NBA Tuesday Betting Picks & Angles (Dec. 10): It’s All About Shots in Nuggets-Sixers, Wizards-Hornets
Photo credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jamal Murray
Two angles for Tuesday based on matchups and trends…
THE ANGLE: THE NUGGETS MISS BAD SHOTS
The Nuggets offense is broken.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. They’re 21st in offensive efficiency, and that includes the eighth-best mark in losses (among all teams in their losses). They are 23rd in halfcourt offense but also bottom-five in pace. The Nuggets do the only thing they do well offensively (transition) literally the least of anything they do.
At the rim? Middle of the pack.
They’re 22nd in 3-point attempts per 100 possessions and 19th in 3-point efficiency.
They’re 25th overall in effective field goal percentage.
What’s more, they’re not just missing good looks. Expected effective field goal percentage is based on what the expected eFG% would be for an average shooter from where a team shoots. Via Cleaning The Glass, the Nuggets are fourth-worst in expected eFG%. They’re actually shooting better than their expected eFG%, via PBPStats.com.
Meanwhile, the Sixers have length everywhere to give Denver’s small backcourt problems, along with interior defense from Joel Embiid and Al Horford. If you’re a struggling offense, you don’t want to run into Philly.
I looked up the bottom-five teams in expected eFG% on the road against the top-five opponent expected eFG% teams at home. (So basically, teams that take bad shots vs. teams that force their opponents to take bad shots … or at least not take good ones.)
The under in those games this season is 17-11, and 8-4 with a total under 210.
The caveat here is that Nikola Jokic has looked alive for the first time this season the last two games — it’s just the supporting players who can’t hit water if they fell out of a boat. If Will Barton, Paul Millsap and Jamal Murray get back to their averages and Jokic shows up again, this might get tough.
The Nuggets defense has been consistently good this season; I’m less worried about a big Sixers number going over. Denver is at the end of a long road trip; there’s just as much a chance they put up a number in the 80s. The under has hit in seven of the last nine Nuggets games.
THE PLAY: UNDER 208.5 [In New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana or West Virginia? Bet now at FanDuel]
THE ANGLE: RIDE THE WIZARDS OFFENSE TO GLORY
The Wizards are categorically the most-fun bad team this season, and one of the most fun I can remember. They run weird stuff, like Davis Bertans-Moe Wagner pick-and-rolls, Bradley Beal is just trying stuff, they have shooters everywhere, they move the ball and score from everywhere.
The Wizards are fifth in jump-shot efficiency off the dribble (per Synergy Sports), sixth at the rim on non-post-ups and sixth on catch-and-shoots. You name the way, they can get buckets. Even with a horrible defense, they are outrageously fun.
The Hornets, meanwhile, are inefficient on both ends. They give up a ton of points — 113.9 per 100 possessions, fourth-worst in the league (the Wizards are the worst by almost three whole points!). They also can’t score, though, ranking 22nd offensively with 106.3 points per 100 possessions.
The Wizards have been good this season ATS at 12-9, including 7-4 ATS on the road.
I was curious to see if teams that were great offensively but also terrible defensively were undervalued on the road vs. bad defensive teams. Turns out, they are (per Bet Labs):
So that’s a 64% win mark for teams with offensive and defensive efficiencies above 100 facing a team with a defensive efficiency above 110. Those teams also have gone 33-19 ATS against teams with an offensive efficiency under 110, including 21-12 last season.
The Wizards aren’t good, but their offense is, and as a short road favorite I’m in on them.
THE PLAY: Wizards -2 [In New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana or West Virginia? Bet now at FanDuel]