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All game lines via the VSiN NBA odds page.
Market Report for Monday, November 21st
*Indicates team is on the second leg of a back-to-back
**Lines are opening numbers
Record: 15-23 | Units: -8.31 | ROI: -23.07%
Orlando Magic at Indiana Pacers (-7, 226.5)
The betting market does not seem to be wavering in its rating of Indiana here despite being burned two days ago. The Pacers closed -6.5 against the Magic on Saturday night, but needed a Franz Wagner miss and failed Mo Bamba putback attempt at the buzzer to hold on to a victory. That was a game without Wendell Carter Jr. who could return tonight for Orlando, but still the market opened -7 in favor of the Pacers. This is just a number play for me, but this line is too high. Yes, Indiana had gone 9-0 ATS at one point, but seven of those games they closed as underdogs of an average of 5.6 points. Indiana still allows 113.3 points per 100 possessions on defense, the 22nd ranked defensive rating, and cannot defend without fouling. The Pacers allow opponents to make 25.1 made free throws per 100 possessions and the Magic happen to rank fifth in that category on offense (23.4) due to their consistent rim pressure. Give me the underdog here.
Play: Magic (+7)
Portland Trail Blazers at Milwaukee Bucks (-7.5, 216)
Damian Lillard is out with a similar calf injury that caused him to miss time a couple of weeks ago, and that is a problem for Portland’s offense. The Trail Blazers average 115.1 points per 100 possessions with Lillard on the floor, but 109.4 in the possessions with him off the floor. Milwaukee is back to being as healthy as it has been in a while, and that means this defense, which leads the league in 105.8 points per 100 possessions allowed, is going to be able to clamp down on a lesser offensive opponent. As a result, this total is down to 213.5 and the side is up to -10 at most shops. Both of those markets have moved too much to be playable, but the team total is still a number worth looking at for Portland. The best team total can be found at 102.5 (-110) and that is worth playing Under. Neither team is quick in terms of pace, and in the games without Lillard this season Portland did not play any quicker. With Giannis Antetokoumpo, Jrue Holiday and Brook Lopez on the floor together I would expect little offensive success from Portland’s offense tonight.
Play: Away TT UNDER 102.5 (-110)
Best Bet Recap
Trail Blazers TT UN 102.5 (-110)
Atlanta Hawks at *Cleveland Cavaliers (-2.5, 224.5)
Cleveland has limited its last two opponents to a combined 99.5 points per 100 possessions, but I would hardly consider their defense fixed, as that was Charlotte without LaMelo Ball and Miami without Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro. Tonight will be a big test for the Cavaliers to see if they have improved their defense, or if they are still the team that allowed 123.7 points per 100 possessions during its five-game losing streak. Meanwhile, Atlanta continues to be inconsistency personified. On Saturday the Hawks were pushed to overtime by a Toronto team missing four of its top six leaders in minutes, and they are 2-4 ATS in their last six with -3.1 net rating. The market has not budged on the side, but this total is as high as 226 in some spots.
*New York Knicks at Oklahoma City Thunder (-1.5, 230.5)
New York showed all of its warts in the loss to Phoenix on Sunday, and now they must face the team that went to Madison Square Garden and dropped 145 points on them in regulation. Since that game the Thunder finished up a four-game road trip and this is their return game at home, not having played since failing to cover against the Grizzlies on Friday. Oklahoma City’s once consistent defense has disappeared, and over the course of its last six games they have allowed 116.5 points per 100 possessions while playing at the league’s fastest pace. That has all added up to a 6-0 run to the Over, and is likely why we see this total at the number it is tonight. Situationally, it is a poor spot for the Knicks as well. The team is playing the last game of a road trip on the second leg of a back-to-back with three days off coming up. That is usually a play-against situation and the market has somewhat, as this side is up to Thunder -2 consensus.
*Golden State Warriors at New Orleans Pelicans (-5, 229)
Tonight is all about what Steve Kerr wants to do with his players in terms of rest, as he has consistently done in back-to-backs this season. We know that Klay Thompson is not going to play, as he has been kept out of these scheduling situations all season, and we know that the team recalled Ryan Rollins and Patrick Baldwin Jr. from Santa Cruz for reinforcements, according to Anthony Slater. So, the question is who will not play beside Thompson? Until we know who this game is not one to get involved with preflop. The number is up to 6.5 at quite a few shops, but it is worth pointing out that Steph Curry and Draymond Green have participated in these back-to-backs quite often this season.
Boston Celtics (-6, 226.5) at Chicago Bulls
Since these two teams last met they have been heading in opposite directions. Boston comes into this game on a 9-0 SU/6-3 ATS run, over which they have outscored opponents by 12.3 points per 100 possessions. Chicago is 1-6 SU/2-5 ATS with a -6.5 net rating and a defense that has allowed 115.3 points per 100 possessions. Since that last meeting the market has adjusted its rating on the Celtics as well. Remember, when these two teams met in Boston on Nov. 4 the Celtics closed -6 in a game they failed to cover and here they are in Chicago, laying the same number. Homecourt has been much more valuable this season, so that is quite the swing from the last meeting between these two. As someone who tries not to buy at market highs this is one to stay away from, and the betting market has not really budged from the opening side, but the total has been bet up to 227.5 consensus.
*Miami Heat at Minnesota Timberwolves (-7.5, 216.5)
The Heat are beat up and struggling as a result. Miami is 2-7 ATS in its last nine games, and still holds the title of worst cover team in the league (25.0% ATS). Jimmy Butler is not with the team on the road trip due to injury, Tyler Herro continues to miss time with his ankle injury and both Gabe Vincent and Duncan Robinson are now day-to-day after suffering injuries in the loss to Cleveland last night. It’s a poor situation for Miami, and the market has responded, driving this line up to Timberwolves -8.5 consensus. Minnesota has been lucky recently, as it enters this game on a little 3-0 SU/2-1 ATS run, all coming against beleaguered opponents missing key components of the roster, and that is the same case tonight.
Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Clippers (-3.5, 221.5)
Ty Lue has been shuffling his rotations around all season due to fickle health for some of his best players, but now this roster is getting healthy and the results have been more consistent. Los Angeles is 7-3 SU and ATS in the month of November with a +5.9 net rating in non-garbage time. Their defense continues to be one of the best in the league, limiting opponents to 106.2 points per 100 possessions, an offensive rebounding rate of 23.7% and forcing turnovers on 15.9% of opponent possessions. Those happen to be some pretty important defensive statistics to excel at when facing Utah, which has the fourth best offensive rating in the league (117.0) and offensive rebounding rate (31.1%) while ranking 23rd in offensive turnover rate (15.8%). The Jazz have slipped defensively as well and come into this game 24th in non-garbage time defensive efficiency (113.9). I believe this paints a picture of a positive matchup for Los Angeles, and the fact that Mike Conley - a 40% shooter for this 3-point heavy team - is out with a leg injury only helps the Clippers tonight. The market is down to 3.5 here but that might be due to questions about Paul George’s availability, as he sat the second half of the Clippers’ win over the Spurs the other night. If George plays then I play Los Angeles tonight.