NBA Betting Guide for Friday 12/17/21: Can the Lakers Keep Winning?

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.)

Miami Heat at Orlando Magic

In a battle of Florida teams with no "s" on the end of their nicknames, the algorithm at numberFire is -- understandably -- siding with the Miami Heat pretty heavily.

The Heat (-300 to win outright) are considered 78.9% likely to pick up the win, per our model. That puts a one-star lean on the moneyline and spread (Miami -7.0). The algo here sees Miami as 55.8% likely to cover.

Across the 25 most comparable games to this one in our database, teams representing the Heat have won 22 (88.0%) and have covered 14 of them (56.0%).

Doing a heck of a lot of adjusting for how long the injury lists are on both sides here, my model views the Heat as 10.0-point favorites, as well.

Los Angeles Lakers at Minnesota Timberwolves

The Los Angeles Lakers are showing some life and boast a 16-13 record after netting three straight wins. They're now 6-4 in their past 10 games with a point differential of +5.8 and a spread-adjusted point differential of +2.3.

The Minnesota Timberwolves are 4-6 over their past 10 with very worrisome differentials: a raw mark of -7.1 and a spread-adjusted mark of -4.8.

numberFire's algorithm likes the Lakers a good bit here. It views them as two-star plays to cover (+2.0) and to win (+112). Outright, they're expected to win 54.7% of the time.

My model, adjusting for leverage and injuries, views the Lakers as 2.5-point favorites with a win probability of 58.5%.

The data says to buy the dip for the Lakers and take the points.

Memphis Grizzlies at Sacramento Kings

The 18-11 Memphis Grizzlies are getting a lot of respect in this matchup against the 12-17 Sacramento Kings. They are favored by 6.0 points and are -270 to win outright.

numberFire's model is going the other way, however.

The Kings +6.0 is a three-star suggestion, and the Kings to win (+198) is a two-star suggestion.

Even without Ja Morant and Brandon Clarke, the Grizzlies have been good: they have a non-garbage net rating of +8.4.

But fear not.

The Kings' sample without De'Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, and Richaun Holmes is very small (94 minutes), but they've been good, too. They have a net rating of +30.4. Though that won't stick, this one sets up to be close.

Given that and the historical trends, we can take the points with the Kings.