NBA

NBA Betting Guide for 3/1/21: An Underdog and Some Unders to Target on Monday

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.

Where do our algorithm, our power rankings, and the betting trends identify value in tonight's games? (All odds from FanDuel Sportsbook.)

Indiana Pacers at Philadelphia 76ers

There was an instant reaction to this over/under launching at 223.5 (now up to 224.0), and it was fairly heavily on the under. There are 57% of the bets but 84% of the money on the under on this number, via oddsFire.

numberFire's algorithm also views some value on the under, rating it a two-star recommendation out of five and projecting it as 60.2% likely to occur. The median projected total in this game is 218.5, per numberFire's model.

Of the 25 most comparable games to this one historically, via our strongest predictions, only one hit the posted over. So, yeah, it makes sense that our algorithm likes the under.

My model has it right on par with the posted number at 223.8, but what we really have is two top-eight adjusted defenses and two offenses right around the NBA average in adjusted offensive rating (the Philadelphia 76ers are 14th and the Indiana Pacers are 17th).

Cleveland Cavaliers at Houston Rockets

I recommend a lot of unders, but I'm just out here looking for value where it can be projected.

The posted over/under in this game is 217.5, and oddsFire is showing a majority of the action on the under: 61% of the tickets and 68% of the money.

Now, if betting trends are your thing, then you'll like the under as well. The Cleveland Cavaliers have hit the under in 20 of 34 games (58.8%), and the Houston Rockets have done so in 20 of 32 games (62.5%). Those are both top-four numbers in the league (as far as staying under the total goes).

The reasons for it are pretty obvious: we're dealing with bottom-four adjusted offenses in this game. My model anticipated an over/under of just 208.3 based on each team's adjusted data, and the betting public seems to be on the same page.

Additionally, numberFire's algorithm loves the Rockets -2.5 (three-star recommendation) and their moneyline (-144; four-star recommendation).

Charlotte Hornets at Portland Trail Blazers

I won't do a third under but will instead look to a point spread. Our algorithm sees some value on the Charlotte Hornets' spread (+6.5) and sees it as 52.9% likely to occur. That's pretty tight, sure, but there are some reasons to get behind it.

The betting public is pretty split on the spread here (around 48% of the bets and money are on the Hornets to cover), so it's a coin flip from that angle, as well. Charlotte's adjusted point differential -- based on my ELO model -- is a -1.0, but the Portland Trail Blazers are actually a -1.4 themselves.

Using adjusted pace and offensive and defensive ratings, my model sees only a 2.7-point gap between the two in favor of the Trail Blazers. Charlotte covered 60.7% of the time, per my sims, so they're a little more optimistic than numberFire's simulations.

And when factoring in injuries, it seems as though Portland has it worse. Portland's net rating without C.J. McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic is a -3.2 on the season; Charlotte's net rating without Gordon Hayward, Devonte' Graham, and Cody Zeller is actually a +2.4.