NBA Betting Guide: Monday 8/3/20
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.
Over 236.5: 3-Star Rating out of 5
The Memphis Grizzlies have had their worst possible start to the bubble come true. Up 3.5 and 4.0 games over the Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs, respectively, the Grizzlies have lost to both out of the gate. While they still hold on to the eighth seed, their playoff chances are now looking much bleaker than they had been. They'll look to give themselves a boost when they face the New Orleans Pelicans tonight.
The Pelicans have similarly lost their first two games, and they did so in ugly fashion in their last outing, getting down by 37 points at the end of the third quarter before falling by 23 to the Los Angeles Clippers. Their offense hasn't yet clicked in Orlando; they've put up just 103.5 points per game and shot just 43.6% from the field, 2.6 percentage points lower than their season average. They've also attempted just 84.5 shots per game, a far drop-off from the league-leading 92.1 shots they averaged before the restart.
That might be enough to sway some from betting on the over tonight, but our models don't see it that way, highlighting the over in this game as a strong play. Their first two games of the restart came against two top-10 teams in defensive rating. The Pelicans' offensive woes could get a major boost tonight, as they face a Grizzlies team they've taken to the cleaners in their previous meetings this season.
The Pelicans have won both of their games against Memphis this year, scoring an average of 132.5 points. The average total was a whopping 241.5 points in those contests, and the over still hit relatively easily, clearing the bar by an average of 4.5 points.
The over has hit in each of the last three games in which the Pelicans have come off back-to-back losses and back-to-back unders, clearing by an average of 17.6 points. Our models like that streak to go to four games, as they give the over a 62.6% chance of hitting tonight. We mark the bet as a three-star play.
Spurs +7.0: 1-Star Rating out of 5
One of the teams benefiting from Memphis' slow restart is the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs came into the bubble four games back, but they've already picked up two games on the Grizz, despite being without LaMarcus Aldridge and Trey Lyles. If they're to make a push into the eighth seed, a win tonight against the Philadelphia 76ers would be a big help. They'll have their work cut out for them, however, as they come into tonight's game as 7.0-point underdogs.
The Sixers dropped their first game in Orlando, in large part due to a 53-point outing by T.J. Warren. Warren was on fire from beyond the arc, hitting 9 of 12 shots. The Sixers come into tonight in the middle of the pack defending threes, allowing the 15th-highest three-point percentage.
Unfortunately for them, the Spurs have been lights out from deep in the restart, hitting at least 41.4% of their threes in each game. They have the fourth-highest percentage from deep on the season. San Antonio has also picked up its outside defense in the bubble, holding opponents to just 27.9% on threes. The Spurs are 7-4 against the spread (ATS) this season when holding opponents to under 30% from beyond the arc. The Sixers are just 3-13 ATS when shooting under 30% from three.
San Antonio has gone just 6-9 when underdogs of more than five points this season. Against the spread, however, they've gone 10-4-1. They're getting outscored by an average of just 1.8 points in those 15 games, compared to an average line of +7.6.
The Sixers have gone 15-14 ATS when favored by more than five points this season. Only six of those games came outside of Philadelphia, however, and they've gone just 2-4 ATS in those contests.
numberFire's models give the Sixers a 71.8% chance of winning this evening. We project them to fail to cover the 7.0-point spread, however. We give the Spurs a 53.3% chance of winning or losing by fewer than seven points. We mark the bet on the Spurs as a one-star play.