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NBA Betting Guide: Wednesday 4/3/19

Can the depleted Sixers hold off the Hawks on the road? Which other bets are worth a look tonight?

numberFire has built comprehensive algorithms to pinpoint the bets with the highest probability of returning money, whether you are betting on the total, a line, or moneyline. For those new to numberFire, we use a five-star system to show which bets you should be targeting on any given night. Stars represent how much you should risk on a wager relative to what you would normally bet.

For example, if you would normally bet $110 to win $100 on a -110 spread wager, if we give a 3-star ranking, we suggest risking three times that amount: $330 to win $300.

Using our models as a guide, let's take a look at the best bets for tonight.

Please note that lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. Please check here to make sure you're seeing the most updated information.

Philadelphia 76ers at Atlanta Hawks

76ers Moneyline (-178): 5-Star Rating out of 5

76ers -4.0: 5-Star Rating out of 5

As you've likely heard, the Philadelphia 76ers will be without big man Joel Embiid tonight and for the rest of the team's three-game road grip. Resting him seems like a wise decision ahead of the playoffs, though they couldn't have predicted Jimmy Butler would come down with a back injury of his own. Butler missed Monday's game with a back injury, and he's considered a game-time call tonight in Atlanta.

The Sixers -- ranked eighth in our power rankings -- possess a 2.8 net rating for the year, but that falls to -3.2 in the absence of Embiid. According to NBA Wowy, they are a -12.4 in 771 minutes without both Embiid and Butler, compared to 4.8 with Butler on the floor.

According to Killer Sports, in games where Embiid hasn't played, Philly is only 7-8, but they are 6-5 in those since the Tobias Harris trade, even with seven (a 4-3 record) on the road. They are 6-5-1 against the spread in that time, going 3-4-1 as favorites and 3-3-1 on the road.

It's worth noting, though, the Atlanta Hawks have a number of injuries as well, and they are on a back-to-back after dropping one to the San Antonio Spurs last night. They are expected to have five players inactive, including Dewayne Dedmon and Vince Carter, and two others are questionable. If Alex Len and Taurean Prince are also ruled out, they will be extremely shorthanded with guys like Justin Anderson and Deyonta Davis in line for starts.

That will play a vital role, but the fact that the Hawks are un-rested hurts their chances to win or cover in this spot. Despite their youth, the young squad is 4-7 on the back half of back-to-back sets, including an identical record against the spread. Their record is 2-3 against the points at home, and they are 1-6 as underdogs (0-6 against the East).

Philadelphia has big quick to take advantage in such situations. Teams are 6-9 straight up in 15 un-rested matchups against them, though that comes to an 11-4 record against the spread. Their opponents have won and covered all three they have been favored, bringing those records to 3-9 and 8-4 in contests that Brett Brown's team has been favored by any number of points.

Per Sports Insights, the moneyline opened at -180 and has fallen to -155 at some sportsbooks. Watch for that to drop and get you a higher return, but either way our models have an accurate line at -574 on a win probability of 85.17%. A 33.00% return gives this a five-star value at the current odds.

In similar fashion, the Sixers have lost a point on the spread, which has dropped to -3 and -3.5 elsewhere. We have them winning by five or more at a 71.97% rate for an expected return of 37.40%.

Charlotte Hornets at New Orleans Pelicans

Pelicans +146: 5-Star Rating out of 5

It must be that time of year, because we have another game full of injuries. For Charlotte, they won't have Cody Zeller and are unlikely to get Marvin Williams back in there on Wednesday. We will almost surely see a new lineup from them for the first time in 10 games with the probable Jeremy Lamb looking like the addition at one of the forward spots alongside Miles Bridges. The last time they were without Williams they lost by 12 in Houston, as their net rating without the vet is 3.8 points worse per 100 possessions.

They'll have to ignore that if they want to get into the playoffs, though. Charlotte has lost three straight on the road, putting them three games out of the 8 seed in the East. But they remain on the road for a fifth straight day, going from Utah to New Orleans. And that's where most of their trouble has come this season.

Away from Spectrum Center, the Hornets are a lousy 11-27 with an average margin of 7.5 points against them. The have lost four of their last five away games and six of nine going back to March 1. Four of those have been against Western Conference squads, against whom they are 3-11 on the road in 2018-19.

New Orleans is no powerhouse to start with, but that is particularly the case with Anthony Davis limited, and all of Jrue Holiday, E'Twaun Moore, Frank Jackson and Darius Miller out. But Julius Randle and the others are playing for pride on their home floor, not to mention spoilers for the Hornets. They have only won 2 of their last 10, but they're less than a week removed from a home win over Sacramento Kings. The Pels' season-long record is 19-20 at Smoothie King Center, including a 3-4 mark as 'dogs of four or fewer, as they are this evening.

The Pelicans' moneyline odds -- +155 at open -- have gotten longer with the day and now command a net return of $146 on a $100 bet. Our models give them a win probability of 68.29%, earning them a five-star rating. The four points are also worth a look with our models projecting them to cover 73.21% of the time for a 39.80%.

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