NBA Betting Guide: Sunday 3/14/21

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 model 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.

Los Angeles Clippers at New Orleans Pelicans

Pelicans +5.5: 2-Star Rating out of 5

The New Orleans Pelicans are coming off a 34-point drubbing of the Cleveland Cavaliers, but the Los Angeles Clippers present a much more difficult test. Fourth in the Western Conference, the Clippers are 5.5-point favorites in tonight's game at Smoothie King Center.

The Clips 9-6 against the spread (ATS) this season as away favorites and 6-2 when they're more than 5.0-point favorites. The Pelicans are 5-3 ATS at home as underdogs and 2-0 when their opponents are favored by more than five points. They're 4-1-1 as more than five-point home underdogs since last year.

The Clippers are just 2-4 ATS in away games after a home game this season; it's a 2-6 ATS stretch in such games if you date back to last year. The Clippers have won four out of their past five against the Pelicans, but they're just 2-3 ATS in those contests.

Per oddsFire, bettors are leaning toward the Clippers to cover tonight, with 65% of bets and 66% of the money being laid on LA. numberFire's model is leaning the other way, however. We give the Pelicans a 59.2% chance of covering and mark the bet as a two-star play.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Atlanta Hawks

Hawks Moneyline (-230): 1-Star Rating out of 5

Winners of four straight, the Atlanta Hawks have pushed into the 8 seed in the Eastern Conference, putting them on pace for their first postseason appearance since the 2016-17 season. They'll host the Cleveland Cavaliers to try to bolster that position, and our model sees them doing so.

The Cavs' 14-23 record may not look all that impressive, but they're already within five wins of their total from last year. The improvement has largely come on the defensive end as they come into tonight ranked 22nd in defensive rating. While not all that amazing on its own, the defensive strides are a big step up from ranking dead last in defensive rating in 2019-20 and 2018-19.

Unfortunately for them, the Cavs have not been able to muster much success away from home. They're just 5-13 on the road this season and just 2-9 when they're more than 5.0-point underdogs in those games. The Hawks are 7-4 as more than 5.0-point favorites this season. Home teams favored by more than 5.0 points this season in the NBA have won 74.9% of their games -- 77.1% when their opponents are coming off of a loss.

numberFire's model gives the Hawks a 69.9% chance of walking off the court with a win this evening. We mark the moneyline bet as a one-star play.