NBA Betting Guide: Friday 9/4/20

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.

Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Under 223.5: 2-Star Rating out of 5

The Milwaukee Bucks find themselves in a difficult position in Game 3 after dropping their first two second-round games to the Miami Heat. Our models project them to win this evening, but for betting purposes, the under is looking like the safer bet.

Giannis Antetokounmpo has now finished with fewer than 30 points in each of his past three games. The under has gone 3-0 in games following the previous times Giannis has done that this season. The Bucks' opponents have scored an average of just 94.0 points in those contests.

The over has actually hit 54.0% of the time when Jimmy Butler has taken the court for the Heat this season. However, there have been an average of just 219.5 points scored in those games, compared to the 226.3 points scored in his absence.

The under is 12-4 this season when the Bucks have been favored by more than five points in a game with a total set below 224.0 points. They've given up an average of just 100.4 points in those games.

numberFire's models project these Eastern Conference rivals to combine for 220.0 points. We give the under a 57.5% chance of hitting this evening. With an expected return of $109.80 on a $100 bet, we mark the under as a two-star play.

Houston Rockets vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Rockets +6.5: 3-Star Rating out of 5

The Houston Rockets will have to regroup quickly after eking out a Game 7 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night, and they'll have to take on a Los Angeles Lakers team that has had five days to recuperate. Oddsmakers have taken notice, and the Rockets come into tonight as 6.5-point underdogs.

This is just the fourth time this season that the Rockets have been more than five-point underdogs. They've gone 3-0 straight up and against the spread (ATS) in similar situations this season, covering by an astounding 16 points. That includes a 10-point win over the Lakers in February. The Rockets have won two of three games against LA this season and five of seven dating back to last year.

The Lakers are 11-15 ATS this season following wins in their previous four games. They are 1-6 ATS as the "home" team in the bubble.

Our models do have the Lakers winning this evening's game, but we give the Rockets a 64.0% chance of covering the 6.5-point spread. With an expected return of $122.20 on a $100 bet, we have this marked as a three-star play.