NBA Betting Guide for 2/22/21: 3 Over/Unders the Smart Money Loves Tonight
Betting on the NBA can get a little overwhelming throughout the season because there are games 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.
Miami Heat at Oklahoma City Thunder
The betting public is all over the under in this game once it opened at 213.5, and it's now down to 212.0. Only 23% of the bets have come on the under, but 69% of the money has, which indicates big bets on the under, which has -- in part -- moved the line down.
Using just 2020-21 opponent-adjusted data and pace, my model anticipated a low over/under of 209.0, and even the more recent data backs it up.
Both of these teams are bottom-six in estimated offensive rating and top-half in estimated defensive rating on the season. Over the past 15 games -- which is where I started to see some sort of reliability in data, historically -- these two teams are 28th and 29th, in offensive rating -- and top-10 in defensive rating.
Memphis Grizzlies at Dallas Mavericks
The total has shot up to 232.0 from an opening line of 229.5, and it's easy to see why: 92% of the money is on the over. Further, 64% of the bets are on the over, so it's both a heavy majority and smart money indicating that the 229.5 number was too low.
The question, of course, is whether or not 232.0 is too high. My model says it is -- a bit -- and the projected total for this game was 229.5, exactly what the opening number was. numberFire's projected point total in this game is 230.8, so again in line with the trends that are pushing it up but no longer showing much value on 232.0.
The reasons to buy into the higher number, though, include the fact that both teams are top-12 in offensive rating over the past 15 games -- and both are bottom-8 in defensive rating, including the Dallas Mavericks, who are dead last in that sample and who have allowed 121.4 points per 100 possessions over the past 15 games. The Memphis Grizzlies are allowing 115.5.
If I use that 15-game average for the inputs in my model, the total should be 236.1, so it's a matter of trusting the full-season or the recent data. The betting trends are on board with going more recent.
Chicago Bulls at Houston Rockets
Though there's a smaller discrepancy between tickets and money on the under in this game, a majority of tickets (54%) and money (62%) are on the under in this spot. The total has fallen slightly from 227.5 to 227.0.
My model's predicted over/under in this game -- again, using adjusted offensive and defensive ratings and pace -- was only 221.1. The Chicago Bulls are 15th in estimated offensive rating, and the Houston Rockets are 26th.
Over the past 15 games, the Bulls rank 18th in offensive rating, and the Rockets are just 26th. Again, though, both teams are top-11 in defensive rating in that sample. Using those inputs, the expected over/under is only 224.5.
This game does rate out with the best average adjusted pace on the board, but it's not necessarily enough to love the over.