NBA Betting Guide: Thursday 8/6/20

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.

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Denver Nuggets

Nuggets +4.0: 2-Star Rating out of 5

The Portland Trail Blazers once again got a playoff-chance boost from the Memphis Grizzlies, as the ailing Grizz lost in the bubble once again, this time falling to the Utah Jazz by nine points. The Blazers are now just one game back from the eight seed in the Western Conference, and they'll look to cut that in half when they take on their division rival, the Denver Nuggets.

After dropping their first restart game by 20, the Nuggets have picked up solid wins over the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs, the latter actually helping the Blazers' playoff hopes.

As you will no doubt recall, Denver fell to Portland in a tense seven-game playoff series last year, and they've taken revenge in each of their three meetings during the 2019-20 campaign. Denver has won all three games, and the last two haven't been close; Denver has pulled out wins of 15 and 28 points in those contests. Portland was, of course, without both Zach Collins and former Nugget Jusuf Nurkic in those two blowouts; both big men are back in the starting lineup

Portland is a 4.0-point favorite this evening. In 19 previous games this season when favored by at least that many points, the Blazers have gone 10-9 against the spread (ATS). Of note, however, only one of those 19 games came against a team with a winning record.

For the first time this season, the Nuggets are playing in a game with a 230.0-point total. They've gone 6-2 ATS this year when totals have been set at 225.0 points or higher, including one of their three wins against the Blazers.

numberFire's models project this game to go down to the wire, currently giving the Blazers a 50.94% chance to win. For betting purposes, our models are pointing to taking the Nuggets to cover the 4.0-point spread. We give Denver a 58.8% chance of covering and mark the bet as a two-star play.

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston Rockets

Over 228.0: 3-Star Rating out of 5

To call the Los Angeles Lakers' shooting performance last night abysmal wouldn't even begin to describe the basketball that was on display. Their 35.2% clip was their worst performance of the year, eclipsing the 35.4% mark set just five days ago in their 15-point loss to the Toronto Raptors. It was their fourth-time under 40% on the season and -- amazingly -- their third time in the bubble.

The poor shooting was exemplified by an almost unbelievable 5-for-37 (5-for-37!!!) "effort" from beyond the arc. I could do better, and I haven't played competitive ball since the sixth grade (We went 7-0 that season, just sayin'.) The 13.5% clip from deep was their worst mark of the season and just the 14th time all year that any team has shot below 15% from three.

Teams don't tend do shoot that poorly two games in a row, however. Those other 13 three-deficient teams shot a solid 38.5% from deep in the game following their poor efforts. The over went 7-5-1 in those contests, covering by an average of 2.1 points.

The Lakers' poor shooting led to just 86 points last night, the eighth time they've done so this season. They've bounced back each time, scoring an average of 116.6 points in the following game, leading to a 7-0 record for the over in those contests. The over covered by an average of 5.1 points in those games.

LA will face a Houston Rockets team that is coming off a poor shooting performance of its own, scoring just 102 points on 39.1% shooting. They've averaged 116.1 points in games after shooting under 40% this season (the over has gone 5-7 in those games, however).

The teams split their two previous matchups this season, combining for at least 232 points in each game. Our models like them to eclipse that mark (and, thus, the 228.0-point total) once again tonight, projecting them to combine for 236.2 points. We give the over a 65.1% chance of hitting and mark the bet as a three-star play.