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The NBA is in a wild place right now, but that also leaves edges to be had. Tuesday’s NBA card is just two games, so limited options. I do have a play based of first quarter trends we’ve been using recently. On a light day like this, I also think it could be a good time to examine the futures market in the Eastern Conference.
Per usual, I’ll put everything official up on Twitter that I bet on personally. This is a betting guide for this NBA card, and anything I’ve actually bet will include a unit amount.
MIN 1Q -0.5 (-110) — 1-unit
As you’ve noticed the last couple of weeks, we’re deep enough into the season that we can start playing some matchup-specific trends. The Timberwolves are the third-best 1Q ATS team in the NBA at 27-16, and have been equally good on the road at 13-8 1Q ATS. Minnesota has also been hot out of the gates in games recently, riding a 7-3 1Q ATS steak into Tuesday’s game.
The matchup against the Knicks works well as a spot to back the Wolves, with New York one of the slowest starting teams in the league. The Knicks are the third-worst 1Q ATS team in the association, and essentially all of the damage has been done at home. This team is actually above .500 1Q ATS on the road, but a pathetic 7-16 1Q ATS at Madison Square Garden. That includes a slow start on Monday afternoon, trailing by double-digits after the first quarter at MSG. I’m looking for another slow start on the second day of a back-to-back.
This still feels like too long of a number for such a talented team once they finally get healthy. This team has been grinding through injuries to continue winning at many regular season games as possible. The goals are clear — get the top-seed in the east and get back to the NBA Finals. The lineup with the additions of Kyle Lowry and P.J. Tucker feels very balanced, and bringing someone like Tyler Herro off the bench is an absurd luxury. Jimmy Butler just got back in the lineup and Bam Adebayo is getting healthy for the home stretch.
But we knew all of these things already, so what changed? I just think it’s been a tough start to 2022 for some of the other top competition in the conference. Kevin Durant suffered a knee injury for the Nets, and Kyrie Irving made is clear he still has no intentions of getting vaccinated. The Bulls are currently without their starting backcourt, and have really regressed over the last few games against top competition. The Bucks haven’t been dominating at the same level this season. Then teams like the 76ers and Celtics that we thought might be in the mix just don’t seem to be serious contenders.
Full disclosure — I used a one-unit free play on this future, and that’s how I’d play it if you have the balance. Going after bets at longer odds (that have a higher probability of losing) is the better way to spend free play. Obviously, we still want it to win, just not getting exposed to the loss makes it easier to pull the trigger on a larger play. For those of you that are looking to get in and bet a portion of your bankroll here, I’d probably go half a unit. The only team I’d favor over Miami in the east come April would probably be a fully healthy Brooklyn team. We’ll see if the Nets have that or not.
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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.
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