NBA Betting Guide: Wednesday 8/19/20

As long as Kristaps Porzingis can avoid another phantom ejection, our models view the Mavericks as a good bet against the Clippers. What other bets should you target?

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.

Philadelphia 76ers vs Boston Celtics

Under 215.5: 2-Star Rating out of 5

The Boston Celtics pulled out a win in Game 1 against the Philadelphia 76ers, but it was a Pyrrhic victory. Though they walked away with the W, they lost Gordon Hayward in the process. Hayward suffered an ankle injury and will miss up to a month, meaning Boston wouldn't have him back until at least the Eastern Conference Finals.

Without Hayward on the court, Brad Stevens slows his team down and focuses more heavily on defense. The team's PACE drops from 99.7 to 96.4, and they put up just 108.5 points per game, 7.0 points fewer than when he plays. Of course, they also allow their opponents to score 7.2 fewer points per game, and the team has actually won a higher percentage of games this season without Hayward.

The lower scoring without the former Butler star this season has led to the under going 13-7, with an average of just 210.5 points scored in those contests. The under is 24-17 in Boston's games this season when the total has been set under 220 points (9-5 without Hayward). The under is 17-15-1 when the Celtics are coming off an eight-or-more-point victory.

The under is now 4-1 this season when the Celtics and Sixers have met. Our models see that going to 5-1. We give the under a 60.4% chance of hitting and mark the bet as a two-star play.

Dallas Mavericks vs Los Angeles Clippers

Mavericks +6: 2-Star Rating out of 5

The Dallas Mavericks were holding a lead throughout the second and halfway through the third quarter in Monday night's Game 1 against the Los Angeles Clippers. Unfortunately for them, the refs decided at that moment that Kristaps Porzingis was playing a little too passionately and ejected him. The tables quickly flipped, and the Clippers walked away with an eight-point victory and a 1-0 lead in the series. KP is questionable tonight with knee soreness, but he should be out on the court for Game 2, and you know he'll have fire in his belly.

The Mavericks are 6.0-point underdogs this evening. After the eight-point loss on Monday, the Mavericks are now 8-2 against the spread (ATS) this season as more than 5.0-point underdogs. When Porzingis plays more than 20 minutes, however, that ATS record is a perfect 7-0. The team has covered by an average of 14.3 points in those contests.

The Mavericks are 7-4 ATS this season after losing by at least eight points. The Clippers are just 14-19 ATS this season after winning by at least that much.

numberFire's models project another win for the Clippers tonight, but we have the Mavericks making them sweat. We give Dallas a 60.9% chance of covering the 6.0-point spread. With an expected return of $116.30 on a $100 bet, we mark this as a two-star play.