NBA Betting Guide: Friday 4/5/19
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.
Timberwolves +3.5: 4-Star Rating out of 5
As with a lot of teams this time of year, the Minnesota Timberwolves are dealing with a plethora of injuries. Tonight, they will remain without four rotational players, including their top two point guards in Jeff Teague and Derrick Rose. But Tyus Jones has proven to be a serviceable floor general, while Josh Okogie and Dario Saric have gotten more time at the forward spots.
Those players, along with the ever-productive Karl-Anthony Towns, have stepped up enough to keep the T'Wolves competitive on a nightly basis. They are fresh off a road win against the Dallas Mavericks and are just three games removed from an overtime win over the Golden State Warriors. Their last four overall have seen them lose by no more than 10 points with an average margin of four points in their opponents' favor.
According to Killer Sports, Minnesota has also covered in three of their last six -- all straight-up wins as well -- with only one as favorites. They own a 48.1% win rate against the spread and 54.1% on their home floor. As underdogs alone, the Wolves have covered or pushed in 5 of 11 at home, yet they've used the points to a 3-3-1 record when getting 3.5 or fewer.
While that's all in the home team's favor, the road Heat are 20-18 on the road and 25-12-1 against the spread. It is worth noting that only once have they been a road favorite against a Western Conference team -- the Phoenix Suns -- with an overall win/loss record of 8-6 in West venues. They too will be without a value piece of their lineup in Josh Richardson, who has helped Miami to a 1.3 net rating while on the floor compared to -3.5 when he's been off this season.
Our models do give the Timberwolves a 58.74% chance of a straight up win, though they are even higher on taking them with the points. We have them covered 67.56% of the time for a 29.00% return -- a combination that calls for a four-star rating in our system.
Pelicans -136: 4-Star Rating out of 5
This one's a true lottery battle between the New Orleans Pelicans and Phoenix Suns. Neither team is alive for a Western Conference playoff berth, and both are at what we could call less than full strength. But that's an understatement if we're being honest. Not only could the Pelicans opt for sitting Anthony Davis (listed as probable), but they won't have Jrue Holiday, Frank Jackson or E'Twaun Moore, who are just three of the five players set to sit this one out.
However, what gives New Orleans the advantage is the Suns' own injury woes. They were already without the likes of Tyler Johnson, Kelly Oubre and T.J. Warren on the wing, as well as Deandre Ayton down low, but Phoenix has decided to pull the plug on Devin Booker's 2018-19 season. No matter what lineup they send out, it will be one that hasn't played anything more than 22 minutes. That most used lineup has appeared in five games, producing a 17.5 net rating, but as a team they've lost all five.
With Booker, the lowly Suns are -6.6 in net rating, however, they drop to -11.2 in the 1,585 minutes without their star two-guard. They are 3-12 in the 15 games he's missed, having dropped each of the last two in that situation.
As for the Pels, they have lost two straight (both at home) and five of their last six, but they have fought to the tune of a couple wins and some close losses. Coming off a six-point loss, they have recently taken down the Sacramento Kings and have won four of six on the road going back to March 1. They are 3-3 in the last six they have been favored (-2.5 tonight), not to mention 19-10 on the year.
New Orleans' odds amount to implied win probability of 57.63% -- a whole 15.67% short of our in-house rate. A return of 27.20% and $127.20 on every $100 comes to yet another four-star bet.
Jazz Moneyline (-500): 4-Star Rating out of 5
With Kings/Jazz, we make a blatant transition from bottom-feeding teams to two with -- or with the chance to tally -- 40-plus wins. While it's true that the Kings' playoff wait will continue, they have played really good basketball all year and will likely end the season in the 9 spot in the West. Utah, on the other hand, is 48-30 and two games out of the 4 seed. In all likelihood, they will finish as the 5 and go to the road for Game 1 of their first round matchup, but they'll look to win each of their final four games to give them a shot at homecourt.
Tonight, they are 10-point favorites and have an advantage of 10 spots in our rankings. On a 100-possession basis, their 5.0 net rating is an advantage of nearly six points on Sacramento, and since March 1 their 11.6 mark is best in the league and 11.3 points above that of the Kings'.
To improve their chances that much more, Utah's at home in Salt Lake, where they are 27-12 on the year with a 7.2 net rating. They are 26-10 as home favorites and 10-1 in the 11 contests where they have been labeled double-digit favorites.
The improved yet young Kings are just 1-7 as double-digit 'dogs and have failed to covered in all but two. They are 8-21 when getting points on the road, having lost five of their last six and 8 of 10 since January 27.
The Jazz and their 83.33% implied win odds aren't the highest on the slate tonight, but they provide some sneaky value. Our projections have them winning at a rate of 89.72% and for a 7.70% return. It's the third straight four-star bet, but this one is as close to a lock as it gets, so don't miss out.
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