NBA Betting Guide for Thursday 12/2/21: Who Should We Back in Another Bulls/Knicks Rematch?

Chicago and New York will meet for the third time this season. Which side offers the better betting value 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 you can track line movement within games and compare odds over at the oddsFire section of the site.

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

Chicago Bulls at New York Knicks

The model at numberFire is big on the New York Knicks at home tonight.

They're 2.0-point home underdogs, and the algorithm here is recommending a three-star play (a three-unit wager) on the Knicks to cover. The model here views the Knicks as 64.7% likely to cover. The expected return, then, is 23.5%.

The Knicks' moneyline (+108) is also getting the three-star love, as well. Outright, the model here sees New York beating the Chicago Bulls 64.1% of the time.

These two teams have played twice already to close results. The Knicks won 104-103 in Chicago on October 28th; the Bulls won 109-103 in Chicago on November 21st. This will be the first time they play at Madison Square Garden.

My model -- adjusting for garbage-time stats -- views the Knicks as 0.5-point favorites and as 52.3% favorites, so the spread works based on my model, as well.

Milwaukee Bucks at Toronto Raptors

The 14-8 Milwaukee Bucks are favored by 4.0 on the road against the 9-13 Toronto Raptors, and they are on an 8-game win streak.

The Raptors have lost 4 of their past 5 and 7 of their past 10.

Despite this, the model at numberFire is preferring the Raptors plus the points. Our algorithm views the Raptors' odds to cover as 59.1%, good for a return of 12.8%. That makes it a two-star recommendation.

There's also a two-star recommendation on the Raptors to win outright (+152). The algo sees Toronto's win odds as 49.4%.

Why? Well, the Bucks, during their past 10 games (8-2 record), have just a spread-adjusted point differential of +0.8.

The Raptors have underperformed their spread by just 1.4 points, on average. The underlying data makes this matchup appear a lot closer than the records would otherwise indicate.

Oklahoma City Thunder at Memphis Grizzlies

This game features a pretty lengthy injury list, so there's a lot of adjusting we can do, but one thing we know for sure: the Memphis Grizzlies, even without Ja Morant, have been decent.

In non-garbage situations in two games without Morant, their net rating over 72 minutes is a +25.4. In non-garbage situations with Morant simply off the floor (not necessarily inactive), their net rating is a viable +1.9.

The Oklahoma City Thunder's non-garbage net rating without Josh Giddey, Kenrich Williams, and Derrick Favors is...umm...-16.8 over 290 minutes. Yikes.

My model, accounting for this, would view the Grizzlies as 11.5-point favorites (they are actually 9.5-point favorites). My model sees Memphis covering at a 61.1% probability.

numberFire's algorithm sees their cover odds as 56.1%, good for a one-star recommendation.