NBA best bets and analysis for Thursday, November 30th
Record: 27-17-1 | Units: +8.96u | ROI: 18.95%
Lauri Markkanen will miss his fourth consecutive game tonight, and in the time he has missed Utah’s offense has been terrible. The Jazz have averaged just 106.9 points per 100 possessions, and last night in Memphis the Grizzlies limited them to 0.968 points per possession in a 105-91 loss. The Timberwolves have allowed the fewest points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time (107.2), and at home they have the second-highest defensive rating (101.5). Now, Utah must go to Minnesota with an offense that has averaged 108.6 points every 100 possessions without Markkanen.
The market opened this total at 223.5 and pushed it down to 221.5 as of this morning. Anthony Edwards is doubtful, so it makes sense that we would see this number drop. Minnesota has averaged only 103.9 points per 100 possessions without Edwards on the floor this season. The Timberwolves will likely have some trouble scoring with efficiency tonight without him. However, they still rank in the 72nd percentile in defensive efficiency without him, and with Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert on the floor their interior defense will be stout. Playing Utah’s team total Under is an option tonight as well, but without Edwards on the floor the game total is the way to go.
Play: UNDER 222 – Playable down to 220.5
Los Angeles is on the second leg of a back-to-back, so there is some risk in playing this contest before we know the status of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. However, both James and Davis played fewer than 30 minutes last night in Detroit. Head coach Darvin Ham told the media after the game that the light workload would “help” in making the decision for both players’ status for tonight. It might be worth taking a chance and banking on the potential of both being available this evening.
The betting market has done just that this morning. A half-point has been knocked off the overnight line, and that is likely due to the potential of both James and Davis being on the floor. If that happens this line will continue to head in the direction of Los Angeles. The Lakers are still a quality defensive team, especially when James is on the floor. They have a +7.8 net rating in those minutes, and they have allowed only 109.1 points per 100 possessions. If both teams were at full strength this number should be just under 3.5 not 5.5 where it is this morning. Let’s take a shot and take the underdog with the hope that James and Davis play tonight.
Play: Lakers (+6) – Playable to (+4.5)
Jazz/Timberwolves UNDER 222