NBA Betting Guide: Friday 8/7/20

What are our model's preferred bets for tonight's five-game NBA slate?

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.

Washingon Wizards vs New Orleans Pelicans

Over 233.5: 5-Star Rating out of 5

Despite now having a worse winning percentage than the Charlotte Hornets, a team whose season has already ended, the Washington Wizards are locked into at least a play-in game for the Eastern Conference playoffs. Given their status, there isn't much impetus for them to give a ton of effort, especially with their best player, Bradley Beal sidelined with a shoulder injury.

There is always pride, however, and it's always fun to play spoilsport, which they can be tonight by beating the New Orleans Pelicans. The Pelicans are still in the thick of things in the Western Conference playoff race, sitting just 2.0-games out of the final playoff spot. However, if they want to catch surging teams like the Portland Trail Blazers and Phoenix Suns, they won't be able to afford another loss.

Unfortunately for them, there's a chance that they'll be without Zion Williamson this evening. Zion has been weaned back into action. He received just 22 minutes of run in his last game, which, unfortunately for New Orleans, was yesterday. Given the importance of this game, Zion certainly could take the court, but a back-to-back for a player whose minutes have been limited is asking a lot. This is just speculation on my part as there has been no official word yet from the Pelicans on Zion's status, but I would not be surprised if he sat.

The over has actually performed better when Zion has sat this season, hitting 57.8% of the time compared to 47.8% of the time in the games he's played. The Pelicans have scored an average of 3.6 fewer points without him, but the average total has been 7.9 points lower, leading to the better over record.

The Pelicans are favored by 7.5 points tonight. The over has gone 7-3 when they've been favored by more than five points this year. The over has gone 21-14 when the Wizards have been more than five-point underdogs.

Our models like the point to flow tonight, projecting the teams to combine for 249.9 points. We give the over a 78.7% chance of hitting and mark the bet as a five-star play.

Orlando Magic vs Philadelphia 76ers

Under 223.0.0: 1-Star Rating out of 5

Unlike the Wizards, the Orlando Magic still have something to play for. They come into tonight's game as the eighth seed in the East, but they're only a half-game back of the Brooklyn Nets for seventh, and getting to that spot means avoiding the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round (not that facing the Toronto Raptors is going to be a much easier test).

Unfortunately for the Magic, they're without Jonathan Isaac (torn ACL), Aaron Gordon (strained hamstring), Al-Farouq Aminu (who hasn't yet joined the team in the bubble due to a knee injury), and could be without Michael Carter-Williams (strained foot). That's a lot of key pieces, and Steve Clifford will have to get creative in their absence.

Without Gordon, Orlando is putting up just 103.7 points per game this season. Without Gordon and Issac, that number drops to 100.5. They put up just 99 points in their last outing (Hey, still better than the Lakers, amirite?) without Isaac a couple of days ago. Tonight they'll try to boost that offensive output against the Philadelphia 76ers.

The teams have faced each other twice this season, and points have come at a premium. The teams have combined for an average of just 202.0 points in those contests, games which saw a total of no higher than 209.5 points. Tonight's total is 223.0 points, a massive jump. The teams haven't combined for more than 220 points since their first meeting last season. The under has gone 2-4 in their contests since last year.

Like the Magic, the Sixers haven't avoided the injury bug; will be without Ben Simmons tonight, who partially dislocated his kneecap on Wednesday. The over has actually done well in his absence, going 8-2.

Our models don't see the over hitting tonight, however. We project the teams to combine for 219.5 points. We give the under a 56.1% chance of hitting and mark the bet as a one-star rating.