Welcome to the daily NBA betting market report, your source for analysis on the betting lines for the day in professional hoops. For updates throughout the day follow me on Twitter, or check out The Edge daily at 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT.
All game lines via VSiN NBA Odds page.
Market Report for Friday, January 7th
*Indicates team is on the second leg of a back-to-back
**Lines are opening numbers
San Antonio Spurs at Philadelphia 76ers (-5.5, 219)
San Antonio may have Dejounte Murray back in the lineup, but with his return comes more departures. Three of the Spurs’ starting five in the win over the Celtics on Wednesday are now in COVID protocol and in all five players are out due to the virus. The players in question are Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell, Derrick White, Doug McDermott and Thad Young, four of which average at least 24.6 minutes per game. That is a lot of production that will not be on the floor for the Spurs tonight when they face a Philadelphia team hitting its stride. The 76ers have won five straight and are 6-1 SU/5-2 ATS in the last seven games with a + 10.5 net rating. Philadelphia has suddenly found its offense and during this run the team is averaging 117.1 points per 100 possessions. The driving force behind it has been Joel Embiid who has scored 30+ points in seven of eight games and is averaging 33.1 points and 10.1 rebounds on 54.9% shooting from the floor and 45.8% from deep. It would be wise to expect Embiid to continue this run, and by extension, the 76ers to keep rolling. San Antonio’s only true matchup for Embiid is Jakob Poeltl who is not by any means a defensive big. With him on the floor the Spurs have a 111.9 defensive rating and he has trouble closing out on forward-facing centers like Embiid. The betting market has bumped this line up to Philadelphia -7.5 which is the right move. Lonnie Walker IV and Devontae Cacok could be back for the Spurs today, but neither is impactful from a betting standpoint.
Milwaukee Bucks at Brooklyn Nets (-4.5, 229.5)
After a brilliant offensive performance that snapped an 0-3 SU and ATS slide the Brooklyn Nets return home and Kyrie Irving is back on the shelf. Irving is ineligible to play home games for the Nets, but Brooklyn is relatively healthy with Joe Harris the only other name on the injury report tonight. The same could not be said for Milwaukee which has six players, including Jrue Holiday and Donte DiVincenzo, out due to injury or COVID protocol. The good news for the Bucks is that Giannis Antetokounmpo is probable to play, but the numerous absences have the Nets laying 4.5 at most shops. Milwaukee is a good team even without Holiday on the floor. When Antetokounmpo and Middleton are on the floor without him the Bucks have a + 11.0 net rating, and their offense averages an impressive 115.8 points per 100 possessions. There should be no doubt that this starting lineup will be able to compete with Brooklyn, but the issue arises when Milwaukee goes to the bench. The team has a -3.2 net rating when Antetokounmpo is off the floor, and the possessions without both him and Holiday that net rating is -22.6! The bench has been an issue all season and it’s what turns me away from the Bucks here. It is also why we have this total get bet up to 232.5 at most shops.
Utah Jazz at Toronto Raptors (-10.5, 222.5)
The trend of Toronto home games going over the total is in danger of being snapped due to a rash of absences for the visiting team. Rudy Gobert will not play after being placed in COVID protocol. Donovan Mitchell, Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic and Joe Ingles are all out with injury, and Jordan Clarkson, Rudy Gay, Royce O’Neale and Hassan Whiteside are all questionable to play. For those scoring at home that is four of the Jazz’s starting five out, the other listed as questionable and their top four bench options being listed as either out or questionable as well. It’s why the Raptors are -11.5 in every shop and why this total is down to 221.5 as well. However, always be wary of jumping in after the information. Toronto has been playing well and enter tonight on a 4-0 SU run and the team is 11-1 ATS in its last 12 games, but this is a very inflated number due to the personnel issues that Utah faces.
Dallas Mavericks (-2, 216.5) at Houston Rockets
One might look at this number and be confused as to why it is so low, but the injury situation is not a positive one for Dallas. Luka Doncic will likely not play due to that bothersome right ankle, and Kristaps Porzingis is out as well. Without Doncic in the lineup the Mavericks are 5-9 SU but they have handled business from a betting perspective and are 8-6 ATS in those same contests. Jalen Brunson has done a tremendous job keeping this team together through injury and the lineups with him on the floor without Doncic or Porzingis are + 5.3 per 100 possessions with a 113.4 offensive rating. This version of Dallas is perfectly capable of winning games, but being favored on the road is another question. In those games without Doncic the Mavericks closed as a favorite just three times, so laying points away from home is a different challenge. Houston snapped out of its funk the other day by taking down Washington as a 7.5-point underdog, and it could do the same here against what could be another inflated favorite.
Minnesota Timberwolves (-5, 214.5) at Oklahoma City Thunder
Since Dec. 12 the Timberwolves are 7-5 SU/9-3 ATS in 12 contests, but their + 2.4 net rating suggests a team that has just been getting by. In those 12 games Minnesota closed as an underdog nine times, posting an 8-1 ATS record in those situations. The role of sizeable road favorite is a big shift for the Timberwolves, especially against a team in Oklahoma City that has done so well in the role of underdog and home underdog. On the season, the Thunder are 23-12 ATS when catching points (65.7%) and when catching points at home the team is 12-5 ATS (70.6%). When these two teams met two days ago, when the Thunder covered in Minnesota, Luguentz Dort was unavailable, but he is off the injury report today. Oklahoma City will have its full complement of players tonight and it is hard to stay away from them in such a favorable situation.
Play: Thunder (+ 6)
Washington Wizards at Chicago Bulls (-7, 219.5)
The Wizards showed their true colors in the loss to Houston earlier this week when it allowed a team that was 1-11 SU and ATS in its previous 12 games to win outright as a 7.5-point underdog. Washington’s offense was abysmal, putting up just 1.307 points per possession against the 29th-ranked defense in the league. So, it is no surprise that Chicago is laying 6.5 at home to this team. The Bulls are 8-0 SU/4-4 ATS in their last eight games with a + 7.5 net rating. Outscoring opponents by 7.5 points every 100 possessions is impressive, but a .500 ATS mark suggests the power rating is at a market high. Alex Caruso is still out, but the core of Chicago’s rotation is intact and their offense has been incredible in averaging 119.1 points per 100 possessions. The absence of Caruso is being felt though. Opponents are averaging 111.7 points per 100 possessions against Chicago and most of the damage is being done inside. The Bulls are allowing the opposition to take 41.8% of their attempts at the rim and shoot 65.8% which is due in large part to a poor perimeter defense struggling to contain dribble-penetration. That could be a problem against Washington which takes 33.1% of its attempt within four feet and ranks second in rim shooting (70.4%).
Sacramento Kings at Denver Nuggets (-7, 222)
Sacramento is 1-3 SU and ATS in its last four games and its defense has allowed a staggering 116.7 points per 100 possessions. The team is getting slightly healthier, as Richaun Holmes is the lone major role player still missing from the lineup, but that has not mattered lately. The Kings have no real matchup for Nikola Jokic on defense, and for that reason the market seems to be running to support the Nuggets at the window. Denver is 0-2 SU and ATS in its last two games and 2-5 ATS in its last five with the third-worst offensive rating in the league over that stretch (103.8). It’s not exactly a team worth laying a massive number with even if the opposition is the Sacramento Kings. Aaron Gordon and Bones Hyland are probable which will give the Nuggets a massive boost, but 7-12 ATS mark as a favorite for Denver is representative of the overvalued nature of this team.
Cleveland Cavaliers (-4, 215.5) at Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and Larry Nance will be sidelined for Portland tonight and as a result the Cavaliers are road favorites. Most shops are up to -6 on Cleveland but I would be hesitant to rush to lay this number. The Cavaliers are 1-4 SU/0-5 ATS in the last five games and since losing Ricky Rubio the team has struggled, specifically on the defensive end where they have allowed their last three opponents to put up 117.1 points per 100 possessions. Isaac Okoro is also sidelined which is one less wing defender for Cleveland. Portland is an absolute mess with a 3-12 SU/4-11 ATS record since the start of December, but the Cavaliers are slipping due to injury and look slightly overvalued in this spot on the road.
Atlanta Hawks at Los Angeles Lakers (-2 225)
Atlanta’s injury report continues to be an absolute nightmare. Eleven players populate the list, and Trae Young, along with Bogdan Bogdanovic and John Collins, are questionable to play tonight. On the other end, Los Angeles is finally starting to get some continuity when it comes to its own roster, and as a result the team is 4-1 SU and ATS with a + 9.4 net rating which is one of the best stretches of basketball this team has played. The Lakers are up -3 at most shops, and the team deserves to be given the state of the Hawks’ roster. What will be interesting will be how the market reacts should Young, Bogdanovic and Collins all be made available. Those three are enough to get this line down to PK or even make Atlanta a slight road favorite, which would be a great opportunity to bet on Los Angeles. LeBron James has been unstoppable with a 30.4/8.9/6.3 stat line over the last 16 games and even a fully healthy Atlanta team will have trouble containing him.
Best Bets Summary
Thunder (+ 6)