NBA

NBA Betting Guide for 4/19/21: 3 Totals to Target for Monday's Slate

Some of the best value spots on the board are over/unders tonight. Which ones should we bet?

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.)

Chicago Bulls at Boston Celtics

I always love it when a plan comes together when the betting public and our algorithm agree on a particular line.

We have that here on the over for the Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics game in Boston (215.5 points).

Our algorithm is rating the over as a four-star recommendation out of five and considers this game 70.7% likely to hit the over. That's good for a 35.0% expected return on investment. Our median projected score for this game is 226.4, well over that 215.5 number.

The betting public is also heavily on the over here (which isn't that surprising because overs tend to get a lot more love), but we're seeing 77% of the tickets and 78% of the money on the over. That's substantial.

Zach LaVine is listed as out, but the Bulls have been pretty over-friendly without him and with Nikola Vucevic over 172.0 minutes: a 113.3 offensive rating and a 120.4 defensive rating.

For Boston, Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker are questionable. Without those two but with Jayson Tatum on the court, the Celtics do drop off: a 109.5 offensive rating and a 111.7 defensive rating.

Using that data from the relevant samples, my model still projects a 222.6-point median outcome.

Oklahoma City Thunder at Washington Wizards

We are seeing some massive smart money trends on the over in this game (230.5). oddsFire is indicating that 35% of the betting tickets are on the over -- but that includes 61% of the money. That's a massive differential of 26 percentage points.

The over/under opened at 229.5 but is up just a point, so we can still grab it with plenty of value.

Over the past 15 games, these two teams are both bottom-five in offensive rating (the Washington Wizards are 26th at 106.6, and the Oklahoma City Thunder are 30th at 99.8), but weak defenses and top-three paces in that split are clearly driving bettors to the over. That and a Russell Westbrook revenge spot.

numberFire's algorithm isn't taking a side here, but it's rare to see a 26-point gap in money versus tickets, so the smart money is probably worth tracking here.

San Antonio Spurs at Indiana Pacers

We already discussed two overs, but for this game, things are pointing to the under (230.5).

The algorithm is identifying it as a two-star recommendation out of five and considers the under 60.3% likely to hit here, which leads to an expected return of 15.0%. In total, the median projection for this game comes out to just 225.5.

Of note, 21 of the 25 most comparable games -- the games with the most similar game conditions, such as team composition and betting lines -- to this one in numberFire's database wound up staying under the total.

It's rare to see unders getting hammered in the NBA, but we're getting that in this game. oddsFire indicates that 27% of the tickets and 35% of the bets are on the over, leaving 65% of the money and 73% of the bets on the under.

The over/under has ticked down from 232.0 to 230.5, but it's still too high, according to our algorithm -- and the public.