January 14 Weekly NBA Betting Notes: Moving Day Is Coming
Trade Deadline Looming
With the halfway mark of the season come and gone, we talked a lot last week about teams that could turn to tanking as we enter the dog days of January. This month is incredibly fickle when it comes to handicapping the league, but it also lends itself to be an avenue of value for smart NBA bettors.
One of the things that needs to be watched is the trade deadline and teams that have protected picks floating around the outside of the playoff battle. We are roughly a month away from it and this could be a season where there is a lot of movement because of these things.
A lot of media coverage has gone to the potential that the Pelicans blow things up and trade away Anthony Davis. However, while that is a possibility, there are other Western Conference teams that are more likely to be sellers at the deadline.
Take the Grizzlies for example. After overachieving for most of the first half, they have lost seven of their last 10 games and 14 of their last 18. They also can keep their pick if they are among the top eight lottery teams. They may end up realizing that as currently constructed, there is little to no chance of them getting out of the West, or potentially even making the playoffs. They will then turn to protecting that protected first round pick. Memphis has some expiring contracts like JaMychal Green, Shelvin Mack, and Garrett Temple that could be attractive additions for contending teams. Theyalso could choose to shut down Marc Gasol and Mike Conley to a couple of mystery illnesses.
Dallas loses their first rounder to the Hawks unless they cans sneak into one of the top five lottery spots. At this point they are another team on the bubble between needing to tank and needing to win more so that pick isn’t as valuable. However, with how bad the East is, they may choose to try to keep winning, making it hurt less when they eventually lose that pick.
Bad Offenses And The Under
Last week we touched on just how good that bad defenses have been at cashing the over on the second night of a back to back. Entering last Sunday’s games, the over was cashing at 54.1% when a team with a bottom 10 defense was playing on no rest.
However, I decided to look into the opposite trends this week and looking at bad offenses and the under. It’s not hard to find some interesting correlations between teams with bad offensive ratings and cashing the under.
For instance, teams averaging 108 points per 100 possessions or less (which account for teams that rank 19th or worse in DRtg) heading into Sunday, January 13 are combined 270-231-7 (53.8%) cashing the under outright this season.
That may be only a small profit, but it is one nonetheless. It also grows when you isolate a few factors.
For instance, the bottom five teams in the league in offensive rating (ORtg), the Bulls, Hawks, Magic, Suns, and Grizzlies are combined 121-90-1 (57.3%) cashing the under this year.
It gets even better when those bottom five teams play in conference games. In those they cash the under at a combined 85-46 (64.9%) in 2018-19. Consider betting the under in these situations going forward.
Big Game Watch
Boston and Toronto hook up on Wednesday night in primetime, while Philly and Indiana meet up Thursday on TNT. However, outside of those two games, there is a lack of big time Eastern Conference games this week. That will likely be a trend going forward until after the All Star Break.
However, the close we get to the break and to the end of the season, there are countless big conference games out West this week. The passing of time will undoubtedly make them bigger too.
This could mean a lot of things, but defense picking up might be the main factor in these games. Some of these teams playing this week have already played twice in some instances. Usually the further you get into a regular season series; the teams have a better idea of how to defend against one another.
For instance, Monday is the third meeting between the Clippers and Pelicans this season and Friday is the fourth meeting between the Wolves and Spurs! These games will have huge playoff implications in a tight West, so defense is what I’m expecting out of most of these games.