and make this more like the second half of Game 2 we could see another Under come in tonight.
Chicago Bulls at Milwaukee Bucks (-10, 225)
Game 2: Bucks lead 1-0
There might be some who believe that the performance of Chicago on Sunday was encouraging, but I am not one of those people. The Bucks did struggle on offense in Game 1 which then allowed the Bulls to overcome an early 13-point deficit, but Chicago still showed an inability to crack this defense. Through four games in the regular season the Bulls averaged 102.0 points per 100 possessions against the Bucks and on Sunday they put up 0.869 per possession while getting held to the lowest single-game point total of any Bucks opponent all season. In what world is that encouraging? Milwaukee needs to clean up its act on offense. They turned the ball over on 21.0% of their possessions and shot an abysmal 10-of-38 from deep, but they still abused Chicago’s rim defense by hitting 76.5% of their attempts within four feet and putting up 1.625 points per play in transition off live rebounds. Usually we see a slight adjustment after a team fails to cover the first game of a series, and we see it ever so slightly here with Milwaukee as low as 9.5 at one shop. However, a cleaner brand of basketball with the continued success on defense that the Bucks have had will likely give them a much better opportunity to cover this number today.
Best Bet Summary
Season Record: 85-68-2