NBA best bets and analysis for Thursday, November 16th
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Record: 19-10 | Units: +8.21u | ROI: 26.24%
* - Indicates team is on a back-to-back
Brooklyn Nets at Miami Heat (-2, 216.5)
Something has to give tonight between two of the hottest ATS teams in the NBA. Brooklyn enters this contest with a league-best 90.0% cover rate on the season (9-1-1 ATS). Miami is only 3-7-1 ATS this year, but those three covers have come in the last four games and they have won six straight. It is a fascinating matchup on paper as well, because what the Nets do on offense goes up against what the Heat struggle with on defense.
Brooklyn takes the fifth-highest rate of 3-point attempts in the NBA, and they shoot 38.3% as a team. Miami gives up the eighth-most 3-point attempts, and opponents have shot 39.7% on those attempts. The Nets have the sixth-highest rate of transition plays off live rebounds and they rank 10th in offensive efficiency in those situations. The Heat ranks 25th defensively in that category. Brooklyn is also the best transition defense on the other end, and they face a Miami defense which is 30th in offensive efficiency in transition off live rebounds.
So, why is the market moving toward Miami tonight? Frankly, I could not tell you. This current number would say that the Heat are a better team on a neutral court, but that is not something I necessarily agree with. As of this morning the Heat are -4 but there should be some buyback at some point. Brooklyn deserves more respect from the market against one of the most overvalued teams in the league.
Play: Nets ML (+150) – Playable to (+125)
Oklahoma City Thunder (-2, 226.5) at Golden State Warriors
Golden State will be short-handed tonight against Oklahoma City. Draymond Green is suspended for his choke-hold on Rudy Gobert and Stephen Curry is out with a knee injury. That means that Chris Paul will run the show tonight for the Warriors, and that could lead to massive change with the pace and flow of this offense. The market knows this obviously, but the argument could be made that it is not accounting for the change Paul could make tonight.
When Paul is on the floor without Curry 80.3% of their plays are against a set defense, according to Cleaning The Glass. If Golden State played at that pace for the season it would be the sixth-highest frequency of halfcourt plays in the league. So, we can expect a slower pace. The offense is also not as effective, and averages only 114.1 points per 100 possessions. Remove Green from the equation and Golden State – with Paul on the floor – averages only 107.5 points per 100 possessions. Add onto that the continued struggles of Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins – and more defensive oriented personnel getting a larger share of minutes – and we get what looks to be a potentially clunky performance on offense for the Warriors. It also helps that Oklahoma City comes into this game fifth in non-garbage time defensive efficiency.
When these two teams met on Nov. 3 they combined for 280 points in Oklahoma City. There was no real pace – both teams played over 81.0% of their possessions in the halfcourt – it was just two hyper-efficient offenses on the floor. Tonight should not be the same effort, at least from the Golden State side. So to offset getting burned from a good offensive performance by the Thunder I will go with the Warriors’ team total tonight. A slower pace and less efficient offense should keep Golden State from surpassing 112.5 points tonight.
Play: Warriors TT UN 112.5 (-115) – Playable to 111.5 (-115)
If you listened to today’s episode of Hardwood Handicappers you know what is coming next. Andrew Wiggins has been absolutely terrible to start the season. He is averaging just 10.4 points on 39.5% shooting from the floor. From beyond the arc he is shooting 15.2% on just 2.8 attempts per game. It is hard to get much worse for Wiggins at this point, so what better time to buy low than now? With Curry and Green out the shot share will be distributed among Klay Thompson and Wiggins as their primary shooters. We saw in the loss to Minnesota that Wiggins is at least picking up the attempts with Curry out, as he took seven attempts from deep. The price is +115 on Over 1.5 makes and that is a price worth taking a shot with.
Play: Andrew Wiggins OV 1.5 3P (+115) – Playable up to (-115)
Nets ML (+150)
Warriors TT UN 112.5 (-115)
Andrew Wiggins OV 1.5 3P (+115)