The FTN Betting Breakdown is a new article series we are featuring this year on FTNBets where we will have a daily breakdown of the day’s NBA betting slate. This breakdown will feature key injury news and updates and how players and teams are affected by said news to give you the opportunity to potentially jump on some lines. 

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Chicago Bulls (-1) @ Houston Rockets

Total: 226

Key injuries

CHI: Otto Porter OUT, Chandler Hutchison OUT, Lauri Markkanen OUT 
HOU: DeMarcus Cousins OUT, Christian Wood OUT, Victor Oladipo OUT

We open the night with a short-handed Rockets team that is missing three key players in Cousins, Wood and Oladipo. The Bulls have been playing much better of late, and I do have some interest in their minimal -1 spread even on the road. Still, I’m likely not looking to bite on it. Both teams rank top five in pace, which provides a good game environment for production and points. The consensus total of 226 is one I like the over on. 

Because we can expect the Rockets to go super small tonight with no true center in the rotation, I am not interested in Wendell Carter Jr. overs. Where I was looking to attack was with Thaddeus Young but unfortunately, books are not offering props. Zach LaVine opens at 30.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists. While I like the game environment, I don’t see much edge with any of those lines. I have some intrigue in Garrett Temple’s 10.5 points prop but will likely stay away. Surprisingly, not much interest for me in the Bulls prop market. 

On the flip side, the Rockets are in the better matchup facing a bottom-10 Bulls team in a fast-paced game. With Oladipo out, John Wall and Eric Gordon will see increased usage. I am heavily interested in John Wall’s points, rebounds and assists over, which sits at 36.5 on DraftKings and BetMGM. Eric Gordon’s points currently sit at 21.5 with juice on the over. I view that as a sharp line. With Cousins out, we should see extended minutes for Jae'Sean Tate, PJ Tucker and Danuel House. Tate’s 12.5 points prop is too low, as I project him to get 16 points in 36 minutes. We should expect extended minutes for PJ Tucker as the Rockets starting center. I like the over on his 5.5 rebounds; however, I do not like the juice, which sits between -130 and -139. I think I’ll bite because of the matchup and expected minutes, but we’ve seen Tucker fail in similar spots before. 

Memphis Grizzlies @ Dallas Mavericks (-5)

Total: 232.5

Key injuries

MEM: Dillon Brooks OUT, Jaren Jackson OUT
DAL: Kristaps Porzingis QUEST, Josh Richardson PROB 

This is a game I am looking to fade, as we have uncertain injury news and fairly sharp lines overall. If you expect Kristaps Porzingis to play, the Mavericks are favored by too little but with his status unknown, I am not looking to bet it early. 

On the prop market, Ja Morant opens at 20.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 7.5 assists. I would like his points prop a bit more if we had confirmation that Porzingis would be ruled out. If KP plays, I’m worried about the Grizzlies being able to hang around. Jonas Valanciunas opens at 15.5 points and 10.5 rebounds, similar to Morant, but I just don’t really see much of an edge here, especially with Kyle Anderson and so other role players available. 

For Dallas, Doncic is listed between 30.5 and 31.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 9.5 assists. If you think Porzingis is scratched, I would look to pounce on his rebounds or PRA (48.5) overs. Still, I don’t see much of an edge with any of these lines. 

Miami Heat (-7) @ Oklahoma City Thunder

Total: 212.5

Key injuries

MIA: Goran Dragic OUT, Tyler Herro QUEST, Chris Silva OUT, Meyers Leonard OUT
OKC: Al Horford OUT, George Hill OUT 

The uncertainty on Tyler Herro is the piece of news we are waiting for. From a talent standpoint, -7 seems too little between these two teams with the Thunder on a second of a back-to-back. Still, OKC has hung around in games they have no business being in, so I am respecting that spread and staying away. The total of 212.5 is sharp, but I would lean under. 

The books have come to their senses and decided to raise Jimmy Butler’s assist prop to 8.5 BUT with plus-money on the over. Against a bad Thunder defense, I am looking to take that over. With Dragic out, the ball is in Butler’s hands as Miami’s main playmaker, and he has cruised past this number with ease against bottom-15 defenses since he returned. OKC has really struggled against Rebounders and Rim Protectors, per aDvP, and if Tyler Herro is scratched, be ready to pounce on Bam Adebayo’s 35.5/36.5 PRA over. Coming off of a monster game against the Lakers, the books list Kendrick Nunn for 15.5 with heavy juice on the over. I don’t have a good read on Herro’s status, but if scratched, I have Nunn projected for 19 points. If Herro plays, I have Nunn for 15 points. With that, I’m looking to wait to try and pounce on it before the books take it down if Herro is scratched. 

For OKC, we’ve seen Isaiah Roby play around 26 minutes in the eight games Al Horford has missed, where he has averaged 12.25 points. Pounce on the Roby over 9.5 points even in a mediocre matchup. Roby is my only interest on OKC in the prop market. 

Portland Trail Blazers @ Phoenix Suns (-6)

Total: 227

Key injuries

POR: CJ McCollum OUT, Jusuf Nurkic OUT, Harry Giles OUT
PHX: None

I have no interest in betting the spread or total in this game, but I am heavily interested in the prop market. The Blazers provide a strong game environment for the Suns, as they rank 28th in defensive rating. 

Starting with the Blazers though, my only real interest is in Robert Covington’s over 6.5 rebounds. RoCo is still listed at 9.5 points, but even with his increased minutes, I don’t want to chase against an elite defense. His 6.5 rebounds are strongly in play, as RoCo is playing between 10 and 15 minutes per game as the backup center for the Blazers. This gives him more rebounding opportunities. 

I have Chris Paul projected for 9 assists, as the Blazers get absolutely thrashed in the pick and roll with Enes Kanter playing 30+ minutes a game. Chris Paul’s assists prop total sits at 7.5. So why am I not betting it? I don’t like paying -165-plus juice on an assist total unless I see a massive, massive edge. I do really like Deandre Ayton’s points at even money on DraftKings listed at 14.5, and his rebounds at plus-money at 11.5. The Blazers run out a true center in Kanter 32ish minutes per game. That leaves a safe minutes floor for Ayton to be around the rim, and if he is on the court without Kanter, he has a huge size mismatch against Covington. I have Ayton projected to get 18 points and 14 rebounds. 

Charlotte Hornets @ Utah Jazz (-12.5)

Total: 227

Key injuries

CHA: Devonte' Graham DOUBT, Caleb Martin OUT 
UTA: None

Just run for the hills. The NBA season is long, we don’t need to force any bets in this game. If you are looking at a big parlay on your day, I don’t mind adding Jazz ML to just help add to the parlay. If you are desperate to bet this game, I would bet the Jazz -12.5 or the under 227. Just so you feel like you are getting your money’s worth, the Jazz are the best defensive team in the NBA while having the best record and point differential in the NBA. 

Washington Wizards @ Los Angeles Lakers (-7)

Total: 228

Key injuries

WAS: Ish Smith OUT, Thomas Bryant OUT
LAL: Anthony Davis OUT, Dennis Schroder OUT, Kyle Kuzma PROB

We end the night with an intriguing matchup between an improving Wizards team and a Lakers team that hasn’t looked great since the Anthony Davis injury but keeps on winning. I am not betting it, but if I had a lean, it would be Wizards +7, as this current Lakers team is being overly respected against an inconsistent but improving Wizards team. 

We are finally seeing Russell Westbrook play the minutes he was getting earlier in the season, which puts his 9.5 assists prop line too low even against an elite defensive team. Westbrook continues to push 16+ assist opportunities per-game and has been over 9.5 in each of his last four games. I am not looking to target Bradley Beal’s 30.5 points prop, it’s a sharp line. 

This is a better matchup for the Lakers than it is the Wizards, as Washington ranks first in pace and 25th in defensive rating. In a game I expect to stay close, we should see LeBron James take 21+ shots against a bad defense, I think all of LeBron’s prop overs are fully in play. Rather than betting his over on his points, rebounds, assists, I would rather take his YES to “will record a triple-double” at +340. His points prop opens at 31.5, where I have him projected for 34 points. Because I am taking his triple-double, I am staying away from his points. The books were sharp today and priced Kentavious Caldwell-Pope at 10.5 points. I have Pope projected for 13 points, so I do like the over but prefer to take his over 1.5 3PM at plus-money.