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Moore’s Tuesday NBA Betting Picks & Angles: Great Coaches as Road Dogs

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Photo credit: Timothy Nwachukwu/Getty Images. Pictured: Mike Malone and Will Barton

Angles for Tuesday’s NBA slate based on matchups and trends…

(A caveat before we begin: Emotions will continue to run high tonight. I’m not going to factor that into this analysis, but be aware of the volatility of the betting market currently.)


Odds as of Tuesday afternoon and via FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.


KNICKS AT HORNETS (-1.5)

7 p.m. ET

THE ANGLE: GOD HELP ME, I LIKE THE KNICKS?

The Knicks have covered five straight and are 15-10 ATS under Mike Miller. They’re on the road vs. the Hornets, who are under .500 (8-9) as a home favorite this season, are having their worst month defensively of the season and are somehow worse vs. the East in Net Rating (-9.1) than vs. the West (-5.1).

I dread this, honestly. It’s the Knicks, and betting on or against them this season has been sheer torture. But I just cannot find any reason why the Hornets should be favored in this spot, despite a better record and better overall metrics.

Heaven, help me.

THE PLAY: Knicks +1.5 AND MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON MY SOUL

CELTICS AT HEAT (-1)

8 p.m. ET on TNT

THE ANGLE: ALL DEPENDS ON TATUM

Last week I wrote a whole column on why it was time to start looking to fade Miami in the regular season. And yet I’m breaking away from that.

Jayson Tatum is doubtful for this game. Assuming he doesn’t go, it’s a meaningful difference for how this specific Celtics team plays. Boston is 3-5 ATS since he was drafted when he’s not in the lineup and 1-2 ATS this season. The win came vs. the offensively-challenged Magic.

Here’s a list of Celtics rotation players and the Net Rating differentials from when Tatum is on the floor vs. off. A negative number means the Celtics perform worse when that player is on the floor and Tatum is on the bench; a positive number indicates the team plays better with that player on the court and Tatum on the bench.

  • Kemba Walker: -9.7
  • Jayson Tatum: -7.6
  • Marcus Smart: -6.0
  • Gordon Hayward: -15.2
  • Daniel Theis: -12.6
  • Grant Williams: -10.8
  • Enes Kanter (who is out for this game): +7.1
  • Brad Wanamaker: -7.3
  • Robert Williams III: -29.2

So yeah, a pretty clear picture emerges here.

Now, on top of that, there’s this: Since LeBron James left Miami, Erik Spoelstra’s teams are 13-8-2 as a favorite on the second night of a back-to-back. That number does go to just 6-5-2 ATS at home, but it’s still in the black.

Boston is 7-4 ATS on the road as a dog this season, but they’re without their most impactful player in Tatum.

If Tatum is suddenly cleared late, you’re going to want to get in on Boston. Then we reset to Stevens as a road dog (89-58-1 historically) and fading Miami. But if Tatum is out, I like the Heat.

THE PLAY: Miami -1

PELICANS AT CAVALIERS (-9.5)

7:30 p.m. ET

THE ANGLE: OK, LET’S SETTLE DOWN ON ZION

The public loves the Pelicans (73% of the tickets), the sharps love the Pelicans (83% of the money), and yet I’m going to go the other way here.

Look, for starters, this is…

  • Just the 19th time since 2003 that a home team has been more than a six-point underdog vs. a team under .500
  • The most points Cleveland has gotten as a home dog vs. a team with a sub-.400 winning percentage since 2003
  • The most points the Pelicans have laid on the road this season

The Cavs this season are just 6-7 ATS at home vs. teams under a .400 win percentage, but they are 6-4 as an underdog in that spot and 2-0 this season when more than an eight-point dog.

Since Zion joined the lineup, the Pelicans are crushing teams in those minutes with a +15.2 Net Rating. But they’re also giving up 112 per 100 possessions when he’s not on the floor. The bench has gotten worse, and he’s still not playing a full star-load of minutes or anything close to it.

I’m not feeling great about this, as my season-long trend of the Cavs vs. sub-.500 teams (14-11 ATS) has started to wobble recently (1-3 in the last four). But at this number, with what surely looks like too much of a Zion bump, I’m going back in.

THE PLAY: Cavaliers +9.5

NUGGETS AT GRIZZLIES (-1.5)

8 p.m. ET

THE PLAY: MICHAEL MALONE SHALL LEAD US

The Nuggets coach gets the most out of his guys, and when his team is missing players with injuries, he somehow always has players ready to step up.

Since he took over Denver, the Nuggets are 69-52-3 (57%) ATS as a road dog, including 24-11 (68%) ATS  when the opponent is under .500.

Jamal Murray, Paul Millsap and Mason Plumlee are out for this game, which is partly why Memphis is favored. The Grizzlies have been red hot for the last two months but are just 2-3 ATS in their last five. Their last two games, they covered as approximate favorites to this game (-1.5 and -2.5, respectively)… to Detroit and Phoenix.

So in order to take Memphis, you have to think that the Nuggets without those three players but with Nikola Jokic, Gary Harris, Jerami Grant and Michael Porter Jr. are worse than Phoenix and Detroit.

Yeah, sorry, no.

Jokic is 4-1 vs. Memphis the last two seasons, including 2-0 this season. His only loss came in a game he scored four points last November; it’s now an established trend of Jokic starting slowly statistically in Novembers.

The Grizzlies play up-tempo and may find success vs. a Nuggets defense that has taken its foot off the gas over the last 45 days, but Denver can just as easily go find buckets on the other end. I lean a little bit towards the Memphis first-half ML, but for the game I have to take Denver.

THE PLAY: Nuggets ML -100

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