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NBA Week 16: Odds Update, Trends and Betting Picks for Monday, Feb. 7

Immanuel Quickley

Immanuel Quickley

Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

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After 16 weeks of NBA action, the trade deadline is coming up and teams are ready to take some time off. That opens up plenty of opportunities for value with so much variance in the NBA regular season. Let’s look at some of the best ways to bet on NBA games during the middle of the year, along with a pick on tonight’s games.

Ahead of the All Star Game, teams are burnt out from a long season and in dire need of the break. That results in some blowouts or upsets as the effort level varies each night from team-to-team. Betting NBA regular season games can be tough, but it also can provide an edge if you’re on top of what’s happening around the league.

With the trade deadline this week, there could be a number of star players on the move. Just this weekend, Caris LeVert was ruled out for Indiana’s game against the Cavs right before arriving at the stadium because he had been traded to Cleveland. LeVert’s new teammate, Kevin Love, is surging in the Sixth Man of the Year race and has seen his odds drop from as high as +10000 down to +3000.

Kevin Love Sixth Man of the Year

Kevin Love Sixth Man of the Year

Late-breaking trades could be common this week, and it’s important to check for any moves or if potentially traded players are being held out to prevent injury. Names like Jerami Grant, Domantas Sabonis and even James Harden could hit the market, and each of these stars have significant impacts on the spread of games.

Norman Powell and Robert Covington were among the biggest names to move ahead of the deadline so far, and they made a mark in the first game with their new team. The Clippers didn’t get the win against Milwaukee last night, but Powell led the team in scoring with 28 points while Covington ranked third on the team with 13. Players traded at the deadline rarely swing a team’s championship odds meaningfully enough to impact futures, barring a blockbuster Harden deal, but that could easily be the difference between a losing wager and a winning ticket.

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After a 1-2 night last night dropped my season record to 191-140-4 for +71.6 units on the season, I’m looking for a winning ticket tonight. The Knicks may lead the league in bad beat losses against the spread this season, but I’m going back to my third-most commonly-bet team this season with a play on New York. My picks went just 13-15 when betting on the Knicks but games with bigger values hit, resulting in a profit of over four units.

This is a good spot for a Knicks team as dogs with Rudy Gobert expected to be out again tonight. NBA teams covered 45% of games when favored by seven points or more, including a 13-18 ATS record for the Jazz for a league-worst -6.18 units in that spot.

Jazz as big favorites ATS

Jazz as big favorites ATS

Utah’s opponents shoot 5.2% better at the rim when Gobert is off the court, a 93rd percentile differential. The Jazz concede the fifth-most corner three-point attempts per game, so I expect Immanuel Quickley and Quentin Grimes to knock down open jumpers from the corner while Kemba Walker rests.

The Knicks play at the slowest pace in the league this season, which will make it even harder for Utah to cover a big spread. The other major factor going against Utah is the rebounding battle. Without Gobert, the Jazz could struggle to secure boards. Hassan Whiteside is a capable backup center but Utah’s defensive rebounding rate still experiences a drop with Gobert off the court. The Knicks rank eighth in offensive rebounding rate while averaging the fourth-most second-chance points per game.

I expect the Knicks to grab enough boards to keep this game close, and I’d take the Knicks anywhere above +7. According to the NBC Sports EDGE key numbers tool, six and seven were two of the three most-common margins in Knicks games this season.

EDGE: New York Knicks +7.5 (1 Unit)