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 Monday, January 24th
*Indicates team is on the second leg of a back-to-back
**Lines are opening numbers
*New York Knicks at Cleveland Cavaliers (-7.5, 203)
Cleveland comes into this contest on a 6-1 SU run, but their 3-3-1 ATS record over the same stretch indicates the market might be too high on the Cavaliers’ power rating. Cleveland continues to put forth great play on defense, but the offense showed its limitations in the win over Oklahoma City on Saturday when it put up 0.979 points per possession. In that win they lost Lauri Markkanen to an ankle sprain which is a blow for this team. With Markkanen on the floor the Cavaliers’ offensive rating improves by 7.1 points every 100 possessions, and he is a decent rebounder who has grabbed 3.9% of his team’s missed shots this season. These two teams have not met since the beginning of November, and in that contests it was the Knicks that were 7.5-point favorites. This time around the market opened very high on Cleveland, posting this 7.5 line overnight, but most openers were -6 in favor of the Cavaliers. Shooting will be the most important factor in this contest tonight. Cleveland is the best rim defense in the league, allowing opponents to shoot just 57.9% within four feet of the basket. New York takes 32.4% of its shots at the rim and shoots just 61.7% from that area of the floor, so it’s safe to say the perimeter shots need to go down for the Knickerbockers tonight. They take 39.1% of their attempts from 3-point range and shoot 36.4% as a team. That was on display on Sunday morning in a wire-to-wire win over the Clippers when they hit 16-of-34 3-pointers. Kemba Walker is back tonight as well, and with him on the floor the Knicks’ 3-point frequency jumps by 4.0% so the attempts will be there. Most of the line movement has already occurred on this number, but if the move continues I would expect it would be in the direction of the Knicks as 5.5 is already starting to appear.
Indiana Pacers at New Orleans Pelicans (-1, 214.5)
It is somewhat surprising that the market moved so strongly in favor of New Orleans given the potential absences the team will endure tonight. Brandon Ingram has already been ruled out, and Devonte’ Graham is in danger of missing this contest with an ankle injury. In the minutes without those two on the floor the Pelicans have a -23.0 net rating and an offense that averages 91.1 points per 100 possessions. Indiana is missing Malcolm Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis tonight, and Caris LeVert is questionable, but the returns on their core of backups has been much better. The lineup of Keifer Sykes, Chris Duarte, Justin Holiday, Torrey Craig and Goga Bitzadze might have a -3.9 net rating, but it’s a solid shooting lineup (40.9%) and on defense they force turnovers at an 18.5% clip, albeit in a small sample size of data. Should Graham play that would make all the difference in the world, and I would expect this number to close -3 if he is available. However, if he isn’t, this Pacers team just ripped through Los Angeles, Golden State and Phoenix for a 3-0 ATS run with the B-Team getting the minutes in the last two games. It would certainly be able to show up against New Orleans if its two best players were missing.
*Utah Jazz at Phoenix Suns (-7, 222.5)
The loss to Golden State last night dropped Utah to 4-8 SU and ATS in the month of January, and things do not get easier by having to hit the road to face Phoenix. The Jazz did not have Donovan Mitchell for a third straight game as the guard continues to recover from a concussion, and he reportedly did not make the trip to San Francisco meaning he likely won’t be with the team tonight. These three games without Mitchell have been all over the map for Utah. The team lost outright to Houston as a 13.5-point favorite in the first game without him, and then failed to cover in a 10-point win over Detroit before the loss to Golden State. The offense has been mostly consistent, but that was against the Rockets and Pistons. Last night Mitchell’s presence was missed on that end of the floor when the Jazz were held to 1.095 points per possession by the Warriors. It’s logical to assume the offensive struggles would continue when playing Phoenix on no rest, but remember the Suns are not fully healthy either. Deandre Ayton is considered doubtful with an ankle sprain, and both Jae Crowder and Cam Payne are out with injury. The Suns continue to deliver despite the personnel issues and enter this game 9-1 SU/7-2-1 ATS in January, but this number seems somewhat high and it’s reached its peak. There is still 9.5 up at multiple shops, but others have come down a half-point. It’s tempting to grab 9.5 with the Jazz here, but their defensive philosophy gives me pause. They rank 28th in frequency of mid-range attempts allowed and 20th in opponent mid-range shooting. They do a phenomenal job of forcing teams to operate from the most inefficient area of the floor. The problem is that Phoenix’s two best players live in the mid-range, and the Suns come in first in mid-range frequency and second in shooting (46.4%).
*Chicago Bulls (-2, 216) at Oklahoma City Thunder
This number seems relatively short for Chicago, especially when you consider the potential personnel news coming down the pike. According to K.C. Johnson of NBCS Chicago, both Zach LaVine and Javonte Green will join the Bulls in Oklahoma City for the finale of their three-game road trip. There is no official news on the status of either player, but I would not expect them to join the team unless they were planning on playing considering the Bulls are back home on Wednesday. LaVine is badly needed, as this team’s offense has disappeared lately. Chicago has not scored more than 100 points in consecutive games and they have averaged just 0.944 points per possession in losses to Milwaukee and Orlando. Bettors will also have to keep an eye on the status of Nikola Vucevic who banged his knee on the floor in Orlando last night. Oklahoma City has fallen into a bit of a lull, even by its standards. They have been held to less than a point per possession in three straight games, and the returns have not been as great at the window lately (2-2-1 ATS). This line initially moved to 1.5 and there are multiple shops sitting at that number now. This is informationally based, but give me the road favorite here. If LaVine and Green are indeed going to play then this number will close much closer to 3.5 than 1.5 and it seems that is going to be the case.
Play: Bulls (-1.5)
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