Welcome to the daily NBA best bets page, your source for analysis on the betting lines for the day in professional hoops. For updates throughout the day follow me on Twitter, and make sure to subscribe to the Hardwood Handicappers podcast!
All game lines via the VSiN NBA odds page
*Indicates team is on the second leg of a back-to-back
**Lines are opening numbers
Record: 24-28 | Units: -4.93 | ROI: -9.83%
In the first game without Karl-Anthony Towns the betting market overreacted to his absence, and the Timberwolves ended up winning outright as a home underdog against the Grizzlies. This team might be undervalued by the betting market in the short term because the loss of Towns is not as impactful for a struggling team like Minnesota was prior to his injury. In that first game I backed the Timberwolves citing that overreaction as a reason why, and while I am getting involved in another Minnesota game it will not be a side play today.
In the absence of Town head coach Chris Finch elected to start Kyle Anderson, giving Minnesota three very solid defensive players on the court between him, Anthony Edwards and Rudy Gobert. The result was Memphis managing just 1.0 point per possession for the game and 0.649 points per play in the halfcourt with a turnover rate of 26.7%. Minnesota has immense potential defensively with this roster without Towns on the floor, but there is also a clear weakness when it comes to the team’s ability to create offense. The Timberwolves only averaged 1.05 points per possession and 0.899 points per play in the halfcourt.
This leads me to looking at the total tonight. Minnesota has plenty of quality defenders on this team, and they should be able to defend at a high level once more against Oklahoma City tonight. Helping matters is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s questionable status, and should he miss this game the Thunder, who average just 103.9 points per 100 possessions without him on the floor, will be hurting for scoring. If he does play, Edwards is a good enough defender to match up with him. This game turning into a track meet is a possibility, but halfcourt sets should be a slog for both teams and the Timberwolves should be better in transition on defense without two bigs on the floor.
Play: UNDER 233
Best Bet Recap
Thunder/Timberwolves UNDER (233)
Dallas followed up a big home win over Golden State with an overtime loss to Detroit to fall to a league worst 5-15-1 ATS on the season. The Mavericks are still desperately looking for someone to create outside of Luka Doncic and until the market makes a real adjustment on this team’s rating they are unbackable. Is there really a 4.5 point difference between Dallas and New York on a neutral court? I would say no, but this number says yes. The Knicks have scuffled themselves recently, and the market has overvalued this team at home this season (2-6-2 ATS), but they seem to be the lesser of two evils in this early morning match.
Paul George and Kawhi Leonard both returned to practice on Friday, and both were upgraded to questionable for this game against Sacramento. Both have missed extended time, so their impact from a point spread perspective should not be great for this single game. Los Angeles has struggled to show consistency on defense in the time since both George and Leonard were injured. The Clippers have allowed 118.8 points per 100 possessions in those six games, and now they have to face a Kings team averaging 116.7 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time. This figures to be a highly volatile game considering the poor defensive play we could get, so no need to get involved until the game begins.
Over the course of its last 12 games Milwaukee is now 6-6 SU/4-7-1 ATS with a -0.6 net rating in non-garbage time. That net rating is nothing to write home about in the grand scheme of things, but for a team rated like the Bucks are it is extremely poor and it is why this team has not been covering numbers. They should be able to bounce back against a limited team like Charlotte tonight, and the market is reacting accordingly by pushing this number to 6.5 consensus. The Hornets are on a nice 3-2 SU/4-1 ATS run heading into this contest, but this is an opponent much closer to the Celtics which absolutely smoked them in Boston a few nights ago.
Toronto has dropped its last two games, but both were on the road where the team is now 3-9 SU/4-7-1 ATS this season. The Raptors return home tonight to host the Magic and improve on their 8-2 SU/7-3 ATS home record. This is the second leg of a back-to-back for both teams, so the injury reports will be vital once they become available, especially for a team like Toronto which has quite a few players who missed time due to injury and might get the night off tonight. The number, both side and total, has pretty much stuck on the open and it will likely stay that way until the injury situation for both team is clear.