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All game lines via the VSiN NBA odds page.
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*Indicates team is on the second leg of a back-to-back
**Lines are opening numbers
Record: 47-51 | Units: -6.46 | ROI: -6.72%
Brooklyn unveiled its newest pieces on Saturday in the loss to Philadelphia, and it looked quite different. The Nets limited the 76ers to 1.111 points per possession in a slow affair that totaled only 89 possessions, according to Cleaning The Glass. The Nets themselves were limited offensively, putting up only 1.089 per possession, and this might be what we get from this team going forward.
Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson and Dorian Finney-Smith were in the starting lineup, giving Brooklyn three incredible wing defenders on the floor at once. However, rounding out that group with Spencer Dinwiddie and Nic Claxton severely limits the shot creation. Brooklyn is going to be a dynamic defense team with a low ceiling on offense, especially with Seth Curry out with injury.
That leads us to this game. The market has already pushed this total down to as low as 220.5, but there are still some 221.5 on the board, and those are worth picking off and playing Under if you have access. New York’s offense should have some trouble with the switching and length of Brooklyn’s defense, while the Nets’ offense should struggle to create once more. As someone who made the total 219.5, there is still some value in playing this thing Under, but for less than usual considering the number I missed on.
Bet: UNDER 220.5 (0.5-unit play)
Best Bet Recap
Nets/Knicks UNDER 220.5 (0.5-unit play)
NBA Games & Odds
Tre Jones is out for San Antonio tonight with foot soreness, and while both Keldon Johnson and Jeremy Sochan are probable, there is a chance either could sit tonight. The Spurs seem set on solidifying their standing as the worst team in the league, and it shows in their current 0-12 SU/1-11 ATS slide. One would think the market has adjusted to this, but it does not seem to be the case. This line is now -15 consensus, and it’s hard to argue against it given the product the Spurs have been putting on the floor.
Houston has lost its last five, but the team is 5-2 ATS in its last seven games. However, over the course of those seven, the Rockets have been outscored by 8.2 points per 100 possessions, and their 122.6 defensive rating over that span is second worst in the league. That defense is going to have its hands full if Joel Embiid, who is listed as questionable again, is going to play. The Rockets are very undersized at center behind Alperen Sengun, and those Embiid and James Harden lineups have been averaging 120.9 points per 100 possessions. This betting line is down to -13 consensus, perhaps due to the questionable status of Embiid, but he has played in 15 of 16 games, so it's hard to imagine he is in danger of missing this one.
The market has flipped on this game due to the injury report for Indiana, as both Tyrese Haliburton and Myles Turner are questionable to play. In the possessions without either on the floor, Indiana has a -6.4 net rating with its offense suffering the most, scoring an average of 109.5 points per 100 possessions. Utah has played two games since selling off its pieces at the deadline and it has split those affairs. The Jazz defense has been inconsistent as usual, allowing 1.204 points per possession in the two games, but the market is not being shaken by that it seems. As of this morning, this is now -1 in favor of the Jazz, but monitor social media and the injury report here. Should Haliburton play, this line should be at least 1.5 in favor of Indiana.
This is an extremely tricky spot for Denver tonight. The Nuggets are on the final game of a three-game road trip, and they have just two games left until the All-Star break. It also happens to be Miami. These spots for teams can be touchy, as players can see some time off on the horizon. Meanwhile, the market continues to overvalue the Heat, who snapped an 0-4 ATS slide with an overtime win in Orlando on Saturday. This number is cheap for Denver, which should be favored here, but both Aaron Gordon and Jamal Murray are questionable to play. The market has moved slightly toward the Nuggets, but only by a half-point. Should either Murray or Gordon play, jump on a cheap moneyline price for the Nuggets before it swings to them.
Chicago is 4-6 SU and ATS in its last 10 games and struggling to find consistency on offense. Over the course of this slide, the Bulls are averaging just 109.6 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time, but they still have a positive net rating due to an incredible 107.9 defensive rating. They shouldn’t have a problem defending Orlando’s poor halfcourt offense, but how they fare against the Magic in transition is the real matchup here. Chicago has been somewhat poor in transition on defense, allowing 123.6 points per 100 plays off live rebounds. Since the beginning of January, Orlando has turned up its frequency of transition plays, beginning 31.7% of their possessions with a transition play and ranking 11th in offensive efficiency off live rebounds (123.9).
CJ McCollum is questionable to play tonight, and while his presence will ultimately shape this line, the Pelicans shouldn’t be completely toast without him. Brandon Ingram has finally started to find his groove since returning from injury, and in his last four games, he is averaging 29.0 points on 54.3% shooting from the floor. For the season, when New Orleans has Ingram on the floor without McCollum and Zion Williamson, the Pelicans are +5.1 per 100 possessions with a 123.6 offensive rating. This team should still rate higher than Oklahoma City, but this opening number would suggest these teams are equals, and it is likely why this number has dipped to 2.5 despite McCollum’s questionable status.
The market has seen only one game with Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving on the floor together, but it seems to be in on the experiment. The Mavericks lost in overtime to the Kings on Saturday, but the pairing of Irving and Doncic delivered. When those two were on the floor together, Dallas was +26.2 per 100 possessions and put up 1.31 per possession. It’s a small sample size against a poor defensive team, and should the Timberwolves be healthy tonight, one could argue this line is too high. Rudy Gobert and Kyle Anderson are both questionable to play, so bettors who want to go against Dallas will need both on the floor.
There was a report over the weekend that LeBron James’ ankle injury is more severe than initially indicated, and he did not play against Golden State on Saturday because of the injury. That would mean his questionable status tonight is a real one, and seeing as the Lakers are two games away from the All-Star break, we could see James sit both games. If he does not play tonight, this offense will need to be better than it was in San Francisco when it averaged just 1.038 points per possession. That is likely going to be possible against Portland, which will not have Jusuf Nurkic and may not have Jerami Grant. This line is down to -1, but if LeBron is ultimately ruled out, expect this to bounce back to the opening number.