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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: 60-67 | Units: -10.11 | ROI: -8.14%
Milwaukee might be playing on no rest, but it is hardly the usual situation for a team playing on the second leg of a back-to-back. Not a single Bucks starter last night played more than 30 minutes, and while Khris Middleton missed the game it was likely due to rest, which means he will be ready to go tonight against Denver. The market is starting to move toward the Nuggets this morning, but if Giannis Antetokounmpo is playing tonight as expected, then this move is going in the wrong direction.
There are a few shops which are up to 3.5 in favor of Denver which would indicate that the market believes it to be the slightly better team. As someone who rates Milwaukee as the better team this is not an accurate number, especially if Middleton plays and no one sits for the Bucks today.
Milwaukee ranks in the 95th percentile of transition frequency when Antetokounmpo is on the floor, and while the team has not been wildly efficient in their transition offense this season, their floor should be raised by facing one of the worst transition defenses in the NBA. The Bucks, as we know, are an elite defensive team as well, with multiple options to throw at Nikola Jokic. The matchup works and the price is in my range so give me Milwaukee today.
Bet: Bucks ML (+130)
The market severely downgraded Los Angeles after the loss of Paul George to injury, but the Clippers proved to be perfectly capable without him on the floor. Kawhi Leonard is quietly playing at an MVP level, averaging 28.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.9 steals over his last 28 games while shooting 53.7% from the floor and 49.0% from 3-point range. New Orleans has no real defensive option for Leonard on this roster. The Pelicans have won and covered three straight, but those came against Charlotte, San Antonio and Houston. This is an obvious step up in competition.
As previously mentioned, I believe the market has downgraded Los Angeles by too much. This number would indicate only a two-point difference between these teams on a neutral, and that is too small a difference, especially considering how poorly the Pelicans have played against the teams which are not among the worst in the NBA.
Bet: Clippers (-5)
Best Bet Recap
Bucks ML (+130)
NBA Games & Odds
Indiana was in Boston last night, so those wanting to get involved here will want to make sure Tyrese Haliburton will be on the floor tonight. Haliburton returned from injury last night, but he had missed the prior six games with an ankle injury so sitting on the second leg of a back-to-back is not unheard of. When Haliburton is on the floor the Pacers average 118.2 points per 100 possessions, and their transition offense is among the best in the NBA. However, Haliburton does nothing to help this team defensively, so that will be a problem tonight regardless of his status.
The Pacers have allowed 117.6 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time this season, and offensive efficiency has been the lone area in which the Hawks have consistency in recently. Atlanta has put up 120.3 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time since Quin Snyder has taken over as head coach. The Hawks’ net rating over those 12 games is only +1.0 due to a defense which has allowed 119.2 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time, and it’s why confirming Haliburton’s status today. If he is on the floor this Pacers offense should be able to find success against an inconsistent Hawks defense. The market has dipped on the number for Atlanta, and rightfully so considering its defensive play, and the total is up to 242 which would mean the market believes Haliburton is on the floor today.
Miami is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games, but the market is still somewhat high on this team’s rating, as the Heat are only 5-5 ATS over that stretch. One of the key factors in this run is that Miami is starting to find some stability with its starting group of Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Gabe Vincent, Tyler Herro and Kevin Love. Those five only have a +0.7 net rating, but they only allow 112.0 points per 100 possessions and force turnovers on 14.4% of opponent possessions. This stretch of consistency has buoyed the market’s belief in Miami, and we’re seeing hints of that belief in this meeting with -6 starting to pop up on the board. Brooklyn has also done little to garner support at the window lately, as it is 0-5 SU/1-4 ATS in its last five games with a -6.4 net rating. When these two teams met right after the trade deadline the market had Miami rated as 1.5 points better on a neutral, but this number today would indicate that is now up to -3 on a neutral. Given how poorly the Nets have played since that game I would say that adjustment is warranted.
This game is going to be all about the injury report, and that makes it nearly impossible to handicap this morning. James Harden missed a second game with Achilles soreness last night, and with this game coming on the second leg of a back-to-back we cannot rule out Joel Embiid potentially sitting this game out after playing 38 minutes last night in San Francisco. Phoenix did not have Deandre Ayton last night due to his lingering hip injury, so his status will likely be in question tonight as well. The market has flipped to Phoenix this morning and the total has dropped to 225 consensus which would indicate a belief that Philadelphia is sitting someone of note tonight.
De’Aaron Fox left Sacramento’s win over Phoenix last night with a sore hamstring, so it is likely he does not play tonight against Utah. The Jazz have dropped their last two games, and their defense has been particularly abysmal lately. Utah’s last 10 opponents have averaged 121.0 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time, and that has led to nine of the 10 games this month going over the total. Fox’s absence has caused this line and total to dip, but unless the Kings sit someone unexpectedly this is still a candidate to go over the total.