NBA Betting Guide for Monday 1/10/22: 3 Underdogs Our Algorithm Likes

Where should we take the points tonight on Monday's NBA slate?

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 odds.)

Indiana Pacers at Boston Celtics

The theme of the night is taking the points with underdogs. That puts us on the Indiana Pacers (+6.5) against the Boston Celtics.

Even with just a 30.8% win chance, our model likes the Pacers to cover with a 54.3% probability. That's a one-star lean (i.e. one-unit recommendation), then.

Over the past 10 games, the Pacers' spread-adjusted point differential is a -3.7, but the Celtics' isn't much better (-1.4).

The Pacers, in non-garbage situations without Malcolm Brogdon and Caris LeVert, do have a net rating of -6.0. The Celtics in games with Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are 10-12 with a non-garbage net rating of +3.6.

Even with that, my model anticipates a spread of 5.0 in favor of the Celtics, thus putting it on the Pacers, as well.

Philadelphia 76ers at Houston Rockets

There's a heavy 10.5-point spread in favor of the Philadelphia 76ers on the road against the Houston Rockets, but it's the home Rockets that is getting the slight preference.

numberFire's model views the Rockets as 56.1% likely to cover, thus leading to an expected return of 7.2%.

My model views the spread as 9.0, so once again, both my model and numberFire's line up on an underdog opportunity.

Over the past three weeks, the Rockets rank third in the NBA in shot quality (basically expected effective field goal percentage) at 54.0%, and the Sixers are 22nd (51.0%).

Defensively, Philadelphia ranks 30th in shot luck in that span, and the Rockets are 30th. Things have to start regressing eventually.

Brooklyn Nets at Portland Trail Blazers

The early return on the Brooklyn Nets with Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving is pretty nice: a +10.7 medium-to-high-leverage net rating across 46 minutes in the game they've shared.

That did come with an effective field goal percentage of 59.4% despite a shot quality of 48.0%. You'd expect a team as good offensively as they are to outperform their shot quality rating, but boy, that's a massive discrepancy that has to scale back as the sample grows.

In games with at least two of those three, they are 18-11 with a relevant net rating of +2.5 (and a shot quality of 53.0% with an effective field goal percentage of 53.4%).

The Portland Trail Blazers without Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum are 2-4 with a non-garbage net rating of -5.1 and a very slow pace. My model, then, sees the spread as 6.5, rather than 9.0.

numberFire's model loves the Blazers' spread (+9.0). It's rated as a four-star play. The Blazers' moneyline (+315) is also a four-star recommendation.