NBA Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions (Friday, Jan. 24): Keep an Eye on Miami Heat Injuries
Photo credit: Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic
This NBA season, I’m trying something new. I’m going to write a daily piece that highlights everything bettors and DFS players need to know for that night’s slate. For more on what to expect, read the inaugural piece.
I ended up not making any bets yesterday, as I just wasn’t seeing a whole lot of value. Part of this game is knowing when not to press; there are so many opportunities throughout the season.
Anyway, let’s dive into today’s slate and find some angles.
Note: For updates, see the chat at the bottom of this post.
- Overall: 185-154-2
- Spreads: 72-66-2
- Totals: 68-58
- Moneylines: 16-8
- Props: 29-22
Odds as of Friday afternoon and via FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
Betting Odds and Analysis
- 3 p.m. ET: Milwaukee Bucks (-13.5) at Charlotte Hornets, 219
- 7 p.m. ET: Boston Celtics at Orlando Magic (-1.5), 211
- 7 p.m. ET: Memphis Grizzlies at Detroit Pistons (pick), 230
- 7:30 p.m. ET: Toronto Raptors (-8) at New York Knicks, 217
- 8 p.m. ET: Houston Rockets (-5.5) at Minnesota Timberwolves, 234.5
- 8 p.m. ET: LA Clippers (-3) at Miami Heat, 221.5
- 8 p.m. ET: Denver Nuggets at New Orleans Pelicans (-4), 229.5
- 8 p.m. ET: Sacramento Kings at Chicago Bulls (-2.5), 219
- 8 p.m. ET: Atlanta Hawks at OKC Thunder (-11), 224.5
- 8:30 p.m. ET: Phoenix Suns at San Antonio Spurs (-4), 228
- 10:30 p.m. ET: Indiana Pacers (-6) at Golden State Warriors, 214.5
Let’s run through a couple angles I’m eyeing.
Hawks at Thunder
The Thunder have really slipped defensively of late, ranking 20th in the league over the last two weeks, allowing 114.7 points per 100 possessions. Further, tonight they could be without Steven Adams, their center and best defensive player.
The on/off numbers for Adams aren’t extreme or anything in terms of raw impact, mostly because the other starters have struggled at times this year (while the bench has been pretty good).
But digging deeper, you can see his impact: With him on the floor, the Thunder are giving up 4.9% fewer shots at the rim (95th percentile of players) and 1.7% fewer corner-3s (93rd percentile).
Since the start of the new year, they’ve likely been a little unlucky in terms of opponent shooting, as they’ve allowed a league-high 53.8% eFG% on open shots. But given the quality of those looks in the last bit, it’s not entirely surprising that more of those are going down. In the last month, they’re in the bottom-10 in expected eFG% allowed.
Meanwhile, I’ve written a bit lately that I’m cautiously buying the Hawks to see some improvement over the last part of the season. Their main core wasn’t able to play together to start the year due to suspension (John Collins) or nagging injuries (Kevin Huerter). As a result, Trae Young just didn’t have good offensive talent around him, and opposing defenses could swarm him without worry.
But that’s come around a bit lately, and the numbers with those three players on the floor are much better than with other iterations of the starting lineup they’ve had to throw out there this year.
I think a lot of it has to do with Huerter’s shooting, which is just so badly needed for this roster. He started the year shooting 26.3% from 3 over the first month, but in January he’s at 46.4% and a 55.6% true shooting. When he played in the first month, the Hawks scored 95 points/100. In January, that’s up all the way to 108/100.
Further, the Hawks are also playing faster. Even in their last game against the Clippers, which easily hit the under, the Hawks played incredibly fast and really got out in transition frequently. They went cold from the field, as did the Clips, but the pace and shooting they’ve had in the last month with finally a more set rotation has been encouraging.
For all those reasons, I think there’s some value on the over here.
Heat at Clippers
For starters, my colleague Matt Moore wrote a very smart breakdown of the Heat the other day and why they’re semi-fraudulent.
And second, they might be pretty darn shorthanded today, as Kendrick Nunn, Goran Dragic and Jimmy Butler are all questionable to suit up with injuries. The Heat have impressed this season by getting production up and down the roster, from non-NBA names to boot, but they’ll likely have to rely on guys like Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro and Derrick Jones Jr. (along with Bam Adebayo, who is legitimately awesome) to really propel them.
That seems tough, although the Heat will be at home today, where they’ve had incredibly notable splits…
- Heat at home: +11.5 overall (3rd), 116.4 ORtg (3rd), 104.9 DRtg (7th)
- Heat on road: -3.4 overall (16th), 108.7 ORtg (13th), 112.1 DRtg (18th)
This season they’re 15-5-1 against the spread at home vs. 10-12-1 on the road. Interestingly enough, the Clips also have sizable splits, posting a 14-9 ATS record at home vs. 10-12 on the road. Those are definitely concerning.
The Clips are coming off a loss, but they also didn’t play Paul George, Kawhi Leonard or Patrick Beverley — perhaps their three most important players. Beverley and PG are likely out again for this one, but Kawhi is likely to be back, as he was just resting on the second leg of the back-to-back the other night.
And he’s definitely been their catalyst: The Clips have been 11.5 points per 100 possessions better with Kawhi on the floor vs. off, which is in the 95th percentile of all players this year. No other player on the Clips is above +4.5, which shows just how singularly important he is.
Again, the splits for these teams are somewhat concerning, but if some of those guys for the Heat are out, then I like the Clips to take advantage of resting Kawhi the other night and cover against a shorthanded squad. If they all play, though, I think the Heat provide value as a short home dog.
Projected Starting Lineups and Injury News
Note: Info as of 11:30 a.m. ET. For up-to-the-minute lineups and news, see FantasyLabs’ matchups page.
- Atlanta Hawks: Trae Young – Kevin Huerter – De’Andre Hunter – John Collins – Bruno Fernando
- Boston Celtics: Kemba Walker – Marcus Smart – Jaylen Brown – Gordon Hayward – Daniel Theis
- Charlotte Hornets: Devonte’ Graham – Terry Rozier – Miles Bridges – PJ Washington – Cody Zeller
- Chicago Bulls: Kris Dunn – Tomas Satoransky – Zach LaVine – Lauri Markkanen – Luke Kornet
- Denver Nuggets: Monte Morris – Gary Harris – Will Barton – Jerami Grant – Nikola Jokic
- Detroit Pistons: Derrick Rose – Bruce Brown – Tony Snell – Markieff Morris – Andre Drummond
- Golden State Warriors: D’Angelo Russell – Damion Lee – Glenn Robinson III – Draymond Green – Willie Cauley-Stein
- Houston Rockets: Russell Westbrook – James Harden – Ben McLemore – PJ Tucker – Clint Capela
- Indiana Pacers: TJ McConnell – Jeremy Lamb – TJ Warren – Domantas Sabonis – Myles Turner
- LA Clippers: Terance Mann – Landry Shamet – Kawhi Leonard – Maurice Harkless – Ivica Zubac
- Memphis Grizzlies: Ja Morant – Dillon Brooks – Jae Crowder – Jaren Jackson Jr. – Jonas Valanciunas
- Miami Heat: Kendrick Nunn – Duncan Robinson – Jimmy Butler – Bam Adebayo – Meyers Leonard
- Milwaukee Bucks: Eric Bledsoe – Wes Matthews – Khris Middleton – Giannis Antetokounmpo – Brook Lopez
- Minnesota Timberwolves: Shabazz Napier – Jarrett Culver – Andrew Wiggins – Robert Covington – Karl-Anthony Towns
- New Orleans Pelicans: Lonzo Ball – Jrue Holiday – Brandon Ingram – Zion Williamson – Derrick Favors
- New York Knicks: Elfrid Payton – Reggie Bullock – Marcus Morris – Julius Randle – Taj Gibson
- OKC Thunder: Chris Paul – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – Luguentz Dort – Danilo Gallinari – Steven Adams
- Orlando Magic: Markelle Fultz – Evan Fournier – Wes Iwundu – Aaron Gordon – Nikola Vucevic
- Phoenix Suns: Ricky Rubio – Devin Booker – Kelly Oubre – Dario Saric – Deandre Ayton
- Sacramento Kings: De’Aaron Fox – Buddy Hield – Harrison Barnes – Nemanja Bjelica – Dewayne Dedmon
- San Antonio Spurs: Dejounte Murray – Bryn Forbes – DeMar DeRozan – Trey Lyles – LaMarcus Aldridge
- Toronto Raptors: Kyle Lowry – Fred VanVleet – OG Anunoby – Pascal Siakam – Marc Gasol
- Atlanta Hawks: DeAndre Bembry (personal) is out. Alex Len (back) is probable. Trae Young (thigh) is available to play.
- Boston Celtics: Enes Kanter (hip) is out. Jaylen Brown (ankle) is on track to play. Jayson Tatum (groin) is out.
- Charlotte Hornets: Nothing new.
- Chicago Bulls: Tomas Satoransky (ankle), Lauri Markkanen (ankle), Ryan Arcidiacono (elbow) and Chandler Hutchison (shoulder) are probable.
- Denver Nuggets: Gary Harris (adductor) is on track to play. Michael Porter Jr. (back) is questionable. Paul Millsap (knee) and Jamal Murray (ankle) are without a timetable to return.
- Detroit Pistons: Tim Frazier (illness), Andre Drummond (lip) and Bruce Brown (illness) are questionable.
- Golden State Warriors: Nothing new.
- Houston Rockets: Nothing new.
- Indiana Pacers: Malcolm Brogdon (concussion) is out.
- LA Clippers: Paul George (hamstring) is out. Patrick Beverley (groin) is unlikely to play.
- Memphis Grizzlies: Nothing new.
- Miami Heat: Kendrick Nunn (Achilles), Goran Dragic (calf) and Jimmy Butler (knee) are questionable.
- Milwaukee Bucks: Robin Lopez (illness) remains out. Wes Matthews (illness) is available to play.
- Minnesota Timberwolves: Nothing new.
- New Orleans Pelicans: Kenrich Williams (back) is out. JJ Redick (hamstring) and Josh Hart (ankle) are probable.
- New York Knicks: Nothing new.
- OKC Thunder: Abdel Nader (ankle) and Terrance Ferguson (personal) are out. Steven Adams (ankle) is questionable.
- Orlando Magic: Nothing new.
- Phoenix Suns: Cam Johnson (quad) is out. Aron Baynes (hip) is doubtful.
- Sacramento Kings: Marvin Bagley (foot) and Richaun Holmes (shoulder) are out.
- San Antonio Spurs: Nothing new.
- Toronto Raptors: Pat McCaw (nose) is out.
To bet props, I use our FantasyLabs player props tool. Follow me in the Action Network app to see my bets (or go to the bottom of the article), but the more important thing is the tool, which measures our projections for every player vs. current odds in the market and highlights the biggest edges for you.
Player props are an inefficient market, which allows casual bettors (limits are low, so pro bettors aren’t incentivized to prioritize them) to grab very +EV bets.
That said, the lines move quickly. Our props tool is set up so you can always see whether there’s an edge even at the updated numbers throughout the day.
It’s one of my favorite tools we offer and should be one of your bookmarked pages if you like making a few extra bucks. Here’s a screenshot of what it looks like:
My usual recommendation: Bet unders.
Last season, 10-rated props in our tool hit at a 60.31% rate. But overs hit at a 57.08% rate vs. 66.47% for unders. For 9-rated props, 55.96% of overs were successful bets vs. 62.60% for unders.
As I have noted in the past, unders have more outs: A blowout, an injury, a poor shooting night — all will likely make the under hit. But also, props are less efficient as a market given the low limits, so they’re less likely to adjust for things like opponent and pace.
One under I think is intriguing today is Miles Bridges’ 6.5-rebound prop.
Bridges has been up and down in his minutes all year, mostly because he’s waxed and waned in terms of on-court production.
And lately, that production has been fairly down: In his last game against the Orlando Magic, he finished with just four points and two rebounds in 27 minutes of action. In fact, he’s hit the under on this prop in four of his last fives games.
Further, today he’s in Paris taking on the Bucks, who rank first in the league in rebound rate and really pack the paint. I’ll take the under again.
DFS Values and Strategy
As usual, pricing is incredibly soft on FanDuel as opposed to DraftKings. On the former site, literally every player priced at $8,700 or above have a Projected Plus/Minus of at least +3.5.
James Harden is the most-expensive option today, and yet he still has the highest Projected Plus/Minus value. He obviously has a high ceiling, and today he might even go under-owned given his recent play. He’s failed to hit value in six of last seven games, including four straight.
But today he gets a Timberwolves team that over the last two weeks has ranked 27th on defense, allowing an atrocious 117.2 points/100. They’ve also upped their pace lately, which makes this a juicy game to target. Russell Westbrook and Karl-Anthony Towns are also popping as intriguing tournament values for the same reason.
Another guy to look at is Kawhi Leonard, who is below $10,000 today and will likely be without both Paul George and Patrick Beverley. Further, he’s facing a Miami Heat team that could be down three of their most important players.
Speaking of that situation, it’s definitely one of the most important ones to monitor for today. If those guys — Kendrick Nunn, Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic — are unable to go, guys like Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, Derrick Jones Jr. and Bam Adebayo would pop as very nice values.
Other injury news to keep your eye on: Andre Drummond is questionable, Steven Adams is questionable, Jayson Tatum is already out while Jaylen Brown is now probable and Michael Porter Jr. is questionable.
That, plus just juicy matchups, will drive a lot of the value on the slate. There aren’t huge injuries in Indiana-Golden State, for example, but that’s obviously an incredible matchup for a guy like Domantas Sabonis.
You know the drill: Follow the news and make sure to subscribe to our models to see up-to-the-minute projection updates.
My Bets Currently
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