NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice Tuesday 12/14

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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 Tuesday, December 13th

We have a short, three-game slate tonight in the NBA, but before we dive in I wanted to extend my gratitude. For those who do not know, my wife and I welcomed our second child into the world early last Thursday morning, and I have taken the last few days off to get my family settled. In those days I received countless well-wishes and compliments about the work I do on these betting market reports. I just wanted to make sure that I let each of you who read this how much I appreciate it.

With that out of the way, let’s get back to work.

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

**Lines are opening numbers

*Golden State Warriors (-3.5, 212.5) at New York Knicks

It’s a big night at Madison Square Garden! Steph Curry comes to the Mecca in need of just two 3-pointers to break Ray Allen’s all-time record of 2,973 career 3-point makes. It is clear Curry has been pressing for the achievement, something he even admitted so himself last night in Indiana, as he is 9-of-31 (29.0%) from deep in the last two games. Outside of the benchmark pursuit, the Warriors have hit a small rough patch lately, posting a 3-3 SU/2-4 ATS record over the last six games. Most of this is due to an offense that is putting up 107.4 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time minutes. This offensive slump coincides with a slump of Curry’s that extends past the last two games. In his last six games Curry is shooting 33.1% from the floor, 34.9% from deep and averaging 22.2 points per game. Golden State is reliant on Curry for his offense, as evidenced by their 10.3 point drop in offensive efficiency when he is off the court. If his offense dips in any capacity this team suffers, and that is evident when you look at these past six games. Luckily, the Knickerbockers have been playing some abhorrent defense lately! New York comes into tonight 1-6 SU/2-5 ATS with a -8.0 net rating and a defense giving up 117.9 points per 100 possessions. The Knicks have also been short-handed, and will continue to be tonight, as Obi Toppin and RJ Barrett will not play due to being in the league’s COVID protocol. The market has not yet moved the side, but the total here is down a point to 211.5 across the board which makes sense given what this Golden State defense can do to a struggling offensive opponent. I’ll buy into the magic tonight and lay it with the road favorite.

Play: Warriors (-3.5)

*Toronto Raptors at Brooklyn Nets (-8.5, 215.5)

Toronto is coming off what could be its best offensive performance of the season. The Raptors decimated the Kings last night, averaging 1.165 points per possession in non-garbage time with a lethal transition attack that averaged 1.348 points per play. The team is now 4-1 SU and ATS in December with a + 9.6 net rating, but the schedule has been somewhat soft with the wins coming against lesser competition like the Kings, Knicks, Wizards and Bucks without Giannis Antetokounmpo. This contest with Brooklyn will be a big test. The Nets won and covered against Detroit on Sunday without James Harden who was taking a night off. Both Harden and Kevin Durant should be back on the floor looking to extend a 3-1 SU and ATS run. From a matchup perspective, this seems like a poor on for Toronto. The Nets come in averaging 111.3 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time minutes and the Raptors give up 110.2 per 100 possessions Brooklyn likes to get out and run in transition as well. They start 15.7% of possessions with a transition play and average 1.241 points per 100 plays which is the 11th-best efficiency mark in the league. Toronto has been one of the worst transition defenses in the league, ranking 29th and giving up 129.0 points per 100 plays. It is also likely Khem Birch and OG Anunoby will still be sidelined. Brooklyn is one of the worst spread teams in the league due to their overvalued nature, but they are playing good basketball and figuring out their roles. I would not be in a hurry to bet against them here.

*Phoenix Suns (-2.5, 217.5) at Portland Trail Blazers

The Suns are incredibly short-handed and those absences showed last night in a loss to the Clippers. Without Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton on the floor Phoenix was limited to 0.979 points per possession and dropped to 1-4 ATS in its last five games. Ayton missed the game with a non-COVID illness, and is considered day-to-day so his status is clearly something to monitor as we move forward throughout the day. Despite his questionable status the Suns are laying points on the road for good reason. Portland is on a five-game losing streak and is 1-8 SU/2-7 ATS in its last nine games with a -12.7 net rating. Damian Lillard did return from a five-game absence over the weekend but showed some rust in going 5-of-17 from the floor and 3-of-14 from deep. If Ayton cannot play tonight I would not rule out a play on Portland. With a game under his belt Lillard should be better, and without Ayton on the floor the Trail Blazers’ hole at center behind Jusuf Nurkic should not be as impactful. The betting market has moved from -2.5 in favor of the Suns to -1.5 and I agree with the move. Phoenix is a very good team, but their roster has been ravaged with injury or illness. At some point it is too much to ask a team in this situation to cover numbers on the road in a league in which homecourt matters.

Best Bets Summary

Warriors (-3.5)

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