NBA Betting Guide: Thursday 7/30/20

What bets do our models like for the first two games of the NBA restart?

numberFire has built comprehensive algorithms to pinpoint the bets with the highest probability of returning money, whether you are betting on the total, game 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 usually 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.

Utah Jazz vs New Orleans Pelicans

Over 224.5: 5-Star Rating out of 5
Jazz +3: 5-Star Rating out of 5
Jazz Moneyline (+124): 5-Star Rating out of 5

The Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans will kick-off the restart of the season within the bubble in Orlando tonight, and numberFire's models have Utah as the clear betting favorite.

The Jazz come into tonight's game with a 41-23 record and have already solidified a spot in the playoffs. That said, they are just 3.0 games out of second place in the West, and the team will be doing its best to move up in the rankings during this sprint towards the finish.

Utah will be without starting small forward Bojan Bogdanovic, who had wrist surgery in May and is out for the season. It would make sense for Joe Ingles to slide back into the three tonight, though the lineups have not yet been finalized.

Speaking of missing players, the bigger name that may not be on the court tonight is the Pelicans' Zion Williamson, who is a game-time decision. He was on the floor for shootaround this morning, however, a sign that he could be out there. The Pelicans are only 3.5-games out of the last playoff spot in the West, and Zion's presence certainly would make their path much easier.

New Orleans comes into tonight with an uninspiring 28-36 record, but they've gone 10-9 straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) with him on the floor. The over is 10-8-1 in those games, which have seen an average of 235.4 points scored, 3.2 points more than when he doesn't play.

The Jazz are 6-5 ATS as underdogs this year. The over is 18-10 this season when the Jazz have played in games with totals higher than 220.0 points. The Jazz are 19-9 SU and 15-12-1 ATS in those contests.

The teams have met three times this season. The Jazz have been favored in all of those games and have won twice. The over has gone 3-0 in those meetings, and there have been no fewer than 248 points scored, well above tonight's 224.5 total.

numberFire projects the Jazz to win by 4.9 points and for the two teams to combine for 238.6. We give the over a 75.8% chance of hitting. We give the Jazz a 67.6% chance of winning and a 72.8% chance of covering the three-point spread.

Los Angeles Clippers vs Los Angeles Lakers

Over 216.0: 5-Star Rating out of 5

Tonight's restart begins with a bang as the top two teams in the West will meet, though the first-place Los Angeles Lakers and second-place Los Angeles Clippers will not be at full strength.

The Clippers will be without Lou Williams (quarantine) and Montrezl Harrell (personal). They may also be without Patrick Beverley, who is questionable tonight due to COVID quarantine as well. He was on the sidelines during shootaround, so he could be more on the doubtful side. The Clippers and their opponents have combined for an average of 231.8 points in games without Beverley this season, 7.9 points more than when he takes the court.

On the other side of the court, the Lakers will be without Rajon Rondo, who broke his thumb in practice earlier this month. They may also be without Anthony Davis, who is dealing with an eye injury. While he did practice yesterday, he is still being listed as questionable for tonight. The Lakers have a 5.5-game lead over the Clippers, and home-court advantage has been nullified by the bubble's neutral location, so the Lakers could err on the side of caution with Davis, especially as they've gone 6-2 SU and ATS without him this year.

For those betting the over, which is what numberFire's models recommend in this game, Davis' absence could be a boon. The over is 6-2 in the games that he's missed, which have seen an average of 229.8 points scored, blowing away the average 221.4-point total. The over has gone 0-3 in the teams' meetings this year. Those games, however, had an average total of 224.0 points, 8.0 points higher than tonight.

Our models project the two LA teams to combine for 237.2 points tonight. We give the over a massive 84.3% chance of hitting and mark the bet as a five-star play.