NBA Betting Guide: Friday 7/31/20

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.

Houston Rockets vs. Dallas Mavericks

Over 230.0: 5-Star Rating out of 5

The first two games to kick-off the NBA's restart ended up being much lower scoring than Vegas lines suggested, with the under clearing the total by 14.5 and 12.0 points in the two contests. Our models don't foresee that happening again this evening when the Houston Rockets take on the Dallas Mavericks in what is projected to be a high-scoring affair.

The Rockets already have a playoff spot locked up entering tonight's all-Texas battle; the Mavs aren't technically there yet, though it's basically a formality for them as they hold a 7.0-game lead over the Memphis Grizzlies. Houston will be without Eric Gordon as the former Indiana Hoosier will miss a fortnight with an ankle injury.

Gordon's absence has led to lower-scoring Rockets games in the past, but not because the team misses his offense. Houston is actually averaging 0.1 more points without Gordon, but they're giving up 4.7 fewer points. While the under has gone 17-13 in those games, the team and their opponents are still putting up an average of 230.1 points, right in line with tonight's total.

This will be the third meeting between the Rockets and Mavs this season. In the previous two, they've combined for no fewer than 249.0 points, with the over clearing the total by an average of 19.25 points.

numberFire's models have the teams combining for 244.2 points this evening. We give the over a 74.8% chance of hitting and mark the bet as a five-star play.

Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Celtics +5.0: 2-Star Rating out of 5

While the Milwaukee Bucks have all but sealed up the Eastern Conference's number-one seed in the playoffs, the Boston Celtics are still jockeying for position. Boston comes into this afternoon's contest third in the East, 3.0 games back of the Toronto Raptors and 2.5 games ahead of the fourth-place Miami Heat.

The Celtics have a fully healthy roster. The Bucks, on the other hand, do not. Milwaukee will be without starting point guard Eric Bledsoe and shooting guard Pat Connaughton as both players work their way back into game shape after contracting COVID-19. The Bucks are 6-3 against the spread (ATS) this season and 7-5-1 ATS dating back to last season when Bledsoe has missed time. Without him at point in 2019-20, the Bucks have put up 6.3 fewer points per game.

The teams have split their two previous meetings this season, and Boston has covered the spread in both. Brad Stevens' club is a 5.0-point underdog this evening. They've been underdogs of five or more points four times this season, going 3-1 ATS in those contests, though they have not walked away with a win.

Our models foresee a close game between these two Eastern Conference stalwarts. While we do project the Bucks to win, we have them doing so by an average of just 1.8 points. We give the Celtics a 60.3% chance of covering the 5.0-point spread, and we mark the bet as a two-star play.