NBA: Best bets and analysis for Wednesday, November 8th

November 8, 2023 07:51 AM


NBA best bets and analysis for Wednesday, November 8th

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Best Bets

Record: 13-5 | Units: +7.55u | ROI: 38.78%

Listed lines are opening numbers | * - Indicates team is on a back-to-back

Boston Celtics (-1, 226) at Philadelphia 76ers

Boston suffered its first loss of the season in Minnesota on Monday. The Celtics’ offense struggled against the Timberwolves’ defense, and managed just 1.009 points per possession in non-garbage time. Boston’s penchant to play isolation-heavy basketball did not fare well against a team like Minnesota, as they are littered with above average on-ball defenders that can hold their own every possession. The Celtics will not face that tonight against the 76ers, and that should mean a more efficient effort from Boston’s offense.

On the surface Philadelphia’s defense is doing extremely well. Opponents have averaged only 108.0 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time, and their halfcourt defense is fourth-best in the NBA right now (88.8). However, four of the opponents it has faced currently rank 16th or worse in non-garbage time offensive rating – Toronto and Portland are 25th and 30th as of Wednesday – and very quietly the 76ers have struggled to defend in transition. Tyrese Maxey and Kelly Oubre are not dominant defenders, and both can be picked on by a Boston offense which loves to work in isolation through its best players.

In fact, Philadelphia’s new starting lineup – with Oubre playing small forward and Tobias Harris playing power forward – has a -8.3 net rating despite putting up 1.263 points per possession, because it is allowing 1.346 per possession on the other end.

That’s not to say that this should be a one-sided affair tonight. The Celtics do not have a clear answer to defend Joel Embiid on the roster. When the 76ers have Embiid and Maxey on the floor together they are averaging 1.262 points per possession. Those lineups’ halfcourt efficency ranks in the 98th percentile, and their new starting group is averaging 108.8 points per 100 plays in those situations. It’s hard to see the Celtics snuffing that offense out, especially when there is a mismatch on the floor like Embiid.

This leads to betting this game over the total. The market went up to 228.5 from the overnight line, but is now back to 227.5 consensus. Neither team should have a real answer on defense for the other tonight. Boston’s iso-heavy approach will take advantage of the lesser defenders for Philly, and the 76ers’ high-powered offense with Embiid attracting so much attention should continue to operate at a high level.

Play: OVER 227 - Playable up to 228.5

Portland Trail Blazers at Sacramento Kings (-7.5, 222)

The Sacramento Kings have been a different team since losing De’Aaron Fox to injury. In the three games without Fox, the Kings have averaged 97.3 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time. Their defense has been just as bad – opponents have put up 118.0 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time – which has led to a -20.8 net rating without Fox. He remains out tonight, so perhaps being back in Sacramento will allow this team to find its identity on offense but I doubt it.

Fox does so much for this offense. His pick-and-roll game with Domantas Sabonis is the focal point of this offense. Without him on the floor it is Davion Mitchell or Malik Monk running the point, and neither are the facilitator or playmaker Fox is. It’s hard to ask this offense to win by margin at this point, even against Portland which has held its own against bad offenses this season.

The Trail Blazers might be a bad team, but they have been there with similarly rated opponents. They have allowed only 111.0 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time, and while much of that is due to facing poor offenses this is another opportunity tonight against a Kings team without Fox. Portland also gets an offensive boost by facing a defense which has allowed 115.8 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time.

This is probably going to be a play I regret, but this is a play against the Kings. Without Fox this offense is nowhere near the force it can be. Couple that with a below average defense and it should be very difficult to win by margin, even against the Trail Blazers.

Play: Trail Blazers (+7.5) - Playable down to (+6.5)

Best Bets

Celtics/76ers OVER 227

Trail Blazers (+7.5)

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Follow The Money: Michigan vs. Iowa is seeing a total of 34.5 currently, Iowa's offense has been historically bad. Michigan may be able to hit this total to the over on their own. If considering unders look at the Iowa team total. View more tips.

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