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All game lines via the VSiN NBA odds page
Market Report for Tuesday, November 22nd
*Indicates team is on the second leg of a back-to-back
**Lines are opening numbers
Record: 15-25 Units: -10.31 | ROI: -27.12%
Joel Embiid, James Harden and Tyrese Maxey are all out for Philadelphia tonight, and even against Brooklyn’s defense it is hard to see how the 76ers put together an efficient scoring effort tonight. The betting market has rightfully bumped this line up on Brooklyn to -8 consensus, and the total is up to 218.5 at most shops. Kyrie Irving is back on the floor for the Nets, and while he only added 14 points on Sunday against Memphis, it was clear his presence spaced the floor out even more for Brooklyn. From a side or total perspective these numbers have already tightened up, but from a player prop standpoint there is an interesting angle. Quietly, Ben Simmons is starting to get comfortable with his role in Brooklyn. He has put up double-digit scoring efforts in his last three games, and is averaging 29.6 points, rebounds and assists per game over that stretch. Tonight, that prop total is set at 21.5 in most shops which is essentially his season average. What if Simmons is actually starting to find his groove? That line obviously does not account for potential improvement, so I will bet on his improvement sticking and this line being set too low.
Play: [1.09u] Ben Simmons Over 21.5 PTS+REB+AST (-120)
Best Bet Recap
[1.09u] Ben Simmons Over 21.5 PTS+REB+AST (-120)
Memphis’ injury report looks less daunting than it did on Sunday when it faced Brooklyn. Jaren Jackson Jr. will return after a night off, and Ja Morant was actually upgraded to doubtful yesterday despite being considered week-to-week with his ankle injury. Morant’s potential availability throws this entire game on its head from a preflop betting standpoint. If Morant somehow plays, then this game goes off with the Grizzlies as favorites. Until that happens though, the Kings deserve to be favored here. Sacramento may have failed to cover against Detroit on Sunday, but this team is 11-4 ATS and covering by an average of 4.3 points per game. Their offense seems to match up well with their opponents tonight too. Memphis’ philosophy of prioritizing rim defense while allowing 3-point attempts lines up with Sacramento which has attempted 39.9% of its shots from the perimeter while shooting 37.7%. Since Morant has the potential to play tonight, I believe it would be unwise to get involved preflop. The market has swung the line in favor of the Kings and the total is down to 232, both moves that indicate Morant not being available, but crazier things in terms of player availability have happened.
The battle of the benches will be seemingly taking place in Denver tonight, as both clubs come into this game with a rash of absences. Detroit will be without Cade Cunningham and Saddiq Bey once more, and Denver has both Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray listed as doubtful while both Aaron Gordon and Ish Smith carry questionable tags for tonight. Making matters more complicated are the fact that both Jokic and Murray are in the health and safety protocol, which means they could be activated at any point, and if that happens this line will swing back to the Nuggets. As of this morning this line is down to -5.5 consensus but should Jokic or Murray play this will approach the opening number once more. In the three games without Jokic, the Nuggets have gone 1-2 SU and ATS with a 105.3 offensive rating. He is arguably the most valuable player from a point spread perspective, and even if there is a small chance he plays it makes a game like this unplayable until his status is confirmed in my opinion.
LeBron James is still listed as questionable with a groin injury that has caused him to miss the last four games. One would assume his extended absence meant curtains for Los Angeles, but that has not been the case. The Lakers are 3-1 SU/2-1-1 ATS in those four games, and their offense has erupted for 121.1 points per 100 possessions. The driving force behind this run is Anthony Davis, who has averaged 32.3 points and 16.5 rebounds per game on 58.4% shooting from the floor since James’ injury. Having said that, this streak includes games against San Antonio, Detroit and Brooklyn. Phoenix is obviously a different challenge, although the team is still dealing with injuries to Chris Paul and Cameron Johnson. As pointed out in a previous column, since Paul’s injury the Suns’ defense has really fallen off, allowing 116.9 points per 100 possessions in the six games without him. They calmed things down back home against New York on Sunday, so it will be interesting to see if that pops up again tonight, especially if James plays. Due to the potential return of James this line has not budged from the opening, but if he is out once more another big Davis night might be in store.