NBA Predictions, Picks & Betting Odds (Wednesday, Feb. 5): How Trades Will Affect Betting, DFS Markets
Photo credit: David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Minnesota Timberwolves
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 didn’t find enough value last night to make a bet, so I passed for the evening. The actual games were largely uneventful — all four were blowouts — but we did get a surprising four-team, 12-player trade late last night. I’ll definitely break down those situations below and how they affect tonight’s slate.
Let’s dive into today’s slate and find some angles.
- Overall: 203-179-2
- Spreads: 79-74-2
- Totals: 76-74
- Moneylines: 19-9
- Props: 29-22
Odds as of Wednesday afternoon and via FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
Betting Odds and Analysis
- 7 p.m. ET: Phoenix Suns (-2.5) at Detroit Pistons, 220
- 7:30 p.m. ET: Golden State Warriors at Brooklyn Nets (-7), 225.5
- 7:30 p.m. ET: Orlando Magic at Boston Celtics (-7.5), 211
- 7:30 p.m. ET: Indiana Pacers at Toronto Raptors (-6), 216.5
- 8 p.m. ET: Atlanta Hawks at Minnesota Timberwolves, 237
- 8 p.m. ET: Cleveland Cavaliers at OKC Thunder (-12), 221
- 8:30 p.m. ET: Memphis Grizzlies at Dallas Mavericks (-5), 228
- 9 p.m. ET: Denver Nuggets at Utah Jazz (-8.5), 218
- 10 p.m. ET: Miami Heat at LA Clippers (-6.5), 223
Hawks at Timberwolves
Both of these teams were involved in Tuesday night’s trade, which means they’ll be shorthanded tonight until the new players arrive.
For the Hawks, DeAndre Bembry and Cam Reddish are already out. De’Andre Hunter and Bruno Fernando are questionable. Kevin Huerter and Trae Young are probable, and Evan Turner was traded.
For the Wolves, Allen Crabbe is doubtful, and they just traded away Robert Covington, Shabazz Napier, Noah Vonleh and Keita Bates-Diop. Jarrett Culver will likely start at PG, and Jordan McLaughlin, a two-way guy who went undrafted in 2018 out of USC, will have to play significant minutes.
I think Covington is the big piece here missing. His defensive data is actually somewhat middling this season, but I think that’s mostly due to the surrounding talent. He’s proven to be a positive defender — one of the best in the league at times, in fact — and I think he is in the right place. His on/off numbers not sticking out is likely due to collinearity of the starting guys — not because he was personally struggling.
And the Wolves were already pretty bad on defense, ranking 17th this season in efficiency. Thankfully for them, the Hawks have been even worse, ranking 27th and allowing a terrible 114.0 points per 100 possessions.
It’s also important to note in this game that both of these teams rank top-10 in pace, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Wolves play even faster than normal. They’ve been a lot more inclined to run without Jeff Teague, and I’m not sure they’re set up to run halfcourt sets with Culver and a variety of G League-caliber players. Running is probably their best bet here.
And the Hawks have had moments lately. They put up 152 in a game just last week, and their starting lineup has posted a solid 115.4 Offensive Rating in a pretty good sample at this point now. I also wonder if they could play a bit smaller tonight, especially if Fernando is out. The metrics show that John Collins is better suited offensively as a center, and he might be thrust into that role given the shortened rotation.
For example, with Trae, Huerter, Hunter and Collins at center, that unit has posted an awesome +9.9 Net Rating. But insert Fernando or Alex Len for one of those wings, and the numbers definitely drop.
All in all, the Wolves have just really stunk lately and they’re now missing four guys from yesterday, along with Crabbe. I think the Hawks are a value here, and my favorite bet of the game is the over for the reasons listed above.
Nuggets at Jazz
The Nuggets could also be down a ton of players. Paul Millsap and Mason Plumlee remain out. Jerami Grant is unlikely to play, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Michael Porter Jr. sat out as well. Further, Juancho Hernangomez and Malik Beasley were traded last night.
Thus will leave a rotation of Nikola Jokic, Torrey Craig, Will Barton, Gary Harris, Jamal Murray, Monte Morris, PJ Dozier and Vlatko Cancar. And they’re on the second leg of a back-to-back … in Utah in elevation.
The question tonight is whether the Jazz can rebound after sliding lately. They were as hot as any team in the league for most of January, winning 10 straight and 14 of 15 at one point. Since that time, though, they’ve lost four straight — home vs. the Rockets, in San Antonio, in Denver and in Portland.
They’ve likely gotten a bit unlucky. In that Spurs game last week, San Antonio displayed some of the most ridiculous shooting I’ve ever seen. The Spurs literally hit 71.4% of their shots from the mid-range, which is where they take the majority of their shots. And last game, the Blazers hit 53.6% of their 3s.
In that four-game losing streak, opponents have posted a 53.4% eFG% on tightly-contested shots. On tightly-contested 3-pointers, opponents have hit them at a 41.2% rate. It is a bit concerning that the Jazz allowed the most open shots during that stretch, but the shooting on even those should go down. They have a lot of defensive upside and should turn things around.
And finally, our own John Ewing wrote this interesting piece last year. He found through Bet Labs that teams before the All-Star break have really struggled to cover the spread. I’m not someone who bets solely on trends — and the one from Ewing is just the week of the All-Star break — but I think it just adds to the narrative tonight, which is that the Nuggets could be tired and they have a drastically shortened rotation due to the trade last night.
For those reasons, I like the Jazz tonight, although I wish I had been able to grab it earlier. I think the value is gone when it hits double digits.
Projected Starting Lineups and Injury News
Note: Info as of 2 p.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: Javonte Green – Jaylen Brown – Jayson Tatum – Gordon Hayward – Enes Kanter
- Brooklyn Nets: Spencer Dinwiddie – Caris LeVert – Joe Harris – Taurean Prince – Jarrett Allen
- Cleveland Cavaliers: Darius Garland – Collin Sexton – Cedi Osman – Kevin Love – Larry Nance Jr.
- Dallas Mavericks: Jalen Brunson – Tim Hardaway Jr. – Dorian Finney-Smith – Maxi Kleber – Kristaps Porzingis
- Denver Nuggets: Jamal Murray – Gary Harris – Torrey Craig – Will Barton – Nikola Jokic
- Detroit Pistons: Reggie Jackson – Bruce Brown – Tony Snell – Sekou Doumbouya – Andre Drummond
- Golden State Warriors: D’Angelo Russell – Damion Lee – Glenn Robinson III – Draymond Green – Marquese Chriss
- Indiana Pacers: Malcolm Brogdon – Aaron Holiday – Jeremy Lamb – Domantas Sabonis – Myles Turner
- LA Clippers: Patrick Beverley – Kawhi Leonard – Paul George – 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 – Kelly Olynyk
- Minnesota Timberwolves: Jarrett Culver – Josh Okogie – Andrew Wiggins – Naz Reid – Karl-Anthony Towns
- OKC Thunder: Chris Paul – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – Luguentz Dort – Danilo Gallinari – Steven Adams
- Orlando Magic: Markelle Fultz – Evan Fournier – Aaron Gordon – Khem Birch – Nikola Vucevic
- Phoenix Suns: Ricky Rubio – Devin Booker – Kelly Oubre – Mikal Bridges – Deandre Ayton
- Toronto Raptors: Kyle Lowry – Fred VanVleet – OG Anunoby – Pascal Siakam – Serge Ibaka
- Utah Jazz: Mike Conley – Donovan Mitchell – Joe Ingles – Bojan Bogdanovic – Rudy Gobert
- Atlanta Hawks: DeAndre Bembry (hand) and Cam Reddish (concussion) are out. Kevin Huerter (adductor) and Trae Young (elbow, ankle) are probable. De’Andre Hunter (ankle) and Bruno Fernando (calf) are questionable. Evan Turner was traded.
- Boston Celtics: Daniel Theis (ankle), Kemba Walker (knee) and Marcus Smart (quad) are out. Gordon Hayward (calf) and Enes Kanter (hip) are available to play.
- Brooklyn Nets: Kyrie Irving (knee) remains out.
- Cleveland Cavaliers: Tristan Thompson (quad) is doubtful. Brandon Knight (knee) is not on the injury report.
- Dallas Mavericks: Luka Doncic (ankle) and Seth Curry (knee) remain out. JJ Barea (ankle) is questionable.
- Denver Nuggets: Paul Millsap (knee) and Mason Plumlee (foot) remain out. Jerami Grant (ankle) is unlikely to play. Michael Porter Jr. (ankle) is TBD. Juancho Hernangomez and Malik Beasley were traded.
- Detroit Pistons: Derrick Rose (adductor) and Svi Mykhailiuk (hip) are out. Markieff Morris (illness) is questionable.
- Golden State Warriors: D’Angelo Russell (quad) is not on the injury report.
- Indiana Pacers: TJ Warren (concussion) is out.
- LA Clippers: Nothing new.
- Memphis Grizzlies: Jonas Valanciunas (knee) is questionable.
- Miami Heat: Tyler Herro (ankle) and Meyers Leonard (ankle) are out.
- Minnesota Timberwolves: Allen Crabbe (patella) is questionable. Robert Covington, Shabazz Napier, Noah Vonleh and Keita-Bates Diop were traded.
- OKC Thunder: Terrance Ferguson (personal) is available to play.
- Orlando Magic: Khem Birch (back) and Evan Fournier (back) are likely to play.
- Phoenix Suns: Dario Saric (ankle), Tyler Johnson (knee) and Ty Jerome (calf) are out.
- Toronto Raptors: Marc Gasol (hamstring) is out. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (ankle) is questionable.
- Utah Jazz: Tony Bradley (knee) is not on the injury report.
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.
That said, it can be profitable to bet overs if lines are not properly adjusted for injury and rotation situations.
One example is Jaylen Brown’s rebound prop of 5.5 tonight. The Celtics will be missing Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart and Daniel Theis tonight, and Enes Kanter has been playing limited minutes. That leads to a big role for Jaylen; we have him projected around 36 minutes tonight.
Without those three missing guys, Jaylen has averaged 7.6 rebounds per 36 minutes, which would be easily above his prop for tonight. What’s better, he gets the Orlando Magic, who have been bottom-10 in rebound rate this year.
DFS Values and Strategy
By now, you probably get the theme of this post. These trades last night definitely opened up opportunities in markets, including the DFS one.
The game to target tonight is the Wolves-Hawks one, as the total is at least 10 points higher than the mark of any other game. I wrote above why I like the over in this one, too.
Further, the rotations are incredibly thin right now, especially for the Wolves, who provide a ton of value on the slate. The players with the two highest Projected Plus/Minus values currently on FanDuel are Karl-Anthony Towns and Jarrett Culver, who will start at PG, and not far behind them are Andrew Wiggins, Josh Okogie and others.
Other than Towns, those guys are largely quite affordable on both sites, which will let you get up to some studs. KAT is obviously more than viable, but don’t look past Nikola Jokic, who will be without Paul Millsap, Mason Plumlee and potentially Jerami Grant and Michael Porter Jr. Two other big wings were traded last night as well.
Jokic should have to approach 40 minutes tonight, and he’ll have to be the biggest part of the offense, especially down low. At just $9,700 on DraftKings, he is way underpriced, even in a matchup against Rudy Gobert, against whom he’s actually had success in his career.
Other values include Reggie Jackson, Torrey Craig, Serge Ibaka, Kristaps Porzingis, Caris LeVert and others. There are also injuries to monitor, including to Tristan Thompson, Trae Young, Jonas Valanciunas, Kevin Huerter and others.
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
- Hawks +5
- Hawks +170 ML
- Hawks-Wolves over 239
- Jazz -9
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