NBA Betting Guide for 1/21/21: Looking at All 3 Games for Value
Betting on the NBA can get a little overwhelming throughout the season because there are games virtually every day, and there's just a lot to track throughout the season and entering every night -- spreads, over/unders, injuries, and so on.
But you can rely on numberFire to help. We have a detailed betting algorithm that projects out games to see how often certain betting lines hit, and our oddsFire section of the site allows you to track movement in those lines and see where the action is coming from on particular games.
Los Angeles Lakers at Milwaukee Bucks
What a marquee matchup to start off the night. The 9-5 Milwaukee Bucks rank as the best team in the NBA, per our power rankings, and the 11-4 Los Angeles Lakers are second. The Bucks' nERD suggests they're a 55.9-win team over a 72-game season. That implies an expected point differential of +8.2. The Lakers are just a smidgeon behind at a 77.0 nERD and an implied point differential of +8.1.
numberFire's algorithm finds the most value on the Milwaukee moneyline (-124), rating it as a three-star bet out of five. That moneyline implies a 55.4% likelihood to win, but we project the Bucks as 66.7% likely to beat the Lakers. Those odds say the moneyline should be -200. My model puts the Bucks as 59.8% likely to win, which still gives us some room for error.
This does, though, go against the moneyline betting trends: around 75% of the bets and money are on the Lakers to win.
New York Knicks at Golden State Warriors
numberFire's algorithm is pretty big on the New York Knicks here, despite the fact that they are listed as 4.5-point road underdogs. Our median projected score actually suggests they're the favorite: 106.9 to 105.7. They're 54.5% likely to win outright. The Knicks are also 67.2% likely to cover the spread, which indicates an expected return of 28.2%.
However, the estimated net ratings show that the Warriors (-1.5) are only 0.9 points better than the Knicks (-2.4) over 100 possessions, based on the underlying data. Taking the 4.5 points is the preference, and our algorithm considers it a four-star bet out of five. The Knicks' moneyline (+162) is a three-star recommendation out of five.
New Orleans Pelicans at Utah Jazz
Hey, there's another three-star bet in this game, too, so numberFire's algorithm indicates that we do have some good value despite a small three-game night ahead.
The over/under is set at 216.5 points (down a point from the open), and our algo predicts the over to hit 66.3% of the time, which is good for an expected return on investment of 26.6%. Our median projected score is 224.8, and based on my betting model, the total should be 226.7, so the long-term data points to the over for this spot.
While the Utah Jazz boast a top-five estimated defense this year, the New Orleans Pelicans are just 23rd, and all four of our strongest predictors for this game -- the most similar historical games -- hit their posted overs.