NBA Betting Guide: Friday 8/14/20
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 223.5: 3-Star Rating out of 5
Today's bubble games could be a little weird. With all of the playoff matchups already locked in, there is no positioning to be gained, and thus it wouldn't be surprising to see teams resting some of their top players. On the flip side, however, the teams are still looking to gel after a long time away from the court, so there's certainly an argument to be made to play everybody for increased cohesion.
Judging by those currently sitting out in the Oklahoma City Thunder-Los Angeles Clippers game, the latter argument seems to be winning the day (this could, of course, change 10 minutes after reading this, so keep reading numberFire's NBA Player News feed).
The Thunder will be without Chris Paul, who is out with a left hand sprain, but their core should be otherwise intact. The Clippers will be sans Patrick Beverley once again, but the rest of their starters have not yet been ruled out.
The over hit in just 46.8% of the Thunder's game prior to the restart. It has hit 57.1% of the time in the bubble, however, despite a total that has been 1.5 points higher on average.
The difference has been even more drastic for the Clippers, who have seen the over hit rate move from a pre-Orlando 42.9% to 71.4% in the past couple of weeks. Part of this difference can be explained by Beverley's absence. Without him this season, the Clippers are giving up 114.8 points per night, 6.7 more than when he takes the court. The over has hit just 38.0% of the time when he's played, compared to 65.0% of the time when he has not.
Paul has missed just one game this season, so it wouldn't be prudent to make any conclusions from his absence. If you want to look back to last year, however, the over with him on and off the court is similar to Beverley's. Last year with the Rockets, the over hit just 39.7% of the time when Paul played and 61.9% of the time when he didn't.
As it stands, our models like the over to hit this evening. We give the over a 66.5% chance of hitting and mark the bet as a three-star play. That said, remember to keep checking throughout the day as players could indeed be rested. (Kawhi, I'm looking at you.)
Two other teams with seemingly no reason to put out their best lineups are the Philadelphia 76ers and Houston Rockets, who face off tonight in the last regular season bubble game. As of right now, Russell Westbrook is definitely out with a right quad strain. No other Rockets are currently listed on the injury report.
The Sixers could potentially be without Joel Embiid due to ankle soreness. With Ben Simmons already out indefinitely, it doesn't make a ton of sense for the Sixers to risk further injury to Embiid in a meaningless game. Personally, I'm expecting him to sit out.
The over has gone 12-9-1 without Embiid this season after going 10-7-2 last year. Over the past two seasons, the over has gone a perfect 7-0 when neither Embiid nor Simmons has taken the court for Philly. The over has covered by an astounding 15.9-point average in those games.
On the flip side, the over has gone just 5-8-1 this year when Westbrook has missed time. It has also gone just 0-2-1 when the Rockets and Sixers have faced off during the past two seasons.
The Sixers are currently 4.5-point underdogs tonight. The over has gone 11-8-3 when they've been 'dogs this season and 5-4-1 when their opponent has been favored by more than four points.
numberFire's models currently project the two teams to combine for 237.2 points. We give the over a 63.5% chance of hitting, and we mark the bet as a three-star play.